Living in China

Posts about daily life as an American living in China.

What is the Qingming (a.k.a. Tomb Sweeping) Festival?

Along the River During Qingming Festival - onaroadtonowhere.com

The Qingming festival is also known in English as Tomb Sweeping Day. It happens every year on the 15th day after the spring equinox, usually on the 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th of April. It’s dedicated to honoring the dead and is one of the least commercialized festivals in modern China. While it may not …

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Chinese Public Hospitals Are a Kafkaesque Nightmare

Last fall, we visited the emergency room of a Chinese public hospital when my life-partner and bride-to-be injured her knee. It was interesting, and the doctors gave us the impression that it would just heal on its own. Of course,  it didn’t. She ended up having surgery at the end of February this year. Things …

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Five Chinese Movies That Aren’t Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Chinese movies have existed pretty much since the beginning of cinema, starting with rickety black and white footage of downtown Shanghai. The country has a rich artistic heritage that goes back a century. But, all anyone ever wants to talk about is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Or Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. Jackie Chan and …

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How Shanghai is Celebrating the Chinese New Year in 2021

The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is undoubtedly the biggest of all the big holidays in China. It’s like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s all rolled into one gigantic seven-day festival of red lanterns and dumplings. In Shanghai, they celebrate the Chinese New Year by traveling out of the city. This is often the …

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Shanghai Gets a Second Wave of COVID-19

The second wave of COVID-19 sort of hit Shanghai by surprise. Thus far, the city had been spared the worst of the pandemic, avoiding the harsh lockdowns seen in Wuhan and elsewhere. Sure, plenty of imported cases trickled in, and the last month saw an uptick in cases in Northern China. But we never thought …

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Why Living in China is Great

I already wrote about why living in China can be annoying, it’s time to write about why living in China is great. About a month after I moved to Shanghai, one of the first non-Chinese people I met asked me how I liked it. I said I liked it, so far. She scoffed and told …

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Studying Chinese in China

You would think that after two years of living in China and studying Chinese almost every day, I’d be pretty good by now. I’m not. I can order food and get the gist of some of the simpler Peppa Pig episodes. But I still can’t understand what my elderly neighbors are shouting at me as …

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Art in Shanghai: The Power Station of Art and TeamLab:Borderless

The Power Station of Art and TeamLab:Borderless are conveniently located next to each other on the banks of the Huangpu River. Shanghai is famous for many things, but modern art isn’t really one of them. Modern architecture, sure. Maybe even modern shipping? It is the world’s largest container port, after all.

Loneliness, Holidays and Living Overseas

Sometimes living overseas can be very lonely. This loneliness is worse during the holidays. This is a blog post about that.

Chinese Wedding: Food, Drinks and Red Envelopes

A few weeks ago, I went to a Chinese wedding. Different cultures usually deal with big life events differently. Weddings are a big life event. So, I was excited to not only see my coworker get married but also potentially use the wedding to gain some insight into Chinese culture.

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