Salt & Dinosaurs

I think I’m turning Chinese, I really think so.I’ve finally joined the rest of Chinese society and purchased a glass bei zi to carry around my tea and hot water. In the next 10 months, I’m making it my business to develop a green tea habit. See ya never, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s. View Larger

I think I’m turning Chinese, I really think so.

I’ve finally joined the rest of Chinese society and purchased a glass bei zi to carry around my tea and hot water. In the next 10 months, I’m making it my business to develop a green tea habit.

See ya never, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s.


humansofnewyork:

"What was the happiest moment of your life?" “Europe in the summer of 1959.” “What happened there?” “I was nineteen. I’d just lost 100 pounds and had a whole new set of clothes. I toured Paris and Rome and everyone was paying me so much attention. They were even asking for my photograph! Of course inside I still felt like an awkward, overweight girl. It was all so overwhelming and wonderful!” “Why’d you go to Europe?” “To have sex, of course. And I did! I was the first in my whole group of friends. I came home and told everyone that I’d done it with a charming Frenchman. In reality it was some creepy dude from Chicago.”

Ok, this has nothing to do with China, but I want to be as honest and beautiful as this woman at 73. Minus the creepy dude from Chicago. And look at that steez! View Larger

humansofnewyork:

"What was the happiest moment of your life?"
“Europe in the summer of 1959.”
“What happened there?”
“I was nineteen. I’d just lost 100 pounds and had a whole new set of clothes. I toured Paris and Rome and everyone was paying me so much attention. They were even asking for my photograph! Of course inside I still felt like an awkward, overweight girl. It was all so overwhelming and wonderful!”
“Why’d you go to Europe?”
“To have sex, of course. And I did! I was the first in my whole group of friends. I came home and told everyone that I’d done it with a charming Frenchman. In reality it was some creepy dude from Chicago.”


Ok, this has nothing to do with China, but I want to be as honest and beautiful as this woman at 73. Minus the creepy dude from Chicago. And look at that steez!


Meanwhile in China, drunk panda struggles.


For your sake, I had to mute my saccharine gushing over this little fella. Putting the video to the “Austin Powers” theme song was just as easy.

Great way to spend Mom’s last day in China.




Sidenote: Although I’m sure it would be my style were I a music composer, I don’t own the rights to this song. (Duh, but FB deleted the video for infringement). It belongs to the “Austin Powers” score-writing movie people. All rights reserved and stuff.


Aquiver with excitement to be at one of the most beautiful places in China.Ok, no really though, Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan is breathtaking, and oh yeah, MY MOTHER IS IN CHINA! We’ve been jet-setting around the country for a while now, and let me just tell you, life is beautiful. Soon, Jiuzhaigou will have been hiked, the Chengdu pandas will have been seen, mom will have flown home, and a new semester will have started, hurling me right into the home stretch of my life in China…wut? Recap on summer fun and travels with mamacita to come (eventually). View Larger

Aquiver with excitement to be at one of the most beautiful places in China.



Ok, no really though, Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan is breathtaking, and oh yeah, MY MOTHER IS IN CHINA! We’ve been jet-setting around the country for a while now, and let me just tell you, life is beautiful.

Soon, Jiuzhaigou will have been hiked, the Chengdu pandas will have been seen, mom will have flown home, and a new semester will have started, hurling me right into the home stretch of my life in China…wut?

Recap on summer fun and travels with mamacita to come (eventually).


Hey did you do TEFL to teach in overseas? from flyhibutterfly

Hi there. No, I did not get my TEFL certification to teach overseas, but I am here as a Peace Corps Volunteer, so I did not need this certification. My assignment is two years in China teaching college-level English. :)


Summer Project: Teaching Teachers How to Teach (lol wut)

I just got back from two weeks in the nearby town of Neijiang (if you’ll recall, that’s the same city in which we recently held our Women’s Conference). It was there that five, all equal parts ambitious and summertime-lazy volunteers set out to complete our mandatory Peace Corps Summer Project teaching primary and middle school teachers oral English and teaching methods. Yep, you read that right, I (ME) was teaching veteran teachers (some of whom had been teaching upwards of twenty years) how to teach. I’ll give you a second to compose yourself after that guffaw…

…there you go. As you can imagine, I was a bit weary going into it as an absolute novice teacher who has been teaching at a semi-professional capacity for only two semesters. Granted, American and Chinese teaching methods differ greatly. Like, really, really greatly, and for that reason, Peace Corps wanted us to teach American, student-centered teaching methods to these teachers. Chinese teaching employs a teacher-centered approach that focuses on rote memorization, which is necessary for students to pass the slew of exams they must take in order to have a successful life in China. So, many of the teachers, despite knowing what a noob I am in the teaching world, were incredibly gracious, open, and even excited to learn about American teaching methods. And, to my surprise, I had a really good time teaching about teaching! In fact, the past two weeks are the first time I’ve felt like a somewhat good teacher. I don’t think I moved mountains, but maybe, just maybe I was able to maybe impart one tiny ounce of knowledge or two? Weird.

It was an exhausting, fun, exhausting and rewarding couple of weeks. Hanging with my PCV cohorts, getting to know the staff at the Neijiang University and spending some QT (mostly singing KTV [karaoke], eating hot pot, drinking, lather, rinse, repeat) with some of our teacher-students was a ball.

