Storytime Adoption

Each night when my youngest goes to bed we read a story as part of our bedtime routine.  We have plenty of stories of her favorite cartoon characters, princesses and talking animals to choose from, but it’s the adoption books she loves best....more

Dear Birth Mother

Dear Birth Mother, Happy Birthday to our little girl who turns 5 today.  I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since little Sophia was born into this world. Firstly, I want you to know that our Sophia is a beautiful, spirited, loving little girl who is much loved by her family and friends.  Her favorite color is purple and her favorite food is noodles of any kind.  She loves to play with her older siblings who dote on her and adore her. ...more

China’s ‘left-behind girls’ learn self-protection

Cross-posted from UN Women Safe spaces for girls left by migrating parents have been set up and trainings are on-going for children, teachers, community leaders and public authorities to prevent sexual violence, supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. ...more

Cooking Local in Shanghai

To know a culture it helps to understand the food that nourishes the local people. To that end, we decided to take a cooking class in Shanghai. Not only do you get to create some seriously tasty food but it's fun to share the experience with other international travelers in your class.  Cherry was our fearless leader ( who took our group including my husband and son with a couple from California and a gal from Ireland, to the local wet market and then to a local apartment to cook our meal....more

Protect Online Data When Traveling Abroad: Lesson Learned!

Last summer, my mom’s high school (for their reunion) sponsored a trip to China. It was an amazing experience for her – she got to see the Great Wall and some of the sites of the 2008 Olympics , she got to learn about other cultures and even picked up a few words in Mandarin, and she also got to find out first-hand about some of the hassles of traveling to a high-risk location!...more
polyestherbunny Thank you! It's all based on a horrible experience, so I hope these tips do ...more

Shanghai Headlines Showcase Absurdity

The news made it's usual trip to crazy town this week in the "Around China" section of the local newspaper so I thought I would share with you this collection of news briefs that showcase the absurdity of human behavior:...more

Evening Stroll in Shanghai

The culture here, especially in warmer months, is to enjoy the outdoors and stroll with friends, family and pets.  I'm all about walking and having adventures so I embraced this tradition and took a walk last night along the Huangpu River in Pudong near our apartment.  It was hot and humid with the AQI in the 160+ "Unhealthy" range, which in Shanghai means a lovely evening, so everyone was out enjoying themselves.  Without Thom, it's not as much fun but he will be home soon, so in the meantime, I had to get out and enjoy some unhealthy air all by my lonesome.&n...more

You Looking At Me?

I am one of those people who enjoys eating cereal for dinner...not eyeballs.   Tonight, I had Special K and a banana and loved every bite.  Everyone always ask me if I love the food here in China.  For a "foodie", China would be paradise.  For a non-foodie like me, it's challenging.  But not only do I really, really not like eating weird stuff, I get sick so easily.  So, travelling all the time, I am constantly invited to go to business dinners where I get to watch but not eat the food because I know, without a ...more

Early Morning Walk In Beijing

Up at 4 a.m. to catch the sun rise, I was in awe of the morning sky.  The strong wind and rain yesterday cleared out the air and, for the first time, I got to see blue skies and the mountains surrounding Beijing.   Who knew???  Obscured by thick, grey pollution almost all the times I've ever been here, it's quite lovely when the pollution is washed away.  Too bad they can't program a typhoon every week to clear it out....more

Home Sweet Shanghai

Finally back in Shanghai after working in the U.S./Hong Kong/Beijing for two months, I enjoyed a rainy weekend being back among familiar things. My very own bed and pillow-heaven! Access to all my clothes and a refrigerator I stocked quickly-oh joy. You don’t realize how much you miss having your own kitchen until you live in hotels for two months—being able to have a quick snack at 9 p.m. that doesn’t require getting dressed and going out is quite wonderful....more