The Cutest Café in Dalian You’ve Never Heard Of

You’ve heard of the cat cafés in Japan and may even have a dog café in your neighbourhood, but nothing can compete with Dalian’s Alpaca Treehouse Café (树洞听), offering western food, coffee, cocktails, modern décor, and most importantly… the opportunity to get cozy with two adorable and friendly alpacas.

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Visiting the Lushun Russo-Japanese Prison

Lushun, a port-side suburb of Dalian, is located about a two hour public transport ride south of the city centre. Formerly known as Port Arthur, it was an important site during the Russo-Japanese War fought from 1904-05 and is littered with historic sites, including the Lushun Prison. During a rare day off together, we made the trek to check it out and now consider it a must-see spot for anyone visiting Dalian.

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Teaching an English Class in a Chinese Burger King

In honour of training myself to roll with the punches here in China, I’d like to share a recent story of where this was ever so apparent. 

If you ever plan on teaching in China, be prepared to get some very odd requests.

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How To Go To The Movies in China

There are thousands of ways that China is different from Canada, but one of the universal activities we’ve enjoyed is going to the movies. While the selection of movies available in China is limited to family-friendly animated movies and monster flicks, there’s still something so comforting about kicking back in a dark theatre for a few hours and forgetting about the outside world.

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What to Wear to a Chinese Kindergarten Graduation

“Do you have a performance dress?”

I assume this is referring to something to wear for the upcoming kindergarten graduation which is happening two days from now. After being postponed at least two times, it’s finally happening and it’s happening all at once.

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Grocery Shopping in China; Or How Not To Starve

Whether you’re working or travelling in China, if you’re in the country for any length of time, you will probably need to eat. And lucky for you, the food in China is abundant and cheap! In fact, food is so cheap that eating out is generally more common than it is in North America. A cheap meal in a restaurant can range from 8 to 50 yuan (or $1.60 to $10 CDN) per person.

However, sometimes the business of a restaurant setting and not knowing what kind of meat you just put in your mouth can get tiring, so being able to buy groceries for your own home-cooked meal is a must. And like almost everything in China, grocery shopping here isn’t exactly the same as it is back home, so we’ve compiled a few of our tips and tricks to make buying food in China as easy as possible.

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View From a Chinese Starbucks

We’ve said more than once that living in China, for two Canadians, is kind of like living on a different planet. There’s still the sun in the distance, the ground beneath our feet, there are still people doing everyday people things, but at the same time things are so unfamiliar. From the bus ride to work to buying groceries to working out at the gym, things that felt so ordinary are now so strange–and to be honest, exhausting!

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I Took a Chinese Physical and Survived

When we were offered teaching jobs in China, we had no idea just how involved the process would be to get our visas. We had to take countless pictures, send documents back and forth dozens of times, and still ended up unemployed and in Canada for six weeks longer than expected. But nothing in the visa process was quite as interesting as the physical exam.

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