Slinking into the "Year of the Snake"

This weekend, we leave for Shandong, Guo Jian’s home province, to “guònián 过年”or (literally) “to pass the new year.” 2013’s lunar new year (also called “spring festival”) falls on Sunday February 10th, so it’s time to go home for the holidays. It will be my fifth Chinese New Year in China. I found myself on a horoscope site today that…   …read more.

The camera caught me wincing about my feet!

Wedding Day Chronicles — Part 4

DRY SMILES I still haven’t finished telling you about the first (and main) wedding. It alone could be a novel. Where did we leave off? Oh yes, the noodle ceremony. If you haven’t read about it yet, here’s the link to that spectacle. After the noodle ceremony, we were whisked back downstairs for photo after photo that made our teeth…   …read more.

Food Sharing

In a Chinese dining experience, dishes are served communally. They are placed in the center of the table and everyone reaches their chopsticks forward to partake. Each person generally has a small bowl of rice in their hands, which serves to complement the savory dishes as a staple food but also serves as a handy drip catcher before the food…   …read more.


Ex-pat Christmas Rant

It’s coming up on Christmas and I have left the land of the non-celebrators behind, finally. You see, since moving to China, this is the first year I’ve come home for the holidays. I had to. I had to get away from their absence. People don’t celebrate Christmas in China. There’s a small Christian minority that probably celebrates it privately,…   …read more.

Verbal Bullets

“What the hell is your problem?” “I’m not the one with the problem! You are!” >SLAM< >SLAM<   Ever had a fight like that with the person you are supposed to be in love with? I never knew how closely culture was linked to how a person handles verbal conflict. That is, I never knew until I was in a…   …read more.

Rusty Processing Tools

Last year, I had a fairly significant conflict with a friend of mine (who is also queer) and we proceeded to “talk about it” for what became a torturous couple of months. We’re good friends, so we wanted to make sure the other was understood and that all aspects were discussed. Through in-person conversations and emails and phone calls, we…   …read more.


Bodily Sounds

One of my ex girlfriends had a “thing” about body sounds. By that, I mean she couldn’t stand “loud breathers” or “lip smackers.” If we sat in a restaurant next to anyone who was a “wheezer” or who made any slurping or lip noises while eating, we had to move. I grew up with a sister who was frequently ill…   …read more.


Wedding Day Chronicles — Part 3

THE NOODLE CEREMONY After the dawn portion of our wedding celebration that I wrote about here, we were scuttled up to Guo Jian’s parent’s apartment and whisked into the “marriage bedroom,” or their spare room that was decorated with our photo above the bed, framed, and a new RED bedspread, the marriage colour. I was told to sit at the…   …read more.

Picture 2

Exclamative Particle Theory

There were several language foibles between Guo Jian and I in the beginning of our relationship, some of which I have already written about (like in this blog about the “green beans”!) but the “哼” issue seemed to take a ridiculously long time to resolve. We still laugh about it five years later. When we first got together, my Chinese…   …read more.


Raise A Toast!

On my second trip to Shandong (山东), my partner’s home province, his family asked me if I knew how to cook. Truthfully, I’m an average cook and I don’t really enjoy cooking, but I could see an anxious look in my mother-in-law’s expectant eyes. They flickered a warning to tread lightly in my response. I expressed that I’m not bad…   …read more.

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