Katrina BoBeena


Katrina BoBeena

This isn't JUST about China, but the bulk of it will be. I've travelled a bit, taken a few pictures, but I lost my heart in China.

Belgium has amazing chocolate and beer.
Bogota has the best steak I've ever had.
Spain has some delicious tapas.
Portugal has some of the most beautiful venues.
Germany has gorgeous architecture.
Amsterdam has... well... a red light district where I was propositioned, and a lot of weed I didn't smoke.

But China... has stolen my heart with its culture, its language, its people and, of course, its food.

Asia » China » Shanxi » Yuncheng November 15th 2010

Well here's a few pics of what I've seen here ... read more
Chinese Totem
Chinese totem pole

Asia » China » Shanxi » Yuncheng November 1st 2010

I went to the corner market desperately seeking anything that I could snack on that wasn't being sold by street vendors and cooked under questionable (at best) conditions. Truth be told, I just wanted a few goddamn potato chips. Went to the coner market and amidst the incredulous stares and whispered, "Ah! Zheme gao!" "Ta shi waiguo ren" speculations of where I was from, I FOUND THEM! Some cookies and pringle like things! I was in hog heaven. I had some chips... which ended up being more like the "natural" baked chips being marketed these days. And ate a couple cookies. Then some little punk stole my potato chips at the Halloween party :-( No matter... I won scariest costume for our Halloween party by the by... Know what my costume was? NOTHING. I'm scary all ... read more

Asia » China » Shanxi » Yuncheng October 26th 2010

I went to the market near my apartment today to get eggs and brown sugar. I think it's pretty hysterical how I get stared at like I'm some kind of being from another planet. People have *literally* stopped while walking and turned to follow me with their heads as I walk past them. My hair is red, my eyes are HUGE, and I'm almost 6 feet tall, Yes... I'm not from around here. Keep in mind though, the majority of these people have NEVER left their own city let alone China! Anyway, I brought the eggs back, so hungry, and scrambled them. Oh dear lord... my mouth, my poor poor mouth. These eggs tasted exactly the way I would imagine chicken shit to taste like. WTF? So I cooked oatmeal instead. The brown sugar is made ... read more

Asia » China » Shanxi » Yuncheng October 25th 2010

I just want to say thank you to all of you who are taking the time to make me feel like I'm not totally alone. I appreciate all the comments and feedback, and if this blog didn't SUCK so much, I'd reply more promptly. Thank you all 3... read more

Asia » China » Shanxi » Yuncheng October 24th 2010

Teaching English is quite a task. If you've ever thought about it, English has a HELL of a lot of words! For instance, how many words are there in English that equate to "very good"? Magnificent Excellent Great Wonderful Fantastic Phenomenal Outstanding Awesome Rad Cool Superb Terrific Fabulous Brilliant Amazing Incredible Unbelievable Marvelous ...and those are just off the top of my head!! English has more words than any other language; tipping the scales at 500,000 it more than DOUBLES the amount of words in the next language on the list: Germany, with almost 250,000. Despite the surplus of verbiage at our disposal, this not the most daunting explanation of why English is so difficult. There is a slew of other reasons which account for its complexity and pose obstacles to learning. GRAMMAR: Oh where to ... read more

Asia » China » Shanxi » Yuncheng October 24th 2010

TEACHING ENGLISH TO FOREIGNERS Trying to explain English, colloquial English, is like trying to tie your shoe while it’s on your ear; the concept isn’t new, but somehow you feel it’s out of place. I have a student who is very eager to learn. He talks… incessantly. He talks about nothing, and spins it into a 30 minute conversation. My role in his learning has almost become what I’d call an accent coach. I correct his pronunciation, his flow, his word choice, and try to make him sound like he’s been speaking English since he could speak. First, Chinese speakers do not have a “th” sound native to their language. When they say “something”, it sounds like “some-sing”, “they” sounds like “zay”, “thirty” sounds like “sirty”. Trying to teach them to put their tongue between their ... read more

Asia » China » Shanxi » Yuncheng October 24th 2010

It's interesting how much China's roads and cars can look like what I'm used to, and yet so little exists of traffic laws, noise conservation, and road rage! I walk down the street I live on and am instantly surrounded by bikes, pedestrians, and occasionally a taxi all trying to make their way down a road that in the US would be reserved for one way motorists only. Cars with bells, motorcycles with loud drivers (and usually passengers), taxis using copious amounts of warning honks. People walk in the streets. Sometimes you'll catch a pedestrian on a sidewalk, sometimes you'll catch a car driving on one. Cars frequently drive in the bike lane, going the wrong direction, until they catch a break in traffic to make it to the other side. Yet with all this, what ... read more
Red door
Door to nothing
Ooh pretty door

Asia » China » Shanxi » Yuncheng October 21st 2010

Oh I am miserable right now!! I am sick. :-( BUT on the plus side, cough syrup, nyquil (equivalent) tablets, and some antibiotics were only 4 bucks!! The people I work with are so sweet. Today while I was spending my time in BED, two of the girls I work with (both Chinese teachers. Uhh... Chinese English teachers) came by to give me food and soup. :-) They told me that it's a ginger soup and that after I eat it, I need to go to bed, get under ALL the covers and sweat out the cold. By the way, Chinese people sleep on "mattresses". Not a springy, comfortable, rest-easy mattress... a 3 inch thick piece of wood covered by fabric and a thin slice of foam. NOT comfortable! Though the other alternative is a bag ... read more

Asia » China » Shanxi » Yuncheng October 20th 2010

This trip wasn’t supposed to have started until January 2011. In the course of communications with the Aston English School I was offered a position starting mid October… this was the end of September. I had the option of two locations that Aston has. I chose Yuncheng. Yuncheng is in the south west part of Shanxi province. It is known as coal country. The city is a small one in comparison to most in China. My trip began on October 12th. I flew from LAX to Tokyo, from Tokyo to Seoul, from Seoul to Beijing, from Beijing to Xi’an. From Xi’an I took a bus to Yuncheng. I arrived to my apartment October 15th. I was EXHAUSTED! But, no rest for the wicked, I started working Saturday the 16th. My apartment is two bedrooms and an ... read more
walking to work
the park

Asia » China » Shanxi » Yuncheng October 20th 2010

I genuinely dislike not having internet at my apartment. I have to use the school's computer which has sticky keys and microsoft office 2003. So the long blog I wrote about my experiences thus far... incompatible with this computer. I brought it along on a thumb drive complete with photos, but now realize that I need to go back to my computer and save the document as a 97-03 compatible file... stupid windows... ANYWAY, Today I am going to the salt lake. I'll take more pics and upload them soon! so for now... here are a few pics of me at my place. (Don't laugh, it's really ghetto) ALSO- the captions on the photos are all out of order... I have no idea why that happened. But just run with it, play "match the caption to ... read more
My dwarf fridge
Kitchen Counter
teeny sink

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