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 […]

Trekking across the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces in Guangxi province

In November 2012, I’m visiting the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces in Guangxi province. After a night spent in a guesthouse on one of the hills, I start a 5-hour long trek across the rice terraces to another village. I’m trekking with 3 Chinese guys who have also stayed in guesthouses on the hill. November is low […]

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 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 […]

“Will your mother come here when you give birth?”

I’m at the grocery store. When I’m done with choosing the groceries I want to buy, I find a corner with massage chairs where I can sit down and wait for my husband (he went to another store and is the one carrying the backpack to store our groceries in). After a short while, an […]