Mar 12, 2019

A song for the park

The Music of Hello Uncle Foreigner

Listen to more original compositions at Western Toilet’s YouTube channel or our SoundCloud.

A walk in the park on a sunny day is a truly wonderful thing … the only thing that can make it better is a relaxing soundtrack. Enjoy the view and the sounds!

Mar 8, 2019

A semi-secret park on a blue-sky day

A New Year’s city adventure

There was a park and a nice day. You do the math.

Luzhou has some beautiful parks tucked into some surprising corners. This one, you reach from a busy overpass that’s all malls, restaurants and an amusement park. It’s a really nice green space that takes you down to the Tuo River.

Mar 1, 2019

Podcast: Workflowing smarter, not harder

How we get all this vlogging done

In this week’s podcast, we discuss the changes to our workflow that helped keep us happy and PRODUCING CONTENT!

Over the past year and some months, our process for vlogging over on YouTube has gone through many changes. Especially last spring, when we were amping up our ambitions of how big of a we could produce in a week — and we kind of overwhelmed ourselves. So the discussion is all about how to most effectively use our time, keeping in mind that we want to push ourselves … but reasonably. We are only two people, after all. The new rule is: NO LOCATIONS!

Feb 28, 2019

Straight out of Luzhou

The Music of Hello Uncle Foreigner

Find all of our music at Hello Foreigner on YouTube, or on SoundCloud.

Chill out with this music video that takes you on a ride throughout central Luzhou. It’s always more peaceful when someone else is doing the driving …

Feb 27, 2019

Back away from the expensive pants

A shopping adventure

The search for a decent, but cheap, pair of pants.

Baseline: I hate clothes shopping, so it’s even worse in a country where I regularly max out the size of what’s available. But, that can turn into a handy excuse when I’ve accidentally tried on a pair of pants that is too expensive.

Also, stick around after the story for a recent Taobao purchase, a complaint, and a viewer comment of the week!

Feb 26, 2019

Podcast: YouTube is not TV

How video structure affects our views

Keep up with our behind-the-scenes podcast by subscribing to Hello Uncle Foreigner YouTube channel.

This week’s podcast addresses the structural differences between a TV show and a YouTube video — the big ones being that theme songs and end credits get the boot. We also talk about how Peter and I try to push our artistic boundaries, and how we celebrate Chinese New Year. Also, watch “Corporate.” That show is funny.

Feb 25, 2019

A McCheese of noble and delicate stature

Chinese McDonald’s has different stuff

Sometimes it’s time for McDonald’s

I saw this cheese-filled monstrosity on the McDonald’s menu and I had to try it. It wasn’t that great, but it came with a surprise lesson in Chinese language and literature. I’m always learning!

Feb 24, 2019

Authentic Experiences

The sounds of turnips

“Authentic Experiences” by Western Toilet. You can always listen to us on SoundCloud as well.

This little shorty features footage from a very small town outside of Lijiang in Yunnan province. Among ourselves, we called the town Turnip Mountain, because it was up on a mountain and the way there was covered in turnip fields. A friend told us that a decade or so earlier, before the transportation infrastructure around Lijiang was so good, turnips were really the only fresh vegetable they could get in the winter time. Now, of course, they can get most foods at most times — like most places.

These kids were on their way to the local hardware store to get a hammer. That’s really all there was to that interaction. But they were quite cute.

Feb 23, 2019

Pork or Chicken for Chinese New Years

A giraffe decides

For the year of the Pig, we have hot dogs!

For a more traditional Chinese New Year experience, a big family dinner would be in order. But because it’s just us, Peter and I had a Foreigners’ Spring Festival — which still entailed staying in and eating, but our meal was 100% macaroni & cheese and hot dogs. We bought some green beans, for health, but we forgot to cook them. 新年快乐!

Feb 22, 2019

Hello Foreigner: A one month look-back

How’s the new channel doing? Will you be a travel vlog?

The numbers are in!

In late December, we moved our YouTube channel to a new home: Hello Foreigner. And then, about a month into the experiment, we devoted an episode of our podcast (above) to a deep dive into the analytics of the new channel. It’s more fun than it sounds, I promise!

In our discussion, we address how we are defining success, and what factors — in addition to the change of address — led to the new channel’s taking off. Also, towards the end, we share some stories of weird hostels we’ve stayed in; and why we’re not ever going to be a travel blog.