The female security guard shoved the sealed tampon in my face. My neck and ears flushed as I racked my brain for something to say.
"What is this?" she barked.
"Oh, that's nothing," I sputtered. My evasiveness sounded sketchy, but I didn't know how to explain. Cameroonian women don't use pads or tampons.
Honestly, I don’t consider myself a “beach person.” I always migrate toward cities, where I can find quirky restaurants and fun bars.
However, China is a huge country full of bustling cities.I lived in Shenzhen, a tier-1 city in Southeast China, for a year. As much as I loved this metropolis, I needed a change in scenery every once in a while. That’s why I started hopping on buses and riding to nearby beaches.
Delving into the past can sometimes be painful.
Do you agree?
Fuddling through the correct conjugations for the French past tense—and all the right verb agreements—can make recalling past events even more painful.
Again, are you in agreement? Give me a wink, a nod or a thumbs up if I’m on to something.
Only by confronting the past (tense) can you move forward in your French studies.
So let’s bring the past to life.
In March 2016, newly engaged, I walked into David’s Bridal and recited to myself, “I will not spend more than $500 on a wedding dress. I will not spend more than $500 on a wedding dress.”
I spent $900 on my wedding dress. Before alterations. Whoops.
At first, I cried because I was so emotional over seeing myself in the dress of my dreams. Then I cried because of the price tag.
It’s time to fall in love all over again.
If you’re at odds with French due to verbs, we’re here to help.
Let’s add some spark and playfulness back into the romance!
But first, let’s talk about why the relationship went south in the first place. What is it about verbs that causes so much friction?
Should I lie to my husband?
Whenever faced with this question in the past, the answer was always a clear “no.”
But what if it’s for his own good?
Do you ever have this internal crisis? When you know you shouldn’t lie to your spouse, but if it’ll benefit them in the long run you feel like it’s maybe okay?
In my case, the temptation to lie came from a simple cultural norm: setting a budget.
I know, I know, January 1st was weeks ago. If you set any New Year’s resolutions for 2018, you might have already forgotten them by now. Did you know that 80% of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January?
To all the expats living in China, I have good news for you. You have a second chance to set resolutions. Chinese New Year begins February 15, 2018.
When I moved to China, I was overwhelmed by all I had to do to prepare and adjust. The last thing on my mind was what I should have stashed in my purse.
However, life in China is vastly different than life in the West. You might need things you would not expect.
Here are some crucial items to keep on you every day.
Yes, I’m a writer — and yes, I often prefer watching TV to reading books.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy reading. Is anyone arguing against writers reading books to provide us with creativity and inspiration? The more you read, the better you write.
But sometimes I grow weary of reading yet another blog post preaching that writers should constantly be reading in our free time.
Still feel helpless as a baby when it comes to using your French?
It’s okay, that’s totally normal.
See, studying French is one thing.
Actually communicating in French is a whole other ball game.
Congratulations, you’ve decided to teach in China! That’s a huge, exciting decision!
Now comes the next part. Where in China do you want to live?
Let me start by saying this: You should be a little flexible about where you teach. Certain areas might have schools with a higher need for teachers than others.
However, you should have a good idea of what you generally want from a job.
Eating at restaurants and trying bizarre food was probably my favorite part of living in China.
However, if you don’t speak a word of Mandarin, going out to eat can be scary. Once you learn a few key phrases, though, you’ll be anxious to show off your skills to any Chinese server who will listen!
As a little kid, I loved getting to stay home from school when I was sick.
Why? Because I could sleep in until 9:59 a.m., waking up just in time to turn on “The Price Is Right.”
There’s something comforting about watching game shows.
It’s fun to watch people get so worked up over spinning a wheel or trying to eat food in under 30 seconds.
Without a doubt, my experiences working abroad have been the most valuable aspect of my travels.
From waiting tables in New Zealand to teaching English in China, working in foreign countries has given me an entirely new insight into another culture.
But since French is the first language I ever studied and France was the first country I ever visited, my love affair with the language is strong. For this reason, I regret never having worked in a French-speaking country.
I recently wrote a piece about how Chinese students are different than American students. Because it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you teach in another country!
Don’t be alarmed, though. In many ways, Chinese and American kids are very similar. If you have any experience teaching or babysitting in your home country, the knowledge you gained will undoubtedly help you when you teach overseas.