100 Day Milestone!

IMG_2209So I think by now you know I’m pretty obsessed with my Xiaomi bracelet. It’s a fitness bracelet ala Fitbit, but made my a Chinese brand that I love. (The fitbit is $88 the Xiaomi one is $10 and works better.) It tracks your steps, and your sleep as well. I also bought the xiaomi scale and it attaches to the app and keeps everything in one place so you can see your progress. I’m a total xiaomi nerd.

Anyway, one of my favorite features is that it has a “goal.” You can set it for anything, but it defaults at 10,000 steps a day, the recommended number for a healthy life. Everyday you meet the goal it congratulates you, and if you meet your goal day after day then it begins to add up the numbers. For instance, the longest I had gone was 56 days in a row before I got sick and stayed home in bed all day.

Until now.

I am super psyched that today was my 100 days of walking at least 10,000 steps a day. Continually.  That’s more than three months of everyday getting out and walking. And not only that, but I blow away the 10,000 and am averaging more than 16,000 steps a day.

It’s partially because of badminton. I play three days a week and get 10,000 within the two hours. It’s also partially because of class. I teach in a new classroom which is a twenty minute walk from my place. My friend has offered me to use his bike so I can get there quicker, but I haven’t done it. I like the walk, even if it means I have to leave early. The two days a week I have class there, I get 10,000 steps before lunch. And when I have class and badminton I average 20,000+ steps.

The day that is hardest for me is Fridays. Mon-Thurs I have class and/or badminton. On the weekends I do hiking, Frisbee, general fun stuff that gets me out and about. But Friday I’m worn out and tired from the week, have no class or badminton and if I do go out then it is later at night usually just for dinner or whatever. So I have to force myself to get dressed around lunch and go out and do something (food shopping is a good one,) just to get at least halfway to my goal. If I get at least 5,000 by early afternoon I can make it by night. But that’s the most dangerous day.

Also, the good news is I haven’t been sick in a long time! Almost. Last week I got sick while playing badminton. Shivers, muscle ache, skin sensitivity. I had already hit my goal for that day, but the next day I had resolved myself to just stay home, sleep, get over being sick.

Notice the time. It was mid-afternoon and I had only gotten up to pee and get some food. I had given up all hope of getting to 10,000. But then I had to meet my mom for dinner and I turned it around.

Notice the time. It was mid-afternoon and I had only gotten up to pee and get some food. I had given up all hope of getting to 10,000. But then I had to meet my mom for dinner and I turned it around.

But my mom was in China visiting, and it was her last day, so I managed to drag myself out of my house to meet her for dinner. After dinner I went to Walmart and by the time I headed home I was past the 5,000 mark.

Now, I wasn’t feeling better. But you see, I was the 95th day. If I didn’t hit my daily goal, I would start over at day zero. And it was day ninety-friggin-five!! So I bribed myself.

My throat hurt, ice cream would sooth it and there was a McDonald’s in the opposite direction from my house. So I told myself to get ice cream at McDonald’s and take the long way home. It worked. I hit 10,000 by the time I got home. Then I crashed into bed exhausted but felt better the next day.

Other sacrifices I’ve made are showing up to places late because I got off the bus three stops early to walk, taking the long way to places, and even walking around the block while waiting for friends to show up just to meet my goal.

And to me, that’s the real value of these bracelets: the consistency. My friends say that if I can so “easily” meet this goal then I should up the goal to make it more of a challenge (to say, 15,000 or 20,000 steps). But to me that defeats the purpose. I am not a “run harder, jump higher” person. I don’t care if more people walk more than me. In fact, with all my super sporty and active friends I fully expect it. Pushing myself to the breaking point everyday holds no appeal for me.

My monthly averages.

My monthly averages.

