Bamboo Pilgrim


The weekend brought an opportunity to explore Beijing, so we found a bicycle rental place online ( They offer guided tours in English of the Forbidden City and ancient alleyways (Hutongs), and nighttime tours. We arrived at the shop (No. 81 – 3 Beiheyan Street, Beijing) too late for a tour, so we rented two bikes for 100 RMB each and took off on our own. We biked a hutong (ancient alleyway)…. Read More

Our language school is in the middle of a business complex of modern high-rise buildings. The ground-level floors are mostly devoted to retail and food, with the upper stores reserved for business. You can imagine hundreds of workers pouring out of their buildings for lunch at nearly the same time. There are lots of Chinese noodle shops and these little snack shops (far left). My wife noticed this sign “Flash Burritos” (middle… Read More

We would like to thank our hosts, Coco and Kiki (and their parents), for welcoming us into their Spring Festival celebration.  They live in Xinyang, Henan, but they grew up in a small village to the NW of Xinyang, about a 45-minutes drive.  It was a beautiful experience, one for which we are deeply grateful.  It reminds us of how Americans celebrate Christmas.  In China, people make the effort to return home,… Read More

Spring Festival, aka Chinese New Year is Feb. 18th this year. There is a lot of buildup anticipating this event. Lot’s of food preparations for special meals. I’ve enclosed a couple of photos of men waiting for the same bus we took. One has a leg of lamb, the other has two, live roosters. It makes sense. It’s just not what I am accustomed to seeing on a bus.

This is our favorite potato “Christmas Tree” vendor. The tree is one, delicately, spirally sliced potato, dipped in special flour/egg batter, deep fried to golden perfection and sprinkled with special herbs and spices. And, of course, the requisite four striped slather of ketchup — all on one, long bamboo skewer! The thinness of the slice makes it a hybrid somewhere between one very long french fry and one very long potato chip…. Read More

Feb. 9, 2015 Today we went to Zhengzhou to complete the requisite medical exam for my wife’s work VISA. You need to be at the facility before 11:00 a.m., since the process takes 1 hour and all the doctors and nurses call it quits at 12:00 noon. We took the G train, a fast train, from Xinyang. The ticket price was about 148 CYN. (The exchange rate is 1 USD : 6.1… Read More

Government funding for small business loans have recently created a plethora of coffee houses in China. Each business features a rustic, industrial design decor with a potpourri of boutique furnishings like chandeliers and British telephone booths and books — all of which makes no rationale sense except the entire experience is niche.

We have safely arrived in Beijing, China and will travel tomorrow to Xinyang, Henan Province.

Salt Lake City, UT (Sept 2014) — Now that we are temporarily back in the USA until we receive our work VISAs, I am going through my field notes and reflecting on stories.  I have a few questions and reflections on this story: “A Dog Named Easter.” We are drawn to puppies — especially my wife.  We have raised Golden Retrievers throughout our married life, and have raised a three litters of golden… Read More