Lessons Learned – As of Late

Replacing the formulaic response of sorry with thank you in most situations does wonders for interpersonal relationships.

It’s more than okay to say no, and remembering this will ensure less anxiety.

Coldplay, with every new album and song, still gets me.

Continue to care less and less about gaining acceptance.

Don’t ever give up.

“Getting it together” takes time. Chiseling at the “it,” bit by bit.

Not sticking to my editorial calendar hurts no one but me.

Avoid using 微博 for movie-watching inspiration, instead rely on thorough research, recommendations, and the power of a Google search.

Getting wrapped up in politics, gossip, material wealth, and situations beyond one’s control only hinder personal growth.

Positive intent, it’s all about assuming positive intent. Negativity feeds insolence.

Listen to more podcasts; the delightful assortment I’m plugging into includes Popup Chinese’s Sinica, The China History Podcast, and Mortified.

According to one of the more horrid “films” I watched for ten minutes,  I am attracting all that comes our way, including the windshield cracking of its own accord on Thursday, and winning ipenstore’s paws fountain pen giveaway last month.

Watching classic films will never lead you astray in terms of delighting you with its cinematic experience.

Accept what comes, deal with it, and then let it go.

And, Happy last night of Hanukkah to those who celebrate. Happy Holidays to all!


A series of things: part three

This is the third part of a series. Read through part one and part two.
Things I will miss: 
The inexpensiveness of dining out
Using public transport
Walking everywhere
Successfully navigating around in Chinese
Shaanxi foods like 凉皮,肉夹馍,羊肉泡馍
Fruits like 火龙果,荔枝,山竹果
Noodles that ZJ will have a hard time replicating
妈妈爸爸张 and the rest of ZJ’s family
Students I’ve gotten close to
DQ dates
My 夹馍 vendor on 师大路
Veggie and fruit markets
Delhi Darbar, the Indian restaurant
Our 面片儿 haunt by the South Gate
Countryside R and R at ZJ’s 老家
Cafés, especially Sculpting in Time
The old campus bubble
煎饼果子,the ultimate breakfast
How quickly items we order on Taobao arrive
Free housing
If eager to do so, money can be made easily
16 hours or less workweeks
Free farm-to-table apples, apricots, walnuts, and veggies
妈妈张’s cooking
Slower pace of life
Conversations and time spent with ZJ’s family

A series of things: part two

See the first part of this series here

Things I will not miss about Xi’an, and to a larger extent, China: 

Banking and other errands that require endless bureaucracy to get done
People leering, staring, or pointing when I’m with or without my hubby
Foreigners and Chinese alike telling me how atypical, open-minded, or unique my husband is
Bus rides to and from the new campus
Being accosted by strangers to teach them English
People shouting HALLO as I walk by
Foreign as well as white privilege
The university’s inability to pay me what I’m rightly due
Cutthroat negotiation when taking on extra work for the department, students, or private tutoring and teaching
Serving as a translator or interpreter for those who don’t speak Chinese
Construction on the old campus disrupting my beauty sleep
Conversations about “our future kids”
The assumption that I would stay in China forever
Teaching (it’s also something I’ll miss)
The lousy subway system in Xi’an
This year’s schizophrenic Xi’an weather
Teaching on Saturdays or Sundays as a make up for extra holidays
Errands just taking an insane amount of time to accomplish
Chinese-style malls
Creaky, outdated, smelly, and on its last wheel public transport
Taxi drivers
People who pretend to not understand me when I speak Chinese
Peanut-gallery type comments from strangers
Face, 面子

A series of things: part one

This entry is the first of a three part series where I’ll discuss things: things I miss about home, things I won’t miss about Xi’an and China, as well as things I will miss. These lists are by no means exhaustive, and the items are not in any order of significance .

Things I miss about home:
My friends and family
All-you-can-eat sushi restaurants
New York City
Free Fekkai haircuts or color
Blue Moon/Sam Adams
The town library
Free Movie Tuesdays
Starbucks (I have it here on occasion but for some reason my order never tastes quite right)
Eating on the deck
Dad’s grilled steaks
Arugula salads
Soy Milk or Almond Milk
Updating my Nook
Driving (I’ll also miss walking everywhere or taking public transport in China)
Faster pace of life
Easily grabbing a cup of coffee on the go
Bagels, lox, and cream cheese
Celebrating the Jewish holidays

If living abroad, what do you miss most about home?