Cause I’m a slow and steady kinda girl. I’m not the best but I’ll keep showing up. My consistency in steps reflects that the clearest, but I think I take this attitude into everything. I have most of my friends not because I’m so awesome or interesting, but because I just kept calling them, or showing up at things they were doing and eventually they got used to me. I wrote a book not because I was inspired and passionate everyday, just because I sat down and wrote. Having this walking goal everyday, and keeping it consecutive, is a way for me to get past my lazy tendencies and get dressed and go out even on those days when I don’t want to.

So of course I want to keep this record up, and see how long I can keep it going. If I make it to 120 days, that will be one-third of a year. And if I make it to 120, then 150 is just around the corner, and then 200 and so on. At some point I’ll break, be stuck on a plane all day, hurt my leg, get a serious flu. And I hope I won’t beat myself up about it too much.

But until that day, I’ll keep walking.

Categories: China | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

War on Christmas (in China)

I know that right now there is a kerfuffle against the plain red Starbucks cups. It seems like it is this year’s battle in the never ending “war against Christmas.”

Well, I’m in China, so who cares? In this Communist, developing country, Christmas is far, far away from me. Right?!

The sign on the door, on November 1st said "Are you ready for Christmas?" And I wanted to scream out "Nooooooooo!!"

The sign on the door, on November 1st said “It’s Christmas” And I wanted to scream out “Nooooooooo!! It’s only November.”

Nope. It’s followed me even here. The day after Halloween, every place was decked out including Starbucks. (While westerners were still sipping their pumpkin flavored stuff, we were already dealing with Christmas flavors.) I’ve talked many times about how burnt out I got with Christmas back in America, and how I am happy to not be dealing with the holiday frenzy anymore. This will be my 7th year being away during Christmas and actually I don’t really care.

Gingerbread cookies

What I do care about it being harassed by the holiday here when it isn’t even celebrated. It’s like I now get all the annoying parts of the holiday (the shopping, the advertisements, the constant Christmas music) without any of the good stuff (the holiday cheer, the extra smiles on people’s faces, the big meals and deliveries of homemade cookies). In fact in someways it is even worse because being foreign, people want me to be included in more things to give it a “real Christmas feeling” (Actual words people have said to me to get me to go to their parties or meetings.)

It didn’t used to be like this. Just a few years ago, Christmas was a vague idea and decorations were left up year round. No more, now it’s not only well-known and popular, but growing and growing. If China’s no longer safe, where can I move to get away from it all?!

Bah Humbug!


Categories: China, Chinese Culture | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Graffiti in the Girls Bathroom

Just like in every country, there is scribbles and scrawling on the walls of the bathroom stalls. A few short words, a number to call. But instead of the expected “for a good time” graffiti, it has another message. You’ll see this same graffiti in schools across the country.


Sorry for the blur. Bathroom was a bit dark and I didn’t want to spend more time in there than necessary.

It says “level 4 & 6 test” and then gives the number of a tutor. You could call it graffiti with Chinese characteristics. Instead of sex, or slut shaming, the graffiti is for a tutor for a test all college kids have to take. I assume the same graffiti can be found in the men’s room (though I didn’t check). Poor kids, can’t even get away from the relentless test pressures while taking a quick pee break!

Categories: China, Teaching English | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Badminton Becky (dotcom) is Born!

So I might as well finally announce it, I started a new website! No, it won’t replace this one. I’ll keep posting here about China, teaching students and dating Chinese guys, but lately I have a new obsession: badminton. It takes up a good part of my week and when I’m not actually playing it I am watching videos, reading websites and talking about it. If you’re my friend on Facebook, you’ve seen a lot of badminton posts these past few weeks.

And I know I’m probably boring most people with it because not a lot of people care about the sport. So I figured the hell with it, might as well start a new blog! I got a lot to talk about and I don’t want to unduly bore people so I decided a dedicated website was in order.

www.badmintonbecky.com is born!

On badmintonbecky.com I’ll only talk about badminton and my life in how it relates to badminton. There won’t be much China news or anything about me besides badminton. So if that sounds like your cup of tea, please head on over! While “Badminton Becky” sounds like a superhero or something, I assure you I’m anything but. Even after playing three times a week (once a week with my own coach even) I still kinda suck. I am just not a sports girl. Sure, I like hiking, going swimming, playing archery. But I’m not good at any of these things. I’m the one usually there for comic relief. (I’m bacon Becky, remember?)

