Lifestyle / Hot Pot Column

Trying a bit of fun to keep classroom awake

[2011-03-01 16:05]

As I sit here in my office, overlooking the campus of Tianjin Medical University, I can see hundreds of students coming through the gates - each towing a suitcase, or lugging bags - as they get ready to start the new term.

To Aussies, this zodiac seems mad as a March hare

[2011-02-22 15:02]

When I told my friends in Australia that it was the "Year of the Rabbit" for the Chinese, they were horrified.

Rabbit hops in to 'lasers' and ravioli jiaozi

[2011-02-18 16:39]

Spring Festival this year saw my wife Ellen and me traveling back from Australia to Tianjin. We spent a cold night in Hong Kong's airport, with Ellen sleeping peacefully on a couch, while I kept an eye on our luggage.

Longqing's an ice spectacle to rival Harbin

[2011-02-18 16:39]

On arriving in Beijing in August 2001, I was so desperate to cram everything in that by winter I had been to most of Beijing's famous sites, and many in the surrounding districts.

Celebrating the Rabbit's arrival in a rainforest

[2011-02-18 16:39]

The fiery spider legs of a bottle rocket radiated from the source of the concussion above. It was as if the sky was responding to our disapproval of its leadenness.

When creativity is the art of making excuses

[2011-01-25 14:40]

Following that, my syllabus now has been appended to include the magical words, "not based on anything else. Even Chinese TV shows or movies. It must be YOUR work!"

My bike keeps me in touch with Shanghai

[2011-01-20 15:00]

I never anticipated the liberating sense of freedom that was ignited by two wheels, a shiny red frame, an oversized front basket and a mismatched but completely essential pink bell.

They're called wait staff for a reason

[2011-01-18 13:51]

I took my wife, Ellen, to a lovely looking restaurant. I'd often passed it on my walks around the neighborhood, and decided we'd give it a try.

Travel bug bites and I get ready to follow the flag

[2011-01-13 09:37]

It's time to make plans for the Chinese New Year travel adventure. I try to go somewhere warm but don't really care where as long as I haven't been there before. The only thing I know for sure is that I will be joining my fifth Chinese tour.

Time to get a grip on Chinese handshakes

[2011-01-12 14:12]

The handshake is a worldwide form of greeting but in China this friendly custom is sometimes practiced in a different kind of way.

Rare snowfall turns West Lake into winter wonderland

[2011-01-07 11:11]

Snow in northern China is nothing out of the ordinary but in Hangzhou its appearance caused a great deal of excitement.

Nothing better than a cup of tea for a coffee junky

[2011-01-07 11:11]

When my plane touched down in Guangzhou in early November, I had no idea what time it was.