Posted by: daradoodle | April 26, 2009

Taking One For The Team

Roxana Saberi (courtesy of Reuters), Euna Lee & Laura Ling (courtesy of Getty Images) and Esha Momeni (courtesy of Sanam Dolatshahi)

Roxana Saberi (courtesy of Reuters), Euna Lee & Laura Ling (courtesy of Getty Images) and Esha Momeni (courtesy of Sanam Dolatshahi)


Think about all of the information that you never would’ve known had someone not put their safety or life at risk for the sake of journalism. Think about how many scandals have been uncovered by investigative reporters and how the truth obtained changed the world. Heck, a U.S. president resigned due to the investigative work of reporters at The Washington Post. Read More…

Posted by: daradoodle | April 22, 2009

Meet Cheng He (承和)


Roommate, Take 2

Remember back in January when I mentioned awaiting the arrival of my new roommate for the spring term? Not knowing exactly when this mystery person was going to show up, I made sure that the room was spotless everyday before I left in the event that she showed up when I wasn’t around. Sure enough, I came home one afternoon to find luggage on the side of the room that was once occupied by Jenn. Later that night, I met my South Korean roommate Senng Hua… also known in Chinese as Cheng He… or in English as (and I refuse to call her this) Bambi. Read More…

Posted by: daradoodle | April 8, 2009

Nanjing (南京)


Sun sets on Nanjing

After spending two amazing weeks in Taiwan, my batteries were recharged and I was ready to get back to Shanghai. The Chinese New Year was quickly approaching and based on what I learned during the National Holiday, traveling in China is extremely hectic when the whole country is on vacation. Having just finished reading the book Chinese Lessons by John Pomfret, a reporter at The Washington Post who spent some of his college years in Nanjing, I was inspired to travel to the former capital of China. As one of the first Americans to live and study in China after the revolution, he used the lives of his classmates at NANDA (Nanjing University) in the early 80s to shape a tale of the history and evolution of China. I eagerly anticipated going to Nanjing, a city oozing with ancient history and only two and a half hours via train from Shanghai. I decided to go this trip alone. Read More…

Posted by: daradoodle | March 31, 2009

When It Kills To Be A Foreign Student in China


Tower of Terror has a whole new meaning

Many college students from all over the world venture to China to study abroad. Sometimes I hear kids from the U.S. (usually California) talk about how Shanghai isn’t much different from back home. Weird concept, but at times, this idea works because Shanghai is one of the more Westernized cities (if not the most Westernized city) in China. However, there are still wacky things seen on the streets, or heard on TV, that make you stop and think, no WAY would this ever happen in the U.S. and be considered OK. Well, two weeks ago I had my first real deal taste of the awkward weirdness that is China in a place that should be less apt to have awkward weirdness… the Fudan University Foreign Student Dormitory. Read More…

Posted by: daradoodle | March 7, 2009

Taiwan (台湾), Week #2

And we’re back!

As soon as we arrived at the Tainan (台南) train station, we hopped in a cab to our accommodation. With a name like Hotel Dynasty, how could it not be promising? Read More…

Posted by: daradoodle | March 3, 2009

Taiwan (台湾), Week #1

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without spending it with the ones you love. My original plan was to meet Nathan aka Naters aka Nate aka my BFF in Japan for the holidays, but when I learned that it’s one of the pricier countries in Asia, we opted for an alternative. Ironically Nate was asked to do some work in Taiwan during December and although I didn’t know much about this Republic of China also known as Formosa, I had heard that there were quite a few vacation destinations on the island. After many hours of research, I booked us a two-week trip to Taiwan. Read More…

Posted by: daradoodle | February 11, 2009

Ambassador Doodle Voted Best China Blog!

This blog won the Chinalyst Best China Blog Awards 2008That’s right! recently announced the best English language China blogs of 2008 and thanks to your votes, Ambassador Doodle ranked among the top ten in the Personal Blog category. has listed the top ten in each category and you’ll see that I squeezed in at #10. Since I didn’t do much campaigning, I’m thrilled that I made the list at all. 

Thanks so much for reading! If there’s anything you’d like to see or hear about in future posts, including adjustments to the layout, let me know. I’ll see what I can do.

Posted by: daradoodle | January 31, 2009

Academic Recap/Update

Before departing California on August 31, 2008, I had a precise agenda for the year that I would spend as an academic scholar in Shanghai, China. I knew that acclimating myself to Asia might take some time and perhaps after a few weeks I would pick up exactly where I left off before graduating from CSUN in May by hopping back on the story generating bandwagon. Well, shortly after stepping off the plane in Asia I realized that I would have to make some major adjustments to my original plan. Read More…

Posted by: daradoodle | January 27, 2009



Everyone stops in their tracks to watch fireworks on Chinese New Year.

Happy New Year! Chinese New Year that is. Read More…

Posted by: daradoodle | January 19, 2009

Suzhou (苏州)


Bonsai Garden at Tiger Hill

There’s a little saying that goes, the most beautiful women in China are found in Suzhou (苏州). This isn’t a surprise since my best Chinese gal pal, Jue, is from Suzhou and quite the looker I must say. However, the ladies aren’t the only aesthetic that this silk-producing old town has to offer. Romantic canals, ancient gardens and a kinky museum will wrangle anyone to Suzhou for a few days. With exams and the holidays quickly approaching, one final weekend trip before Poppy and Charlie headed back to the U.K. was necessary.

Read More…

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