In other news, I came home to a nice family of rats that housesat for me while I was away, how thoughtful! I’ve spent the past three days ninja-ing around my house in every effort to avoid one, and have become Tim-the-tool-man-Taylor, trying to seal up every possible outlet in my house. I’ll probably have to wait to fully resolve the issue until I’m home for good in September. In the mean time, I’m enjoying imagining them having a disco party in my kitchen while I’m away to keep my freaking out at bay. A rat in bell-bottoms, who could hate that?


The summer continues to fly by. Soon, I’ll be seeing some good friends for catch-up time, will do some PC work in the city and, bonus! Mom will be here in a few weeks! I’m enjoying every moment (besides the rat-filled ones).

Up next: some snaps of the past two weeks.


As a treat after a long week of teacher training, a few other PCVs and I decided to indulge in some traditional Chinese pampering - foot scraping with knives and a hot suction cup treatment for our backs. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
In fact, it was quite nice. I’ve done the foot scraping before, and that feels great. You start with your feet soaking in a vat of what appears to be some type of tea, then the shifu (master) gets out a couple of knives and takes to your toenails and dead skin. It’s a pedicure a la China!
The cupping was my first time. After a massage, small cups are applied to your back, either with fire or by suction - to my chagrin, today’s was suction. The cups are left with your skin sucked in tightly for about twenty minutes. No pain, just a little bizarre feeling. Then, they are removed and it’s time to check out the damage - the more red the area, the more unhealthy you are.
From what I read, cupping works with the body’s meridians, and is supposed to open them so that the qi can flow freely. It’s also supposed to rejuvenate the organs and increase blood circulation. Pretty cool, eh?I have no idea how to read my results, but these attractive bruises will remain for a few days. Luckily, seeing these marks on people’s backs in China is a good thing. It also (very mistakenly in my case) can be a sign of wealth. We ended the day with a casera Mexican feast thanks to Luis, another PCV, Sangria and peanut butter cookies. Whatever qi I got flowin’ earlier today has surely been blocked up again by all the carby goodness, but I ain’t complaining. Looks like I’ll just HAVE to get another massage again real soon. Tai zao gao le! View Larger

As a treat after a long week of teacher training, a few other PCVs and I decided to indulge in some traditional Chinese pampering - foot scraping with knives and a hot suction cup treatment for our backs. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

In fact, it was quite nice. I’ve done the foot scraping before, and that feels great. You start with your feet soaking in a vat of what appears to be some type of tea, then the shifu (master) gets out a couple of knives and takes to your toenails and dead skin. It’s a pedicure a la China!

The cupping was my first time. After a massage, small cups are applied to your back, either with fire or by suction - to my chagrin, today’s was suction. The cups are left with your skin sucked in tightly for about twenty minutes. No pain, just a little bizarre feeling. Then, they are removed and it’s time to check out the damage - the more red the area, the more unhealthy you are.

From what I read, cupping works with the body’s meridians, and is supposed to open them so that the qi can flow freely. It’s also supposed to rejuvenate the organs and increase blood circulation. Pretty cool, eh?

I have no idea how to read my results, but these attractive bruises will remain for a few days. Luckily, seeing these marks on people’s backs in China is a good thing. It also (very mistakenly in my case) can be a sign of wealth.

We ended the day with a casera Mexican feast thanks to Luis, another PCV, Sangria and peanut butter cookies. Whatever qi I got flowin’ earlier today has surely been blocked up again by all the carby goodness, but I ain’t complaining. Looks like I’ll just HAVE to get another massage again real soon. Tai zao gao le!


Check out last night’s crazy thunder and lightning storm - my view from prison. No, just kidding about that last part, but bet I fooled ya! Skip to 10 seconds for some real action.

The storm had me thinking a lot about my dad. On the rare occasion we’d have a California “lunder and thightning” storm, as he’d call it, he would run and grab me from wherever I was and scurry to the nearest window with me in tow. “Listen to the thunder boomers, Moll! Listen!” he would shout. Then, he’d make his own brand of thunder-cracking sound that I still hear vividly

At the slightest sign of a storm, Dad would become electric with excitement, the same way I imagine he did as a 10-year-old kid playing outside just before a summer downpour in Pennsylvania - I could just see it.  Now, every time I see a flash in the sky and hear a loud boom of thunder, it’s exhilarating not only for the excitement a Californian experiences in non-California weather, but because I can clearly picture the sheer joy and childlike wonder that would be on my dad’s face if he were experiencing it with me.

美好的回忆  ^_^


Figured I should give y’all a quick idea of what I’ve been up to before I head out of dodge again tomorrow. Tomorrow marks the start of summer project, or as Katie (pictured directly above) and I like to refer to it, “SumPro ‘99!” I will be headed to the nearby city of Neijiang to teach primary and middle school teachers English and teaching methods.

Here’s a look into my first week of adventures (outside of Chinese studies) in Guilin and Yangshuo. Yangshuo was a blast and my new favorite China spot.

Yeah, see all that natural beauty up there? That’s Yangshuo. Add the right people to the mix, and you’re in heaven. Mmmmmm

And I’m off! Until next time, dear pengyoumen…