The MSG wars

For Christmas Eve 2013, I prepare a simple Austrian Christmas dish – sausages with sauerkraut and potatoes. While I’m in the kitchen looking for the right spices, I find pure MSG hidden behind other spices. I show it to my husband. He gets angry and starts a fight with his dad. They agreed that we […]

Mold, mold, mold (and preventative measures)

I’ll exchange the humid climate of coastal Guangdong for the dry climate of Central Europe tomorrow, but don’t worry – I’ve prepared lots of China-related posts to keep you entertained until I’m back in a few months’ time small talking with locals in China. It’s May 2013. Leaving Shenzhen during its moldiest season is probably not a very good idea. […]

“You should have a baby boy”

In February 2014, one of my former co-workers who just had a baby girl stops me in my tracks: “Let me see your belly.” After looking at it, she concludes: “It’s really big. You’re wearing quite sexy clothes. You should wear more layers.” She says that on a sunny day with 21°C that reminds me […]

“You can take apples right out of these boxes”

One day in November 2013, I’m at the supermarket buying fruit. I go to a square counter that is filled with apples. It’s accessible from all four sides. On the opposite side of the counter, a supermarket employee who’s busy unpacking boxes is surrounded by people. A couple standing right next to me point their finger to him. They […]