But I found a strange passion and excitement for badminton that I’ve never felt before for a sport. It wasn’t love at first sight (I went for months just to have fun and see my friends) but it’s turned into something deep and I think badminton and I will have a long, happy relationship. (Though there will be fights a’plenty).

Anyway, I’ve already written several blog posts. Check out the reason I started the blog, learn about my precious, I mean my racket, find out my goals and see which muscle hurt the most at my weekly update #1.

So this new blog is about a book loving, tea drinking nerd trying to become proficient in a sport. You’ll also see some of the ugliest pictures of me imaginable. I do not glow when I sweat, I melt, and look nasty. Don’t laugh too hard. 😉

You can also follow badminton Becky on facebook (And also this site, if you haven’t already, please like it!)

Categories: China | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

I’m on Vagablogging (Again!)

I’ve been featured as a case study on Rof Pott’s site Vagablogging. Please go check it out!

If you don’t know, Rolf Potts is the author of the influential Vagabonding–An uncommon guide to the Art of Long Term Travel. If you’ve ever experienced wanderlust and dreamed of traveling the world, you have without a doubt read his book. It is one of the most influencial travel books and has motived the likes of Tim Ferris, Nomadic Matt and yours truly.

So it’s an honor to be featured on his blog and a double honor as it is my second time! The first time was way back in 2010 when I really thought I would be in China for just a short time. You’ll also notice a lot of “we’s” as I was still married at the time.

They wanted to do an update five years later and contacted me recently and I was happy to update them. So please chek it out! And if you are a new blog reader from his site, welcome!

I know things have been a bit quiet here but I have been busy as ever writing up a storm for a new project. It’s almost ready to unleash to the world, so I’ll let you know about it soon! It’s something I’m really excited about. Stay tuned!

Categories: China, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Halloween in Xiamen!

Woot! Woot! It’s Halloween time people! While not an actual holiday in China, Halloween is getting bigger and bigger and in Xiamen there are now THREE major events thousands will be going to. And bars, restaurant, and most stores are getting into the spirit with spooky decorations and lots of cut-out pumpkins. And for the past few weeks any sort of activity was “Halloween themed.” For instance last week we had a Hash and everyone was told to dress up.

Xiamen Hash House harriers

My friend Emilie (in the mask) walked the almost full 12km wearing that stinky, hot mask. She got a lot of attention and kids were especially funny to watch react to her.


More "spooky" costumes.

More “spooky” costumes.

And in my classes it was Halloween all week. We spent the first half talking about Halloween and customs. Then we played games like wrap the mummy, pin-the-tail-on-the-cat, and a pumpkin word search. The winners got candy and at the end of class I gave everyone some so now I’m the most popular teacher in school (until next week when I make them do their midterm *Mwahaha!*).

Halloween Class in China


Halloween class in China

Halloween class in China

Sadly. candy corn has not made it’s way to China yet. Not even at the fancy foreign store. I imagine that outside America the market is not that big because they are basically just little sugar bombs. (But delicious sugar bombs.)

Anyway, Happy Halloween from China y’all!

Categories: China, Teaching English | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Lunch Time on a Chinese Campus

Just one of the 9 (interconnected) buildings emptying at the lunch bell.

Just one of the seven (interconnected) buildings emptying at the lunch bell.

If you’ve lived in China for any length of time, you know how important lunch is. No squished sandwich eaten at your desk, or some long ladies luncheon. Lunch is fast and quick for the main event: the afternoon nap.

At a college campus lunch is like a flash flood. People start trickling into restaurants around 11. Order come from online apps, soon after, to be delivered at the dorms. The phone starts ringing with more orders until the school bells ring out across the campus. Then comes the flood waters.

