Friday, November 13, 2009


I have always considered Halloween one of my favorite holidays. I love the fact that for one day you get the chance to escape all of the chaos and stress of reality and make up your own fantasy world by transforming into anything and anyone that you want. Back home my friends and I get really into Halloween. We go all out with our costumes, raiding any thrift or arts and crafts store that we can find. We have even been known to stretch our Halloween celebrations to not just one day but numerous weekends. As a matter of fact, if we could we probably would make the whole month of October into one big Halloween celebration. However, this year was a little different. Though Halloween is not celebrated in Chinese culture I was not going to keep it from getting in the way of my Halloween traditions. Of course I didn’t get to go with my family to pick out the biggest pumpkin in the patch, but I did get to dress up and partake in other festivities. My roommates and I decided to be the 4 seasons, with me being fall. We went to the near fabric market were we got to design our costumes and have them custom made. When Halloween came around we went to Shen tan de, a western street in Shanghai, where we paraded the streets and were met by a mob of Chinese onlookers that went into a frenzy of camera flashes whenever we walked by. Here are a few pictures from my night:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Botanical Garden

The other week my Biology class took a trip to the Shanghai Botanical Garden. Here are a couple of pictures that I took when I had free time after our lab.


To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, which was last month, we got 6 days of school off. So three other students and I took advantage of this time off and decided to take a trip to Yangshuo. Yangshuo is in southern rural China, nestled in the beautiful mountains split by the Li river. Its scenery is so stunning in fact, that it is depicted on the 20 dollar Yuan. Now it may not be a surprise to many of you that I am not the biggest outdoorsmen. I mean I’ll choose a hotel over a tent any day, but seeing as this maybe my only chance to live in China, I decided to break outside of my comfort zone and try the outdoorsy thing. To my surprise, I ended up having a BLAST.
These are a few activities I partook in while on the trip:

Mud bathing in the natural caves,
- where we also swam in the natural hot springs and climbed the side of the cave

Bike ride into town
-where I almost got knocked off my bike by a bull

Bamboo Rafting on the Li River

Hike through a secluded town

and much much more...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My New Jia

I could not have asked for my new jia, which means house or family in chinese, to be in any better location. In the middle of the hustle and bustle of the busy city of Big Shanghai, tucked away in the French Concession District, there lies a narrow hidden alleyway with a little shabby store front that sells little Chinese treats and trinkets. The alleyway is lined by cobble stones and old rickety apartments that you would never guess anyone lived in. The only action you see once in a while is a random cat fight or a lonely biker riding. No one would ever dare guess what true treasure was hidden in this alley, but as you round the corner there lies a large white gate with silver writing that spells PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY, and it is this gate that once opened reveals the hidden treasure of my new home. I along with 40 other students live in a multi complex mansion that has countless bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, television rooms, and any other kind of room you can think of. We even have fully stocked class rooms in our house. So I have the great privilege to roll out of bed at 7:45 am every day and walk downstairs and make it to my 8AM classes right on time. It is amazing! The only day I leave my house for class is Thursday, when I take a Chinese Art History class at Fundan University, one of the top universities in China. I am truly blessed!

World Wanderer

The alleyway that leads to the jia

The entrance to the jia

The girls wing of the jia

The sunshine room where we eat breakfast

The guard gate

A view of where I live

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Dear Friends and family,

As some of you probably already know I am spending this school year studying abroad in Shanghai, China. I was sad to say goodbye to my family and friends and the beautiful beach and cushiony lifestyle I would miss in Malibu. For though I was excited to live in China; I was also nervous from all of the horror stories I had heard from numerous people about the crazy foods, over populated cities, and drastic cultural differences. However, I have been here for a little over a month now, and I have enjoyed every moment spent here. Though I would love to be able to talk with all of you back home the crazy time difference and phone charges make it quite difficult. So this blog is the best way I can stay connected with all of you. Feel free to check it whenever. I will try to update it as much as I can. You may also Skype me. Look me up by my first and last name, and remember there is a 16 hr time difference form CA, or email me at

World Wanderer

Touch Down: My frist steps in Shanghai