Chinese Smiles

After my last two posts, my parents were complaining that my blog was all of a sudden too tech-focused to follow. Oops. So I decided to follow up with something with a bit more universal appeal: smiles!

The following photos are all from the excellent Flickr photostream of Expatriate Games, one of my favorite China photographers on Flickr. Enjoy!

My Babies Meet My Babies - III

Liuzhou McDonalds II

Me - Making Friends

Cmon' Get Happy


10 Minutes With A Tailor - 6:42:20

Girl In The Rain II

My Babies Meet My Babies - V

Zhuang Minority Girl

1:50:47 PM

More great photos are on Expatriate Games’ Flickr photostream, and also on



John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Great photos. Pictures of these people would have been a better ad in Times Square. 🙂

  2. I like two of these more than the others..

    1: I like the 3rd one because it makes me wonder what he could have said to make the two girls laugh hysterically but leave the boy wondering. 🙂

    2: I like the last one because it shows the cheekiness of the street vendors.. not cheeky in a bad way of course.. these guys can be a lot of fun! 🙂

    On a side note, cheeky is one of those words I have difficulty explaining to my Chinese friends.. maybe you can help me with that, John?.. have you had to explain “cheeky” to a Chinese person who associates it with a negative thing? I kinda understand that the dictionary definition might say “mischieviess” or whatever.. but of course that’s not really what we are saying when we say someone is cheeky.. especially if you are trying to endear it to someone that makes you smile because of their cute/cheekiness. 🙂

    • Is cheeky sort of like 调皮 tiao2pi2?

      • @John G: I think this is the dictionary meaning, for example – “tiao2pi2 de hai2zi” = a naughty child.. and this is where the misunderstanding occurs I believe. Calling someone cheeky, as a term of endearment, is not saying that they are misbehaving or incapabale of behaving etc..

        The other dictionary definition I can find says “xian2pi2-lai4lian3” to mean “brazen; cheeky; shameless and loathsome”.. so it is no wonder that my friends think I am insulting them when I call them cheeky.. sigh

        The closest thing to my intended meaning would be “ai4you2wan2” to mean playful.. as well as some odd dialect one “nian1’rtao2” to mean “playfully artful”/”mischievous in a quiet way”..

        While I could simple say that they are “ke3ai4”.. it’s a little too generic for my western-mind, so I continually look for more… poetic/expressive ways of expressing exactly what I mean.. 🙂

  3. David Moser Says: February 22, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Wonderful post, love it. But the playful geekiness of Sinosplice ALWAYS makes ME smile.

  4. Greg Pasden Says: February 22, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I like the lighter side too.

  5. Thanks for the kind words John and for featuring these shots here on Sinosplice! Wishing you continued success…

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