By Rebecca Pham

  • Lychee picking is all the rage, yet although this fruit is a specialty in this province, my host mother warned me against eating too many. Apparently, lychees are a “hot” fruit and excessive consumption can lead to fainting spells or skin rashes. To remedy these symptoms, my host mother made me drink a salt water solution.
  • We witnessed a “traditional” Chinese mock wedding, but to me it seemed far from traditional. It began with contortionist triplets leading into a juggling/spinning bowls on fingers clown act and finally a comedic performance of the wedding ceremony in which Deshaun volunteered to be the groom. After a quick makeover, he graced the stage adorned in a long gown, gaudy hat with feathers like donkey ears, and two extremely large melons hanging from his neck. He took a short boat ride across the river to fetch his wife to be, and then they disappeared behind the back of the stage only to reappear with two white baby dolls.
  • Some of the middle schoolers invited us to the “Lost Island” for a weekend. This Chinese water park was extremely entertaining. Unlike America, however, swimsuit attire is quite the opposite of the like in American culture. Women here are completely covered in strange one pieces/tankinis that resemble dresses and mini-skirts while men are clad in the tightest waist high speedos that are also quite short in length.
  • Chinese hospitality within homes and schools has been so incredible; yet, do not be fooled. The Chinese can be quite aggressive when they need to be. On the streets, you must have your wits about you as you fight for taxis. People often “steal” them away. In one instance, some of our DukeEngagers were waiting as a passenger was exiting a cab. Unfortunately for them, some girls a few feet behind them quickly and stealthily rushed past and entered the cab.
  • According to students at Jinan University, religion is a very secret practice. Students who worship must do so secretly and you never hear of organized groups on campus.
  • Dating culture in China is awful for short guys. Northern men apparently have it a lot better than Southern men because the meet the minimum height requirement. Apparently girls won’t even consider men below 1.8 meters regardless of how attractive they are.
  • An email I received from my dance student that had me beaming. So sweet. But also I wonder if this is how I sound in Spanish when I use google translate?:
    • The teacher, was laborious! I always want to say with you, but I will not in English and you said.
    • Thank you!
    • These days of study, I have learned a lot. Every time I see you shed sweat, we were very moved. Anyway, thank you! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
    • (I use the translation is the instrument to chat with you, oh!!!!! I can’t twist waist well, like snakes)                                                                                                                              -Jessy
  • My host family taught me this interesting game. You have a sheet of paper and draw a long rectangle and then you divide the rectangle into 9 even sections. You have four board markers on one side and four on another (they used candy, marker tops, and clothes pins). So there is one empty rectangle dividing the two sets of board markers. The goal is to completely switch the board markers – get them to the opposite side, but each marker can only move forward one rectangle or jump over one marker if there is an empty rectangle ahead. Markers cannot move backwards. It’s quite an addicting game and nearly impossible.
  • Cold jokes:
    • Once there was a very bored polar bear. He began to pluck off the fur on his arm one by one until he was left hairless. What did he say?…Brrr…I’m cold
    • There was a dog running on the beach and he died. How did he die?…He had nowhere to use the bathroom.
    • Apparently jokes that aren’t funny are humorous.
  • Song lyrics: I like you like a small mice likes big rice.
  • How to pick up a girl
    • Step 1. Buy a house from her
    • Step 2. Give her cash
    • Step 3. She realizes she is missing 1000 yuan
    • Step 4. She calls you to get her missing money
    • Step 5. Invite her to dinner
    • Step 6. Fall in love and get married
    • How my uncle and aunt met

My English Class

My Dancers



Family & the Pearl Lady