Log in

Are you sure about all that?

I stumbled upon this bad boy while walking around Shanghai. Below the picture, I have typed the park rules and regulations verbatim. All spelling and punctuation is copied directly from the sign.

Shanghai Public Parks Rules for Visitors
Pursuant to the ‘Regulations of Shanghai Municipality on Administration of Public Park’, visitors are advised to observe the following;

1, Parks are accessible to the public during the ‘open’ hours; admission tickets or relevant identity documents, where desired, are to be presented at entrance; children below 1.2 meters in height, mental patients are admitted only under custody;

2, Ethic and moral codes should be duly honored; visitors are expected not to urinate or shit, post ads or posters, and write or carre around in the park, nor to remore or harm anyfacility or equipment in the park; exposing one’s top, lying about, washing and airing clothes, scavenging or begging from others in unallowable; climbing artificial hills, or playing or swimming in the pond or lake is objectionable; ball games and kite-flying are impermissible (unless in designated area);

3, Visitors are not supposed to tease, scare or capture bird, cricket, fish and shrimp, or cicada (expect those for commercial purposes); no animal is allowed to enter the park unless permitted; visitors should take good care of fress, flowers and plants, and should not tear at flowers or plants, dug up fruits or seeds, and collect soll or water plants;

4, Firearms and ammunition, combustibles and explosive, and any other hazardous items are strictly forboidden; firework-playing, barbecuing or comping is bonned (unless in the designated areo) in the park;

5, The visitor to the park should discipline himself instead of making himself a nuisance to others; any group activity in he park shall be subject to the administration of the relevant deparlment of the park; public speech, public meeting or fund-raising of Any nature is inexpedient; activities of feudalistic and superstitious natures, gombling and those banned under law are prohibited; activities of business nature, including setting up a veding stand, peddling about, practicing medicing or distributing propaganda sheets are not allowed;

6, No vehicle (except specidi vehicles for the disabled) shall be admitted inet the park, vehicles allowed into the park should move around slowly;

7, No playing mahiong in the park.

Shanghai Green Administration Bureau
Octber 2002

Over and Out,
An American Girl in China

Summer vay-cay

I'm finally finished with school!

I taught my last English class this past Thursday. Whew!  Did I have final exams you ask? Did I have to grade papers for each of my 300 students??

Fortunately, no.  My boss (a silly little Chinese lady, English name Julia, who hears fake eye lashes and carries a cell phone with a five inch teddy bear swinging off the side) advised me not to give final exams because that would require “too much work”. So for my own personal free entertainment, I split my classes into groups and assigned final presentations!

There was no scope given for presentation topics, but each topic had to be approved by yours truly, duh. The only strict requirement was that each presentation must remain under 15 minutes.

Here are some shots of my students in action!

The freshman below presented a re-enactment of Little Women.


This is a close up of Sunny (English name, obvs) and her evil mustache.  Her mustache is made of two leaves and two pieces of tape.


These are some of my sophomores. They did a segment on sign language and the climax of their presentation was a signed song performance. Napolean Dynamite anyone??


Looking good ladies!


The group of freshman below did a re-enactment of love scenes from the movie Titanic.  The girl standing on the chair with her arms out was Rose, the girl behind Rose on the chairs acted as Jack, and the two girls standing on the right in front of Jack and Rose simulated the wind with large pieces of cardboard. 

"I'm flying Jack!!"

The entire class was in tears we were laughing so hard, but the actresses were able to keep straight faces and finish up. A+


This next group presented the life history of Coco Chanel.


This next group also chose to present love scenes from Titanic (different class).  The boy photographed below, English name Bloom, was Rose.


The girl behind Rose acted as Jack. 


Below is a presentation of a traditional Chinese wedding.  The bride has her face covered, and is sitting next to the "bridegroom".  The girl standing on the right was the matchmaker.


Harry Potter? Is that you??

Over and Out,
An American Girl in China

(Top Secret)

Sooooooo, I’ve been working on a super top-secret project for the past few weeks which is the reason for my extended hiatus. I can’t wait to post what’s been going on once things get up and running!

