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Oct 18 12

McDonald’s With Chinese Characteristics

by Mike Newton
Ronald McDonald in China

I have a confession: I eat at McDonald’s. There’s something about that 15 kuai (~$2.50) lunch meal that gets me when I’m weak! Or maybe it’s their 24/7 delivery service that brings me soggy McDonald’s anywhere in the city? Whatever the reason, I have been known to find solace beneath the golden arches from time to time.

Today was one of those times.

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Jul 10 12

Down Your Sister’s Rain: Heavy Storms in Beijing [VIDEO]

by Mike Newton
Rainy Beijing

As my co-workers who had just left work began streaming back into the office carrying on about “heavy rain” outside, I didn’t think it was much cause for concern. You see, historically I’ve found our two definitions of “heavy” rain tend to differ.

You can imagine my surprise when I stepped outside into what looked like someone spraying a massive firehouse over the city.

I glance over at my Australian co-worker standing near the door. “Gonna brave it?” He asks me casually.

“Yep.” Popping open my umbrella, I head out into the storm.

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Jul 3 12

What the Hell Did I Just Watch: My Little Pony in Chinese

by Mike Newton
Chinese My Little Pony

There comes a time in every young boy’s life when he must ask himself: am I ready to become a man?

What comes next is a journey of self-discovery during which the young man must push himself to his limits and tests his meddle in the red-hot fires of manhood.

Today I wrote another chapter in my own coming of age story.

Today I stood on the precipice of the abyss and looked over the edge into utter darkness.

Today I stared madness in the face and laughed.

Today I watched My Little Pony–in Chinese.

You know what? I kind of liked it.

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May 17 12

4 Reasons Why I Love China

by Mike Newton
Performance for President Obama at the Great Hall of the People.

This post goes out to my friend Heidi, who suggested that after my last post detailing the difficulties faced living in China I write something a bit more uplifting to remind us all why we’re still here.  So, here it is. This one’s for you, Heidi!

My time in China, a little over a year now all told, has been marked with various events which have defined and continue to define my experience and understanding of this country, its people, and everything that it has to offer.

Most of these events are rather mundane (except the time I performed on stage in the Great Hall of the People for Barack Obama, Hu Jintao, and Hillary Clinton–pictured in the post thumbnail!) but they’re all meaningful and I’m certain I’ll continue to share stories from this time in my life for years to come.

Below I’ve made a list of four different things to love about life in China and I hope it brings some joy to my fellow China dwellers both past, present, and future.

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May 6 12

Flow Like Water: A Foreigner’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Beijing

by Mike Newton
To survive in China, one must flow like water in a river.

Being a foreigner in China comes with a unique set of advantages and challenges.

I’ve had opportunities to do some really cool things in this country just because I’m foreign, but I also have to face up to stereotypes that Chinese have of foreigners, pointing and staring, and people talking about me not only behind my back but right next to me because they assume I can’t understand.

Some days are better than others, but most days I let these things wash over me and I don’t let them stick. That’s the only way to survive and thrive in this place.

This is a long post but I urge you to read through to the end. Particularly if you’re considering coming to China and even if you already live here.

Let’s get it on.

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