Top 10 Things to Bring to China

Top 10 Things to Pack for China

As I am waiting for my work permit to finish processing, I am thinking about things I should bring back to China. This is my fourth time embarking on a trip to China and will be my second full year of teaching.

Top 10 Things Tyra is Bringing to China

1. Deodorant

There is only roll-on deodorants in Jinan, not much options. So I will be going to Sam’s or Costco to buy a year’s supply.

2. Bras/ underwear

Chinese bras tend to have this thick lining at the bottom that annoys me. Also, their bras are not attractive at all. I like to feel good in my underwear so I bought some here.

3. Tampons

Particularly the ones with an applicator. Ob brand tampons are not for me.

4. Facial cleaning products

So many products in a China has whitening in them. I am a proud black woman, I just want to clean my face not whiten it.

5. Makeup foundation

Chinese women do not like to be dark, so the makeup foundation options are limited. The darkest color I have found was like natural beige. This is very light for my skin.

6. Medication

It takes about 8 Chinese ibuprofen pills to equal like 1 western pill, so I’m bringing my mess, especially for cramps!

7. Hair products 

I’m fortunate to have found online vendors on taobao that sells hair, but hair products for ethnic hair is sparse and expensive in China, so I’ll be stocking up on my coconut oil, hair brushes, grease, etc.
8. Body towels

80 yuan for a body towel in Chin! Our house has ton of towels at home. I just need to steal two and take it with me…or I can purchase a microfiber one, but I’m a cheapo.

9. Sunscreen

Can you believe sunscreen in China has whitening in there! TF?! The purpose of sunscreen is to protect my skin, not to whiten it!

10. Teaching Supplies

Dollar Tree and Target have tons of useful English and Primary School materials which are more useful then the Chinese made ones.

MISC stuff I already have in China but would be useful for first-timers

Travel adapter, shoes if your size is above 9 or 10, snacks from your home country. I was going to put razors, but you find some at Miniso in China.


don’t bring any valuable clothes. It will get ruined in the washers, cause there washers on China aren’t the best. There are also no dryers…..but dry cleaning here is CHEAP!

Let me know in the comments if I’m missing anything!

Missing China


我想念中国的三大事情。 Top 3 things I miss about China.

1. 我学生们和朋友们。My students and friends

2. 我跟中国人聊天。 Speaking Chinese

3. 美团外卖。Takeout food 

A Holly Smoggy Christmas Part 1: 济南


It’s a day after Christmas and I am sitting in Starbucks excited to share with you all the shenanigans that happened. This post will be broken up into two parts. Part 1 is obviously about my kids and the school’s not-so-christmas shindig. Part 2 will be about everything else.

I threw six Christmas parties in all with each one becoming more ridiculous as we went. We played several games and even had gift exchanges. 

I was going to do First Impressions on how Chinese kids celebrated Christmas, but I think I’ll write about the kids’ reactions to their Christmas parties.

                                                                 Kids Reactions to their class Christmas parties

1. They don’t understand the stealing concept in the white elephant christmas gift exchange. Some kids forfeited their chance to steal because they thought it wasn’t right.

Cecelia and Dora from Ninja Turtles class

2. Face the cookie game is tai lanfei le (wasteful) because many tasty cookies end up on the floor and in the trash

3.  The elephant trunk game is so much fun.

4. They love singing jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the waaaayyy. Oh what fun it is to ride in a oneblahblahblahblaheigh HEEY! They can never get that”one-horse open sleigh” part right. Even my older kids after two weeks of practice could never say it.
5. Chinese 3-4 year olds think the peppermint candy canes is too spicy and has lajiao (spicy pepper). Thankfully I had the rainbow sweet one for them.

6.  Shaun and a couple more of my Zootopia babies are petrified of glitter on people’s faces. I had to convince them that I was still their teacher and not a reindeer glitter monster.
                                                                                   The Not-So-Christmas Shindig

The School’s Christmas Party was an eventful night, but there was some strange things that I couldn’t quite wrap my head around. For example.

1. The clown. I got proof!!!

2. Kids posing with Snow White, the prince, and Santa Claus on the Red Carpet. Nice trio tho.

3. Me having to dance the Cha Cha Slide with the kids on stage…I don’t understand why our center didn’t choose a more festive song….or even asked us foreigners for advice….but remember the school never listens to it wouldn’t have made a difference. There are two parts to this song where our backs is turned towards the audience for like 20 seconds…LMAO

4. Pinocchio also made an appearance. I couldn’t get a photo but ill be on the hunt for it.

5. We couldn’t join the parents while they were eating and the school only prepared half cooked chicken sandwiches for us to eat. I couldn’t eat and I was STAAAAARVVVIIINNNGGG.. 

