Fried Rice Fun

This was a great lesson that I did with my class and I wanted to share it with my readers. One of the greatest challenges of an ESL teacher is to engage the students attention and keep learning fun. I find that students learn more through hands on activities.

Cooking is a great way to introduce English to non native speakers. It teaches procedural words, students follow direction, listening skill and cooperative learning. It also reinforces their language skills.




Before you engage in a cooking class you must have great class rapport and clear and firm guidelines. It is best that there are two adults in the classroom. We did not use a sharp knife. Also make sure that the students are above 9 if using a knife . I talked about safety rules prior with my students.



This class is an extremely cooperative and mild mannered, so cooking with them was a breeze. I also assigned the students to bring in the ingredients. It will make them feel as if they are actively contributing to the lesson and it makes less of a dent in your pocket book.


We made fried rice and I created a recipe using all the vocabulary words in the book. The students got to cut the carrots. Fry the mushrooms. Add the rice. They were even saying sentences in English to explain their actions. I love having teachable moments like that. The kids enjoyed eating and making the rice too.

The British are Coming

This blog is all about my closest group of friends in Hangzhou, who I lovingly call The Brits. I can’t begin to explain how loving and funny they all are. They opened up their ranks and accepted this lone American in their fold. There is also a Canadian in our group but he doesn’t come out as often.

Each of the Brits have their own distinct and lovely personality. I just love their deprecating, dry and sarcastic sense of humor. I find it refreshing. I always have a blast when I hang out with the Brits. So without further ado let me introduce you to the Brits.

This is Mr. Debonair himself, Sir Ashton, our leader. Ash has a heart of gold and is a good friend, though I worry about his liver. He loves a pint or 20. He is a likable bloke and always organizes us together. He is our king. He drinks so many Long Island Ice Teas that I fear that he may morph into Joey Buttafuco one day( Google that name if you don’t get my joke) Ash is a friend that I met though another friend and he is the one that introduced me to The Brits. He also is a matchmaker and he is trying to find love for me. What a sweetie. Just don’t get him angry.

Next up we have Sam, the most cynical and funniest in the group. Sam is the music critic and he gave me a thumbs up on my music in my phone. He is a Smiths fan, which I absolutely love. He smokes Marlboro Ice Blast and drinks Tiger beer. He hates music by Michael Jackson, it is like nails on the chalkboard for him. Oh well nobody is perfect.

This is Big Ben, and my opinion the most mature of the bunch. Ben dresses like the classic English gentleman. He is the classy one and is very well spoken. He actually isn’t a Brit, he is a Welshman. Ben found true love in China. He and his girlfriend are so sweet they give me a toothache.


Next is Baby Joe, a fresh faced young lad. I like Joe he is very adorable. He has game, I have to say. Within one week of moving to Hangzhou he found a beautiful girlfriend named Laura. They are so utterly adorable together. Joe can be a bit naive and is the butt of every single joke. He is a Liverpoolean and rumored to be the illegitimate grandson of one of The Beatles. If you believe that you are more gullible than Joe.


The Chicks. The Brits have their Chicks. Their chicks are Chinese. They are Brits by association. We can call them The Chits.

This is DanLi, girlfriend of Ben. She is uber nice and a chocoholic. No piece
of chocolate is safe around her. She is also a piano teacher. I think she is absolutely beautiful both inside and out. Ben is one lucky boy.

This is Laura , Joe’s girlfriend. If Maryann( from Gilligan’s Island) and Dorothy( from the Wizard of Oz) had a love child then it would be Laura. Laura is just a sweetie. She is very kind and helpful. I always have such a pleasant conversation with her. She is such a cute and petite lady. Her English is very good. She is an English teacher.

Helley is no one’s chick! She is single and strong minded. Her drink of choice is ginger ale. We have not fully corrupted her yet. I know many foreign men would love to have a girl like her. Her English is very good. She and I are the single ladies of the group. I would love to set her up but she is content with her life the way it is.

The Canadian, is the only other non Brit. He is actually a nice guy and a good friend He is fun to be around and makes me laugh. He is a mountain man and loves the outdoors. Johnathan likes to take exploration trips around Hangzhou on his days off. He use to play in a band in Canada.

The are my motley crew of friends. I love them to bits. So cheerio mates.

Super Bowl Monday


One thing that I have vowed  to myself since the  start of the new year was to live a happier life and  make new friends. I am actually more of a homebody and  quite shy. People think I am outgoing, but I am just a friendly person. Recently I have been making more friends in the expat scene of Hangzhou. My new friend Kevin, an American from Oregon invited  me a Super Bowl party at Vineyards.  Since we are 11 hours ahead of New York time, that meant The Super Bowl  would start at 7am on Monday. Wade, the owner of Vineyards decided to have a special breakfast menu to choose from. I love breakfast but that would mean waking up at 4:45!! I also, really miss living in America. The excitement of The Super Bowl is  something I really miss. So I said yes,


My cheapskate self decided  to take the bus. There is a bus that stops right in front of  my house that goes to the bar. It starts  as 6. A bus trip in China isn’t exactly  the best experience, someone is always spitting, someone always stinks and it gets really crowded especially during peak time. I however and pretty much immune  to this. It took about 35 minutes  to get to the bar. My friend Kevin was  waiting  at the bar. The place was empty.  We a found a seat and had  to decide between omelettes or pancakes. Now the  choice is obvious if  you have lived in China for even a day. It comes  to which they can’t mess up the least.  Now pancakes though yummy can be messed up quite badly here in China for many reasons. The batter could just be gross and the syrup of low qualities.  Eggs on the other hand who can screw up eggs? Plus the eggs came  with hash browns,toast, sausage and ham, So yeah  we chose the  eggs.

