25 February 2013

Along the Things Change on a Dime lines

This fabulous blog was rec'd and I thought I'd share in case you've not stumbled across it yourselves.  I've found myself saying that in BJ, things change on a dime.  This seemed true professionally as well as personally, as plans--for big things, entire conferences involving many many individuals and logistics--- were made and unmade sometimes over the course of one working day.  And here, look:

The Asia Blog: What a Difference Two Years Makes (Away from China)

18 February 2013

Schools in Beijing

In case you are looking for a school in BJ, this came across my screen and I am reposting with permission:

Sent: Mon, February 18, 2013 7:26:32 AM
Subject: Seeking a Beijing school for your child this fall? Come to the beijingkids School Choice Fair March 3!

 Are you cross-eyed from researching schools for the upcoming academic year? Trying to decide between local, international, boarding, public, private, experimental, full-day, half-day, and local with an international department?

Struggle no more! The hotly-anticipated 2013-2014 beijingkids School Choice Guide is out! And to help you make an even more informed choice, we’re hosting the 2013 Spring School Choice Fair at Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center's Jade Ballroom on Sunday, March 3 from 10am to 4pm.

The 2013-2014 beijingkids School Choice Guide features info on a whopping 62 local and international schools, as well features on bilingual options in Beijing, education systems, and expat families who have decided to send their kids to local Chinese schools.

To view it online or download a PDF, visit this link:

To request a printed copy (or to find a distribution spot near you), please email:

Families who attend the Spring School Choice Fair will have a chance to mingle with representatives from both local and international schools, as well as hear free lectures on education in Beijing.

Among those schools already signed up to exhibit at this year's fair include:

* Yew Chung International School of Beijing
* The British School of Beijing
* Beijing City International School (BCIS)
* Harrow International School Beijing
* Canadian International School of Beijing (CISB)
* International Montessori School of Beijing (MSB)
* Keystone Academy
* Dulwich College Beijing
* House of Knowledge International Kindergarten (HoK)
* Beijing BISS International School (BISS)
* Beijing International Bilingual Academy (BIBA)
* Beijing World Youth Academy
* Tsinghua International School
*  Ivy Group
* Muffy's Education
... and more to come!

Advanced signup is required for free entrance to the fair -- please visit www.beijing-kids.com/scf to sign up.

Hope to see you there!


Michael Wester & Toni Ma
Beijijngkids and Jing Kids magazines 

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11 February 2013

Xin Nian Kuai Le 新年快乐

Happy New Year, Year of the Snake!

We celebrated CNY yesterday at a vaguely Chinese restaurant in the small American beach town where grandma is a snowbird and my sister & fam live full time when not traveling the globe.  It is quiet here this time of year and since there are very few Chinese people in this part of America, there is no Spring Festival.  Except for us.  We cleaned and showered the day before, refrained from knives on New Years Day, gave red envelopes, and did our best to notice and honor the new year.

We received many Chinese email greetings including the straightforward message above and many with variations on Year of the Snake wishes, so google translate was put to good use.  One message from the friends who moved to BJ last summer included a little video they shot from their 15th floor livingroom.  The fireworks were set off inside their compound and burst into light right at the same level as their flat.  Amazing.  And loud.

Fireworks aren't normally allowed inside the Fifth Ring Road but during the Spring Festival they're all over downtown.  News reported that owing to the horrible January air, shooting off fireworks was restricted but that wasn't apparent from my friends' report.

LiLi and I have been missing BJ and China especially after showing our slideshow from the year there, and treating Grandma to a video of Beijing Huan Ying Ni (Beijing Welcomes You) which was produced for the Olympic Games in 2008.  We played and sang that song over and over before we moved, but once we were there we never thought about it.  Oddly.  Now, returning to America, we find ourselves singing or humming it again.  And seeing it sure made grandma want to jump on a plane.  She's been to China a few times and lived in Hong Kong but not for many many years.  Still, you see that video and must understand that Beijing is the center of the universe.  Or I do.  Also, there are parts of it that still make me weep.   :  )