Day 108: 1/30/2016


I only had two classes today one in the morning and one in the late afternoon. I spent the rest of my time in the office shooting the shit, watching youtube/netflix, reading articles, catching up on Chinese profanity and booking our flight to Xi’an.

From the list of profanity via wikipedia. Here are some of my favorites, Mom and Dad I want to apologize for all the words you’re about to read.

  • 肏你祖宗十八代 (cào nǐ zǔzōng shíbā dài) Fuck your ancestors to the eighteenth generation
    • This one is apparently VERY bad. Summer, this awesome office administrator that helps Syd and I out immensely, told me that those are some fighting words.
  • 混蛋 (hún dàn) Mixed egg
    • Individual who has at least two biological fathers and one biological mother, the idea being that the mother mated with two or more males in quick succession and a mosaic embryo was formed.
  • 白痴 (bái chī)
    • To be mentally retarded
  • 我靠 (wǒ kào) “Well fuck me!”, “Fuck!”, “Fuckin’ awesome!” or “Holy shit!”

We had a fun time discussing these in the office.

Also had a ton of trouble trying to book the flight from Shanghai to Xi’an from the office. For whatever reason there was a lot of errors occurring on Ctrip, China’s Expedia. But damn! Booking a trip with them within China is CHEAP! I looked at the same flights using Google Flights and a single flight from Google is the equivalent of what we paid for 3 flights using Ctrip. I ultimately booked the flight when I got home by calling their customer service line. They had some great english speaking employees and the whole process was easy.

After booking our flight we decided to have some dumplings down the street. I love that place. It’s fun seeing the women gossip away as they create these perfect dumplings. Their actions have become so automatic that they don’t need to concentrate at all and each one they make is absolute perfection.


On my way in there was a tree decorated with monkeys and flowers with monkeys since the building I work in is decorating for Chinese New Year. I taught a total of 4 classes today and it was so boring! We did have a meeting and they will be changing our hours again! Whatever hopefully mine will be blocked together instead of these huge ass breaks. I learned how to make a lei out of yarn and it is really easy and very relaxing. Ash and I Skyped for a while and caught up on life. I can’t believe 2 of my sisters will be 21 this year. Damn, my sisters will be legal to drink!

At work a coworker gave me a pineapple beer that said low alcohol content; well it wasn’t and I was feeling pretty good at work. I also tried Chinese Reese’s (AMAZEBALLS) and Cumin Lamb Flavored Lays, basically Spicy BBQ flavored is the best way to describe it.

We got our Tiesto tickets for Feb 23rd!! So excite! When I got home Wally was not home and not 1 minute more he showed up! It was so crazy that we did not see each other the whole way home but were so close to each other. We bought the Xi’an tickets for when Matt is out here. Xi’an is where the terracotta warriors are from. I am so looking forward to this trip. It will be a short trip but so fun and interesting!!

Wally and I had the peanut sauce dumplings that have grown on me a lot since we got here. They are pretty heavy so it is basically 2 meals every time we get them. So warm on a cold night.

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Day 107: Money in the bank!! 1/29/2016


The only thing that is nice about the winter session is that the days that I do not have morning class I can roll through when class starts. So I didn’t have to go in till 4. That being said Syd and I spent the morning working out and running a few errands. We picked up a couple of you tiaos (oil stick) from one of the street food vendors.

Youtiao Recipe

It’s cool that Sydney has taken a liking to some of the more traditional foods out here. They’re delicious, for those of you visiting us you’ll definitely be trying these. There is a place back home that I know about that sells these too, but fresh as can be and absolutely delicious!

I get into work and do my thing. The last class I have on Fridays has children aged 5-8 and the class is from 6:45-9 pm. This is WAY too late for children this age and on top of that they’ve already been in school all day. They’re overworked, tired and hungry not a good combination for a student at any age. Whatever I manage the class to the best of my ability and get them to do the work.

Oh we finally got hot water back today. We discovered this after Syd had taken a shower…. But I got to enjoy it!


