Happy Women's Day - 中国妇女日!

Happy Women's day to women all over the world. Mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, grandmothers, wives, and girlfriends -- much love for all that you are and all that you do. 

WWU - Spring Festival

The almighty Spring Festival is right around the corner, officially starting the day after Valentine’s Day. What does this mean for China? Well, most people will work this Saturday to balance out having days off in two weeks. Further, the holiday truly puts China’s transportation infrastructure to the test. Everyone, and I mean everyone, travels back to their hometown for the holiday to meet up with parents, grandparents, and other relatives. Due to the demand, Chinese trains and high-speed rails are completely booked, with zero tickets remaining in the days leading up to and following the start of the festival. Pictures of train stations will inevitably be posted on social media when Spring Festival starts, and they will show a sea of Chinese people all aiming to get home for the holidays.

 

Once home, those who are single will deal with the barrage of passive questions and comments from their family and friends about why they are still single, and how they should get married soon. They’ll do this over a table full of home-cooked Chinese food, including dumplings, which are a must for Spring Festival. Hongbaos, or red envelopes filled with money will be exchanged, and for the cities where firecrackers and fireworks haven’t been banned, the night sky will fill with their explosions of sounds and color. 

 

Most foreigners leave China, taking advantage of their week off to finally get out of the country. However, their desire is short-lived as many other popular destinations for Chinese people during Spring Festival include Bali, Bangkok, and Boracay. Students in China probably enjoy the festival most, as they have the longest vacation, ranging from two to six weeks. For most people, especially those who work, a week is allotted amount of time; enough to go home, visit the family, and leave before growing sick of them. 

 

The festival lets you know it’s here as city streets in China’s capital are now adorned with huge red lanterns and large replicas of the famous Chinese Knot. There seems to be a buzz in the city, like the buildup in an EDM song before the bass finally drops. This is China’s Christmas, and year after year, the country never fails to breathe life into an otherwise mundane lifestyle. Spring Festival is exciting, even for foreigners, not just in China, but around the world. Countries with large populations of Chinese such as Singapore and Malaysia also have huge red lanterns and decorations around their cities, celebrating just as hard as the Chinese in China. 

 

So wherever you are, or will be, I wish you a happy 2018 Spring Festival. May your hongbaos be full, and your stomach too. Wishing you good fortune and great success for the rest of the year!

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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

Christmas Trees

Christmas tree in a Chinese shopping mall

I recently read an article about Shenyang Pharmaceutical University banning Christmas in order to "Guide the youth league members in building cultural confidence and resisting the corrosion caused by Western religious culture." I understand that Christmas is a religious holiday and not typically "Chinese", but let the kids enjoy what they want.

Christmas tree in Beijing
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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

Happy Dragon Boat Festival!

So this is called "Zongzi" and it's a traditional Chinese food eaten during the Duanwu (Dragon Boat) festival here in China. They come in a variety of flavors, but are most often categorized as either salty or sweet. They are made out of a sticky rice, with different ingredients mixed in depending on where you live in China. 

Personally, I think they are super gross and I will never try a Zongzi again. For some reason, most of China's traditional holiday foods, except for dumplings, are not so good. Even some Chinese people don't like them. I have a theory that because it's gone on for so long, everyone just pretends they like them and fake smiles in between bites of this atrocious holiday snack. 

端午节安康~

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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

Guomao, Beijing, China

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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

Parade rehearsal for the newly created holiday “70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression”

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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

Zongzi

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‘Zongzi’ - the traditional food of Dragon Boat Festival. Mixed fruit or meat with rice wrapped in some kind of leaves. I hate them, but most Chinese people love them. This big pot of them was on the counter of a 7/11.

Happy Mother’s Day from China! My buddy Yoyo said “With tongue!” So here ya go Madre. Much love from Beijing!

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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

Newest installment in the Sanlitun Village

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For those who can’t tell, it’s a giant lantern for Spring Festival. Headed to France tomorrow night and then Munich the day after. Happy holidays from China!

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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

For Chinese New Year it’s common to give people red envelopes filled with money

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As a joke for a friend, I filled one up with spare change that amounted to about ¥5。She was still pretty excited.

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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

Chinese Spring Festival is on its way as are the public service announcements, which I can only assume say “Just so you know, birds don’t like firecrackers”

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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

Although boldly stated that Christmas is not observed or celebrated in China, there seems to be a lot of evidence to the contrary

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The lights are up and Christmas in China is well underway

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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

Thanksgiving at work

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They designated me to cut the turkey and gave me a butter knife and a plastic fork. It took awhile to carve it up..

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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

De Niro in Taxi Driver

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Only foreigners understood the costume but I wouldn’t expect Chinese people to have seen a Scorsese classic. For as much as people say that Halloween isn’t celebrated in China, it was a wild night in Beijing

Halloween day 2

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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

Halloween week started today and as always, they were pretty excited about it.

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Due to the fact that I have to radically cut my hair for my costume, I just stuck with casual attire until Friday

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Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

I’m assuming it says, “Have a great Chinese National Day”

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Comment

Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

Celebration in Tiananmen Square for Chinese National holiday

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Comment

Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese

The Chinese national holiday is next week which of course means it’s time to break out the lanterns

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Comment

Degen Hill

This is my travel blog and writing portfolio covering my life in China and my trips around the world, including the food, experiences, people, culture, history, and architecture. Living in Beijing has been an adventure, so here's some insight into one of the world's biggest cities.

#beijing #china #asia #travel #adventure #expat #travelabroad #chinese