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{ Category Archives } Observations


Wow. Over the last 4 days, Zhangjiagang has received a record amount of snow. We’ve heard varying reports from different sources, but the general consensus is that this is the most snow ZJG’s seen in over a decade. The city was grossly unprepared to deal with this much snow. Neither the government nor the population […]

China Hates My Website

Well, it finally happened. has been blocked by the Great Firewall of China. This means that my website is inaccessible from the vast majority of computers in China. The company which actually operates my site is based in the US, so it’s still accessible everywhere else on Earth. And since they’re blocking it using […]

Some Key Differences between China and the West

These are some of the major psychological differences between people in China and people in the West. Understanding these differences is key if you want to be happy in China. China The West Historical Context   Very populous country. Low/middle population density Frontiers open but dangerous (northern barbarians) or closed (seas, mountains) Frontier open and […]

Observation: TV in China

Recently, all the teacher’s apartments were upgraded to the new digital cable TV system. We now have a set-top box with almost 100 channels, up from the 10 or so we had before. Unfortunately, that’s 90 new channels in Chinese. There’s still only one English TV channel, CCTV9, and it rarely has much worth watching. […]

Observation: Serrated Knives

Serrated knives never made it to China. Though they are sometimes available in Western-style steak restaurants, the average Chinese household doesn’t have a single serrated knife. Yesterday, I tried to buy a bread knife, and found not a single serrated knife in the local hypermarket. At a guess, it’s because Chinese cooking is almost always […]