Linguistic Breakfast

I am no longer the only Westerner in the hotel. A family is here – European I guessed from their backpacks and demeanor. From eavesdropping and based on their first sentences in English to the hostess, I though French or perhaps Russian (I know, I know, the languages themselves are very different, and Russia is […]

A Dozen Alarm Clocks

I have two alarm clocks. More specifically, I have two alarm clocks in my room. One goes off at 8am to wake me up, the other is on snooze rotation until around 8:30am, when I debate whether I really need breakfast that morning. Neither is really necessary, however, because outside my door I have perhaps […]

Yak Butter Tea

This Sunday I visited the Tibetan district of Chengdu. Because Chengdu is the last big city before/after Lhasa, it has a large Tibetan community. And through this community I got to try something I’ve been curious about since I read it in my guide book – yak butter tea. Really, it tastes like salty tea […]


Not to be confused with midi-chlorians or mitochondria – though all three have to do have to do with health, I guess. I am not a hypochondriac by nature. I take a multivitamin, try to eat healthy, and wash my hands. I argue with my body when it gets sick. If I lose the argument, I […]

To be Happy

Me: Hello! How are you today? Student 1: I am…happy. Me: That is good to hear. Hi! How are you? Student 2: I am happy. Me: You are also happy? Student 2: Shen ma?  (translation: What?) Me: You are also happy? She (gesture to student 1) is happy. I (gesture to me) am happy. You […]