On a Monday in China…

Get picked up from school in a BMW. Act cool. You do this all the time.


Try not to let your mouth hang open when you see this office. Mom: 2 words. Massage chair. Christmas is only 362 days away. It’s never too early to start planning.

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Stock up on mini oranges and pears. Making $$ peeps.


Load up on seafood and oil.

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And pretty much every other food known to China.


But don’t look to the left. Leftovers anyone?


Your glass will never be empty. Not even room for a drop.


And gumbay (one shot) red wine like that’s how it should be enjoyed.


Leave your morals at the door and plan on re-gifting. :S


Smile and nod when a 50 year old man tells you he has a wife… and a ‘secretary.’ But no, you are not looking for a new job.


Blackmail your co-workers.


All at the courtesy of a student’s parents.

That makes for an awkward, hung-over Tuesday at school.


What up students!!!


Another Week

I have realized that most of my weeks in China are the same. A website gets censored. I run a race, it goes poorly. I wear a cool shirt. I get myself into some sort of pickle due to lack of communication. Somebody says something hilarious to me that doesn’t really make any sense. I like and/or complain about the weather. I cook with my students. I discover something new I love about China. I get confused. I come to some sort of running revelation…

Sooo let’s break it down, bullet time! Can’t touch this… dumdedenda… (my lack of rhythm and musical talent just came across through my blog, wow).

This week’s:

  • Censorship– BBC AND CNN!! She’s a big one this week folks. I think it’s due to Wikileaks and/or the mixed messages about China and North Korea’s relationship and/or the protesters due to Lui Xiaobo’s Nobel Prize. There are too many things they don’t want their people reading about. I have never been more thankful for little ol’ CBC.


  • Race– Shanghai Half Marathon.

I am never satisfied after a race. I always think that I could have run harder, faster, took off more time, etc. I think that most runners feel this way, that’s why we keep racing. That being said, this race was absolutely my worst race of the year and I am far from satisfied.

I want to blame it on the fact that there were 22,000 people with no staggered start. That I was standing behind Yao Ming at the beginning and could not move. That we we had to run through a tunnel for almost 2km and it felt like a sauna. That the first 1.5km I was moving at a shuffle. That there were really long lines at H&M the day before so my legs were tired…

BUT everyone else had to deal with this too. (Well, maybe not the H&M lines…) The reason it went so poorly was that I just ran a really stupid race. I was so anxious about the start, and losing time that when I finally started running, I was going faster than my 10km pace. I figured even when I started to slow down, I would still be going at a decent clip that it would all work out.

I can’t even pinpoint when things went downhill. One minute I am racing, the next I am out for a Sunday jog… with 20 000 other people. And that was it really.

I really tried to focus on the fact that I was in Shanghai. City of Millions (Billions?!) Running through closed off streets. Surrounded by culture and skyscrapers.


People’s square usually looks like this:


It was cool to see it look like this on race day:


  • Cool Shirt- Beer Mile. Thanks Alan 🙂



  • Pickle- OH EM GEEEE. I spent 15 dollars on this cinnamon!!! I don’t even know what to do with sticks of cinnamon?! Must get better at dividing by 6 and/or start reading the price…


  • Quote– I text I received from a Chinese friend…  “I got drunk like a shit last night.”  K.


  • Cooking– How to Make Dumplings
      • Step 1:


                 Step 2:


My cooking skills are improving immensely.

  • Weather– There isn’t any insulation or central heating in the buildings here so it’s so cold during the morning and evening BUT during the day it has been beautiful… and no smog this weekend. A+ Oh- now it’s raining and it’s supposed to rain all week. D-

  • Fav New Chinese Thing- I have discovered the secret to Chinese women and their beautiful hair. They don’t wash it themselves! They go to salons and have it washed and dried once or twice a week. In the winter my friends never wash their own hair. I’ll take a head massage and wash for 3 dollars, thankyouverymuch. The only problem is as soon as I work-out my hair is ruined. I need to find out how to get the non-sweating Asian gene.


  • Confusion– I really don’t get this firework thing. It’s like every time someone turns a page in a book, a firework goes off for good luck. Why would you want these fireworks in front of you on your wedding day? The noise, the smoke, the whole you might burn your dress if you get to close factor. I don’t see the appeal. 


