Hello Uncle Foreigner

exploring a new culture

Jun 13, 2018

First YouTube live stream

A learning experience

Because we never met a challenge we didn’t like, Hello Uncle Foreigner is taking on the live stream. We had a few technical glitches in our very first one, but we’ll get it right soon enough!

Jun 10, 2018

Uncle Foreigner welcomes you to China through waiguoren eyes!

What have we been up to these days?

Don’t have the time to catch up on the past six months of Uncle Foreigner? Here’s a taste of the half year in video. Living in China sure provokes some feelings!

We’re celebrating pledge month this month, so do us and yourself a favor and subscribe to Hello Uncle Foreigner on YouTube! Or you can stay right on our site and watch all of our videos here.

Jun 3, 2018

June is Pledge Month for Hello Uncle Foreigner on YouTube

So SUBSCRIBE already!

Ever wonder how we do what we do? Our “Please Like Us” video introduces you to the world of Whoop wu studios: our staff, our equipment, our process. It’s fun making videos about living in China, but it’s also hard work.

So we are looking for more eyeballs! All this month, on YouTube, we have some special subscriber incentives:

  • First-commenter incentive: A fortune cookie fortune.
  • Subscriber incentive: Tote bags — go get a tote bag out of your closet, and write our logo on it!
  • All-commenters incentive: A sense of satisfaction and sophistication.
  • Like-a-video incentive: A baby in China will learn one word of English.

Subscribe today, you’ll be glad you did. Or we will be glad you did … someone will be glad you did. And, tell a friend, maybe?

May 30, 2018

Finding a lost phone with the help of the kids

Uncle’s Shorts #11

How do you get a room full of kindergarteners to be quiet? Tell them there’s a lost phone in the classroom. They get it.

May 15, 2018

Beijing welcomes you, and welcomes you, and welcomes you

Uncle’s Shorts #8

People, even after almost seven years, are always welcoming us to China and Luzhou. Is it annoying or endearing? Well, that’s up to you to decide. I personally am trying to take it as a moment to moment affirmation of my presence, rather than an act of othering that implies I don’t truly belong. (Although, on a bad day, it can feel like the latter.) The only word they are actually saying is “welcome.” That’s way better than America does to its immigrants.

“Beijing Welcomes You” is actually the name of a song written for the 2008 Beijing olympics. It’s also the name of a pretty good book by Tom Scocca — written about the 2008 Beijing olympics — which is pretty good. Let’s call it an official Uncle Foreigner recommendation.

May 12, 2018

Hey Drinks are the best drinks

Uncle’s Shorts #7

Who doesn’t love a smoothie? Especially when it’s delivered right to your door.

Meituan Waimai forever!

May 1, 2018

Labor Day is a perfect time for a picnic in the park

Outdoor meat is universally a celebration

In China, watch on YouKu.

I met Jessy on a bus, who introduced me to Michael, who invited me to Xi Jiang’s BBQ this Sunday! It was a lovely afternoon of grilled meats and outdoor karaoke. The sun chased us around the lawn a little, but we found refreshing shade in a small grove of trees.

This particular spot of green is right next to the “new bridge”. It’s a piece of land that Peter and I are very familiar with … from the window of the bus that took us in and out of the city when we worked at the countryside campus of Tianfu Middle School. As we drove by, we’d spy people out cavorting there, and wonder about the attraction of hanging out next to a major road. You can see the approach in this video that we took of that bus ride in 2015.

Having now spent an afternoon there, I can say it’s actually quite peaceful. The bridge is far enough away that it just makes for a nice view, and the landscaping is arranged so that when you’re on the lawn, you’re hardly aware of the traffic at all.

Of course, that area across the “new” bridge is hardly countryside at all any more. In the past few years, there’s been SO MUCH construction: apartment complexes, shopping malls, more schools. The People’s Hospital of Luzhou — where Peter and I get our health checks to renew our visas each year — is moving to a new facility out there, Jessy told me. I’m not loving this urban sprawl; the charm of Luzhou is that it was a little more contained (and downright walkable!) than China’s bigger cities. But, as long as the city keeps planning parkland alongside its concrete monstrosities, at least it will still be pretty. And we’ve got friends with cars.

Apr 30, 2018

Eating around the world

Drink Up Luzhou: Pilot episode

We first had the idea for “Drink Up Luzhou” almost two years ago. We had just moved back to Luzhou, and decided that our Chinese hometown was something worth doing a project on. The kind of podcast-y/talk show format of getting a bunch of friends together over a meal to discuss a topic seemed doable enough, with just enough action that there would be reason enough to film it. We had our camera, an iPad and a field recorder, and we were sure that we could make something great.

Well, actually executing the pilot … this was a much bigger job than we anticipated. For one thing, filming on location at a restaurant is as tricky as they say. Peter had to edit around a lot of interruptions, and the sound quality — even with our Zoom H4n! — was spotty at best. There’s a reason they filmed in an empty restaurant on “Dinner for Five.” The other big lesson we learned was that we can do it just the two of us, but an extra crew member, or five, would really help. It was hard for me to run camera-two and host the discussion at the same time, and a lighting and a sound tech would boost our quality a lot. Additionally, a script supervisor would have been invaluable to the transition between production and post.

But, I’m pretty proud of the job we did without those things. For the time being, we’re going to have to keep on doing it without those things. It’s an exciting challenge, and Peter and I are really looking forward to season one. I hope that you are, too.