When a campus has classrooms spread throughout it’s not a problem. Sure, it’s crowded, but you can still walk around and students disperse to several cafeteria and off-campus shops locations. But I started to teach at a new department and lunch is insane.

The classroom building I teach at is attached to all the other classroom buildings. There are about seven “buildings” which are actually just one building connected by corridors. And all the students in this part of the school attend class in these buildings. About 20,000 students. Sure, not every student has class the period before lunch, but enough do to make just getting out of the building an ordeal. At best, it’s a slow shuffle to the street. At worst, it’s standing still among thousands of hungry students trying to get out. And you can’t even kinda sneak around people because of tall spikey bushes. It’s wall-to-wall with students packing the corridor. It’s like Thanksgiving traffic jam every lunchtime.

First I have to get out of the stairwell which can take awhile....

First I have to get out of the stairwell which can take awhile….

...Then I have to make my way to the entrance of the building.

…Then I have to make my way to the entrance of the building.

Walking this corridor can turn into a long endeavor.

Walking this corridor can turn into a long endeavor.

And when you finally get out of the building, everyone is headed the same direction so the road isn’t much better. Unfortunately the cafeteria and the off-campus restaurants are all in the same direction. So we all continue our shuffle down the road together, only now, bikes and motor scooters have joined the fray.

The first exit gate is for a small food street. That street has cheap and delicious food and I wanna go there, but the place is packed and all the restaurants are filled with students. You have to wait in line to even exit the small gate, which fits about two-people at a time.

Instead, I continue on with the masses to the main cafeteria, then I veer off. There is another, smaller gate which also goes out to the food street, only the other end. There are less places, but they are less crowded. Its a good solution except the gate is teeny, tiny. Only one person can go through at a time and people are trying to both enter and exit the gate, and bike guys doing deliveries have to carry their bikes across. And if it is raining, and everyone has an umbrella (which is too wide for the gate door) things get ugly. I can be standing there for five minutes before I finally push my way through.

This is the little gate I use. I took the picture at a non-busy time.

This is the little gate I use. I took the picture at a non-busy time.

Once I get my food and re-enter the teeny gate, the challenge still isn’t over. I gotta make it back home without being hit by a biker. Ordering food to go is incredibly easy, and things are delivered to the students via bikes. And they are just as rushed as everyone else to deliver the food and get back for more. There are probably more than 100 of these guys riding around like lunatics. It’s best to stay out of their way.

Delivery guys load up and hot the campus, delivering dozens of meals on their bikes.

Delivery guys load up and hit the campus, delivering dozens of meals on their bikes.

The two tiny gets get so busy (and carrying a bike over the threshold such a pain) that some clever bosses have found faster ways to get the food to the delivery guys. All they need is a ladder to scale the school walls.

The two tiny gates get so busy (and carrying a bike over the threshold such a pain) that some clever bosses have found faster ways to get the food to the delivery guys. All they need is a ladder to scale the school walls.

It doesn’t last long though. Within 30 minutes, even the slowest restaurant has served all their food, and students are gone. They have two-hours for lunch, so the sooner they finish, the sooner they can sleep. You think that after the rush would be a perfect time to go out. But actually most workers take a nap too, and if you want something you have to wake them up or walk around looking for the owner (who went somewhere else to take a nap.) Some restaurants close at 12:30 and won’t reopen till dinner time. It’s always best to not wait too long to get your lunch.


Categories: China, Chinese Food, Teaching English | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Chinese Students are Curious About the West

This semester I’m teaching all speaking classes. It’s my favorite subject to teach because we can talk about, and do, anything, as long as it is in English. So we have enormous freedom in class to do fun things.

After years of teaching I have dozens of lessons already planned, some of which we’ll do. But, I get bored doing the same thing again and again so I decided to ask them what they wanted to learn. I figure if I am forcing them to speak English, it might as well be something they are enjoying as much as they can.

