Bringing my worlds together through food

I cooked a feast of “normal” home cooking style food. This is comfort food for me – the flavours of local Beijing. There was something so special about sharing the taste of home with the people who are my new home. I felt homesick and at home all at once. It’s been a good day.

"Family planning is everyone's responsibility."

China’s One Child Policy – changes in policy and attitude

This latest change allows for each couple to have two children, something most couples were already permitted. It is certainly not a “scrapping” of the policy, as many headlines have screamed. And after decades of the government telling people they really don’t want more than one child, not everyone wants to take advantage of the latest change.

China’s One Child Policy – enforcing the rules

There are several ways in which China’s Family Planning policies are enforced – social welfare benefits, and fines for additional children. IUDs, sterilisations, and abortions are also used liberally to maintain a low birth rate. The big problem comes when officials’ career prospects are tied to minimising births in their jurisdiction – opening the door to abuses of power.

少生优生,幸福一生: a rural poster with a common slogan, meaning "Fewer births, healthier births, a happy life. "

China’s One Child Policy – some background

There’s been a lot of press this week about China ending the One Child Policy. The story is more complicated than most people realise. Many couples were never restricted to one child in the first place. In this post I’ll explain the history of the policy, and what it really entails.

Looking at the eastern wall from the western wall - March 1983 and August 2004.

Badaling Great Wall – 八达岭长城

I have written about the Great Wall before, but mostly in general. Today I am writing about one particular section of the wall – Badaling. My parents visited in 1983, I first visited in 1999, and most recently in 2012. Comparing the photos is fun!


Chinese tongue-twisters

In my last post I introduced THIRTY common words all pronounced “shi”. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that with so many homophones, Mandarin has some fantastic tongue-twisters. And by “fantastic” I mean “utterly impossible to recite”.


A whole lot of shi

Today I’m going to introduce you to words pronounced “shi” – a great example of the wonderful confusion that is homophones in Mandarin. There are TWO HUNDRED characters for the sound “shi”and I use at least 30 of them. They are split up between different tones, but still that’s a whole lot of shi.