Wow.. the end of the year .. and what a year its been…. I have had so much that has happened this year I wanted to do a kind of list of things that have happened the good, the bad and the ugly.

1) Started the year with the usual intent to do something interesting and exciting. So I became a shareholder/partner of the local bar in Bin Jiang District in Hangzhou city.  This was a good move and has proved to be a door for many things.

My Bar family

My Bar family

2) Beginning of the year I also got divorced.  This was one of those ugly things.. but it proved to be the best thing that ever happened to me.  I realized that I need to really consider my own feelings and happiness instead of focusing on making other people happy.   After the divorce I started dating and that was a whole lot of drama.

3) I got promoted at my school to Head of Student Management… but then after a month it was taken away and the position was eliminated.   That how things roll in china when you work for a Chinese company.  They will just move you up and down without a care to your career goals.

4) Started dating a guitarist and started learning guitar.  No matter how much of an asshole he turned out to be.. I still have to thank him for introducing me to the guitar… I am enjoying every minute of my learning experience.  Although I lost my free teacher, yYouTube has been a great help to me.

Brown Rice... Rock N Roll Baby

Brown Rice… Rock N Roll Baby

5) I started my own band Brown Rice… and sing rock cover songs at the bar.  I get a lot of  adrenalin from playing in a band and being the lead singer was like an impossible dream come true.  I may not be the new Joan Jett.. but I can cross that off my bucket list.

6) I became the Asst. General Manager of the bar.  Yes.. they saw the potential i had in management and the skill I have in advertising and marketing.. which I love, love, love…. that is the job I live for.   So I stepped down from being the lead singer of the band and became the band’s manager and bar manager…. while still teaching of course….(gonna keep the big money coming in)

7) I briefly dated a Chinese Biker… I am all about the wild and the crazy…. and dating a biker although short-lived was very exciting and wild..(that is basically why I had to cut it a little short… a little too wild) but made some wonderful new biker friends that will probably last a life time.IMG_5275

8) Big changes at my teaching job… the company decided to change locations to a town about an hour away from where I currently live.  I have to ride the bus…. to and from work.. an hour each way … everyday…. Makes me consider some career changes.

My first big tattoo... Black Orchids... (also my chinese name.. Hei Lan)

My first big tattoo… Black Orchids… (also my chinese name.. Hei Lan)

9) I got some new tattoos.. yep.. I am a tattooed bitch.. the cool thing about tattoos is that you can control what you want to put on your body.. and it doesn’t matter what anyone says… it’s very freeing.

10) Met the current man of my dreams….. Jet… a former gangster turn good… and a man who will do anything to keep me happy.  The sweetest kindest man.. I have ever met in my life honestly. If I was ever going to marry again… in the far, far, far future… this would be the man.

My man... Jet Liu

My man… Jet Liu

11) I decided to by an ebike.. yep.. after living in china for now 8 years.. I broke down and bought an electric bike.. that everyone rides here.. Jet taught me to ride it properly and now I am riding like a …. BOSS!

12) Found out that my recently divorced ex-husband remarried six months after our divorce.  Kind of quick?  Maybe that tells me that he had someone on the side.  He married a local Chinese girl… I don’t wish him bad luck.. but Karma.. my have other ideas.

13) I decided to do my own business here in China.. it is very complicated to know all the freakin’ rules here.. but with some very good “relationships” that I have formed over the years.. and my stud by my side….. I am going to get this done.  I have started putting together a clothing line.. for club wear.. ladies that are Divas… in charge of their lives.   People who are proud of their bodies no matter what size they are.  My new company is called “Dragon Designs”  I am going to be selling on and… and working on my own site.

My inspiration for my company name... Jet's amazing dragon tattoo..

My inspiration for my company name… Jet’s amazing dragon tattoo..

I am really trying to start preparing for my future retirement business.  Oh know I will never stop working and stop experiencing life.. I just can’t that would be crazy.  I am now deciding on which country to retire in.   I am thinking either Malaysia, Philippines, or Colombia, South America.  Whether I eventually marry Jet or not… that is my plan.   Why not come back to the states? Well, I have realized that my life has improve tremendously since I move away… and I feel less stressed and less overwhelmed.   I love my country and I will never give up being American… I love being American.. and I will visit my family as much as I can… but  for me… living abroad is a good thing.  And from what I can see on the news these days a little safer.  I hope to bring my kids to visit me when I retire… for now I will visit them in the states every year or so.

