Nov 072011
 
Loving Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts in Shanghai, China?!

As a hip, world-traveling American, I am supposed to run in the other direction when I see a chain store from my native country, especially if that chain is a monster like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts.

Buuuuut… it’s not that simple. You see, rather than being disgusted by the tentacles of imperialism in corporate garb, I’m frequently fascinated and impressed.

For example, check out the lead photo of this article. Dunkin’ Donuts of [...Read More!]

Oct 272011
 
A Tale of Buns and The Best Food of China Travel

“Tell him in Chinese that we love his dumplings!” I hissed to Gareth as we walked out of the restaurant, passing by the saintly man frying and steaming the dumplings we’d just gobbled up.

My friend and I sidled up awkwardly behind the chef, waiting for an appropriate time to sing his praises.

Clouds poured from the steamed bun baskets. Oil sputtered from the giant black dumpling-frying pan. The man’s hand flew upward [...Read More!]

Oct 102011
 
A Group Tour of Famous Boston TV and Movie Sites

The first  hint, around 2009, that Boston is becoming a hub for filming big movies was that our Charlestown High school announcements started filling with casting calls for “teenagers with strong Boston accents.”

The next hint was last year when seven giant movie trailers set up shop down the street from my apartment and flocks of locals gathered to catch a glimpse of Mila Kunis filming “Ted.”

But it took a guided group [...Read More!]

Oct 062011
 
Give Me an Easy, Free Birthday Gift With a Big Impact!

Tomorrow is my 30th birthday!

Want to make me REALLY, REALLY happy with a free gift? Here’s what I most desire:

1. Show some love to my two websites, AroundTheWorldL.com and TeachingTraveling.com by: reading, commenting on, and reposting/sharing/emailing articles, “Liking” the Facebook pages (currently near 1,400 fans!) and using the “suggest to friends” button, “Stumbling” articles (if you’re advanced like that), and generally bringing as many eyes as possible to these 500+ articles I [...Read More!]

Oct 042011
 
The Funniest Restaurant Food Menu of My China Travels

Let us preface this by saying, humbly, that if I attempted to translate an American menu into Mandarin, what would result would look like stick figures doing a conga line. Now, with that humility out of the way, please sit back and laugh as hard as I did, perusing this dinner menu from a Chinese restaurant in the Bund district of Shanghai.

So which dish would YOU order? 🙂

Sep 172011
 
A Vegetarian Trains to Eat Meat in Prep for China Travel

If you are a vegetarian, you are either going to be inspired or disgusted by this article, but either way, you will likely have pondered a similar quandary: What is the best way to deal with vegetarianism during travel to a very different (read: “meaty”) culture?

Colin is a vegetarian and has been for years, chiefly for health reasons: veggies are healthier than meat, especially processed meat. Then we bought our China [...Read More!]

Sep 132011
 
Men in China Tie Up Their Shirts to Show Their Bellies?!

It’s become a game now. A belly-spotting game.

“BELLY!” I shout in delight, and Gareth and Colin turn to look and smile.

“BELLY! DOUBLE BELLY!” hollers Colin, jerking his head towards two different naked-bellied men within fifteen feet of us on the crowded street.

You see, it turns out that in China (especially during the scalding hot summer months), it is perfectly acceptable for men to tie their shirts halfway up their chests and [...Read More!]

Sep 102011
 
Badly Ordering Food by Menu Photos During China Travel

You’re hungry, you’re in Beijing, China, and you’ve stumbled into a restaurant where the menu is in pretty Mandarin characters with big pictures.

“Surely,” you tell yourself as you walk in the door, “pictures are all I need to order something yummy.”

Then you find yourself staring at the options on the wall displayed in the lower left photo in this article. Hmm… There appear to be six different choices, each with rice [...Read More!]

Sep 032011
 
Becoming a Celebrity Just by Being a Foreigner Abroad

Want to feel like a famous celebrity with people racing up to take photos of and with you? With teenage girls giggling hysterically when they see you? With eyes becoming wide with awe as you walk by?

All you have to do is hop on a plane and arrive somewhere where the majority of people look, dress, and act nothing like you!

We forget about this, sometimes, in America.

We forget how racially and ethnically [...Read More!]

Aug 302011
 
Chicken Feet: My Favorite China Food to See But Not Eat

My favorite food of China travel to look at, giggle at, and photograph… but never, ever actually EAT, is the popular snack of chicken feet.

And duck feet.

Really, any edible poultry tootsies at all send me into gales of laughter. I’m never sure which foot belongs to which bird, but they all remind me of witches and tickles.

During our visit to Gareth’s Peace Corps site in Yunyang, Central China, we took a trip [...Read More!]