So in my first class of the week, I asked them two questions:

  1. What are you interested in?
  2. What would you like to learn in class?

I figured the questions were open and would encourage kinda anything and give me a few ideas. Turns out it was a bad idea because more than half the answers looked like this:

O.....kkaaaayyyyyyyy. Thanks for the help.

O…..kkaaaayyyyyyyy. Thanks for the help.

I quickly realized my error. Too vague. Sometimes when a topic is too big, you kinda freeze up and don’t know what to say.

So for the rest of the classes I changed the questions to:

  1. What topics would you like to discuss in class?
  2. What questions do you have about western culture?

These two questions opened up a whole new kind of answers, and actually gave me a small peek into their thought process and Chinese culture as a whole.


“I’m interested in the stories from the bible. Can you choose some stories to share with us?”

A lot of foreign teachers are warned to not talk about religion, but it is a topic I have taught several times. The truth is you cannot really understand western culture, or even English, without knowing the basics of Christianity. (Just like I think you cannot totally understand China without knowing about Buddhism.) I mean, so much of our language has direct religious words (goddamn it, go to hell, god bless you, etc) and most of our holidays revolve around Jesus. And it’s referenced again and again in movies and TV shows and it comes up so much in current events (gay marriage and abortion) so of course they are curious about it. I’m a heathen and an unbeliever, but even I end up getting stuck with teaching them about religion, though I tend to do it my own liberal elitist/feminist kinda way. (“Some people think the apple actually represented wisdom and the Eve brought pain and sadness but also joy and happiness and the ability to grow wise and evolve into the world, while the man just wanted to stay ignorant.”) Heh, heh.

Also, notice the first part of the question deal with Marilyn Manson. Maybe the only time in the history of the world, those two topics were linked.


“I used to watch 5 American movies a week, and I was really shocked. Like American Beauty…I think it’s too open!!”

When Americans get shocked and outraged with a movie it is usually because of over the top sexual content or violence. A movie like American Beauty is considered quite tame by western standards (very little sex, or controversial material). But it attacks the American image and the American way of life openly and blatantly. In China, that sort of subject about Chinese culture would be banned so they find the topic shocking.  I often forget about that.


“Western people can hold a party at anytime without reason and during the party they play together or just two or some more people chat or play together?”

I like this one because it reveals so much about China and Chinese culture. Parties here are not at all like parties in the west. parties are organized, with a host and games and activities. They don’t just go to someones house, relax and chit-chat like we do in the west. One time, several years ago, I held a western-style cocktail party in which we had no games, activities or host. The party had long started but I felt a sort of tension in the air. As if everyone was waiting and expecting something. I had to make an announcement that there was noting happening and nothing would happen. That they should just walk around, eat snacks and talk to each other. It was a foreign concept to them (and a bit boring I think, they prefer singing and activities.)


“Is it true that western people don’t sleep after lunch because if they do it they will be considered to lazy?”

Another question that reveals more about Chinese culture. Most people don’t think of China when they think of a “siesta” culture, but don’t fuck with their nap time here. Schools have a two-hour break midday and so do most businesses. In small shops the owners conks out right behind the counter (so you can wake them if needed) and large stores (like banks and post offices) run on a skeleton crew for the two hours with reduced services. Don’t plan on doing anything important between the hours of 12-2 because most people won’t be around (though it’s a great time to ride the bus as it is nearly empty! Just don’t get caught at the tail end as everyone is going back to school/work and they are super packed.)

And my students don’t even consider that other cultures don’t do they same. When I show them the typical high school schedule. with the 30 minute lunch break, they “wah!” and freak out and chatter about how sad it must be for western students.

Of course, not every answer was so serious….


“Something about vampires…”

Yep, vampire books, movies and TV shows are just as big here. Can’t escape them.


“Some idioms what native English speakers say, such as idioms about “ass”( no offence.)”

I like this student has such a specific request. What can I say? People love the word ass. (And if you can think of ass idioms, please let me know. The only one that springs to my mind is “when you assume it makes and ass out of me and you,” and technically, I think that’s a saying, not an idiom.)