Over and out,
An American Girl in China

The World Expo

This past weekend was the much anticipated visit to the World Expo in Shanghai. The Expo is an international technology sharing event where countries from around the world designs and sponsors the building of a pavilion to showcase each country's distinguishing features and latest technology.  Hosting the Expo is a huge deal for China because 1. "All eyes of the world are on China" and 2. China is the first developing country (ever!) to host an Expo.

Here is the Code of Service when entering the World Expo: China style.  After nearly nine months in Chinaland, I should have gone prepared to see all the Chinese flare imaginable.  Yet it never fails to make me laugh.


Code of Service:
"Be kind and polite, take pride in your appearance, show hospitality in your service, converse properly, behave courteously, work hard and serve the Expo dedicatedly."

Here is line of security guards starting their busy day off in uniform.  Everything is the same on these women from their slightly heeled shoes to the length of their hair.  Lines of guards such as this were seen all over throughout the day. What a sight!

Mental intimidation I think....lookin' tough ladies!


Waiting in line to get inside and boy, were they were ready for some crowds!!


First sight of pavilions! 

Algeria is on the far left, Angola is in the middle, and I can't see the name on the far right.


Close up of Angola:


Jared and Stephen being Chinese tourists outside of Canada:


In line outside of Canada's pavilion were people dressed up as wildlife.  There was a butterfly-bird-looking woman, a woman dressed as a water droplet rolling around a fish tank on a wagon, and this tree-guy.


The tree caught in action terrorizing little children:


Inside the Canadian pavilion:


Inside the Canadian pavilion, there were bikes in front of screens that would take you through Canadian scenery at the pace of your pedaling.


Right to left: Lisa, Jared, Stephen, Me









There was a ride over the top of Switzerland, but the wait outside was 3 hours.







"Did Serbia invent legos?" -Jared














Inside Nepal:


Buddhist prayer flags:


China, duh!




Outside Israel:





United Arab Emirates:

UAB again:




S. Korea:






The Huangpu River cuts Shanghai right through the middle, and the Expo grounds were put on either side it.  These are the lines to take the Expo ferry across the river.


View from the boat.

FYI: This is the bluest sky I have ever seen in Shanghai.


This next picture is from a famous toursit spot in Shanghai called 'the Bund':

Over and out,

Nantong City, Jiangsu

Notice anything interesting about this photo?


Here's a closer look:

Ummmm. HEY GUY. You might want to think about not napping with your leg hanging out over the side of the road.  Call me old fashioned, but that right there sir, is risky behavior.


Street in Nantong:


Before most big construction projects begin, a wall is put up around the site.  Sometimes the wall is made of bill board sized advertisements showcasing what is soon to come, but most of the time, brick walls are put up.  I have witnessed an entire brick wall, laid by hand, go up in two days including the white plaster looking stuff they put over the bricks (shown in the above and below pictures).  After the construction is finished, the wall is torn down.  For some reason, there was a gaping hole in this wall so I snapped a quick pic inside. Uh oh!! Sneaky sneaky American!


This next picture is a usual site.  I have to actively remind myself that this type of behavior is not normal in my own native society. 


Where is the red flag on the back of those beams??? I don't think those are the appropriate length for reasonable motorcycle cargo. 

Most landscaping along the roads and in front of buildings is given regulation sizes so there is little variation in trees and bushes in any given area.  When it comes time to shape up and trim the trees, China has very interesting methods for pruning.






Over and Out,
An American Girl in China 

Employee Center

Groups in my oral English classes were presented with the following scenario:

Nantong University decided to create a new center for its students. (It could be a center for sport, learning and personal development, health, relaxation, etc.) They are inviting students to submit projects and a committee will choose the winner. NTU is offering a grant of 10,000 RMB for the project, and the center will be located in the building where you are now. You must prepare a short presentation in an attempt to get the committee to choose your project. 

Here are some summaries of a few presentations.

1.       Title of Center: Paradise for Women
Presenters: (English names) Angel, Yoyo, Alice, and Melinda

In this paradise for women, there are four floors.  Each floor is dedicated to improving a different area of a woman’s life: image, temperament, ability, and psychology. All of the employees at the center will be men except on the image floor where First Lady, Michelle Obama, will guide patrons in style.   