Wally and I did our morning workout and had some breakfast. Perfect way to start the day. We went to the bank since we finally got paid and pulled out the last of the money that we owe his uncle and the money we are going to send home next week since I really need to pay my credit card, we booked so much these past 2 months on it. While out walking we saw the fish people gutting and descaling their fish right as people were buying them. It still gets me that this is happening in the middle of the street and it’s perfectly ok and people will still eat it. The fish are literally laying on the ground and you will watch the dogs pee and poop inches from where the fish are and no one bats an eye about it. We went and had yo ti yao – I don’t know how to spell it but it translates to oil stick; it is basically a lighter version of a donut. It is pretty tasty and hit the spot. When I went on my walk during my huge ass break I saw a group of Orthodox Jews. It was so crazy I have not seen them in Shanghai since we have been here. I also saw a black guy with an Asian girl, which is uncommon in China. Everyone is pretty bundled today, it is really foggy and the wind gets you chilled to the bone. Classes were so hard today everyone had terrible English. I started watching The Great British Baking Show which made my day so much better. Wally bought the Tiesto tickets for February and I am so excited!!! That is our Valentines gifts to each other since they are expensive by Chinese standards. I can’t believe the month of January is almost over, it has flown by.

Side note – I forgot to mention this when Wally and I went grocery shopping, people smoke in the grocery store. They light up and smoke all through it. It makes it so frustrating buying food and concentrating when I am surrounded by smoke. A lot of things that happens makes you think China is basically America in the 1950’s. Also, most of my students can not say “screenshot” they say “screenshit.” It is so hard to not laugh every time it happens.

Day 106: Still no water…1/28/2016


Ugh!!! Another long day, but at least I got off around 4. Oh and yet another day without water… The landlord came by to look at things and said all we can do is wait it out… Freaking China…


Wally left pretty early for work but luckily he will be off early today which is awesome. I Skyped Melissa and it was so great to catch up, miss that girl. Classes were pretty boring and I only taught about 5. So, I went to do laundry this morning and the washing machine started straying water. I stopped and called Wally and he said that someone will be buy around 5/6 to look at it. Thank goodness he will already be home by then. Well the landlord came by when we were working out and said oh ya just make sure everything is screwed in and you can mess with it no problem. Sorry dude but I am not messing with anything in China! The machine seems to be working fine now. We still do not have hot water and our shower head broke. FML. Wally and I have a pretty good system down now with boiling the water and everything. Well Wally got in and the hot water turned on for all of 5 minutes then shut off so he had a freezing shower as well. It was such a tease, it was there and the shower Gods took it away again. Fingers crossed tomorrow there is hot water. We chatted and watched Fast Five. So good. Please everyone send Wally good vibes as he is trying to find a teaching job back home and not a lot of places are hiring history teachers just really math and science. Bundled up and headed to bed.

Day 105: Just a Jaunt at Jin’An 1/27/2016


We headed over to Jin’An and had a lazy day. Except we decided to walk down to Lujiazui instead of our usual metro stop. It was pretty cool because we walked past the base of the Bottle Opener and the Shanghai Tower. Being at the base of those buildings you begin to feel utterly insignificant. Once we got to Jin’An we shared a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts and chatted for a few hours while we people watched. I gotta say that these talks at Jin’An will be missed. We’re less than a hundred yards away from a temple that is hundreds of years old contemplating our past, present and future. After Dunkin we headed over to the cheap market just for shits and giggles.

Oh the broken english leads to some funny things said at the cheap market, such as come you want buy wind stop jacket. Well you’re not wrong they do stop the wind.

Once we got back home and got situated we did our workout. I gotta say that Syd is definetly kicking my ass and making sure we’re keeping up with everything. So, if any of you notice that I’ve lost any weight it’s thanks to her.

We still don’t have any hot water, but I’ve gotten the system of boiling water to keep a constant “stream” of hot water going to Syd. I got the pot on the side with the kettle boiling. I fill the pot half way with cold water, put a finger in it and pour the boiling water into the pot. Once the water reaches a level slightly past comfort this is to make up for the time it takes me to pour some more cold water into the kettle and put it back on the stove. I then bring the pot over to Syd where she can finish bathing herself. Rinse and repeat.




