The siren song of endurance sports

It’s a peculiar thing, endurance. Humans have an incredible ability to push themselves to unimaginable lengths, and then to keep on pushing past what seems possible. We love to see what we thought were boundaries in the rear view mirror.

Sometimes we like to push past those boundaries just because someone told us we couldn’t do it. Often it’s just because we thought we couldn’t do it. We are just rebellious like that.

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What Sino-Japanese tension looks like from China

Shanghaiist recently published an article about Japanese businessmen getting attacked by some drunken Chinese guys while having dinner on the Bund. If patriotism can overwhelm reason on the Bund, it can happen anywhere in China. Here’s what all this tension feels like from Shanghai. For nearly a month, the news in China and the US […]


Maintain your sanity by occasionally visiting the expat bubble

While living abroad, if you’re making an effort to learn the language and about the culture, it’s ok to occasionally visit the expat bubble. I even recommend it to maintain your sanity and increase your endurance: a reprieve from the inevitable daily annoyances of living in China, or any other developing country. I may have […]


Going native — getting to know the locals while living in China

To understand China you need to get to know the people and the culture. You can do this by frequenting holes-in-the-wall, making friends with locals, and traveling throughout the country. You’ll have opportunities to use the language and get even farther out of that expat bubble. Now that you’ve popped the expat bubble and are […]


6 tips for learning Mandarin Chinese (or any other foreign language)

Learning a new language requires putting in a little effort every day, and practicing whenever you have the opportunity. In this post, you’ll find six tips you can use to learn Mandarin, or any other foreign language, on your own. When I first moved to Beijing in 2001, I didn’t want to spend hours in […]