2.       Title of Center: Wonderland

Presenters: Eva, Sky (a boy), Danny (a girl), Molly, and Wendy


Wonderland is divided into five floors. The first floor is called Orange, and here you can find many fun activities including KTV (aka karaoke, where “singing as loud as you can is very cool”)! The second floor is dedicating to relieving emotional stress. The third floor is called the “Secret Ward” where you can tell a robot all of your secrets without worrying anybody else will find out. The fourth floor is a time machine where you can “take a capsule and go visit the Qing Dynasty or shake Barack Obama’s hand”. The fifth floor is the suicide floor (I can't make this stuff up...). If you do not have the “courage to accept death, but need an outlet for depression and suicidal tendencies”, this floor is the place for you. On the suicide floor, you can jump into a tube filled with “high technology” that goes from the fifth floor to the first floor.  You can also choose what you jump into because some people might want a volcano, or the ocean, or a cliff. It’s your choice!


3.       Title of Center: Nutrition Revolution

Presenters: Sue, Clover, Cynthia, and Aveling


Nutrition Revolution is committed to improving the lives of students through health conscientiousness. There are two floors at this center: the fresh milk floor and the fresh fruit floor.  On the fruit floor, there are kiosks that sell fresh fruit, and on the surrounding walls are informative posters about the nutritional value of fruit. In order to obtain fresh squeezed juice from the Fruit Juice Kiosks (which is run by a computer), you must answer a trivia question correctly about nutrition!


A presenter, Clover, proceeded to give an example of how the Fruit Juice Computer would work. She acted as two characters: 1. the computer and 2. a patron attempting to use it. In order to designate which character she was, she taped a piece of notebook paper to her stomach with the word “computer". 


This is Clover. Look closely to see the “computer” sign.



As the “computer”, she would ask a question about fruit and immediately take the sign off to switch spots and become the patron.  She would face where the “computer” used to be and answer the question in a different voice. This act went on for about three minutes, and it was, by far, the silliest thing I have ever witnessed in a college classroom.   


4.       Title: No title given
Presenters: Juno, Fish, Skyler, Crystal

This student center is focused on providing “students a pleasing environment”. There are four sections within the center, three of which are relatively self explanatory: Music Garden, Comic Store, and Girls Heaven (a clothing exchange). The fourth section was explained as a place to go to read books, expand your mind, develop knowledge, and focus on improving your state of mind. This section of the center is called “The Mental Ward”.

Over and Out,
An American Girl in China

Can I have the number of your stylist??

The best looking dogs in Nantong:


Girlfriend, you are looking super fresh. Have you lost weight or something??

Over and Out,
An American Girl in China

Garden Notes

If you go to the local park, please make sure to follow all signs!
Pay special attention to numbers 6 and 7.

Garden Notes
1. No spitting and chewing gum, and no smoking in non-smoke area.
2. Keep the queue in order. No talking loudly in public.
3. Preserve the ecological environment. No plucking and rolling over flowers, trees, and fruit. No chasing and catching.
4. Protect cultural relics and historic sites. No carving on relics, No climbing on relics. Photo and camera shooting only in conformity with the regulation.
5. Take care of public facilities. Save water and electricity.
6. Be dressed appropriately. Don’t go barebacked in public places. Never use vulgar language, and give priority to the aged, the infirm, and the sick and disabled. Be chivalrous to the female.
7. Take part in healthy entertainments. Say no to feudal superstitious activities. Stay away from pornography, gambling and drugs.

Over and Out,
An American Girl in China

E-mails from students

Here are some more gems I picked out of my inbox!

Dear Mrs Davis,
I am Clover from English 082 and I am writing to ask some questions really bothering me a lot .Would you please do me a favor to explain them?I have heard that people from USA are almost interested in basketball 、football and baseball,not fond of soccer.Is it true or just a rumor?And what do you think is the reason for this phenomenon?
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Yours truly,


Hello sir,nice to meet you. I am wind.I am glad to be your student i wish you can help me in my speaking english. Since you are new in china i can help you in many aspects. I am sure we will have a good life in the future.


Dear Miss. Davis:
I'm Wendy, one of your students. I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you, and I also want you could do me a favor.
I like English very much but not good at it , which depresses me a lot. Though I have spent a lot of time and energy in it, it still doesn't work. So I hope you can give me some suggestions to help me get rid of this situation.
I look forward to receiving your advices soon and best wishes to you!



