Lizzy and Izzy

Early last summer I caught a gecko darting across my bedroom floor. I named her Lizzy and released her back into the wild. She still came back nearly every night, hanging out on our window, until winter came. I was happy and relieved when the weather started to warm up and she returned. Now she sometimes comes […]

China has saved the pandas!

The giant panda is no longer an endangered species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species downgraded (upgraded?) the status of the much-adored creatures to “vulnerable” on Sunday, citing a 17% increase of pandas in the wild from 2004 to 2014. That’s actually fewer than 300 more pandas in a 10-year […]

Christmas Smog

White Christmas, Red Alerts

It’s another white Christmas in Beijing, probably the whitest one we’ve had. Usually you can see the towers of the Central Business District in the picture above, but not today! City authorities have issued an orange alert – only the second-highest rating on the smog chart – so it’s not so newsworthy in the eyes […]

A conspiracy theory

This is the weather forecast for Beijing. It’s been rainy and overcast for the past three days, and according to the forecast, it will be cloudy tomorrow as well. It can’t be a coincidence that the only sunny day this week will be the day of the parade, can it?

Harbin from the Songhua River (???)


Boyfriend and I went to Harbin, way up in the far reaches of northeastern China, for the Dragon Boat Festival long weekend. The city of 10 million is known for its bitterly cold winters (-40 degrees!), during which it holds an ice sculpture festival with giant icy monuments dotting the city. For those brave enough […]

Beijing bans indoor smoking

Finally, a ban I can get on board with! People are no longer allowed to smoke in indoor public spaces — restaurants, malls, office buildings, etc. etc. etc. I’ve heard that “indoor” means anything covered by a roof. But wait! Isn’t indoor smoking already banned? Well, it was, but then it was unbanned. But wait! […]


Man, pandas. Is there any other creature in this world that is so bad at life? First, they let people destroy their homes. Then, they give zero fucks about repopulating their species (except for this guy). Now, it turns out they haven’t even bothered to learn, after 2 million years, to digest the very food […]

Banned in China: An update

Some things the CCP has sought to ban recently: The U.S. Embassy’s AQI readings Puns The term diaosi The last two are yet another example of the Xi-led CCP (the XiCP?) crackdown on the culture of today’s society. Even some of the most lovable aspects of Chinese culture are not safe from the CCP, even […]