The weather has been in the mid-90s with humidity hovering around 90%.  Overcast most of the time.  Just a thick soup of hot, wet air.   It’s really kicking my ass.   I wake up sweating, and feeling like I’ve just gone 3 rounds with Joe Louis.

Hopefully, we’ll be out of the “rainy season” soon.

Dragon Boat Festival 2013

As promised:  Here’s my American Dinner for Dragon Boat Festival 2013:

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Only a few people could make it (I didn’t get pictures of everyone, I was too busy being a good host) but we had a great time, and everyone enjoyed the food and drinks.

The only snafu was that I didn’t know that one of the guests is a vegetarian.  Almost everything I made had some sort of meat in it.  I could have made plenty of vegetarian options if I’d known.  My fault for not asking.

Next project:  A Cajun 4th of July…. for about 30 people.   I’m  not sure if I can pull this one off.

Putting Things in Perspective

I’ve always known that governments, media, and cultures use different words to talk about themselves than they do about “others”.  Sometimes it’s obvious. Other times, it’s harder to nail down.  And, more often than I care to admit, it’s even invisible.

Coming to China has definitely opened my eyes to some of the discrepancies in how things are reported.  Placing Chinese, American, and British (BBC) news next to one another, it becomes obvious that the news is far from objective.

Today, I ran across an article that really drives home the point.

“Inside the USA

Think about what it says, how it says it, how it makes you feel, and how “honest” it is compared to what you know.

Now… think about every other article you’ve read that uses those words.


I teach a middle-school class 2 nights a week.  Because of the holiday this week, I decided to take it easy on them and play Scrabble.  The high-level class enjoyed it quite a bit.  The lower-level class…   not so much.

Most of the photos are from the high-level class.  The last two are the lower-level.

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An American Holiday (by proxy)

Wednesday is Dragon Boat Festival here in China.  I’ve decided to turn it into an American holiday–by proxy.

I’ve invited some of the staff and a few students to come over and eat “American” food.

I had the weekend off (a rarity!) and took some time to go into Shanghai to the “City Shop”–a high-end grocery store that specializes in western items.  I bought ingredients to make lasagna (no ricotta, but I’ll make due with mozzarella and cheddar).  That’s the main dish.  I’ll cook that on Wednesday.

Other dishes will include:

  • Potato salad (already made, just needs some celery)
  • Bacon and broccoli pasta salad with cashews and craisens.   Okay… this one I had to do some serious modifications on .  No craisens, so I’m using dried mangoes instead.  No sour cream, so the dressing is only mayo.  It’s still waiting for the bacon–they had some in the C-store downstairs a couple days ago, but now it’s gone.  I’ll have to see if they have some at either of the big supermarkets.
  • Deviled eggs–eggs are cooked (in a great egg steamer I won at the annual company dinner), I’ll devil them tomorrow or Wednesday.
  • Stuffed mushrooms.  Shrimp, garlic, butter, and breadcrumbs chopped up fine, put in mushroom caps, and baked.
  • Cheese and crackers.  I have mozzarella (I’ll save a little bit out of the lasagna), cheddar, and blue.  They’re going to HATE the blue cheese.
  • Green olives.
  • I might make some chicken soup if I get bored.

I’ll try my best to get photos and post them after the dinner.