It was nice to walk all the way to Lujiazui and stand at the base of the buildings they are so huge! Hopefully we can go to the top of the Shanghai Tower before we leave. Jin’An coffee dates are so much fun! I definitely look forward to them, when for whatever reason we find ourselves on that side of Shanghai. Also, for some reason I had a dream about Subway last night, so we had that for lunch and the Subway here does not have everything I like to put on a sandwich but it was good enough to satisfy the weirdest dream craving I have ever had. It has been raining all day and Wally put his umbrella under the table at Dunkin so we could order and when we came back and the umbrella was missing. We looked around and could not find it. The sad part was we shrugged our shoulders and said well of course that would happen in China. We asked the workers and one of them had grabbed it, so thank goodness no one stole it. We sat for a few hours and just watched the world go by.

Once done we headed to the cheap market. It is so much fun walking around and I got a few more ideas of what I would want before we leave China. I picked up a shitty watch to wear when we are traveling and running around a lot. I love that if you go on a slow day they basically cave to whatever you want. It makes me so happy.

We came home and started our 6 week 6 pack with Jillian Michaels. We do not have a gym so we need to keep up the cardio and workouts. Wally is getting so skinny and lucky for us that means we get to throw all his clothes out and have less weight to worry about trying to pack up. I am proud of both of us for keeping this up.

As Wally stated we still do not have hot water and not a lot of water pressure. So we bathed as we did last night. Yay!! As I was told by Bianca and Ky it is like modern camping or the 1800’s. Yep except it’s 2016 in my own apartment!! Just China things. It is not bad and now we have a little system going. Wally and I just put music on and get to business, while I sit there shivering and laughing the whole time.

Day 104: Still no water 1/26/2016


Today was interesting… So we’ve been without any hot water for the past 2 days. We have water trickling out of the sink, but not enough water pressure to feed into the hot water heater. When I went to get my haircut apparently within our block most of the apartments have their water shut off. I’m not 100% sure as to why, but it could be for a number of reasons. One being that it may be too cold and they’re scared that the pipes will break with the expanding water, or two it’s off in order to do some maintenance on the giant water container that feeds our neighborhood.

Well we had skipped showering the night before in hopes that we’d get our water back by today, but we didn’t so….

This whole bathing experience has been… just that an experience. Yay China….


Skyped my mom this morning and chatted for awhile. We went grocery shopping and I almost dropped a carton of eggs but this old man helped me save them.

Me: (Mandarin) Thank you, thank you.

Old Man: (Mandarin) Your Chinese is pretty good.

Me: (Mandarin) Thanks ( I am blushing and smiling a lot) Do you speak English?

Old Mans wife: (Mandarin) No No, Where are you from?

Wally: (Mandarin) We are from America.

Old Mans Wife:(Mandarin) Is she your girlfriend?

Wally: (Mandarin) No she is my wife.

Old Mans wife: Do you have kids?

Wally: (Mandarin) No not yet.

Old Mans Wife: (Mandarin) You should soon.

So the shopping trip was very funny and a good time. Again when we went to pay and asked for more bags than we needed for the groceries they stare and somewhat argue then finally give them to you. You are charging me, why do you care? It warmed up a little today and was in the high thirties and the air quality was so much better!! It was a beautifully clear day.

Once we got home we started taxes, we knew we would need a whole day to do the, since we had to do our conversions and transfer every month for China into TuboTax. Anyways we spent about 6 hours doing all of them but we finally finished. So this year I was getting money back but then I clicked on married and it took all my money away. I still got a refund but we filed separately. Wally gets all the way to the end and realizes he owes money and I am so confused. I have to delete everything then start his over and he eventually gets money. We did not get back as much as we wanted but it is ok. Money back is money back.

The rest of our night was fine we had a coffee and ate dinner. We watched The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats Go Wild. Just mindless entertainment. It was fun to watch these movies, I loved the Rugrats.

Now onto the adventure of the night. Showering…So we still really do not have water and there is no hot water at all!! Wally would boil water and transfer it to another bowl and bring it to me so I could bathe, boil more so I could rinse, and then bring me one to get my hair wet. Once I showered I used the cold droplets of water to wash my hair upside down so no cold water would touch me; mind you it is only 29 outside and since the heaters only heat up the apartment some, it is 35 in the house. Once I finish washing my hair Wally brings me one more bucket of boiled water and I warm up again and splash it all over. Then we had to do the same for him.

The realtor says it is a waiting game and we do not know when all the water will be back and since the water is not back there is not enough water pressure to turn on the water heater. So this will be a fun game to play. China….