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Well our unfortunate new found friends Sam and Dylan did not make the correct choice. The pancakes were not happy looking pancakes. Plus they only had two pieces of sausage. There was only a 5 rmb difference  and we got  so much more. We also got free coffee refills. Coffee in China isn’t like coffee back home. At least it woke  me up. I didn’t want to be like a total alcoholic and  pound the beers back just yet. My guy friends didn’t  care they started  drinking at 7am!!!

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We had  to change  our table  due  to technical difficulties. Sam and  Dylan already switched table so we asked  to join them. Eventually at around 7:45 a Rogue beer magically appeared in my hand followed by another. Soon more people came in and the place was packed. Our table filled up. I made friends with a bunch of expats from Linping. They were all Seahawks fan. I had no team loyalty. The Giants didn’t make it in and I am demographically from a state closer to The Patriots so I was silently  rooting for the Pats. Kevin and Sam decided we all have to  to  do shots every time there was an interception or a score.  So  we were doing shots and pounding beers.


After the WTF ending of the game Kevin, Sam, Amin and I  decided to have Korean food and more beers. The others stayed and had a drunken game of football and of course they broke something and  someone ended up getting hurt. Sam and I forgot some things at the bar so we had  to go back. Kevin went home. Well we all stayed  at the bar until 7pm. It was a great day and I amde so many new friends. I even made 2 female American friends. Most of  my friends are foreign males so it will be nice  to have  some cool gal pals,

One of the best things  about living abroad are the open minded  and  cool expats and locals that you can meet. I am thankful to have  this opportunity to explore.

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All My Bastards

All My Bastards.

All My Bastards

This blog is dedicated  to all the bad eggs that I dated whilst in China. I have seriously not had  positive dating experiences while living here. My fellow blogger My Life Behind the Wall has a better experience. Maybe it was my fault. because I was and  still am an avid reader of her blog. I wish I had  some of the wonderful experiences she  had  in regards  to men, but I am me and  not her.I came here expecting to live a similar lifestyle only  to be sorely disappointed. Many of the same problems with men that I had back in the  USA followed me to China. Honestly here in China skin color and size men a great deal. It is  hard  to be a dark skinned black woman and  to date in China. It is hard  to be fat and  date in China. In order  to do so you have  to bring something special to the dating field. I don’t know what exactly, but I know it has  something to do with self confidence and a great deal of luck. So here is a compilation of all my bad dating stories,


He was a nice enough chap and he really loved me. Well sort of. I think he just needed a warm body next to him. He is the only  one that i keep in contact with. I don’t think he loved me for being Amber. I think we were in love  with the idea of being in love. I really hope he finds love in his life. He was a good man, we just weren’t good together.

Just Sex

This category can be a few guys I hooked up with. A woman has her needs. I like to think of them as disposable people, Some didn’t speak English or some were  boring as hell.

Jason  the Jerk

This prick is  such a bastard that I wrote an entire blog about him and his despicable ways. he wins the all time Biggest Bastard of the Year Award.

30 Seconds of Heaven

Nice guy, I liked him as a person. Sex though was very very quick.

Leon the Liar 

Remember my gushing post about Leon the love of my life? Yeah well it was all smoke and mirrors. One big illusion that he  and his equally treacherous parents concocted  to get their son a one way ticket to America. He was a big scam artist trying to get money from me.  It was an extremely traumatic experience. I was really duped by him. This was when I decided that I am bad at dating and  should have just thrown in the  towel.

Crazy Cannuck

I probably should have  kept that towel thrown in. My friend showed my picture to his Canadian colleagues who happened to like chocolate girls. I have a thing  for  vanilla men so I was ecstatic. Honestly men here don’t think I am pretty or beautiful so after 2 years of being viewed as ugly  there was someone who thought that I was pretty! That made me cling on tooo fast,

My latest picture, this is considered ugly according to Chinese beauty standards.

My latest picture, this is considered ugly according to Chinese beauty standards.

too quickly. I was scared that he would turn like the rest of them and  only like Chinese women. Well in that he felt smothered. He also escaped Canada due  some serious stuff. So he was not ready to date. We both were wrong in our approaches but at least i take my share  of the blame, he  still denies his share and blames me for everything. We ended up hating each other, which is awkward because  we have  the same circle of friends.

Unknown Bastard

I have not met him yet but I know  he is out there if I ever open myself up to  date again. I have to keep dating or I won’t ever find love, honestly right now I kissed  so many frogs that my tongue is covered in warts. I am not optimistic about men and see them all as lying scumbags.