Monday, March 23, 2009


I went to KTV (karaoke) with my friend Sheen last night. Karaoke in China is a bit different to the karaoke I know. The one we went to yesterday is called Party World. We paid about 50RMB, which included a private room with a long couch for 4 hours, and access to their buffet, which was quite tasty. I thank Sheen for kidnapping me and taking me to Party World.

picking songs

Sheen's favorite song (Ariel is teaching her Spanish)

Singing is so great and this audio system somehow makes my voice more bearable and less like a boy who's hit puberty, which makes me feel more confident and content as a singer. Thank you, Party World!

Hotel California, an international standard

Monday, March 9, 2009


I went to Qingdao (青岛) to visit my cousin's business associate and friend, Michael. He and his family are very warm and made me feel like I was at home when I was with them.

Qingdao is a quaint place, and less of a gritty city than Beijing. At the end of the 19 century and the beginning of the 20th, for a little over 10 years, Germany had control of Qingdao. They did wonderful things to the city, like building a sewage system, constructing lots of beautiful colonial buildings and bringing beer to China. But it seems that the Germans didn't stay in Qingdao long enough for their culture to make a really big impact on China. Last summer when I went to Vietnam, I felt that French culture was much more a part of daily life for the Vietnamese (coffee, baguettes, even bits of language) than German culture is for the people in Qingdao. I would have liked to see just a tad of German culture in Qingdao and was a bit disappointed when I didn't find any. That said, the buildings are beautiful and I was extremely happy to see the ocean!

kites flying in a park by the ocean

a new way of making dumplings, which grandma taught me to do

there were many, many couples taking wedding photos by the water

extremely cute, fresh faced boys just arriving in Qingdao, ready to join the navy