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Congrats to Steve Jobs…

… for creating an irresistibly infringeable trademark. This one’s here in Tianjin.

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Might I Recommend…

Recent Days

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I’ll be headed back to the U.S. for a few weeks. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to share a few random photos I’ve taken recently:

Among other things, these pics include:

  • Christmas preparations at a local supermarket
  • The Christmas program at the city’s largest government church
  • The inside of the city’s French-built Catholic church
  • A nighttime English class for 14-16 year-olds in the government’s volleyball program
  • My friends eating grilled sheep legs
  • A Chinese take on the Japanese
  • My student Bi at his school (one of Tianjin’s two most prestigious)
  • Men gathered on the sidewalk, as men often do, to play games
  • My friend Seven

Unleash a Jaguar

The volume of copycat products here in China borders on ludicrous. I found this cat hanging out in my school’s bicycle lot this week. The art of performance, born to perform…

Chinese Cooking

Chinese cooking is, of course, world famous, but until last Friday, there was a lot about it I didn’t understand. For example, did you know that Chinese cooking has strong connections to the ancient Taoist concepts of the yin and the yang? For real– some ingredients are yin, and others are yang. Did you know that they use round cutting boards, cut ingredients to maximize surface area for fast cooking, and almost always use MSG as a flavor enhancer? Our school activity provided us students with a first-hand view of what happens in our school’s cafeteria every day of the week. Here are a few photos:

 

Un-Chinese Thanksgiving Break

It’s only Saturday night, but so far this holiday weekend has been unusually un-Chinese. Thanksgiving night I enjoyed chicken breast and mashed potatoes at a Western restaurant with a Western friend, then was treated to a Starbucks cherry mocha something by a Chinese friend.

Friday afternoon I got fries and a coffee at McDonald’s, then later enjoyed a latte while waiting for four Western friends at a nice Western restaurant. For dinner I enjoyed a hummus appetizer (my first in nine months) and a really good chicken noodle dish. I also enjoyed a bit of my friends’ ice cream and lemon cheesecake before heading to a cafe to meet a Chinese friend. The cafe was hosting a live music night, so I was pleased to hear a couple of Westerners cover the Pixies and whoever else.

This afternoon I ate a whole pizza while studying at a Western restaurant down the street, then met a couple of Chinese friends to play pool and drink Starbucks. This has definitely not been a typical weekend. Tomorrow, between Chinese church in the morning and lunch and dinner plans with Chinese friends later in the day, I expect a return to something more typical. Still, it’s been a nice break– a nice Thanksgiving break.

Giving Thanks

As my second Thanksgiving in China approaches, I’m counting my blessings. And among the greatest blessings I have are my friends, particularly those in the States. You’ve written me emails and messaged me on facebook, you’ve sent me gifts and even PayPal-ed money my way. Big thanks. That’s all been necessary to my staying this course. Today I even received a package from the Flickers and Hunsbergers that included drawings, photos, Halloween candy, and real autumn leaves. I’m very blessed, and I’m giving thanks for you all.

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