Poor Wally he is trying so hard to translate what the landlord says, then talk to the realtor and figure it our there, then tell me. He is the hero of this whole thing. It has been crazy but we could not stop laughing the whole time. Just shaking our heads and laughing. I am showering out of a pot in my own home.

Day 103: LOOOOOOONG Day… 1/25/2016


Woke up early this morning to start my loooong day at work. I arrived at 8:15 and prepped for the day ahead. The morning was a major test on my patients because the first class wasn’t at the appropriate level for the content I’m to cover. I taught them Jack be nimble… I repeated that nursery rhyme so many times…. You know if you say the word balloon over and over again enough times it starts to sound weird? Well the whole nursery rhyme just started to sound funny to me… Then the next class I taught were too advanced for it. I was making up games and activities left and right just to fill up the time. The afternoon class I had… None of them wanted to be there

The afternoon class I had was not into it at all. I’m trying to get the kids motivated and into the subject, but they just don’t care. When it comes to actually doing the work they’re checked out. There are these two boys that obviously don’t want to be there and almost refuse to do the work. I wasn’t sure if I was getting through to the boys and asked if they understood me and after a minute long blank stare they say that they do. THEN WHY THE HELL AREN’T YOU DOING THE WORK!!! ugh….

The next class I had is actually one of my favorites because the children are so sweet. It was actually one of their birthdays and she is also one of the boss’s kid, so we did our lesson, but I had to teach the rest of the kids how to sing happy birthday. It took 15 min of happy birthday on repeat for them to learn it… I got cake though.

My last class…. oooooooo….. So I took over this class from Jeff, who just resigned, and he had no classroom management “it was more work to discipline them than to just let them be”. So these kids are use to an environment where they can get away with just about anything. On top of that there is a tiger mom that will literally film the entire session with her phone. I wasn’t going to have any of that, so prior to the class starting I taped some paper over the clear part of the window, the rest is frosted. When class begins I see her try to take the paper off. I tell her not to and she goes and complains to a PA, progress administrator, and the PA comes in to tell me that the parents would like to view the session.

PA: The parents would like to view your session and see what you’re teaching them.

Me: No, I need to establish myself in the classroom without having the parents looking into the room. It’ll not only be a distraction to me, but to the students as well. It’s the same material as last week and if they really want to know what’s going on in class then I’ll be more than happy to give them copies of my lesson plan.

PA: Well it’s your first lesson and they want to make sure everything is ok

Me: I’m one of the few staff here that actually has a teaching credential.

PA: Oh umm well they just want to know how you’re doing

Me: Fine then let’s move the class to the life club [larger demo room] and we can have all the parents sit in the back and watch the class

PA: Oh umm that’s not necessary

Me: Neither is their need to record this session. I’m not going to allow them to film this class. I’m going to do my job and teach and they’re just going to wait for their children.

But get this! The tiger mom still had her face pressed against the window trying to peer through the frosted part! WTF!!! Whatever, I establish the classroom rules and point system in which they can earn blue stickers, they use them to earn prizes. Throughout class I’m mercilessly taking away their points for any minor infraction to show them that I’m not to be tested. Well one kid broke THE rule I have and that is to not touch the board because we have these interactive whiteboards and if they touch it, it might get all messed up. This kid freaking makes eye contact with me and touches it. Granted nothing happens, no harm no foul right? NOPE! I calm the class down, call out his name and take away ALL  his points. He then starts to tear up and begins to cry. The PA tries to appease him by telling him he can earn his stars back by behaving. I BS the rest of class and as I’m going through the students and awarding them their stickers I stop at his name and point out the fact that he has 0 points, so no stickers. As I continue to award the other students he begins to cry uncontrollably like he’s dry heaving, snot flowing and coughing. DON’T TOUCH MY FUCKING BOARD YOU SHIT! DON’T CROSS ME!

Either way I go back to the office to pack up and as the other teachers are funneling in they make eye contact with me as if to ask if that boys tears were my doing and I proudly pound my chest in victory. There’s nothing better than the tears of children!

Also we didn’t bathe today… no running water… yay China!


Classes were pretty boring today. The house never really warmed up the whole day I worked from home. I am just an icicle always. The water was turned off in our apartment so we just had driplets to wash our face and bruch our teeth. Nobody told us and then Wally had to keep asking the realtor and no one knows when it iwll be back on or when we will have hot water. The END!


