Aly & Doug

A blog about stuff we do.

Category: Xiangtan


I’ve been going through our China and Thailand photos to order prints for the last few days and it’s actually made me really “homesick” for China. I’m somewhat surprised by this. I even looked at pictures of piles of garbage on the street with an endearing light. Well, one thing that really made me miss […]

Farewell China

Hard to believe that it is already our last night in China. There are many things we aren’t going to miss: the driving, the cold/unheated buildings, the people selling Chinese whiskey and bread outside our apartment that yell every day, seeing everyone hawking loogies, our bathroom, not being able to flush toilet paper, “squatter” toilets, […]

Kung Fu

Last week my student Bee told me one of his hobbies is Kung Fu. I asked him if he would perform for Doug and I and he happily agreed. He used nun chucks and moved so quickly and gracefully that he made it look really easy. He was really entertaining to watch. Bee asked if Doug […]

Streets of Xiangtan

Take several million people and add bicycles, rickshaws, wagons, mopeds, moto-taxis, cars and buses then subtract all common sense, courtesy for others and a general regard for human life and what does that equal? A typical street in China. At the beginning of the semester I had a lot of students ask me what the […]

Engrish Corner

Chinese and English are two very different languages. So different, that translating from one to the other gets pretty rough. Fortunately this is pretty humorous. Sometimes just plain ridiculous. On little signs or menus it’s usually just funny and entertaining, but other times we’ll see some product that is mass produced with such a poor […]

Hot Pot

The main food street here on campus is called Lianjin. Lianjin was one of the first places we ate at when we arrived in our little humble town of Xiangtan.  It was culture shock slapping me full force in the face!  At the entrance of the street lay giant piles of rotting garbage; more often than […]

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last week for class I taught my students about Thanksgiving. We went over the Thanksgiving story, Thanksgiving food and discussed things we were thankful for. The majority of my students chose “family” or “parents” as the thing they were most thankful for. Most students don’t [can’t] have any siblings, but the students that do truly […]

Hālì Bōtè

There are a few differences with movie theatres here than back in the States. All of the foreign teachers here (about 15 of us) wanted to go see the new Harry Potter film that just came out. As much as we love China and the culture, it’s always fun to do a western activity to […]


I know a lot of you got the “Wal-Mart in China” email forward. So, to answer your questions if those pictures are true- yes. They are. I’ve only been to Wal-Mart in China once in a neighboring city and was not impressed. In our city we have something called “HyperMart”. It’s essentially the exact same […]

A Walk in the Park

It’s early Saturday morning. I hear the rooster crowing even though the sun has been up for well over an hour. I don’t think this rooster knows the time, or at least he doesn’t care. He lives right out front of our apartment along with three or four other chickens. I enjoy watching them peck […]