  • Running Revelation– Once I moved here and saw the Chinese race schedule, I was so excited to meet the China running community that I signed up for as many races as I could. It’s been a great way to see the country and meet new people and I have enjoyed them all but I have realized 2 things:
      • 1- I didn’t make any training plans or set any real goals for improvement. I have just been racing to race. I am going to make a training plan for my next race.  
      • 2- I like going fast. I think 10km is my best distance and I am going to start focusing on that and going under 41 officially. This weekend I am running a 9km or a 6km as part of the Chinese Club Championship and I am puuummped. Totally getting my hair blown out so I am prepared for the team photographer.

Cooking Class #2 and #3

As you all know, I am very lazy when it comes to food. I am way to impatient to wait for food to cook and always end up eating a meal before my real meal. (Pre-dinner dinner at 13th Ave was the best part of my day.)

Since I had already used up the easiest recipe I knew in cooking class and was going on an 8 day work week. I was extra lazy.  I thought it would be “fun” to take my students on a field trip to Wal-mart. They could buy their own food, and then there would be a contest to see who could make the best dish. (They were so excited because they had never been to Wal-Mart with a foreigner… I was touched.)

Things didn’t go exactly as planned:

Ahh Bromance…

I kind of want that man purse.


Girls spent a good 15 minutes here. I can’t judge, I love free samples.


Biggest mistake= introducing them to pre-packaged dinners. Stay tuned.


All the essentials.

8 (2)The real reason they were so excited for a trip to Wal-Mart. This zoom is paying for itself. I see you.  Lil buggers.

Things I wanted my students to buy but they wouldn’t:

8 Seed of Job’s Tears anyone? Sounds delish.

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I mean when the main point in these sweet potato chips is that they contain rich nutriture (?) such as a vitamin and mineral you really can’t go wrong. I’ll try anything with a golden face that is crack and fresh.

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Next Thanksgiving Care.

Since all of my students bought pre-packaged food… I had the awesome job of keeping it in my fridge at home until the next class.


I also had the awesome job of convincing my students that it wasn’t really bad even though the date said expired…

10 Those dates are just an estimate right? 5 days past it’s still good?

Unfortunately, smells don’t lie. It wasn’t pleasant. I think we had to throw away about half the food. The other half ended up looking something like this… I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

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All I have to say about this is that I’m reeeeaaally glad I made the librarian the taste-tester and contest judge.

I need help! What’s an easy cooking idea for next week?!

Cooking Class #1

After I discovered that the school had a toaster oven, I debated going with the roasted Beijing duck but thought I’d better save the big  guns for later in the school year. 😉 Start slow, build up.  Life ain’t a track meet, it’s a marathon! Whoa, I just goggled the next line, didn’t see that one coming.  Ice Cube, inappropriate. Turns out I have been singing it wrong my whole life.  Actually, I think that’s true for about 90% of the songs I ‘sing’.

OK- Now I have that song in my head and am thinking about marathons. *Sigh*

Moving on to cooking class.  Since I can’t go on facebook read a lot of food and running blogs I thought this could be my chance to instill some healthy eating values onto my students… or just teach them to cut down on the oil.

After checking out a couple of recipes online, I remembered that I am lazy and don’t really know how to cook.  Teaching kids how to cook and be healthy= way too much work for this teach. What I did find though are the easiest peanut butter cookies in the world!  3 ingredients. Peanut butter, eggs and sugar. The recipe calls for 1 egg and a cup of sugar and pb but honestly it doesn’t  matter how much you put in, they still turn out awesome!  I surprised myself and I think the students were surprised too because I don’t exactly ooze kitchen confidence.  Wait until you see my “oven mitt”. (Carolyn can attest to this too, anytime I “baked” anything at home, she did most of the work or at least laid all the ingredients out for me. Thanks roomie, I miss you!)

We had to 'wing it' a lot... annd stop.

Egg, Sugar, PB ready to stir

This is when we all started to get a little nervous...I heard a lot of eeeew's. Mine was the loudest.

Couldn't escape the oil

Yay, they look edible!!

At least most of them did...

This is what I had to work with... oven mitt of champions

And the best part of cooking club? I make the kids do the dishes. 😉


Any recipe ideas for my next class?

A Typical Teacher’s Day


Spinny table things- unreal. Appies: Candy, Crab Apples, Sunflower seeds, Clementines

Green Tea- heavy on the leaves.

Duck Tongue.

Oil with a side of veggies


Worst red wine ever.

Plenty of gumbay's (One shot)

Peer Pressure:Entertainment:

Butterfly man

Oh I wish adding video didn't cost $60.


Yep, a pretty standard teacher’s day.