Summer is a time for vacations, barbeques with friends, and enjoying the sunshine outdoors. Another thing that summer is known for is free time. Kids are out of school, teachers get a long break, and there are long stretches where there is little to do. And while you can fill your time with the activities above, you can also use your free time for volunteer work. While there are many ways to give back to society, one of the best ways to make an impact is volunteering with non-profit organizations that often have more to do than they can do alone. Anything can be done, from using your professional teaching or technical skills or even just lending a hand with distribution or chopping vegetables. All it really takes is a willing heart and an open mind to start making the world around you a slightly better place to live. If you are looking for a place to volunteer, below we have listed some of the charities that are operate in Xi’an.
While cities are nice, with all the cafes, restaurants, and shopping malls you might desire, during the summer months, the city becomes a bit unbearable due to the heat, mugginess, and general lack of patience that comes with it. What you need sometimes is an escape. Luckily, the mountains surrounding the city offer a variety of refuges, from camping sites to hiking trails, mountain inns and mountain springs. While getting out can be a bit difficult without transportation, it is possible.
has become a massive marketing opportunity for those with products to sell. There are thousands upon thousands of different WeChat shops that sell everything from imported foods to electronics and more. This has also provided an avenue for smaller foreign-run businesses to promote their goods to a wider audience across China.
The long-awaited 14th National Games of China will soon be upon us, and Shaanxi is making the final preparations for its first ever chance to host this prestigious event. Even though the games officially start on the 15th of September, some events will be beginning their initial runs before that, so we have translated the official list of events and where they will be held so that you can be ready to watch your favorite events.
Summers are made for the beach. Even if you spent your youth landlocked far from any shore, the basic idea still stick with most people through the popular zeitgeist. It used to be common for those desiring summer beach time to hop on a plane to Thailand or the Philippines and within hours, be basking in a tropical sun. However, with the COVID-19 situation not seeming to be getting much better abroad, the idea of drinking cold cocktails while looking out at the ocean seems a distant, if not impossible, dream.
The year of the ox has arrived! Xi’an has changed so much post-pandemic. New restaurants, hotels, and other establishments have emerged on every block, while the tired businesses of yesteryear have closed their doors and bid farewell. Also, now that the roads are all repaved, traffic has started moving too! We are of course talking about Beilin District – not Gaoxin, where there seems to be a perpetual jam and endless T-junctions.
So you’ve found out that you’re having a baby. What do you do next?
This question can be a difficult one, even when a language barrier is not present, but when living in a country that is not your home country, it can seem like an insurmountable task to prepare for the birth of your little one.
There is plenty of advice out there about what you should do, much of it conflicting, so we are for the most part going to steer clear of all the little tidbits of wisdom that are often passed around and focus instead on the major steps and where you can get them done.
The law in any country can be difficult to understand, so it’s not unusual that people who are living and working in China are often unaware of the benefits that they are entitled to while working here. This is especially true for foreigners, as there are fewer resources to let them know the exact laws and how they are applied. This is often compounded by the fact that some unscrupulous companies deliberately hide some of this information from their employees so that they will have fewer out of pocket expenses.
However, as foreign employees, those working in China are required to abide by the same laws and are also entitled to most of the benefits of their Chinese counterparts (there are some exceptions, such as National Health Insurance, etc.). So, we’ve put together a rundown of some of the benefits that you, as an employee working legally in China, are entitled to.
NOTE: We are not lawyers, and cannot speak to the actual application and interpretation of the law. If you are seeking advice on legal matters or similar issues, contact a lawyer.
In China, it is inevitable that, at some point, you will find yourself taking the “scenic” route. In this case, we were cycling with some SHIT (Shaanxi Hills International Team) enthusiasts to Zhu Guo Si (祝国寺) along the national road (国道) 210 and couldn’t help but admire the many hundreds of murals along the way (a huge shout out to Marcus and Zerary who waited for all of these photos).
While fresh air came in puffs (punctuated with the odor of manure), we wound our way through villages. There are a wide variety of political slogans, some of which you may recognize around Xi’an. We have even provided pinyin and English translations, in the event you develop a case of culturally-appropriated patriotism.
Spittoon is an arts collective that hosts events and new platforms to share your work, especially creative writing. While I was living in Beijing, I loved attending the events and became friends with event leaders, which is how we decided to bring Spittoon to Xi’an this year. Spittoon has expanded to Shanghai, Chengdu, and Dali, just to name a few, and each city has a unique style, and although each city and event has an intimate vibe, Spittoon wants all participants to feel a part of the whole.
Some examples of Spittoon events around China include storytelling nights, music and poetry collaborations, creative writing workshops, and book clubs. As far as Spittoon Xi’an, we started with simple gatherings writers can read (or have someone else) read their work aloud, and we are so grateful for the wonderful support thus far. In the future, we will have new writing events including Poetry night, Fiction with a theme, workshops, and also, we will collaborate with others Xi’an groups including book clubs, film makers, photographers, and musicians. We are also looking for more Spittoon Xi’an leaders to be the hosts of these new unique events as well as translators, to include more Chinese language writers.