Harbin, China: Ice Ice Baby

“You’re going to Harbin? It’s very, very cold there!!!”  We heard variations of this (and advice on what to wear) over and over again leading up to our trip.  Tommy and I just brushed it off.  “Oh, we’re from Minnesota. It’s very cold there, too.”  Little did we know… Harbin seriously is next level cold.  Our faces constantly hurt.  We layered up like chubby Chinese babies for even the shortest journeys outside.  Our fingers and toes were always a little numb.  And yet, it was completely worth it – because we got to explore the magic that is the world’s largest ice and snow festival!  In addition to this, Harbin has a unique Russian culture due to its proximity to the border which was really interesting to experience.

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Xi’an, China: Running Down a Mountain after Dark

Xi’an is an ancient city in central China famous for its terra cotta warriors, Muslim Quarter, and historic wall that still surrounds the original citadel.  We saw all this and more (read here), but what really stands out in my memory from this part of our trip occurred not in Xi’an itself but in a small town a short train ride away.  There we completed “the world’s most dangerous hike” (a dubious, but catchy title) at Huashan (Mount Hua) and found ourselves stranded on top of the mountain with a night train to catch!

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Up Close and Personal Part 2: Food, food, and more food

Chinese food.  Oh man, this topic could fill a textbook.  Because China is such a huge country, there’s no simple way to summarize their food.  Over the past five months in China, we’ve gotten pretty well acquainted with regional food but still have so much to learn!    I’ll dig into what the differences are between Western Chinese food and authentic Chinese food, what we regularly eat in our province, and a bit about food throughout the rest of the country.

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Up Close and Personal Part 1: Housing and Toilets

Since we’ve had some downtime lately, I thought I’d do a little “Living in China” mini-series.  We’ve shared a lot about our travels, but not too much about the day-to-day of teaching in China.  I’ll cover topics people have asked me about in the past and anything new that comes up, so let me know if you have any burning questions!  First up, where we live and what scared me the most about moving to China: ~~toilets~~.

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Christmas in China

Merry Christmas from China!  We’ve been missing our family and friends this holiday season, but we managed to make it a little special anyways.  Other Western holidays haven’t really caught on in China, so we were pleasantly surprised to find that the Christmas cheer has spread here.  Read on to find out what Christmas is like in a small, authentic Chinese town!

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