Luzhou

May 30, 2020

The kids are alright

Let them do it themselves

After a cold knocked Emily out of commission for a week, she’s back with Chinese language sentences about disappointment.

So, we’re part of a genre now. We belong!

May 26, 2020

Bye bye Happy Face

Hello karaoke

We want to reward your good behavior, so keep watching Hello Uncle Foreigner and your Happy Faces are in the mail.

The new washing machine is here! Finally we can clean our clothes.

May 16, 2020

I got paid!

Glasses for everyone!

As of today, our YouTube channel has more than 600 subscribers! Have you seen the light?

My school is back open again and handing out paychecks, was the significant thing that happened this past week. The kids are getting their temperature taken every five minutes and they get hand sanitizer squeezed on them as they walk in the door, so, you know, normal stuff. Also, I have all these empty bottles, but I don’t know what to say about them in Chinese. If only there were a language-based-jackassery podcast that could tell me what to say …

Apr 22, 2020

A normal Chinese lunch with us

Tofu and ham!

How do you learn a new language? Is it by talking to people? That sounds impossible.

Over our favorite tofu soup, we discuss how hard it is to learn Chinese, why people are microwaving their mail, and the existence of face masks for children. Yum!

Mar 10, 2020

Dance for zero

The latest craze celebrating human cooperation against a virus

We want you to #danceforzero, too!

This week, Luzhou hit zero active cases of Covid-19, so we wrote a song to celebrate. But, we realized, as the virus is still making itself known around the world, #danceforzero can mean many different things. Yes, we’re at zero cases, but we’re also cheering for the rest of the world to hit zero.

To that end, we invite everyone to join the #danceforzero. You can download our Bowie-esque tune at Bandcamp (for free) and make your own dance, either celebrating with us, or willing the world strength to make it down to zero. Upload it to YouTube, and hashtag it “danceforzero.”

In the meantime, keep washing your hands!

Mar 5, 2020

A brand new channel trailer

Now with Covid-19

I’ll say it: We look impressive!

Peter does a great job keeping our YouTube channel trailer fresh and current. He just uploaded a new version, which now includes footage of us goofing off in face masks during the Covid-19 outbreak. It’s important to stay current.

It’s fun for me to see these different trailers, because it makes our life in China seem so impressive and exciting. I mean, life is exciting and wondrous all, but it doesn’t always feel that way while your living it. We should all be so lucky as to have someone cut together a personal highlight reel.

Mar 2, 2020

Hanging out downtown

As seen in the New York Post

After more than a month away, we confirm that downtown Luzhou still exists.

As indoorsy of a person as I am, it was still pretty rough to not really leave the house for five weeks. So we we kind of giddy to get out and into Luzhou city center. Things are still much quieter than usual, and all the teahouses and KTVs along the Yangtze are closed. We’re on the way back to normal, but we’re not quite there yet.

Also, I wrote about my experience with the quarantine for the New York Post. During the editing process, they did keep pushing for more lurid details, like, “how many people died in your city” and “aren’t you scared to go to the hospital?” To which I answered, “no one” and “Please. I’ve been to the hospital.” It ran online only, and that may be why, but I’m pretty proud with how it came out.

Feb 27, 2020

The restrictions loosen, and we're both allowed outside the fence

Too bad the weather's still so dreary

We’re out! Within reason!

Via text message from my phone company, we were informed yesterday that the government is telling people to go outside and go back to work. We’ve still got to wear masks and all, but things are getting back to normal-ish. School is still closed for now, and if cases start spiking, I fully expect to be pushed back inside. But, for now, things are looking good.

Feb 25, 2020

But what is it that you DO all day?

Working in the time of Covid-19

Oh, yeah. I’m still an English teacher for babies.

The lucky thing that makes all of this staying inside feasible is that while the kindergarten at which I work is closed, I’m still on the payroll. We’re teaching all of our lessons by video, via our class’ private chat group. It’s a new set of challenges — not the least of which is my propensity for making things far more complicated than they need to be. But, at the end of the day, I really like making movies, whether it’s for adults or babies.

Feb 13, 2020

Iris is also OK

Checking in with our friends, part 1

My friend Iris talks about her experience with quarantine-not-quarantine.

Stuck inside talking about how bored we are got boring really quickly — so we got to work making more videos. But how can you involve other people while you’re prohibited from gathering in groups … and then prohibited from really leaving the house? Video interviews! So here’s Iris, an English teacher in Chengdu, talking about what she’s been doing to keep busy and healthy.