New Digs (for the website)

I’m in the process of moving the website to a new server.    I have most of the content moved over, but I need to do some work to get the galleries working properly again.   Updates (and, hopefully, new stuff) will be appearing soon.


For a long time, I’ve been thinking about this blog, and how to make it into something bigger.

My dream has been to turn this into a place where many different people living in many different countries can talk about their experiences from their own point of view.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to start doing that.

You’ll still see all my random observations about life in China.   In addition, however, you’ll also see stuff from other people who are living away from home.


My 101st post.


Sometimes, you just need a taste of home.

  • Side salad with iceberg lettuce, shaved carrots, egg, and Swiss cheese with roasted sesame dressing
  • Breaded pork cutlets fried in butter on a bed of white rice
  • Sauteed mushrooms and onions
  • Stuffing (thanks, Mom)
  • Steamed broccoli drizzled with hollandaise
  • Dragon fruit for desert, and….
  • Argentine merlot


Wine & Cheese

20140105_123750_1Every Sunday for the past 8 weeks, we’ve been presenting a course called “Language a la Carte”.  It was my idea, and so far it’s going rather well.  The students get to choose from a “menu” that includes a variety of topics each week.   During the final hour, we have “Afternoon Tea”.   Anyone who wants can join in an open conversation about anything.

This past week, to mark the end of the 8-week trial period, we had “Afternoon Wine”.   And, thanks to Mom (Thanks, Mom!), I was able to provide a little bit of authentic Wisconsin cheese to go along with it.

One thing that took me a little while to learn is that, in China, “wine” means “alcohol”.  So…  beer (pi jiu) is “spleen wine” (I have no clue why).  Wine (from grapes) is “red wine”.   “White wine” means spirits (rice vodka, basically).    Grape wine is a western thing.

So I took the opportunity to buy 3 bottles of wine.  A dry red, a rose, and a sweet white.   They tried them all and got a taste for the different kinds, the difference between a red and a white, between dry, semi-sweet, and sweet.   The women definitely preferred the sweet white wine.

The cheese…   I had 4 kinds.  Monterey Jack (bought in Shanghai), 2-year Cheddar, some sour cheese (I don’t know the name) and a stinky goat cheese (again, don’t remember the name).  the last 3 were bought at a farmer’s market in Wisconsin.  Usually, Chinese people hate cheese–especially sharp cheese.  The typical reaction to an aged cheddar is a scrunched up face and an asking if they can spit it out.

Oddly, most of the women actually liked the cheese.  They even liked the very strong, very stinky goat cheese.   I think a lot of it has to do with where they’re from.  Locals prefer sweet food, while others from the north or west tend to like stronger-tasting foods.

Anyway.  A good time was had by all.  And many ladies went home drunk and happy that day.   Mission accomplished!

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