“Why many western people can speak different languages? Because their parents are from other countries or something?”

This one is unintentionally funny, because let’s be honest, native English speakers are the most selfish language speakers on the planet, so I have no idea where this student got this idea from. “You’re in America, learn to speak American!” is the rally cry of the ignorant masses. Maybe this student meant specifically Europeans, whose language learning skills I am quite jealous of.

Although one question kept getting asked again and again, and while the students asked it in different ways, it was alll the same meaning: Why does America have so many guns.

Even in China you can’t escape the constant sad news coming out of America of mass shootings. And even worse you can’t escape the loonies who actually DEFEND gun usage after a mass shooting, blaming everyone and everything except gun ownership. Look Americans, I know it’s a controversial topic within the US but when you are outside the culture you look ABSOLUTELY MENTAL. So many students asked about it I know it is a topic I must address, but it’s not one that’s gonna be easy, nor very pleasant.

These kids are gonna keep me busy this semester!



Categories: Teaching English | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Badminton Queen

I've only seen my students a total of 4 times, but we are already having way too much fun.

I’ve only seen my students a total of 4 times, but we are already having way too much fun.

I’m one month into the semester so I thought I’d fill you in with how things are going.

This year I changed departments. Before I was in a different department, but now I’m back to teaching English majors. I wish I could say it was some grand gesture to get back to my roots, engage my students on a deeper level and make a difference. But honestly? I changed departments because of air conditioning. My former department didn’t have any, and English majors do. Yep. I’m that shallow. But can you blame me?! It was 95 degrees on October first with no signs of cooling down. It makes the workweek much better.

But I have to say things are going great. Of course their level is higher, which makes everything easier, but their enthusiasm is off the charts. They engage, they are eager and they really get into the lessons. Unfortunately, they are pulling me in and making me more engaged and interested in them which is bad news for my work/life balance. Oh well.

Not that I am stuck on campus tending to my students needs all the time. Besides the crafts fairs, hikes, days at the beach and dinner, each semester, I pick a “theme” for the semester and devote my time to it. My first semester it was just to meet people and make friends in my new home. Last semester was writing. I wrote a book in one month, and then spent the next few months sitting in cafe’s editing it. (Update, it’s with agents right now, waiting to hear back. Fingers crossed!)

I put a lot of through into my project for this semester, thinking over various goals and accomplishments I wanted to achieve. But then my project kinda found me.


Xiamen badminton

I’ve been playing badminton weekly for the past six months and I’ve really gotten into it. I don’t know why, but I’ve fallen in love with the sport even though I’m mediocre at best. I even went from playing once a week, to twice a week in the summer. We play in a giant warehouse with no air conditioning, no fans, no open windows. In fact, the big industrial windows are covered in thick, blue tarps. Moving air disturbs the birdie after all, and we can’t have that.

So the place swelters in the summer. When temps are in the high 90’s outside, they are even higher inside. And I hate the heat. (Hate it so, so much.) When I started I figured I would just play until May or June and quit for the summer.

That's me in the blue, playing with my club. I used to be one of the worst but now I'm solidly above middle.

That’s me in the blue, playing with my club. I used to be one of the worst but now I’m solidly above middle.

But that didn’t happen. In fact, I found myself going twice a week, and willing to play on any holidays or other free time. I would leave dripping in sweat with a shirt sticking to my body and feeling great. I always though athletes were crazy for punishing themselves in the heat, but now I get it. While I’m playing I don’t even notice how much I’m sweating except to wipe it out of my eyes.

And while I’ve been making strides, I have been feeling a bit frustrated. In my club, we just play games. While some players are at a higher level, and they have shown me some tricks and tips, no one is a coach or a teacher. We don’t do drills or exercises, and we don’t practice basic skills. And I think it’s something I am really missing. Most of the people in our club are Asian. They’ve grown up playing the sport in P.E. class. They’ve grown up watching tournaments and reading about famous badminton players. I haven’t. Aside from playing in the backyard with friends, badminton isn’t a big thing in America. I didn’t even know the rules when I started.

