• China
  • Paste Magazine: China Survival Guide

    The People’s Republic of China is a perplexing place for outsiders—a communist country where you’ll often feel like you’re trapped inside a shopping mall, where English is constantly a form of decoration and only occasionally a means of communication. The international mega-cities of Beijing and Shanghai have taken Westernization to heart, but outside the cosmopolitan […]

  • China
  • Teaching “Under The Dome”

    This was a bad week for people in China who like journalism. This was the week a cruise ship sank on the Yangtze River and killed 440 people with no explanation, but Chinese media were forced to change the headlines to “18 People Rescued From Cruise Ship.” Of course, this week was also the anniversary […]

  • Cambodia
  • Ship’s Log

    1:20 p.m. My tuk-tuk driver leaves me where he thinks I probably want to go: in front of a quiet guest house occupying a few yards of land between the pot-holed road and the Bay of Thailand. As I had been told to do, I walk a few doors down to the unremarkable Restaurant #41 […]

  • China
  • Hot Brother

    A couple of weeks ago, I taught my freshmen about western families, and one insistently outgoing student asked if I have any siblings. I said yes, I have one. Siblings aren’t as rare here as you might expect, despite 34 years of China’s (recently slightly relaxed) one-child policy – there are many legal exceptions, and many […]

  • China
  • Schoolin’

    My first three months of teaching have been quite a learning experience. I teach 272 students in eight classes. All are freshmen and sophomores majoring in English. Most are 18 or 19 years old, just like most underclassmen in the U.S., but that is essentially where the similarities end. When I walked into each classroom […]

  • China
  • Honeymooners and Burnouts

    My first month in China was not a honeymoon. It was a month of confusion, nerves, and stress – the good kind and the bad – peppered with lots of fun. (Like the mouth-numbing peppercorns in nearly every dish here – surprising, not entirely comfortable, but intriguing.) The amount of work that went into that […]