• About Julie

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

    Thanks for visiting!

    Feel free to drop me a message: juliekhull at gmail

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 14 other followers

  • Most Popular This Week

Illegal fruit

I had something happen to me twice this week that I haven’t had happen to me before.

In this area there haven’t been too many street vendors on the main roads since the Olympics, something about beautifying the city and whatnot.  They’ve been popping up more and more lately, although they aren’t as commonly seen as in other parts of the city.  The other day my Mom and I were sampling some grapes I was about to buy when the guy started pedaling away as fast as he could before the chengguan could get him.  The chengguan are a certain kind of police that give street vendors a hard time since, technically, street sellers are illegal.

Then tonight we were walking back to the school after our Sunday team meal and I was poised and ready to buy some cherries when the guy started up his motor and drove off down the street as fast as he could.  I guess the chengguan were on the way again.

The Great Wall

In Chinese, the Great Wall of China is chang cheng (长城), which means “long wall.”  It is indeed long and built along the highest ridges of the hills, and we visited the Mutianyu section on Saturday.

Continue reading

We’ve been busy!

Jenny and Amanda are here until Monday, and we’ve been busy going everywhere and seeing everything.

Old Summer Palace

Temple of Heaven

Continue reading

iTourguide

Jenny and Amanda arrived on Friday afternoon and we’ve been busy seeing most everything Beijing has to offer a curious tourist. I kept them up as late as I could on Friday night and they’re handling the jetlag okay.  I showed them youku.com and Google music on their second night, and they kept themselves awake streaming free television shows and downloading free (and legal!) music.

We hit the Beijing Zoo on Saturday with the main purpose of visiting the pandas.  If you’re going to come to China, you need to see the pandas, right? Here’s what a popular Beijing guidebook says about the zoo:

The inhabitants of the Beijing Zoo are saddled with grimly dated design features – concrete and glass cells – but the crowd-pulling pandas have plusher living quarters for good behavior.  The polar bears pin all their hopes on graduating from their concrete hell to the more impressive Beijing Aquarium in the northeast corner of the zoo.

Continue reading

Wanted: eggs & suitcases

Easter is over, but we’re already looking forward to next spring!  We really could use some more plastic Easter eggs for next Easter.  If you see any, would you consider buying them and donating them to us?  Let me know and I’ll give you the drop-off places or mailing addresses in the States.

My Mom and my sister (and Amanda R.) are coming to visit me!  This is good on two counts: 1) They’ll get to see where I’ve been living for the past three years, and 2) They’re going to bring home a lot of my stuff!  Do you have any large suitcases they could borrow for their trip?

Take a look out my window

Very little pollution in Beijing on a good day:

The likes of this hasn't been seen since the Olympics two years ago, although sometimes it's close just after it rains

But then there are the bad days, like Friday.  Visibility is about 1/4 mile and it looks like a thick cloud has descended upon the city: Continue reading

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

Continue reading