A Travellerspoint blog


Gifts for the Homesick

A Little Taste of Home

overcast -6 °F

When I need a little taste of Kansas...

Or Dallas...

Or Chinago... Chinago?


Posted by Blanchardlawn 17:35 Archived in China Tagged food snacks chinglish Comments (0)

On the first day of Christmas

sunny -11 °F

Hawaiians love Spam. They also love canned tuna. But for the person who can't choose between canned tuna and canned Spam:


Posted by Blanchardlawn 03:29 Archived in China Tagged food tuna spam Comments (0)

Winter has come

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

snow 7 °F

Welcome to December. December in Harbin is usually pretty cold. Let's just say we don't expect it go get above freezing for the rest of the year. That's a good thing for Harbin though. If it's too warm it puts their #1 tourist attraction (the annual Ice Festival) at risk. Luckily (?) this year it's plenty cold and we're getting used to it. We both have nice warm coats and boots (thanks, Rebekah!) It's been below zero Fahrenheit (that's like -17C) for the last week or so, so imagine our delight when it warmed back up to just below freezing yesterday and snowed about six inches. They tell me that I'll get sick of the snow half-way through winter, but I'm not sure. It's just so beautiful! Here's a couple of shots of us shopping as the snow was just starting to fall.

Playing on ZhongYangDaJie

Playing on ZhongYangDaJie

Shopping on Main Street in Harbin

Shopping on Main Street in Harbin

And today when we normally have exercises in the yard there was a massive snowball fight!


But don't worry, it will cool off again soon. The forecast is saying -26F/-32C. I don't know if I even know what that feels like. I know what a wind chill of -20 feels like and it's not pleasant. There's not much wind here, thank God. I don't plan to be out in it for very long. I can't stand the way the breath you take in your nose starts to freeze your nose hairs when it's about 0F.

Posted by Blanchardlawn 01:54 Archived in China Comments (2)

Thanksgiving Dinnner

5 °F

It can be hard to be away from family and friends for the holidays, but we've made some really good friends here as well. We almost skipped Thanksgiving since we don't really have any time to prepare food (we work 6 days a week and are pretty busy on Sunday's too), but somehow we managed to rope off a few hours this week to do a small potluck for our English department. I think the main reason we had to celebrate Thanksgiving was that Teresa had a box of stovetop stuffing and that was excuse enough.

We also had a beautiful salad, something that's so much cheaper to make in China than in Hawaii. Produce here is SO CHEAP! (On a side note, we just made a stir fry for dinner. All of the ingredients came out to $2. And we have leftovers).

But back to Thanksgiving - the menu was salad, Stovetop stuffing, Korean pickled radish, Korean omelette, Yam Yam Chicken, and Chicken & Dumplings that Yun made on the stovetop. We're getting pretty creative with the rice cooker - Yun made a small loaf of bread in it. Hope to have more on that bread cooker craziness in another post.


Da spread!


And best of all, Judy brought some amazing hot chocolate. It was so good. I had bought marshmallows a few weeks ago, so paired up and enjoyed.


Nothing beats hot coco when you're thinking of home.


And here's a Thanksgiving note from one of the kids. Didn't take too much prompting. Love these kids.


Posted by Blanchardlawn 05:22 Archived in China Tagged holidays Comments (0)

Competitions Done Right

Arts Festival

semi-overcast 30 °F

It's been over a week since I had a chance to add to the page, but I hope you will agree with me that this entry was worth the wait. A few weeks ago I was asked to go with our school choir to photograph them at the city music competition. They performed really well and made it to the district competition (China has districts similar to US states). So the district competition for all kinds of performing arts, from singing, dancing and drama to (for real now) speeches. I wasn't able to take pictures of our school group because I was also responsible for videoing them, but I was able to take some great shots of the other groups. I think the pictures really say it all. I kept wishing my grandma were there. I think she would have loooooved every single act. Yes, I admit I also loooooved every single act. I tried to upload video of the last performance (the handkerchief dance), but looks like you need the verboten sites in order to do that, so if you're curious, just google Chinese handkerchief dance. Actually, whether you're curious or not, you should just take my word for it and look it up. It just left me blinking my eyes in awe of these kids.

Ok, our students were great too. We did this great rendition of "Circle of Life" and we have some awesome singers, but these other acts...for some, there are just no words to describe. Most of the other schools participating are "art schools" and by art schools I mean the kind that bring us eventual Cirque du Soleil performers. I was just lucky to have been there.



















Posted by Blanchardlawn 04:02 Archived in China Tagged dance Comments (0)

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