Do you like eating those delicious packets of meat and veggies otherwise know of as jiaozi? I do enjoy them from certain restaurants, and we always eat them on the Chinese New Year but we don’t often eat them at home. They are time consuming to prepare, especially if you make the wrappers from scratch, but are a great activity for the whole family to enjoy. Even toddlers can get involved in the process!
You can learn some of the history behind the country’s biggest, most important holiday, see pictures of us making the dumplings and get a yummy recipe for dumplings and dipping sauce over at My Kids’ Adventures.
If you must have a big, super-sized, fluffy bath towel pack your own–and a spare–as large bath towels are not regularly used or sold in China.
My first two weeks in China I used a hand towel that had been left by previous teachers. Don’t ask why I didn’t bring my own, but when you’re limited to 150 pounds of luggage I guess things like towels don’t seem so important. Finally we made a trip to Beijing and after hours of searching found what could best be described as a light beach towel. It was big, but wasn’t plush and ended up thoroughly wet after each use. On the plus side, dryers are rare so everything gets air dried and my second towel is still going strong after nine years of near daily use and weekly washings!
Fast forward two years. I move in with my husband and see that he has no bath towel. He uses the small hand towel to dry off, one section of his body at a time and ringing out the excess water as he goes. He laughed, and still does, at my use of a bath towel.
Every time I go swimming the women in the locker room are drying off with their little washcloths or hand towels and pay even closer attention to me when I pull my plush bath towel (left behind after my mom’s visit) and wrap it around my body in an attempt to maintain some dignity.
So with that, I suggest that you at least bring one towel that you like if you’re going to be living outside of a major city. When it’s 45 degrees in your house in early November, before the heat gets turned on, you’ll be glad you’re wrapped in warmth after your shower rather than blotting your body dry one 5-inch section at a time!
I’m very excited about creating useful blog posts for foreigners who are coming to China, specifically those who are brining kids along. A little bit about me: I’m a 30-something wife and mom of two (Nathaniel is six and Catherine is two).
I came to China right out of college to teach English at a local high school, worked there for two years before getting married to my husband (a doctor at a local hosptial, also Chinese) and switching jobs.
Teaching at the college lasted for three years until I had met the limit of consecutive working years that our province started upholding. I had to stay on a travel visa for two years. In the meantime the college started downsizing and let go most of the English department; thus I too was not needed. Later I got a job teaching corporate managers on a work visa but that too ended when the boss lost his job. Hello again, travel visa.
Now I’m here, hoping to share what it’s like living in China–with kids–with you!