All posts tagged: feature

Today is the day …

Today is the day when for the first time this winter I could go and play tennis without a scarf since it was nice and sunny outside. Today is the day when for the first time this winter I was overrun by people and balls at the tennis court – yes, the students are back! (But I also get to have someone to play with, which is fun!) Today is the day when the streets on campus are filled with students again, and most of the stores are open. Today is the day when the supermarket downstairs has piles of toilet paper set up in front of the entrance – yes, the students need to stock up on necessities. Today is the day when I decided that I’ll go and get a meal in one of the student cafeteria some time soon, and treat myself to a cup of caramel milk tea. Today is the day when I’m glad that life is back to normal again.


Saturday Feature: Bake Sale

Bake sales are great! They happen about twice a year, and it’s the one chance you get to indulge in western style baked treats. Our bake sale offers the full range of deliciousness: cookies, cupcakes, bagels with cream cheese, granola, and full size cakes. And this time they offered apple cider, coffee, and other hot drinks. There always is a silent auction for all the cakes, and the profits of the bake sales go to support orphans in our area. So, not only do you get to have yummy treats, but your treats also get to help children in need. What better way is there to indulge oneself?

Saturday Feature: The Mystery of the Leafless Trees

I figured it out! I discovered the secret to the question that has puzzled me for such a long time (even in one of my last posts): The question as to why the trees on campus only have green leaves, or no leaves; and why there are never any leaves on the ground that crunch so wonderfully when you walk. (With all my “grown-up-ness,” I love crunching leaves!) The answer to that question: It’s the tree shakers. What? You don’t know what tree shakers are!? Well, let me enlighten you: Tree shakers are the people who shake the trees to make all the leaves fall off. Makes sense, right? Our tree shakers work on campus to keep the grounds clean and tidy (and they do a meticulous job at that, I assure you), and you could either call them gardeners, maintenance people, or – as a matter of fact – tree shakers. So, believe me or not, in China you can actually make a living with shaking trees. (Or, at least it’ll be part of …


Saturday Feature: And the Hot Water Heater …

One of the first things I learned to appreciate when coming to China was having a hot water heater. See, the problem is, where I live, we only get warm water twice a day through the regular way. That is, when you finish your shower before 8 am in the morning (good-bye sleep-in weekends), or anywhere between 6-11 pm at night (which is a nasty thing when you’ve been exercising in the middle of the day.) So, I knew I needed a hot water heater asap after I got here, esp. since I’m not the cold-water-shower type person, thankyouverymuch! So, one of those little helpers found its way into my bathroom, and has made me happy ever since. Now, I can shower whenever I want. And the water is hot. I can wash my dishes whenever I want, and the water is hot. I can wash my hands whenever I want, and the water is hot! Me and my hot water heater are some really good friends for sure! Photo Challenge Day 22: Hands I’m …


Saturday Feature: Spaghetti Syndrome

I’ve got a serious disease. It’s called spaghetti syndrome. It’s serious, because it affects my life every. single. day. Here you can take a look at what the spaghetti syndrome looks like: Yep. It’s serious. I told you! Can you tell I have a problem? It’s that I actually need all these cables, and use them regularly, too, but there’s just no way to keep them organized. They just love to take on a life of their own. There’s the cable for my keyboard, and the one for my mouse. And then there is the cable that connects my camera to my computer, and the one for my dvd-drive, too. I don’t need to mention my printer, and oh, of course, I shouldn’t forget my tablet. There’s also some cables for my EHDs, and then the USB hub needs to be plugged into my computer as well as into a power outlet. Talking about some serious cable spaghetti here! Oh, and I almost forgot the headset, too, which I use for noise recordings, etc. Really, …


Saturday Feature: Dust & Ashes

Morning fog. I used to live in a part of the world where foggy mornings in October are not that unusual. And what’s great about them: they usually promise the dawn of a fine and sunny day. This morning, I woke up to a similar phenomenon. Except, we need to replace the word “fog” with “smog.” The air had started to fill with smoke like from a wild fire last night, penetrating even the buildings and our apartments; and only this morning did it dawn on me that the farmers are burning their leftover chaff and stuff from the harvest these days. Bad times for fresh air, and my eyes have been burning all day. Day 8: A Bad Habit By the way, I’m on day 8 of the photo challenge, and here’s my contribution for today: So, you’re asking me what the bad habit is? Weeelll, I usually don’t cook at home since I have three warm meals served for free each day. Dirty dishes pile up slowly – maybe a plate or a …

Saturday Feature: Driving Me Crazy

China is a noisy place. I learned that very soon after I got here. It’s something you just have to get used to. But sometimes the noise just drives me crazy. Like the other day when they opened up a new store somewhere across the street (at least I assume that this is what was going on, because they love to turn up the volume especially on such occasions). In any case, the noise (for it was more than music) that came into my home from the outside was louder than the volume of the music I listen to at home. As a matter of fact, I tried to turn on some of my own music just to drown out that nerve wrecking whoomm whoomm from the outside, but it was a hopeless case. I could hardly hear my own music, and I had the volume already up more than usual! Worst of all, the music outside was so loud that it constantly had the alarms of the cars that were parked around go off. …


Saturday Feature: Teacher’s Day

Ok. Admitted. 9:13 am isn’t exactly seriously early in the morning. Not usually for me anyways. But I am, after all, still dealing with this bad cold that just won’t go away and makes me feel worn out all the time. So, 9:13 am to me is quite early these days. In fact, it’s early enough that I’m still asleep at that time on a Saturday morning. But it was exactly 9:13 am this morning, when the little beep of my cell phone went off, telling me I’d gotten a message. And you know – I might have even missed it, hadn’t it been for the message telling me that today is teacher’s day. Well, almost missed it, of course, because as the day is progressing, I am collecting those lovely notes my students are kind enough to flood my cell phone with. But, in case you missed it, now it’s my turn to wish all of you teachers out there a “Happy Teacher’s Day!”


Saturday Feature: Chasing the Sun

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably have an idea that I like photography. And I like to experiment a little, too. So, this month, for a photography challenge I was hoping to do, the task was to take a picture with a lens flare (which simply means you take a picture against the bright shining sun). But it’s summer here in China, and where I’m at it means the sun will hardly ever come out, even though the temperatures might be sizzling. So, every day, I’ve been waiting for the sun to show (and I admit, there were a couple of “sunny” days that I missed), so that I could take a lens flare photo. But lo and behold, today, there was actually the hint of the sun visible against the white sky. So I took out my camera and went out to chase the sun. Wasn’t too successful though. The picture shows: this was as much lens flare as I could get (in the middle of the afternoon). Not …


Saturday Feature: A Reason for the Season

So, it seems like I’m desperately longing for Christmas again, because I’ve been whistling and singing Christmas songs lately. But the true reason for that is that I’m working on a photobook, and right now the turn to scrap all those Christmas pages has come. So, I’ve been looking at my Christmas photos from last year, putting them together on some scrapbook layouts, and singing Christmas songs all the while. And that in August. But hey! I’m in good company. Being in China, I can always find some Christmas decoration out in a restaurant, or supermarket, or elsewhere, and that all year round. For example, I just have to stroll into my favorite ice-cream parlor downtown, and lo and behold – the gingerbread house (which I posted about a while ago) is still out in all its glory. Therefore, being in China, there’s always a reason for the season.