Searching for 'authentic' China 14-10-2012
On the quest of foreign travelers for 'authentic' China, the failure in distinguishing between 'traditional' and 'modern' and the acception of 'real' everyday China
Learning a new language and the benefits of Chinese. A short tutorial dedicated, mainly, to our North American readers.
Going abroad for the first time - The story of low-income traveler Chen Luwei 24-08-2012
fortune_cookies_439A story of an uncommon journey of a young rural woman to a vacation overseas. The cultural shocks she experiences turn out to be less striking than the shock of her hosts, who encounter a type of Chinese 'traveler' that does not fit our categorial thinking concerning Chinese tourists as well as socioeconomic classes in China.
Questions that Students of Chinese language always get 08-05-2012
From admirations to skepticism, from jealousy to confusion; every foreign student of the Chinese language gets various reactions and a loop of repeated questions from her or his surroundings...
'Alcohol culture' – jiu wenhua – Drinking as a currency converted to friendship and successful business 11-02-2012
Each beer bottle brings friendship to a higher notch, every bottle of baijiu helps sealing a deal. Foreigners could be pardoned with the excuse of cultural differences, but Chinese masculine ties find reinforcement through oceans of Alcoholic spirit.
The Curse of the Noodles 23-11-2011
The story of Lanzhou Lamian, the popular noodle chain, from the perspective of Maysoon, a loyal, yet curious, noodle eater.
Chinese webpages and exhibitions - An ocean of details in front of the eyes 19-07-2011
The hundreds of titles that cover the homepages of Chinese internet portals, and the lack of variety in layouts between site to site, leave the foreign surfer with a pain in the eyes, as well as curiosity, pondering whether such phenomenon could be associated to other domains and concepts in Chinese culture.
The Taxi Chat - The questions foreigners constantly get in China 27-06-2011
A taxi or actually any meeting with a Chinese stranger. If you can navigate with some Chinese there are a few questions that somehow all Chinese never miss asking. Questions that any foreigner who settled in China heard for about 1.3 billion times.
Going to the Wilderness? Going to Disneyland! 07-09-2010
Visiting a natural park in China might be different than what you expect. Some of the country's natural beauties are very bustling locations, a situation which is derived from the fact that Chinese prefer wild-less nature.
The Lack of Thefts – If Not a 'Shock' than at Least a Nice Surprise 01-09-2010
Without making promises, relatively speaking, foreigners getting robbed isn't a very common phenomenon, even in China's poorest regions; A positive outcome of a national (and personal) pride and a powerful regime.
A White Sheep in a Yellow Herd 31-08-2010

The big crowds wash the streets of Chinese cities, but a typical 'urban solitude' is seldom experienced by a Western, getting used to the special attention he or she receives from curious locals.

The Triviality of Emotions in the Chinese Culture – A Source of Self Suppression or Emotional Freedom? 15-08-2010
Though they are too general at times, Sulamith Potter's conclusions regarding the difference between the importance of emotions in western and Chinese cultures emphasize not only the non-productive value of emotions in China, but also the freedom in their expression.
Language Barrier, or 'Why We are Lucky to Speak some Chinese' 17-07-2010
Thinking Chinese is clearly the last place where there is a need to explain the benefits of speaking some Chinese, particularly while visiting China. Still, it is always fun (or maybe disturbing for some) to remember the days when the language barrier made it difficult to buy even a bottle of water, plus to notify the non-Chinese speakers who are visiting China soon that it's not going to be a walk in the park...
Mountains of People 15-07-2010
人山人海 (rénshānrénhǎi) = 'Mountains and oceans of people' was my favorite idiom in my first few months in China. Clearly I have made some novice's mistakes that drew me directly into the crowds and hardened my knees while waiting in neverending lines, but the 1.4 billion population size is a fact one comes across every day in urban China.