So that’s kind of my life in review over that past year… there has been some crazy moments.. and some great  times. I have met many great people and did some great performances, like when I dresses as an avenging angel on Halloween.

Halloween 2014.. at the Bar... great performance

Halloween 2014.. at the Bar… great performance

What will the New year bring?  Hopefully… more love, joy and happiness.  I also hope there will be great success in my new business venture.  I have learned to live life to the fullest and not to worry about what others say about you.. but… Honey…. You only have this life.. make it Amazing…..Boo

Until Next Time…..

so it’s the new year and as with every country there are new things happening…. Chinese seems to be tightening up and cracking down on certain things.  One thing in particular is the use of VPNs.  Yep… they are trying to cut us off from the outside world.

Mind you this is not a good thing… without a vpn, you cannot get access to any good websites…. besides Facebook, YouTube, twitter and WordPress; there are many news sites and other entertainment sites we will not be able to access.  Its kind of big deal for us foreigners that stay abreast of whats going on in our home countries using the internet.

They are also changing the rules for teachers coming to China.   It is harder to get a work visa then before, and the requirements have become more strict. So if you are planning to make the move here any time soon, things are not as easy as before.  As my grandmother use to say “we have worn out our welcome”.

That is not going to change anything for me…. I am grandfathered in to the system.  I have been here way too long, its like I am Chinese.

On a happy note, there are now 10 year visa available for Americans.   If you have bought property, or have a business and have been in china for at least 7 years… and have enough money in the bank… you can apply for a 10 year visa.

These are only a few changes in the coming new year.

until next time…

From my friends over at Learn Mandarin Now… they have given you some important basic Chinese to get you started on learning the #1 most spoken language in the world. Enjoy!

If you want to learn Mandarin for a trip to China, you may be wondering what are the most important phrases you should learn.  Here are ten of the most important Chinese phrases for travelers.  Use any of these phrases while you’re in China to get you started learning about the culture. For more Mandarin learning tips, feel free to visit our blog Learn Mandarin Now(insert link:


  •  ‘Too expensive':   Tai Gui Le  太贵了

This phrase is an absolute must for haggling in the market.  Don’t forget to add in a few dramatic gestures to emphasize your point.  If you haven’t quite learned your numbers, most shopkeepers keep a calculator handy and they will be happy to enter the price and show the display.

  •  ‘I don’t understand':    Ting Bu Dong  听不懂

This single phrase will help you out in a variety of situations.  If you’re in a situation that requires further communication, the other person will go in search of someone who understands English.

  •  ‘No hot pepper':  Bu Yao La Jiao  不要辣椒

There are a number of places in China, especially Hunan or Sichuan Province, where they really like their spicy foods.  In places like this, this phrase is vital

  •  ‘Excuse me’ (‘let me by’):   Qing Rang Yi Xia  请让一下

China is quite crowded and occasionally you may find yourself needing to get past people.  This is the polite way to ask them to move so you may pass.

  •  ‘Where’s the bathroom?':  Ce Suo Zai Na Li   厕所在哪里?

Is there anywhere in the world that this would not be a helpful phrase?

  •  ‘Please don’t smoke':  Qing Bu Yao Chou Yan 请不要抽烟

Many Chinese people smoke, and non-smoking signs are often ignored.  This phrase can come in handy if you’re in a no-smoking area and someone lights up, especially if you don’t smoke.

  •  ‘Thank you':  Xie Xie  谢谢

Being polite is important and Thank you is an important polite phrase.  There are several ways to say Thank you in Chinese, but this is the one used most often.

  •  ‘Hello':  Ni Hao   你好

This is certainly a useful phrase, but you might be surprised that it’s just as common to greet someone by asking whether they’ve eaten.

  •  ‘How much is it?':   Duo Shao Qian?  多少钱?

Obviously, you’re going to use this phrase before you complain it’s too expensive.

  •  ‘No, no, you needn’t':  Bu Yong, Bu Yong   不用,不用

Chinese people have a tendency to go overboard with hospitality, especially with foreigners and it’s up to you to not take advantage.  Even when you do accept a generous gesture from a Chinese person, it’s polite to demur, at least verbally.

Learning these phrases is a great way to start out with learning Chinese(insert link: and will help you get around the country while you expand your horizons.


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March 2013

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