Photo Piece: Shangri-la

James Hilton’s “Shangri-la” is a mystical harmonious valley isolated from the world by the Tibetan Plateau, and home to people who live years beyond the normal lifespan, in peaceful harmony with the earth.IMG_1685 Continue reading

Favourite Mistakes

Slide4Yes, we all enjoy having a giggle over the myriad of ‘Chinglish’ mistakes we see all around us in China. I myself was posting a picture of a menu offering “catch-up sauce” when it occurred to me: what about the other way around? Do our mistakes in Chinese get laughed about? So I investigated the most common and the most embarrassing mistakes made by foreigners and have distilled my favourites into a nice list below – over which you are welcome to ‘LYFAO’. Continue reading

A Cup of Milk Tea

milkteaWhat could be more simple than ordering a cup of milk tea?

After a few months of being restricted to cafes with picture books as menus, I began to rue the loss of my eloquence as I could only point to things I wanted with a childlike, “这个”(zhège: this one) and “那个” (nàgè: that one). Feeling like an idiot soon became a bore.

So I decided to expand my vocabulary range using café menus as my textbook. One morning I decided to take the plunge and order a milk tea… properly. As I waited in line, I looked up the words I thought I would need: Continue reading

Culture Shock

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First milestone reached: six months in China. What does that feel like? What am I supposed to feel? Acclimatised? Adapting to a new culture, apparently, is supposed to happen in stages:

Step 1: The Honeymoon Stage

When you first arrive in a new culture, differences are intriguing and you may feel excited, stimulated and curious. Like any new experience, there’s a feeling of euphoria when you first arrive and you’re in awe of the differences you see and experience. You feel excited, stimulated, enriched.

Continue reading