Day 102: Brrr it’s cold in here there must be something in the atmosphere! 1/24/2016


Today was colder than yesterday…. The same layers I had on yesterday did little to help out today. The wind cut through my pants like they weren’t even there. My eggs couldn’t go deeper into my basket if you know what I mean, or my plums turned to raisins. Sorry couldn’t let a perfectly good joke go to waste. All in all it was a normal boring day. I got a BUSY day tomorrow and I’ll be working close to 12 hours yay…


So I slept so bad last night. I woke up to my toe in so much pain and I thought I had an ingrown toenail but the pain was shooting up my calf. I ended up waking Wally up and he came and looked at it and I was tearing up my toe hurt so bad. He told me take an aspirin and go back to bed because we could not figure out the problem. He thinks it was a pinched nerve. Well I finally fell back asleep and in the morning it was gone. Damn, it hurt so bad but I am glad all the pain went away. I went into work today and the air quality was so good today! It was so nice and refreshing. Work was rather boring, I had a few great students and some of them were pretty funny. Most of the shops were closed up or closing up when I was coming home because it was so cold. It said it was 19 and felt like 5 on my weather app. So ya, I would probably close up shop to especially since most of these places do not have doors to block the cold it is just an open restaurant. Wally and I pushed ourselves on our abs today and really worked hard. Next month we start Jillian Michaels 6-Week six pack. I have done it before and it is a killer so I am excited to get back to it, feel the burn baby! My last classes were all free talks and it was cool to just shoot the shit with my students. They gave me some cool places to check out around Shanghai. I ended up sleeping in a long sleeve shirt (yes mom my fancy black sweater) and pants and my CSUF sweatshirt since it was so cold. When you stand next to the windows you can feel the cold air come in since the windows do not totally fit in their window cutouts. It feels like they build and go ya that is close enough just put it there. So Wally and I live like hermits and keep all the curtains shut to block out more of the wind and cold air that seeps in.

Day 101: Saturdate!! 1/23/2016


Man today was exciting! Not work or anything, but the fact that I actually got to experience snow on a “normal” day. I didn’t have to travel anywhere to see it either, well not really travel I mean I am in Shanghai, but you know what I mean. I was so bundled up, I don’t think I’ve ever worn that many layers in my life.

  1. Beanie
  2. Bandana around mouth and nose
  3. Scarf around mouth nose and neck
  4. Windbreaker
  5. Hoodie
  6. Sweater
  7. Long sleeve shirt
  8. Undershirt
  9. Khakis
  10. Jeans
  11. Gloves

I was still cold… Well on the way to work the snow flurry really kicked up and started to whip at the exposed parts of my face and it actually got a bit intense, but I welcome it just cause I’ll never really experience it again. Work itself was really lame, but apparently a kid had a piece of their finger cut off by the massive glass doors at the entrance of the school. The kid had placed their finger at the hinge of the door as it was closing and…. yeah… The mom absolutely lost her shit and was screaming, yelling and crying. The father ended up kicking the glass door off it’s hinges. It was this whole scene. I’ve come to learn that the Chinese make a scene whenever they’re threatened. It’s like watching a National Geographic on wild baboons staking claim to territory or something.

After work we decided to have a saturdate and headed to Munchies a spot in the heart of Shanghai that serves good ol American diner food and in all honesty it ain’t half bad. I mean you don’t really taste any asian so that was nice. They’re also starting to decorate the place with more Chinese New Year stuff which is pretty cool to see.


The one day of the week that Wally and I have the same schedule haha. Got ready, had breakfast and headed to work. The high is 28 and it was snowing on our way to work. We parted ways at the metro and each headed to work. Well once I got out of the metro at my stop it really started to come down and was so incredibly windy. A few hours later the sun was out and the storm had passed and it stopped snowing.

Work was pretty chill and we had our normal Saturday meetings. I am almost done with Making a Murderer and it did pick up a little. I feel bad for the Brendan Dassey kid, he is not all there. I think the dad and the brother killed her but that is just my opinion.

Also, I started my taxes a few days ago and asked at work if we get something to show like a W2, nope you have to print out your monthly salary stubs and figure out the numbers yourself. So, next weekend will be me doing math. Nothing can go wrong there….

