Posts Tagged ‘in Shenzhen’


There was a time, back in my heyday of idealism and social-work-induced rent options, when I lived with 8 girls in a 5-bedroom apartment in Harlem.  I had somehow finagled my own room, likely on gossamer claims of being a restless sleeper, but most of the girls shared a room.  One such heavier-sleeping friend was named Joann, and she shared a room with Amy.  The two of them enjoyed an alley about two feet wide between their twin beds, and were book-ended by a burgeoning, barely restrained closet on one end and their bedroom wall on the other end.  I loved that apartment.

The problem, of course, with Joann and Amy’s room, was the complete lack of floor space.  You couldn’t go in and loll against the wall or sit in a chair.  No, if you wanted to see what the giggling was all about, you had to plop yourself right down on one of their beds.  Amy’s side was plopping-safe, but every time I dropped myself on Joann’s side, it was like falling on hard-packed cement.  (Somehow, my brain was never able to retain this information, leading to identical and unfortunate experiences)  Her mattress, you see, wasn’t normal.  It was a “Chinese mattress.”  Constructed, it seemed, to confer pain rather than rest on its users.  (Or at least on its quick-sitting guests). (more…)


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Lately, Matt and I have been hunting for a doll.  Not just any doll—a doll that looks Chinese.  While this may seem an unusual errand for kid-less newlyweds like us, it wasn’t entirely random.  We were on a mission.

Around Christmas time, Matt’s brother and sister-in-law, Abby and Josh, sent us an email.  They have some friends who adopted their four-year old daughter from China a few years back.  At some point last winter, she was playing with her dolls, but after surveying a few more closely, she put them down, and said:

“Mommy, I want a doll that looks like me.”

Her mom thought this was a reasonable request, and she began to look around.  If you’ve scoured any Barbie aisles lately, you’ll know this is a tall order.  If anyone is actually selling an Asian Barbie, I would bet money that they just put different eyes on an other-wise Caucasian face and body (like all of the “black” Barbies I’ve ever seen).  Abby and Josh heard about the search, and naturally assumed that such a doll should be easy to find in China.  Matt and I we were duly dispatched. (more…)

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Last weekend, I was in the mood to test drive my new African Chicken recipe, so Matt and I invited our friends Kyle and Jess over for dinner.  (We do also like them–this wasn’t a purely mercenary poultry endeavor)  (If you’re fuzzy on the AC reference, this was the Macanese dish I rambled on about last time, see recipe here).

Now, this was all well and good, except that in my fervor for culinary precision, I bought something I don’t think I’ve handled before:  a fresh coconut.   Not the peeled, white dreidel-ish sort, not the hairy brown kind, nor the big green type, but a blonde-brown, nearly hairless, hard-shelled varietal.  I don’t know if I’ve seen this one before–it looked like an extremely large, spherical, un-cracked pistachio nut.

This purchase led to a bit of a kitchen kerfuffle on Saturday morning. (more…)

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