Tibetan life in Yunnan: Cora

I think many of us have heard of a thing or two about the clash between Tibetan people and the Chinese government. However, I bet most of you reading this was not aware of the small town in the mountains of Yunnan call Shangri-La (香格里拉), which we recently visited. This town is home to a large population of Tibetan people, a very large Tibetan Buddhist monastery, and a lot of yaks. Shangri-la refers to the Tibetan utopia in the book Lost Horizon by James Hilton. Before this book, the town was called Zhongdian (中甸). It is still referred to as … Continue reading Tibetan life in Yunnan: Cora

Chinese food and “Chinese food”: Aerin

Now that our time in China is coming to a close, I am being forced to face something utterly depressing: leaving the food here. China is an absolute paradise of food. This is definitely not something that’s coming to you as a shock, I’m sure. However, something else you are probably thinking is, “isn’t four months straight of Chinese food kind of… a lot? Won’t you get sick of it??” And let me tell you, dear reader, I thought exactly the same thing as you before I arrived here. But the key word there is “before.” American Chinese food, while … Continue reading Chinese food and “Chinese food”: Aerin

Being Chinese American in China: Pearl

            I feel as though the fact that I’m a Chinese adoptee and here for four months hasn’t influenced or changed me as much as I had expected. Initially when I applied for the China Exchange program, I was immediately drawn to the idea of learning about the culture in which I could have “potentially grown up in.” While my enthusiasm to learn about China’s culture remains, my eagerness to learn more about who I am (or rather, could have been) has drawn out.             There’s no denying the fact that I am Chinese definitely has had an impact on … Continue reading Being Chinese American in China: Pearl

Tips to Bargaining (as a foreigner): Cora

1. Accept being a foreigner. You will have to be ok with the fact that if you don’t speak Chinese, you won’t get the same price as the native Chinese. Even when the price is cheaper then what you would get it for in America, it still might be more expensive than a native would be willing to pay for it. Even after bargaining, you may not end up with a price close to what Chinese natives are offered. 2. Half the offer and pay no more. Try your best not to pay more than half the price offered, especially … Continue reading Tips to Bargaining (as a foreigner): Cora

A Visit to the Terracotta Warriors: Joel

A few weeks ago we went to see one of the most iconic monuments you’d think of when you think of China; we visited the sight where the Terra-Cotta warriors were found and excavated. The Terra-Cotta warriors are an army built by clay during the Qing dynasty under the order of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It was an army that was buried with the emperor to protect the emperor in his afterlife. They were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong County, outside Xi’an, Shaanxi, China, when they were just digging around a lake. The … Continue reading A Visit to the Terracotta Warriors: Joel

Pedestrian Streets: Cora

Through biking to random places or heading home with my host family, I have been down some peculiar streets. The streets I am referring to happen to not allow cars, only pedestrians and bikes, so I will be referring to them as pedestrian streets. These streets are hidden around the city and their entrances are either disguised or made obvious with a gate marking the entrance. The streets feel like they are filled with the most random vendors. Occasionally, you will find a row of vendors selling vegetables, sometimes it is fruit, other times they have snacks or someone making … Continue reading Pedestrian Streets: Cora

Playing Sports: Joel

Did you know that Chinese teenagers are obsessed with basketball? Every year at the Gao Xin high school they hold a basketball competition specifically for the ‘gao yi’ students, the tenth graders. It is a competition meant only for boys and girls don’t have their own competition either but, you can select a few girls on your team and when they score your team receives double points. This doesn’t mean they get to play however. For example, Melanie’s team had three girls but the girls weren’t even dressed properly for the game and when Melanie asked them, they just said, … Continue reading Playing Sports: Joel