So I feel like to improve I need a teacher. Someone who can teach me perfect form, who can drill me, who can analyze my game play and tell me how to improve. One of my friends is an excellent badminton player. He is so good he doesn’t play with my club because we are too low a level.

My friend Xiao He is an amazing badminton player. he has his own group but he surprised me once and came to my club to help me. He taught me a serve that has *ahem* served me well.

My friend Xiao He is an amazing badminton player. He has his own club to play with but he surprised me once and came to my club to teach me. He taught me a serve that has *ahem* served me well. And he helped me find my teacher. 

He helped me find me a teacher who is one of the top badminton players in all of Xiamen. He’s not a pro, he has a day job, but year after year, in the Xiamen tournament, he regularly wins the men’s singles title. So yeah. My teacher, Lin Laoshi, is arguably the best player in Xiamen. Talk about intimidating.

He doesn’t speak any English, but any words I don’t understand he just shows me with body language. Class with him is exhausting but exactly what I wanted. He’s teaching me the basics and we are drilling them again and again. After our first class, I sweat so much when I sat down I thought there was a drip from the ceiling so I changed my seat, yet the dripping continued. I finally realized the underside of my ponytail was so soaked it was dripping on my back. Gross. Yet in the car ride home all I could say to my teacher was how kaixin I was (happy).

My teacher (in the blue) has amazing form. He can get across the court in three steps and seems to have an economy of movement. Every movement is so precise, every step thought out. I hope I can learn that.

My teacher (in the blue) has amazing form. He can get across the court in three steps and seems to have an economy of movement. Every movement is so precise, every step thought out. I hope I can learn that.

Once he made me play a game with his and his friends, all amazing players. While I can hold my own with my friends, I was way out of my league with his. I basically defended the front of the net, trembling with fear that the birdie whizzing by me at breakneck speeds would smack my face. Wasn’t my proudest moment, but it’s how you learn I guess.

And you can imagine I pay top dollar for this coach. Twice as much as it would cost to get a Chinese teacher to teach me Chinese. And yet I didn’t even think twice about it. For some reason it is worth it to me (which is super strange if you know me. I’m more of an arts girl, not a sports girl.) I don’t have a solid goal like with my writing, but my general idea is to play for 6-months and level-up. (Be accepted into a higher level club than my own.)

Or, at the very least my goal for this semester is to not hurt myself. Fingers crossed.

Sometimes I wear my frisbee shirt to badminton. A real sports mash-up.

Sometimes I wear my frisbee shirt to badminton. A real sports mash-up.


Only three months left in this semester, but I have great students, new goals to accomplish and badminton games three to four nights a week (four if I can handle it, but usually just three is hard enough). This semester is gonna wizz by faster than a birdie that was just slammed.


Categories: China, Chinese Culture | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Western Women Talking About Chinese Love on CCTV

I’m a member of a club. The “Western women who date Asian club” and while the club is growing, it’s quite exclusive. Exclusive enough that we actually know each other. Do I know every western woman dating /married to a Chinese guy? Of course not. But I know a lot. And these women are awesome. Dating Asians is a shallow connection, but we have deeper things in common: a love of adventure and travel, bucking the social norms and conventions of our home cultures, adopting a foreign country as our own, and trying to find our place in it.

So I am thrilled to share this show recently broadcast on CCTV called Crossover. The topic? Cross-cultural marriage. (It’s all in English, don’t worry.)

I know Jocelyn, Jess and Marie and we chat regularly, though I’ve never met Jess and Marie face to face. But these are three amazing women, with really unique and interesting stories with a flair for storytelling. (Jocelyn runs the famous Speaking of China blog about dating, while Jess is a well-known Jazz musician in Beijing, and Marie is a singer in a girl’s group.)

Anyway, enough gushing. Watch the show at the link below! If you are at all interested in Asian/Western love from the women’s perspective you will not be disappointed!

Click here to watch the show! 



Categories: Dating | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments