The ladies of Aspiring Women for Excellence (AWE) have been busy in the month of May, holding two activities, a paint and sip and monthly meeting. AWE will be hosting their one year anniversary party on June 11th, so keep an eye open for details.
On the 1st of May (Labour Day) the local Cube Shop at the Stadium organised a 24-hour distance challenge. They announced the event in the local bike community and provided a support car, rest stop, and prizes for all finishers.
Participants could choose between 300 km, 400 km and 500 km as the target to finish within 24 hours. The clock would always be ticking, so any stops or breaks would be counted into the total time. Represnting the Shaanxi Hills International Team, Marcus signed up for the 500 km goal, and Francis signed up for the 300 km goal.
When I was 3 years old, I liked a short-hair girl in my kindergarten. My feelings for girls got more intense when I was growing up. It was very confusing since everyone and everything around me told me I was supposed to like the opposite gender.
I used to wear women’s clothes when I was around 2-3 years old. As I got older I started to wear more and more masculine clothing. I think it was me unconsciously wanted to be a boy so that it would be ok for me to like girls. If I were a boy all my feelings towards girls would make sense and I wouldn’t be a freak anymore, trapped on my own isolated little island. I would be like everyone, be able to connect with the world. I could breathe freely and like girls as the way I wanted. I even considered transgender surgery for a long time, however the cost of transition proved to be prohibitively high.
Finger-licking goodness just in time for summer
If you had any doubts despite the sunshine, 30+ degree weather, and rapid proliferation of outdoor seating, let us reassure you that summer is finally here. And what better way to welcome summer than with savory finger food and cold beverages?
We are of course talking about Cajun Seafood, a new spot that opened this April. Before we get into food, we must first address the important question: what is Cajun? It is a style of cuisine originating on the
I s there anything in life better than a really good burger? Probably, but the experience of diving in to a tasty pile of meat, cheese, and bread is definitely up there. But, alas, in Xi’an it can be difficult to find a burger that really hits the spot, and often times you get a fried chicken sandwich instead of a burger when ordering a 汉堡. But, luckily we seem to be going through something of a burger revolution, as there are now numerous spots serving up burgers that are better than anything we’ve seen in recent years. One such place is a new restaurant that ranks among the best we’ve seen in a long time, Yan.
Located just inside of South Gate, close to the entrance of Shuyuan Men, Yan started serving food at the end of 2021, right before the most recent lockdown shut temporarily shut their doors for a month. However, they persisted and now are back to serving up some great food.
Have you ever wondered where the young and fashionable people are? Well, apparently they all show up to this café on Friday afternoons. Arriving at 2PM on a Friday, we found that this place was packed, with almost every available chair taken up both indoors and out. The building, converted from a monorail station, sits in the middle of the park on Yannan Second Road, and the café takes up the first floor, with the second floor being devoted to a retail shop. The café is pretty spacious, despite the crowds, and the windows open up to allow people to sit on either side of the standing tables, meaning that you have people standing and sitting both outside and in. So, what makes this place so popular amongst the in crowd? We were set to find out.
We’ve reviewed many different bars at the magazine over the years, and in doing so, we’ve discovered a trend. Bars have been getting fancier over the years, and prices across the board have been rising, to the point where a single night out is going to cost you a pretty penny if you are going to remotely approach having a good time. While in many cases, this has led to improved quality and service, it can be a bit difficult to justify a regular trips where you return home with a significant dent in your pocket. The other side of the spectrum, where cheap drinks remain, are often serve drinks so bad that many cringe at the thought of them. What’s needed is a place that strikes a happy medium, somewhere where you can have a few drinks, have a good time, and not regret (most) of your decisions the next day. A place like Moo Brewpub.
The weather is getting warmer, the trees are starting to turn the city green again, and the cherry blossoms will be blooming soon. After a long lockdown, there is no better time to get out of the city and smell the flowers. Or, better yet, eat some fresh noodles!.
But if you are like me and became “well-rounded” during lockdown (and I’m not talking about upskilling), ingesting a carb bomb might not be your first choice. However, physical activity will cancel out any carbs. As such, I recommend an easy beginner-level bike ride for those looking for something different.
Qinzhen offers the perfect escape from the city: about 25-30km (depending on your route) of flat, paved roads from the city center and mostly with bike lanes. At your destination awaits rice noodles. But don’t let this humble dish fool you – this is no ordinary fare even by Xi’an standards – these rice noodles have a history as long as the city of Xi’an itself!
As a freelancer in English teaching and bilingual writing, I have come to love my freelancing life more and more. I am blessed to have lived my childhood in Rhode Island , USA and then returned to my mother country when I was just 12 years old. I was accepted into Clark University with a scholarship in August 2012 for one year. As we all know, education is part of a country’s soft powers, and it is the key to a country becoming a developed country. Education is very different between China and the USA, but through my 11 years of teaching English, I have found a number of very good teaching methods: so I would like to share my teaching methods and experiences with you.
When the life of quarantine and social distancing becomes an unnatural norm, we tend to find comfort in new or existing hobbies. Putting my headphones on with some soft coffee house piano music, my reprieve has always been in painting but rarely of my own face. If you are someone like me, to forcefully look at your own reflection can be unnerving. I noticed my own reflection had changed both inside and out. With cheeks filled out from lack of exercise, skin pale from the forgotten feeling of sunlight and eyes weary, it was actually internally – the lessons I had learnt and what I had grown into that concerned me the most.
Fine Wines and Good Times
The end of May in Xi’an was, in a word, HOT. Cub Grocery is here to save us with cold beverages and tasty food.
For lunch, we visited the Cub Grocery in Qujiang in Liangzichen 量子晨, part of a hip new chain of café/bar/restaurant/wine stores with three other locations: one inside the city wall, one in northern Xi’an in Weiyang District, as well as a new location opening near south gate. Each location has its own kind of style and atmosphere. For example, the Weiyang Cub Grocery has a rooftop and the new location opening by south gate will focus on entertainment. The location we visited at Liangzichen has a weekly DJ and plaza to host events. It offers a comfy space for getting tipsy and being social, all in a relaxed environment.
A humble restaurant that punches well above its weight
As summer arrives and Xi’an starts heating up, the restaurant scene in Xi’an is clearly trying to keep pace with the rising temperatures. There are so many new restaurants and each new location turns up the heat.
For no restaurant is this truer than Yakitori, opened this May. Literally meaning “grilled bird,” yakitori is a Japanese type of skewer cuisine, usually chicken barbecue over charcoal and seasoned with a tare sauce (a kind of sweetened and/or thickened soy sauce) or salt. And this is exactly what is on offer here. As you walk through the door, it’s hard to say what you notice first – the large grill and exhaust hood, or the wash of mouth-watering aromas.
The bread isn’t sweet. I could probably end the review right there and it would be enough to get you to go to Ugly Bread, a bakery that has recently opened at the 西影Time Shopping Plaza next to the Movie Park. But that would be doing this shop a disservice, as they are doing much more than simply making savory bread. Opened with the idea that bread should taste good, this bakery is serving up bread with some unique and delicious flavor combos, as well as some classics bound to make you happy.
Tea is part of the inextricable cultural heritage of China. Legend states that tea was discovered by the Chinese emperor Shen Nong, and it is a beverage that has been carefully cultivated and enjoyed by the Chinese people ever since. A good cup of tea is refreshing and revitalizing, and the art of good tea preparation is what separates tea from hot leaf juice. While tea shops abound in Xi’an, there seem to be two main styles, traditional tea shops that are often stuffy and ornately decorated, with hundreds of teas to choose from that can be intimidating for the non-expert; and the modern tea shop where the tea tends to be more fruit juice than tea, and there is so much sugar that the delicate flavors of the tea and the health benefits are lost entirely. However there is a new place that looks to find a happy medium between the archaic tea shop and the modern coffee shop – DAHUA Tea Lounge.
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.
Why, you might ask, am I pitting such two wildly different movie “franchises” (awful word) against each other? Well, there are more similarities than you might discover at first glance. Let’s compare.
Both sagas started out around the middle of the last century, (Godzilla in 1955, Bond seven years later), they both started out as straightforward, comparatively serious entries into their respective genres, which are the giant monster flick (that had its roots in King Kong and 20,000 Fathoms) and the spy caper movie (co-founded by Alfred Hitchcock) respectively. They both gradually developed a winning formula that steered them into more escapist territory during the sixties, only to simultaneously go for complete campy silliness during the 70s. Latter development was owed to Godzilla director Jun Fukuda and Bond actor Roger Moore, equally misunderstood and underrated masters in the art of high camp.
No , no , Yukun! You must wait for Granny to move the chopsticks first. ” Yukun is my Chinese first name and that is what my mother would often say when I broke the Chinese table rules during meals. Coming back to China in the summer of 2003 after living in the states for 8 years, I was only 12. I was a total stranger when it came to Chinese eating etiquettes. Let me share some eating rules and table manners with you to make your dining much more convenient and enjoyable when eating Chinese food in China.
Mahjong is a very popular game in China, especially amongst the older generation. Essentially, Mahjong is a game where you try to get a series of sets of three (matching tiles) or series of three (sequential numbers), similar to Gin Rummy, but you are aiming to have 14 tiles at the end, with 4 sets or series and a pair or three sets of four and a pair. The game is typically fast-paced among experienced players, and the strategies evolve as more tiles are played. The endless combinations make it a very interesting game, and there is also sometimes gambling, but I suggest avoiding that unless you’re looking to lose your money. Also, gambling is illegal in China.
It feels like almost a lifetime ago when I had moved out of my hometown to start my first year at university for my bachelor’s degree. It was during this time when I got my first portable MP3 player that could probably hold a maximum of 100 songs (if I was lucky). Due in part to the influences of my mum’s love of country music, I searched for new up and coming singers in the country genre and stumbled on this song called “Teardrops on my guitar”. A sucker for ballads and acoustic melodies, I was hooked and used every cent of my allowance to purchase what would then be her self-titled debut album..
Just a little over a year ago, I had just visited the hospital (for reasons we shall not discuss here). Long story short, the doctor told me I “needed more exercise.” I needed to do something, but the big question was: what?
One of my friends in Xi’an suggested biking, so I started riding in February of 2021. Just over a year later, I have lost more than 10kg, have completed dozens of 100km+ rides, and have conquered steep climbs around Xi’an. Just this past April, I rode my 7,000th kilometer and 45,000th meter of elevation (that’s more than 5 Mount Everests!). So how did this happen?