While I was at work I went to WeChat and all of a sudden it logged me out. Now, I do not have the password saved and it can only retrieve your password by a text. So I had to call Sprint, pay about $10 to get my phone to work over here for the month, in order to get a text to reset my password and then finally log back into WeChat! Ugh, it was such a bitch. WeChat is life over here. That is how everyone at work communicates, students contact me, anything you do is over WeChat. I am so glad I was able to figure it out and now have a functioning phone again. I also Skyped with my Aunt Dianne and Uncle Neal a little more at work.

Once I left work Wally and I had a plan to meet at Century Ave, which is the metro stop that both our lines cross before we change and get on our line home. We were going to meet there to head to a dinner date. Well, he calls me right as I get there and a train pulls up but the connection is bad and I think he is saying get on and we will meet in the car. Well, we head 2 different things, I get on and he is on the next train since he waited. It was my fault I should have just waited and we would have caught the next train. Luckily we made it to our dinner date and met up at the exit of the metro.

We decided to go to Munchies, I had been there before and Wally has never been. Oh, and our phones say it is 21 degrees now but feels like 12 degrees. So we are basically freezing our asses off but are still warm because we are so bundled up. It was a fun date, I had pancakes and crinkle french fries and we split a milkshake.

Dinner was so much fun and a perfect saturdate!!! We headed home and the temp had dropped to 16 but it wasn’t snowing so that was good. We came home immediately and put both heaters on to warm up the house. 2 more days until the weekend. Good night!

Day 100: The 100th 1/22/2016


I was ready to just hate life and EF when one of the PAs, progress administrators came into the office to inform me that my late class had been canceled. I danced all the way back home after that.

Another day another yuan.

另一天钱 (ling yi tian, lai dian qian)


Skyped my lady love Kylie!!!! It was so great to talk and catch up. Miss my girl but excited to see her in June. After chatting for awhile Wally got ready for work. Also we watched the reunion of Naked and Afraid XL! So great! Wally made breakfast which was so sweet. We talked for a little then he left for work. I worked from home again because I can and wanted to stay warm. I also spoke with my mom and ralphie for a little. They will be out here in 2 months! I started my taxes and this is the first time we are filing jointly. Weird, I feel so adult! The rest of the day was pretty boring. On that work grind. I cannot believe we have been here 100 days. It is so crazy. It still weirds me out when I say I live in China/

Day 99: Back at it! 1/21/2016


Another day another yuan.

It’s starting to get cold… We’re hovering in the 30s and come this weekend it’ll be in the 20s…


Wally and I skyped Aunt Dianne and Uncle Neal for awhile and I really do miss them. I hope that it works out to fly to Phoenix before we fly back to Cali. It’s snowing and raining here. I haven’t seen snow right in out neighborhood but on the other side of the river it was coming down. We watched some more Naked and Afraid and Wally got ready for work. I worked from home and watched some Making  a Murderer today. It’s not that great, The Jinx in HBO was much better. I heard back from the Cambodia People and Wally heard back from Vietnam so by then end of the weekend we will have that leg of our trip booked up.

The apartment smelled like fish when I was working and I could not figure out why….well I opened the door and heard people screaming in Chinese well all of a sudden I see fish come down the stairs flopping around!!! I screamed, gagged, and ran back inside. Ugh, so gross!!! The smog is so bad today. I’m hoping the wind next week will clear some of the air. I have been having a little bit of a hard time breathing when I go outside.

I had a student today whose name was Rain and it was a guy. Also I think I may be getting an ear infection. It hurts so bad, fingers crossed it goes away on its own. Currently in the apartment it is 28 degrees. I am sitting right under the heater to work!

Also, men here are so mysoginistic. I know I sound so annoying saying that but a student stated women have to be beautiful and skinny, they must always do the laundry and the fridge must always have food, if not they are in trouble. Um excuse me fuck you, do your own grocery shopping. He also said women shouldn’t work and men should give them money. They can’t have more then me. Anyways this student just made me a little upset. My last student if the day was a girl who spoke perfect English and actually worked for EF and was taking a class to just keep her English skills up. We talked about Americas Next Top Model, The Walking Dead, and movies. She was so funny. Made the rest of my day so much better. Best student!