The End

Ten years ago, armed with a generous free baggage allowance, I packed everything I thought I would need over the next 12 months into two large suitcases. I was on my way to China. It was two weeks before Christmas, but temperatures were still mild in North Carolina for the late fall. I had just […]

Cabbage season

It’s 2018. Beijing is gentrifying like crazy and becoming more and more developed every day. And yet, I ran into this obstacle on my way to work today. The Chinese cabbage (da bai cai, or napa cabbage) is such a staple in China that its name translates literally to “big white vegetable.” I love that […]

White Christmas, Red Alerts

It’s another white Christmas in Beijing, probably the whitest one we’ve had. Usually you can see the towers of the Central Business District in the picture above, but not today! City authorities have issued an orange alert – only the second-highest rating on the smog chart – so it’s not so newsworthy in the eyes […]

Home, Sweet Home

There’s nothing like returning home again after a long spell overseas. The excitement of seeing family and friends again. The joy of being able to do the things you used to do. And mostly, the ease of it all. Things aren’t constantly threatening to break down. Dust takes much longer to accumulate. Everything is literally […]

Lizzy the lizard

This gecko scared the bejeezus out of me yesterday morning, darting across our bedroom floor right as I came out of the bathroom. Because who expects to see a gecko in Beijing? I hope I didn’t bring it back with me from Bali. Or Thailand! Anyway, Lizzy was caught (in that dirty takeway container, sorry) […]