Oct 11, 2018

Instagram always: Remembering Lijiang

A cold and beautiful place

The view outside of our apartment complex in Lijiang, 2015. We really were right in the shadow of the Himalayas. They started paving that road just before Chinese New Year 2016, but they had not finished it by the time we left in May.

Oct 11, 2018

The Music of Uncle Foreigner

Western Toilet is born

Did you know that Uncle Foreigner uses all original music by Peter Sikoski to score its videos? It’s true! For the early part of this year, we’ve been using work by Peter from earlier on in his life, back when he was a rocker. But for the past few months, Peter has been working hard composing original scores for each new video. (Take a gander at our studio on Instagram.) To celebrate that fact, we’ve put together a playlist of just the music we’ve spun off a whole new channel: Western Toilet! Just close your eyes and imagine you’re in China! With some Americans!

Subscribe to Western Toilet on YouTube to keep up with all the new music!

Sep 24, 2018

Pop quiz on this

Learning Chinese at the school of life

Some foreigners get annoyed with the small talk questions that strangers tend to pepper us with, but not me. I look at it as a pop quiz … and I am a very good test taker.

Sep 19, 2018

Humble shyness

Don’t be shy, just try!

The subhead of this post is something I used to chant with my middle schoolers, to get them comfortable with speaking while facing up to the possibility that they might make mistakes. But the substance of this weeks video is about those kids who are shy … and why they like me as their teacher.

Also, it was so hot our first week of school that the government called it off for a heat day; my first one of those. To me, it didn’t feel crazy hot … not more so than usual for Luzhou summer, but I did also spend the day in the air conditioning inside. And I’m not one to look a gift day off in the mouth. What?

Sep 14, 2018

A summer shorn

The new back-to-school hair

School has started up again, and we’re all trying to look our best. At every age.

Sep 13, 2018

Time keeps on slipping

Uncle Foreigner gets existential

China can be a really chaotic place. Forget about plans changing last minute; sometimes plans aren’t even made until the last minute. Just today, I was part of another surprise photo shoot at school. It’s a difficult way to get things done.

But you can wail against the flow, or gracefully bob along on the tide. One way is a heck of a lot more likely to be a pleasant journey. One way is also a lot more honest about how much control we actually have over our lives…

Sep 5, 2018

What’s kindergarten for, anyway?

Book Report: Little Soldiers by Lenora Chu

I read a book! Here’s what I thought of it.

Aug 26, 2018

Focus on yourself: Gym noises and a birthmark

Uncle’s Shorts #29

Uncle’s Shorts has been promoted to our flagship series, and as such will be the Thursday video until further notice. In this one, a pair of stories in which I consider my aging body and how weird it is, as well as the noises we all make at the gym and how liberating that is! Enjoy.

Aug 21, 2018

Dinner with Oldhand

Hold your chopsticks tight

These are just a few of our favorite dishes. With a side serving of creepiness, because that’s just how life is sometimes.

Aug 10, 2018

What gender is your Dragon Fruit

Uncle’s Shorts mega-compendium: Nos. 20-27

This week, after a brief hiatus, we welcome back Uncle’s Shorts with a vengeance! Or, at least a compendium. There’s a lot of ground to cover, a little complaining, a little explaining … you know, the vlog basics. Just remember, your suspicions are correct: All foreigners know each other. Noodles to you!