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 […]

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 […]

At the top of the Rough Ridge Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Home, Sweet Home

There’s nothing like returning home again after a long spell overseas. The excitement of seeing family and friends again. The joy of being able to do the things you used to do. And mostly, the ease of it all. Things aren’t constantly threatening to break down. Dust takes much longer to accumulate. Everything is literally […]

Lizzy the lizard

This gecko scared the bejeezus out of me yesterday morning, darting across our bedroom floor right as I came out of the bathroom. Because who expects to see a gecko in Beijing? I hope I didn’t bring it back with me from Bali. Or Thailand! Anyway, Lizzy was caught (in that dirty takeway container, sorry) […]

Happy China-versary to me!

I got hit by a car yesterday. Before you panic, I am OK! I am OK because, while the car drove into me, it was going, like, 5 miles an hour? It kind of hit my purse first, which I was holding down by my side, and then all of a sudden I felt this […]

Everyone is leaving China

Or so this article claims, rather dramatically. But I am here to refute that claim. Because I am not leaving. Oh, no, I am staying put. I’m so staying put that I just signed a lease for two more years. #notalleveryone In all seriousness, though, the author does have a point. The recent crackdowns on […]

On the edge of the United States, looking up at Sutro Beach.

San Francisco

It was time to get a new visa, so back to the States I went. The visa run, a time-honored tradition for expats living in China, may seem quite inconvenient, but I love the opportunity to travel on the company’s dime. A free trip home? Why not! This time, the timing was especially convenient because […]

The cobbler and the torte

It’s the middle of peach season, and China has some of the juiciest and sweetest peaches in the world. Here, they are called 水蜜桃 (shui mi tao), or “water honey peaches.” As a peach lover, I find them to be irresistible, but a traumatic experience a couple of years ago has deterred me from messing […]