Anyway, this is what all went down on the school side of things during our white apocalyptic Christmas. During all these Christmas parties my immune system and my lungs were fighting for their dear lives as I couldn’t walk outside for some fresh air because it was non-existent!! I’m currently writing part 2. Look forward to that. I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays! For those of you in China, what are some strange things you have seen during Christmas?

Week Eleven:内蒙古


My school took all of us teachers (3 centers combined…150-200 peeps i think) to the Grasslands in Inner Mongolia- the greenest and bluest side of China. There were several Highs and Lows during this trip.

The Highs

  • Green, Green, and more Green
    2016-07-15 21.09.24

    That famous husband and wife tree

    2016-07-15 21.17.51

    A part of the grasslands

  • Fresh Air

    2016-07-15 21.14.39

    So fresh

  • Sheep2016-07-15 21.18.33
  • Traditional mongolian costume dress up time



  • The 2nd Horse Ride in which I rode the horse by myself with no one pulling me. That means I was going too fast to take a picture…
  • The 4 hour Jeep ride through the grasslands2016-07-15 21.16.53
  • Us foreigners dancing on a big stage

    2016-07-15 21.20.13

    It is empty in this photo, but it was full in the video which I can’t post on here :/ gotta upgrade the plan

  • The Horse show2016-07-15 21.11.05
  • That poncho that kept me warm because I forgot to bring a jacketIMG_20160711_163620
  • Staying overnight in a Yurt2016-07-15 21.19.13
  • Eating that Lamb2016-07-15 21.16.03
  • Beef Jerky2016-07-15 21.19.43

The Lows

*** Obviously there will not be pictures for the LOWS. >_<

  • The 8 hour bus ride from Beijing
  • Every hour a tour guide will speak for like an hour in a microphone while I’m trying to sleep
  • The school had us go through a tour 😦 So we basically did tourist trappy things
  • The school didn’t tell us we would have to shuffle out 500 kuai for this one day grassland activity stuff
  • The 1st horse ride was supposed to be 45 mins but it was only 10
  • The food!!! It was the same meal 3X a day for 4 days -_-




I promise this blog is not dead! Ive been without proper functioning wifi for the past few weeks! 😦

Anywho, I went to Beijing with the other foreign teachers. I helped compile and edit a video. Here it is.

BTW “waijiaos”= foreign teachers.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW…i know it seems sketch but it’s not, I promise.

               Beijing Unrated

Week Nine: 济南


I pulled off my first test week. I had three test to prepare and give out.  One in my beginner class, “The Force”, one in a a pre-k 2 class, and the third one in my G1( 1st grade) “Banana” class.

The banana class’ test was more of a diagnostic test. I needed to personally know where they stood in understanding the material since I took over that class mid-way through the schedule. Here are some pics of how anxious they look >__<!


Week 10’s post will be about me and my coworkers’ recent trip to Beijing. I am currently editing a Beijing video. So once that is done then I’ll publish that post. Maybe in the mean time I’ll post those Chengdu pics I still owe you guys.


Week Six: 香港 (Hong Kong)


Well this past week I had to go to Hong Kong to apply for working visa. I was able to spend two days there. Although it was just a taste of Hong Kong, I was still able to write down several first impressions.

HK First Impressions

  1. Towers on Towers on Towers. Buildings on Buildings on Buildings. Although the sky was clear, I could barely see it unless I went on a sky bridge. I kind of felt like those little people you glue down when you’re presenting a model for a new city. Which brings me to my next observation.20160510_095724 - Edited
  2. They have so many sky bridges! It’s pretty cool actually. You can practically avoid the hassle of crossing a major street or a highway by simply walking on a sky bridge. Another cool thing about those sky bridges is that they mostly connect to shopping centres and/or food places. All that walking does make one hungry 😀20160510_151105
  3. Hong Kong is so diverse! I couldn’t really tell the difference between tourists and locals! I also didn’t feel like a tourist or a 外国人(foreigner) when I was walking around.20160510_202028
  4. Kids are so plump and jolly looking. I can’t speculate what the cause may be, but they did seem a bit happier as I saw several boarding the metro with their family members.
  5. I heard so much English, Chinglish, Cantoenglish, Engclanto, Canto,  and Mandarin! It made me want to learn Canto so I could fit in this wonderful language exchange( since I know 2 of the 3 :D)
  6. The HUMIDITY was SO SO SO great for my skin! Bye Bye pimples! Two days in HK my face became much clearer than it was in Jinan. Smh Jinan’s pollution…
  7. HK is expensive (in China terms).  Trying to find a meal under 30 HKD was challenging. Thank God for shrimp wonton noodle soup @ The Noodle Stand. In HK, for a moment, I thought I was I spending money like I was in America.


    Shrimp wonton soup

  8. HK  <3’s Japanese Food. I saw more Japanese restaurants than 7/11’s. Haha I’m JK but you know what  I mean.
  9. HK money is…interesting. All the bills are different design. They really want you to know the difference in the value of the bill. 20160510_202721 - Edited