Over and Out,

In Transit in Shanghai

When in Shanghai this past weekend, I documented the city from the back seat of a taxi.  This is what I found.

Because of the Expo, security measures have been increased noticeably since the last time I was in Shanghai.  There are "guards" in uniform standing at almost all bank entrances and other higher security risk areas.  Inside the subways entrances, there are guards standing at certain corners on top of raised blocks to ensure safety and maintain order.  Luckily the guards are on blocks or foreigners would TOWER over them (ehh huum, definitely not me though...).  Most of these alleged guards appear to be unarmed, but I wouldn't challenge them!


Cool side street off the main road:


Hey guys!  What's going on down there?


Here is a street cleaner.  Notice the face mask covering her nose and mouth.  The masks are extremely common and sold in most small stores, but instead of the surgeon one modeled here, you can buy fashionable colors and designs.  Anybody want one??


In the following picture, you can see four types of traffic: cars, bikes, electronic bikes, and bicycle carts. 


I really like this next picture because I think it says a lot about China.  The building in the background is very old and decrepit looking; look closely and you can see a lot of broken windows as a sure sign.  The fence-looking apparatus in front of the building is a series of obviously new signs advertsing/promoting Shanghai as a "better city".  The signs are high enough that pedestrians are unable to see what is behind them, but people in cars on the roads have view of what rubble lays behind.  I would be willing to bet that directly behind these nice, new signs are piles of garbage, clothes hanging outside to dry, and general urban decay of a Chinese city. 

Is it ugly? Hey!! Just put a sign around it! OR paint over it!! Nobody will even know!!




To me, this picture screams China.  This is the picture I have in my mind, from a pedestrian angle, of a stereotypical Chinese city.



The next picture is a weak attempt to show how crazy traffic is.  Look at how many lanes there are: at least four on the right side of the fenced median and although you can only see two on the other side, there are also four.  That's eight lanes of traffic going ONE way.   


In this next photo, we were about to hit a major tourist spot which is obvious by the "ancient-style" architecture.  Most arhces like the one photographed were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution but have since been rebuilt to attracted foreigners.   


Inside this building are five floors of jewelry shopping: pearls, jade, silver, etc.


Outdoor kiosks, great for souvenirs!


More outdoor kiosk shopping!



The next picture is another weak attempt to try and show something in one photo that is too big to be captured.  These buildings are all apartment buildings.  On the left side, there are three visible buildings one behind the other.  In the middle there are another three (only two visible), and on the right, there are yet another three.  That's six HUGE apartment buildings all within a block on each other.  There are complexes similar to this one all over Shanghai.  These apartments are never shown as the norm of Shanghai living because the apartments marketed to foreigners are luxury, but these are the real deal! 


The building under construction in the middle of this picture is a scene which can be found on almost every block in most Chinese cities.  Everyone talks about how China is developing and its economic prosperity.  Well, I guess this is what development and economic prosperity look like:  
Construction in the city:


More construction:



When I was headed back to Nantong, the bus station was completely PACKED -- I had to walk around the huge waiting area for a few minutes before finding a seat.  

The waiting area:

A few minutes after I found a seat, the man sitting directly next to me got up and walked away.  Within seconds, a nice woman began leisurely walking towards the newly vacant chair.  (She was walking slowly, but her intent to sit in the chair next to me was obvious.)  However, in a stunning turn of events, this other crazed woman with frizzy hair, eating sun flower seeds also noticed the new chair and intercepted the first woman who, at this point, was probably within two feet of the seat.  My mouth dropped in shock when the frizzy lady scooped in front and took the chair!!  The other woman didn't seem phased at all but just kept walking to find a new chair.  Citizen's arrest! Oh no she just did not!!

When I loaded the bus, I discovered that my ticketed seat was one of three middle seats in the five-seater row across the back.  Here is my view: 


Guy to my right:


Sillies to my left:


I got the giggles thinking about what a picture would have looked like aimed straight at us.  Three Chinese sleepers on the left, one on the right, and me (awake!) smiling really big in the middle.  Alas, this was the best I could do without any help:

Over and Out,
An American Girl in China