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!


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?