January 2011

January 31, 2011

Last day in China

Categories: China

It's hard to believe that it's already been 2.5 years since I announced we were moving to China. I'm sitting in a hotel room in Beijing right now on my last night here, ready to fly in the morning. Michelle and the kids went back to Bellevue a few weeks ago so the boys could start school at the beginning of a new semester as I finished packing up in Beijing.

I've learned a lot during our time in China. I definitely have a more nuanced view of China through this experience. And, as is always the case when you travel overseas, I think I've learned more about my own country. I'll probably reflect and write more on these in the next few weeks.

I'm happy to have made a lot of friends while here. It's always hard to leave friends, but I'm fortunate that most of my friends will come to Seattle regularly, plus I expect to travel back to Beijing occasionally on business.

While I will miss my friends and many things about China, I'm really looking forward to being home again. At the end of the day, I'm American, and Seattle is home.

Posted January 31, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 26, 2011

Chinese Steak Doneness System

Categories: China Food and Drink

When you order a steak in China (typically at a Western steak house), they will often not understand what you mean by "medium-rare", etc. Aside from the language issues, they use a different , numerically based system here.


  • Very red and cool center == #3: 三成(sān chéng)-肉很红且凉

Medium rare

  • Red, warm center == #4: 四成(sì chéng)-肉红,中心温热


  • Pink center == #5: 五成(wǔ chéng)-中心粉红色

Medium well

  • Slightly pink center == #7 七成(qī chéng)-浅粉红色 (I presume #6 is between Medium and Medium well)

Well done

  • Cooked throughout == 全熟(quán shú)-全部烤熟,无粉红色
Posted January 26, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 15, 2011

World's Best Paper Plates: Wasara

Once again, Michelle has found (for us anyway) another gorgeous, beautifully designed product. This time, it's Wasara paper tableware. These drop-dead stunning plates, bowls, and cups are designed by a Japanese company and made from sustainable, biodegradable products -- bamboo, reed pulp, and sugar processing by-product. Some of the items have thoughtful design touches to help you carry the items one-handed -- a nice touch for a paper plate. Even the packaging is beautiful.

They're not cheap ($12 for 8 plates vs. $4 for 36 Chinet paper plates - 13.5x more - Amazon has them in bulk for a little less), but when you want or need to use more elegant disposable tableware, Wasara looks perfect. (Even though they are made in China, we can't buy them here. Oh well.)


A stack of Wasara paper plates

Wasara cups, bowls and plates

Wasara packaging

Posted January 15, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 13, 2011

Baidu blogging in English (and English sites about the Chinese Internet)

Baidu, the largest search engine in China, has started an English language blog called Baidu Beat (beat.baidu.com) to comment on Internet trends in China, expanding on their top queries (top.baidu.com). Here’s a link to a good recent post on top internet phenomenon.

If you’re interested, other good English-language sites that comment on the Chinese internet industry and trends are chinaSmack, China Hush, and TechRice. TechRice has a good list of other China tech news sources too.

Posted January 13, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)