Life in China

  • Chinese Kindergarteners

    Chinese kids just being kids. I taught these guys for one semester in 2004. The kindergarten was in a small town outside of Suzhou called Shengze (盛泽).

  • Food Market

    This particular Chinese food market no longer exists. The phoots were taken in 2001, on Wensan Lu (文三路) of Hangzhou, China (not far from 康乐新村).

  • First Apartment

    My first apartment in Hangzhou, China. It belonged to some Chinese friends of mine, and they kindly let me stay there for free until I got settled. I lived there only one month: from August to September of 2000. The apartment was clean and simple, but lacking in niceties such as hot water, a flushing toilet, air conditioning, and a washing machine. It was called 美都新村.

  • Second Apartment

    My second apartment in Hangzhou, China, where I lived with a Chinese guy named Chen Siyuan (Sept 2000 – Aug 2001). The name of the apartment was 金欣公寓 and was also located on Wensan Lu (文三路). I ate a lot of very simple, common Chinese meals while I lived there, had almost no foreigner friends, and studied Chinese all the time in my free time.

Travel in China

  • West Lake | 西湖 (c. 2000)

    West Lake is the #1 tourist attraction of Hangzhou (杭州). The Chinese rave about its beauty. It is actually quite nice, but don’t fall for the “paradise” hype.

  • Guilin | 桂林 (2000)

    Guilin is famous for its beautiful karst mountain formations along the Li River (漓江). It is truly a beautiful place and very much worth a visit.

  • Tiantai | 天台 (2001)

    Tiantai is not widely known in China, but is nevertheless a destination worth considering. Picturesque mountains, streams, bridges, temples, and bamboo.

  • Huang Shan | 黄山 (2001)

    In the summer of 2001 (the summer which brought an end to my first year in China), my friend Ari came to visit me, and we had a great three-week trip all over northern China. At that time I could communicate the basics pretty well, but there were still enough things I didn’t know to keep the trip pretty interesting. Poor Ari would suffer much less if he came to visit me now.

  • Beijing | 北京 (2001)

    One of the major destinations for Ari and my tour of China was Beijing. It was both his and my first time there, so we hit all the tourist essentials like the Great Wall (长城), the Forbidden City (故宫), Tiananmen Square (天安门广场), Summer Palace (颐和园), etc. The pictures of the unrestored Great Wall are actually the Badaling (八达岭) Wall, but at places that most tourists don’t know about. Our Chinese guides new a route that took us 12km down unrestored wall through an animal reserve and connected to the Badaling Wall.

  • Xi’an | 西安 (2001)

    Another leg of the journey with Ari. We were not terribly impressed with the Terracotta Warriors (兵马俑) themselves, but Xi’an itself had quite a few interesting treasures. I especially enjoyed the etched caligraphy I found in the Taoist Temple of the 8 Immortals (八仙宮).

  • Luoyang | 洛阳 (2001)

    Luoyang is in Henan province and is one of the ancient capitals of China. It is famous not only for its Longmen Grottoes (龙门石窟), but also its proximity to the world famous Shaolin Temple (少林寺). We were actually very disappointed in the excessive commercialization of Shaolin Temple and lack of actual kung fu.

  • Jingdezhen | 景德镇 (2002)

    During the 2002 winter break, Ray and I went travelling to Jiangxi Province. We went to LuShan (庐山) first, but when Ray suddenly developed serious abdominal discomfort, we hurried to Jiujiang (九江) for treatment. After that, we headed off to Jingdezhen, one of China’s main ceramics production centers, where we also met up with David, an American friend from Shanghai.

  • Shaoxing | 绍兴 (2002)

    In March, 2002, I went to Shaoxing with Helene and Arne. One of my students graciously served as a guide. Shaoxing is near Hangzhou, and although it’s not spectacular, it has some nice canals and areas, and it’s close. Later I went back with co-worker Nicola to visit ny friend Erin who was teaching there at the time.

  • Xitang | 西塘 (2002)

    I spent the weekend of April 19-21, 2002 in a small town called Xitang filming a nationally televised Chinese travel TV program called The Traveller (旅行者). They wanted a foreigner who could speak Chinese for the show so they could hear what kind of impression Xitang would make on non-Chinese. Xitang is a great little town, and I made some good friends there as well. [Xitang tourism website]

  • Nanjing | 南京 (2002)

    During the 2002 Labor Day holiday (May 1-7) I went to Nanjing for a few days. It was a rare opportunity for me to meet up with my friend Ray again. I stayed in his relatives’ apartment while in Nanjing. I saw Sun Yatsen’s tomb on Purple Mountain , the Ming City Wall, Yuhua Tai and its colorful stone market, the Nanjing Massacre Memorial, and also sampled some of the night life. Ray and I hung out a bit with his friends Yunfei and “Piggy”.

  • Putuoshan | 普陀山 (2002)

    During the National Day Holiday, 2002 (Oct. 1-7), a group of ZUCC teachers and a few of their friends went on a trip to Zhoushan (舟山), an island off the coast of Ningbo (宁波). We saw the International Sand Sculpture Festival as well as the famous touristy island Putuoshan. Here are some of the pics from the trip.

  • Wuzhen | 乌镇 (2002)

    November 22nd-23rd I spent in Wuzhen, a small historically preserved town (called 古镇 in Chinese) similar to Xitang. Like Xitang, this was a free trip as well as a second chance to be on Chinese TV in a travel show. This time ZUCC co-worker Chris Whalley from New Zealand accompanied me. Since Wuzhen was very similar to Xitang and I already got plenty of pics of Xitang, I tried to focus on what was different in Wuzhen.

  • Yunnan | 云南 (2003)

    For my 2003 Chinese New Year vacation, I traveled to Yunnan. I had a blast, visiting such locations as Kunming (昆明), Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡), Dali (大理), Lijiang (丽江), and Xishuangbanna (西双版纳).

  • Linhai | 林海 (2003)

    Saturday, March 22nd through Sunday, March 23rd, a big group of Zhejiang’s foreign teachers traveled to Linhai and Tiantai together under ChinaTEFL’s wing. I didn’t take too many pictures; I mainly captured my ZUCC coworkers.

Propaganda in China

  • Military Weaponry for Kids

    A book for Chinese kids to practice writing characters, drawing, and coloring, all the while learning all the Chinese names for a startling array of modern weaponry. [blog entry]

  • Precious Propaganda

    A very cute propaganda handbook for all residents of Shanghai’s Changning District (长宁区). It includes propaganda slogans, Q&A, and more. All in Chinese. [blog entry]

  • Safe and Sound in Shanghai

    A propaganda booklet put out by the Shanghai City government to promote awareness of theft and how to prevent it. In Chinese and English. Hilarious illustrations. [blog entry]


Zhejiang University City College (浙江大学城市学院) is a private university in Hangzhou. I taught there from 2000 until the very beginning of 2004. [See also my personal ZUCC Chronicle and the ZUCC official website.]

  • ZUCC Campus

    These photos of the campus were taken in the years 2000-2002. As the campus was still under construction at that point, much has changed since then.

  • ZUCC Apartment

    My third (and last) apartment in Hangzhou. This is how it was brand new, right after I moved in. I daresay it doesn’t look nearly this good now. (Buildings tend to deteriorate fast in China.)

  • ZUCC Students

    Pictures of some of the students I had at ZUCC. There were originally more photos, but unfortunately I lost many of them in a hard drive crash a while back.

  • Laowai Party (2002)

    This was the first of many ZUCC laowai parties. (老外 means “foreigner” in Chinese.) The teachers at ZUCC that semester all got along especially well.