• About Julie

    NJ native without the accent or the big hair. Currently residing in Beijing. Teaching English. Absorbing all things China. Exploring SE Asia.

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    Feel free to drop me a message: juliekhull at gmail

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More sand

We had another sandstorm on Monday, and this one was the worst I’ve seen since moving to Beijing in 2007.  As I was leaving the main academic building after a class I watched a huge gust of wind come along, pick up a bike, and slam it to the ground four feet away.  And then I ran to my apartment building and tried to stay inside all day!  This student has the right idea with his mask:

Student in the sandstorm

It’s always nice when March is over, and the weather seriously starts warming up.  The government turns the heat on around November 15th each year (as I talked about here) and it goes off around March 15th.  Since it snowed during the week of the 15th we were all glad that the heat stayed on a little past the usual cutoff this spring!


Orange sky blankets Beijing

I really enjoyed seeing the Gobi desert in Inner Mongolia back in 2008.  Inner Mongolia is a province of China, not a part of the country of Mongolia, and it’s home to grasslands and lots of sand.  I had no idea that those kind of sand dunes existed outside northern Africa or the Middle East, let alone within a day’s bus ride from Beijing.  I got to do some fun things on that trip, like sleep in a yurt, go horseback riding and four-wheeling, and roll around the desert inside a giant inflated ball.  I steered clear of the camels but some of my friends went for a ride.

11 of us on the trip

The Chinese flag flies high over the Gobi

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Pompton Plains/Rt 23 flood

view from Rt 23 of the Pompton Plains/Wayne A&P

bye bye Beemer.

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Happy birthday, Michelle & Andrew!

Birthdays are a good excuse for a girls night!

The girls I work with

wo siji zuo le - the mocha cake "made by myself," as you would say it in Chinese

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The sisterhood of the traveling hair



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No longer in Kansas

We’re reading through the Wizard of Oz in my two classes of International Students.  After we finish the book we’ll watch the movie and compare the similarities and differences.  So far the students are enjoying the book.  While looking for some pictures for a Powerpoint, I found these Anne Leibovitz photos from a Vogue Oz-inspire photo-shoot with Keira Knightley that I thought were pretty interesting.

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Foot binding: excruciating beauty

In the 10th to early 20th centuries, small feet on women were considered beautiful in China.  The foot binding started before girls began adolescence, and involved bending the toes under the sole of the foot, then breaking the arch and binding the foot and the ankle very tightly.  Each time the bandages were removed the bindings would be re-wrapped more tightly.

Can your shoes fit in the palm of your hand?

This hasn’t been practiced in the hundred years since it was outlawed, but my interest in the practice was piqued when I visited the Enduring Beauty Museum in Melaka, Malaysia last February.  The many exhibits depicted the ways women throughout time all over the world have sought beauty in spite of Continue reading