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 

Two Months of Traveling: 中国


Another reason I was MIA on this blog during March and April is because I was travelling every weekend. I didn’t know if I was going to be staying for another year so I crammed four trips in one month to Linyi Hot Springs, Zhangjiajie Mountains, Chengdu, and Beijing of course. These were the most exhiliterating yet stressful months of travelling. For the remainder of April, I went to Tokyo and then Shanghai Disneyland before returning to the US. I’ll write about those trips on the next post.

Linyi Hot Springs

BEST Rexalaxing Weekend Ever. Did not expect the hot floors room, this many spring baths, a water park and TOWELS on TOWELS on TOWELS. You can find this place in the Shandong Province, home of many natural hot springs. Comment for the name of the resort we went to. 

Zhangjiajie Mountains

Arguably known as the Avatar Mountains because the director of the movie denies he got the inspiration for Pandora from this mountain range. Yet, China has embraced it by putting several statues of characters from the famous movie. It looks identical to me.


Roughly did the the same thing I wrote about last time but got to experience it with different people. BUT we found donuts🍩 and a beautifully lit tower!


I’m always down for another section of the wall, art, and delicious food. Stayed in a new area and managed to sleep comfortably in a 10 person hostel.

Look forward to the post about Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo and also some tips about how I managed 6 trips in two months 😀

Blast from the Past VIII: Guilin and Yangshuo



I forgot a subject in the email- 04.18.2014

“After Chengdu, I went to Guilin to meet two other of my classmates. We took a motorized bamboo raft cruise down the Li river. It was a bit misty because it was raining a bit, but the pictures came out gorgeous.

It was still pretty though however I would have to say we let ourselves get ripped off on the next tour after the Li river. We were supposed to go to the Yulong River and ride a legit bamboo raft, the one not motorized, but because it was raining the water level was too high. So, the tour guide hyped up this other place called Shangri-la. “It’s a place of clear water where you can see the fish, and you can interact with local people . It’s very beautiful village.” It was the fakest part of China I ever been in. It’s a man-made destination for tourists.

For example, we rode another boat and as we approached what I call a “station” these young highschool boys in flintstones wear will start dancing. However, it was terribly synchronized and when we passed them up they would stop and wait for the next boat.


There are other “touristy” incidents that happen, but I’ll keep them for another time. Long story short, Li river was amazing the last part horrible.

After that long day we went to Yangshuo and did bike riding. Yangshuo is a beautiful small city with mountains as their background. When we were riding the bikes, we decided to vacate from the street and go to a trail where you can see the countryside. It was beautiful! At the night market I did buy a few souvenirs like these hand woven scarves, but then I ended up accidently leaving the bag on the bus back to Guilin. I’m now trying to figure out where I can have another chance to get scarves for 10 元 ($1.50).

My trip in Guilin ended at the Longji Rice Terraces. I am very glad we decided to hike the trail rather than take the cable car. It was stacks on stacks on stacks of rice fields. Have any of you seen the camera pan over these rice terraces on a Chinese documentary? I have and I’m still excited that I was able to go. It’ll be a while before I experience a scenery that beautiful again.
Chinese is kicking me around a little bit because the level is increasing. I feel like I’m going through the elementary school to middle school transition. I’m now learning how to connect sentences, write full-length paragraphs, my essay word limits are expanding, etc. However, I do catch myself forgetting some English words. o.O.

Well, I have been hearing a lot that has been going on in the other side of the world! Keep sending me updates. I do read them Well I’m signing off now because this update is 950+ words, almost as long as Part A of my econ assignment has to be. I shouldn’t be worried about that then. Enjoy the pictures. Oh wait I leg got grabbed by a monkey
43 days left…”

BTW, the Li river is on the 20 yuan RMB note 😀 I’ve been to three places on the RMB notes. Guess.

Brownies in Bali: Part One -巴厘岛


This will be a series about mine and my roommate Sjenade’s trip to Bali during the Chinese Spring Festival Holiday.

First Impressions😦 well after a few days of being here)

  •  I don’t like Kuta. Seminyak is okay.  Canggu is expensive, but Echo Beach in Canggu is much prettier and quieter than Kuta beach.
  • Nusa Penida=Paradise.🏝

    • Houston, Texas’ humidity has nothing on Bali.☀️

    • Stray dogs are everywhere. Kudos to Echo Beach Club for donating some profits to help feed and take care of stray dogs.
    • Animals here are so territorial, geez.

