• 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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Guilin vacation pictures

Jenny and Amanda arrived in Beijing yesterday and their jet-lagged selves are zonked out on the living room floor right now.  It’s been a longer-than-usual absence, but here are finally some pictures from Guilin.

All ready to head out to the airport!

Shire Hobbit coffee

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Best vacation quote ever

Anna to Chinese woman:  “So, what does dog taste like?  Is it similar to chicken?”

Chinese woman:  “It tastes like cat.”

Michelle and I on the Li Jiang

More pictures to come…

I’m on vacation

I’ll be spending the next week or so vacationing and relaxing in Guangxi Province with a couple girlfriends.  We’re looking forward to the beautiful scenery and just getting away for a bit.  My Chinese friend Mary teased me this week because I’ve been in China for three years and have never made the pilgrimage to Guilin.  (I finally got around to visiting the Summer Palace and the Forbidden City just this year.  I know – shame on me.)  This is a trip that’s been at the top of my list to take for a while, and it’s probably one of the places in China I’m most looking forward to seeing.  Guilin’s mountains are famous, so much so that they’re on the back of the 20RMB ($2.93) note.

Something that every tourist does: I'll be taking my own picture like this in the coming days!

Southern China has experienced an especially bad drought since the fall, but it just broke in the Guilin area when the Lijiang River flooded its banks on Tuesday after several days of torrential rains.  Right now the ferries and river activities are all suspended until the water levels go down, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll be able to do some of that!  Beijing has spring, but it’s not quite as warm as Guilin should be – in the upper 60’s and 70’s – right before the rainy season starts in May/June. Continue reading

National day of mourning

Yesterday (4/21) was a national day of mourning to remember the 2000+ people who died in the Qinghai earthquake on April 14th.  In addition to flags flown at half mast, newspapers and online sites honored the victims by going black.  Entertainment, video, and music websites stopped offering their content for 24 hours and featured black and white banners on their sites about the earthquake.  Performances and movie theaters closed their doors for the day.  I had planned to do a review period in one class yesterday and the students asked for a regular lesson instead, saying that the review activity would be a form of entertainment.

Here are some visuals of how China mourned:

the People's Daily, official CCP newspaper

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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?

Only one? Family planning in China

We hear a lot of rumors, and rumors of rumors, about China in the US.  Some of them are true, some of them are half-truths, and some of them aren’t valid at all.  China does have a one-child policy, although how it’s painted in the West may not always be how every city and cadre in China enforces it.  This post isn’t meant to be critical in nature, regardless of the opinions of the author or audience, but to be informational, educational, and offer a balanced viewpoint.  China’s one child policy, instituted in 1979, looks like this: 4:2:1.

That’s two sets of grandparents, one set of parents, and the child, which some refer to as the “little emperor.”  When that child gets married and his parents age, he and his spouse will be expected to take care of both sets of parents as they get older.

One child is more complicated than it might seem.  How would you answer the question “what is the weather like in the United States”?  Well, that depends on where in the US, doesn’t it?  The same is true of many issues in China – it depends on which part you’re referring to because different areas have different laws or enforce them Continue reading

Leaving on a jet plane

Nanchong (Mary's hometown), Sichuan province, PRC

I am my mother’s daughter.  I’m preparing to leave tomorrow for Sichuan, a province in south central China, so what do I do?  Clean the house, of course!  My Mom always made us clean the house and make our beds before we left on vacation when I was a kid.  I hated it then, but now I do the same thing.

I will be in Chengdu and Nanchong with Joel, Mary, baby Jacob, and Anna through Sunday where we’ll be visiting with Mary’s parents, burning our taste buds on spicy food, and hiking a mountain.  Unfortunately for my students, they will be hard at work studying and taking their midterms all week.  See you next week with pictures!

Famous for its pandas, Sichuan province is also where the devastating earthquake struck last spring resulting in the loss of so many lives