What 70 元 buys

              So, I spent 70元 pronounced quai  (just over ten bucks) at the grocery store today in Kunming.  So exactly did I fill my bag with? First, the shopping bag (it was an unplanned trip). Cost:  1 元RMB  6.67 cents             Next, Flower flavor yogurt. Buy three, get one […]

And So the Red Tape Rolls

I have a legendary story about how I got my first job in advertising. I wrote a letter seeking advice regarding what to do with foam rubber sumo wrestler. I hoped that my letter–or at least picture of this monstrosity– would lead to an interview. It didn’t. The letter lead to a job offer at an agency bigger than wrestler’s […]


It was like cleaning out a junk drawer before a move. It was the last few boxes of our storage unit containing the remains of our marriage. But instead of rubber band balls and expired coupons, it contained fragments of my life that I could not part with or bring with me to China. Diaries. My grandmother’s China. My purple […]

Beijing One Layover at a Time

Once in college, I took a weekend road trip to Wichita. Friends and I drove seventeen hours each way and back. Thanks to a few super chugs of coffee, managed to stay awake both driving and during the Monday morning class. But I can’t do those marathon trips anymore –even when flying to China. I mean, you can’t stop anywhere […]