    • The water is beautifully blue. Bluer than Malaysia.🏖

    • Balinese people are friendly, welcoming and nice. Meet Putu, a wonderful woman that took care of Sjenade and I as we trekked through the jungles of Nusa Penida Island.

    • Their scooter traffic reminds me a lot about China…HOWEVER…there are security that helps any pedestrian cross the busy street. Some people on scooters even stop for you to let you cross.  China better take note.🛵

    • Bali’s food and drink options are orgasmic! 😋

    • Banjar thugs can go suck it because they rip off the entire taxi industry.🚖🚔
    • Balinese people are terrible at giving people directions.or maybe they don’t want any tourists finding the secret spots. Got lost so much listening to them.😑

    4 hours later…

    • There is a small temple or prayer center after every two houses.

    These are some of my impressions I got from Bali during my first week here. Second week I’ll be doing a yoga retreat in Ubud. First one ever, since I just started practicing a few months ago ( thanks to the roomie). 

    Still working on the Shanghai and Blast to the Past post. Look forward to the next part about Bali. 

    Until then….I’m returning to paradise. 🏝🐢🍉🥑⛱

      Thanksgiving in China:济南


      So instead of Taobao post let’s talk about Thanksgiving in China.

      Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday! Christmas being the first, Thanksgiving being the second and Halloween the third.


      Since I’m living in Jinan, a turkey dinner is much harder to find. So without stuffing, cranberry sauce, and your favorite aunt’s macaroni and cheese, how did I celebrate Thanksgiving?!

      Funny story, maybe.

      So, the school tells us a week before in a meeting that they are going to prepare some food for us on Thanksgiving Day since we have to work.

      “Hey, guys we are going to have some food for you at 12:30 pm on Thanksgiving. We are going to prepare pizza, chicken nuggets, bread, this type of things.” – Foreign Teacher Supervisor (who is Chinese)

      I can accept the thought that counts, but us foreign teachers were like what?! pizza?! I suggested they just get the Beijing Duck and some Chinese vegetables since it’s the closest to what may be a Thanksgiving Dinner in America.

      Did they listen?

      Nope! They never listen. They ask for suggestions, but never listen. It’s the thought that counts right?

      So, on Thanksgiving day,  a couple of us teachers arrived maybe 5 minutes past 12:30 thinking that things will be all nice and set up. Yeah we were delusional.

      We walked into total madness, chaos, plastic gloves and smacking! They didn’t even wait for us! So much for “it’s the thought that counts.”


      Thanksgiving Chaos only in China 🙂

      I literally only ate a couple of oranges and two dumplings because everything was just everywhere.

      After being let down, after work us teachers went to this restaurant called Fancy for a Thanksgiving Dinner It was okay. They tried their best to give us a meal as close to Thanksgiving as possible. However I was really missing “everybody aunt’s macaroni and cheese”. I also was craving stuffing, dirty rice and dinner rolls. I didn’t get any of that but it’s whatever.


      Our Turkey Dinner at Fancy

      All I know is I cannot miss another Thanksgiving. If I do, I’m either eating duck or hotpot.

      Look forward to my posts about Christmas parties in class, our school’s Not-So-Christmas Shindig featuring a CLOWN and New Year’s in China.

      I’ll probably post all this after New Year’s. All the holidays have sucked up my time. Anyway the blog is still alive, just slow.

      October NTL Holiday: Malaysia 马拉西亚


      So for October 1, China’s National Day I decided to leave the country and not deal with Chinese tourists in China. I packed my bags to Langkawi, Malaysia, an archipelago of 99+ islands. I got to be lazy on a beach, fish, island surf, ride a scooter, slide down some wells, drink coconut water, eat Malaysian, Indian, and Arabic food, jungle trek, and snorkel for nine long days. Enjoy the pictures! No first impressions on this one because I wasn’t trying to be impressed. Cause any beach and any sun would have been fine.


      Fished. After 4 long hours I caught one. Even if it was small, I still caught one.



       Snorkled: First time ever! Even though I am a weak swimmer, I was still able to explore the underwater coral reef with this life jacket. img_20161007_195456

      Jungle Trekked: Yes, I got to be Tarzan for a couple of minutes. I sucked at it. But hey, I completely believe Tarzan’s capability to learn to swing from vine to vine, these things are STRONG


      Slided: Down Seven Wells. It was dope.


      Reflected: on why the hell I am in China with bad air pollution and not living on this island.


      Ate: Chicken Satay is to Yang Rou Chuar


      Scootered: For hours, and even in the rain. At least Joel was driving


      If you want to see more pictures. Let me know. You know free wordpress has quotas. Look out for the Halloween Post