Friday, May 28, 2021

Blogaround

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" in Chinese. 好饿的毛毛虫。 My son has this book. Image source.

1. Noah’s Flood: Competing Visions of a Mesopotamian Tradition (posted April 7) "In this context, the biblical God becomes just an indecisive protagonist who creates a deluge without really knowing what good it will do."

2. Poor in Tech (posted May 19) "I knew I was the only poor person at my tech startup because they always ordered extra catered lunches, and at the end of the week someone would just throw them away if I didn’t take them home."

3. China's Yuan Longping Dies; Rice Research Helped Feed World (posted May 22) "Worldwide, a fifth of all rice now comes from species created by hybrid rice following Yuan’s breakthrough discoveries, according to the website of the World Food Prize, which he won in 2004."

4. omg:

There ain't no disguising the truth.

5. Eric Carle, Creator Of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar,' Has Died (posted May 26) Love his books ~ they are great for little toddlers like my son <3

6. Dior chooses Chinese transgender star as an ambassador for its new fragrance campaign (posted May 28)

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

I'm Still Asexual

The colors of the asexual flag. Image source.

So 2 months ago I wrote How Pregnancy and Childbirth Changed My Asexuality (or, actually, A Post About Vaginismus), which was a big deal for me; I had a lot to say, and it was a very long post. (To sum up: It was about how, after I recovered from childbirth, penetrative sex became so much easier it's like unbelievable, it's like a completely different thing, and I actually enjoy sex now in completely different ways. Which also leads to wondering if maybe I'm not asexual.)

Since I published it, I've been thinking about things more and more, and I feel like I have so much more to say. There is potential for a lot of future posts, once I'm able to organize my thoughts a little more. But for now I just want to say this: I'm still asexual.

Towards the end of that post, I said "So what's left then? Asexual? Well, yeah that fits, that feels right. Okay then." I wasn't super-confident- but now, the more I think about it, the more I am confident I'm asexual.

I know the textbook definition of asexual is "never experiencing sexual attraction" but that's not really the way I personally view it now. I identify as asexual because I don't *get* sex. When people talk about it, or make jokes, or I see it referenced in songs or movies, none of it feels like anything I can relate to at all. I understand having sex with Hendrix (my husband) specifically, but sex as a general abstract concept? Like something that can be generalized and can apply to other people? No, that doesn't make any sense.

And I feel like a lot of this is related to how I grew up in Christian purity culture, super repressed about everything, was terrified that sex would ruin my life, and then when I finally did have sex, it was painful and confusing and I now see that it was a physical problem along the lines of vaginismus. And all of that has laid the groundwork for how I view sex; maybe that's the reason pop culture references to sex make no sense to me. Maybe if my whole life experience had been different, then I wouldn't feel like "I don't *get* sex". 

Maybe not, though... I used to think I *got* sex, way back before I had ever done anything sexual, and then I attempted it for the first time and it was completely different than I expected. Because of vaginismus- but, I believe, also because I'm asexual. But if I didn't have the vaginismus problem, I wouldn't have realized I was asexual.

And sometimes I look back on things I thought or did back then, when I was a teenager or college student, and some of it is just extremely asexual. So I believe I still do fit the definition "never experiencing sexual attraction" even though that's not the definition that's meaningful to me.

Ugh it's hard to put my reasons into words, but I'm still asexual. My whole experience of sex and ability to have sex and desire for sex has changed, but I'm still asexual.

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Related:

How Pregnancy and Childbirth Changed My Asexuality (or, actually, A Post About Vaginismus)

I'm Not a Baby Ace Anymore

LOLLLLL yep should have known right then I was asexual

3 Reasons I Need To Identify As Ace

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This post is part of the May 2021 Carnival of Aces. The topic is Words and Conceptualizations

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Not Sure I Want My Kid Reading the Bible

A parent and baby reading a book together. Image source.

This post is part of the Taking My Kid To Church series, about how I plan to introduce my son to Christianity/ religion/ church

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I saw this article on Christianity Today's website: Authors and Parents Are Rethinking Ways to Foster Kids’ Love for Scripture, and I was immediately interested because I love the bible and want to introduce it to my son, but I very much disagree with a lot of the ways that Christians present the bible to kids.

So let's take a look at this article, shall we? The writer is Corrie Cutrer. I found it a very useful article because the points where I disagree help me to get a sense of how my expectations for children's bible materials are very much not aligned with other Christians'. And also, it's not like I disagree with everything; I think some of these books she links to are worth checking out, maybe.

Well first of all, I love this unintentionally-revealing bit right in the first paragraph: "Adults may recall how, in their formative years, they were taught to recite the books of the Bible, learn characters and plotlines of important stories, or memorize key verses, with an emphasis on the godly thinking and behaviors that develop as a result."

I totally laughed when I read that, because it's basically admitting that no, Christians don't know and love the whole bible. There are certain parts of the bible, "important" and "key" parts, and those are all that ever gets talked about. And yeah of course when I was a little kid I learned a song that lists all the books of the bible, but that was the only time I ever heard anything about Haggai and Zephaniah and whatever. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say the majority of the bible is not taught in children's Sunday school at all. Only the "important" and "key" parts.

But as a child, I was taught that of course we love the whole bible, and of course the whole bible is valuable and worth reading. So I believed that, and I would actually read it. Entire books of the bible, not just the bits they pull out for Sunday school lessons.

So yes, I remember the "important" and "key" verses and the "godly thinking" and all that. But I also remember reading about "proof of her virginity" in Deuteronomy 22, and spending so much of my time, at age 11 or so, wondering what "proof of her virginity" could possibly mean. Apparently it was some sort of cloth??? (I am now pretty sure it means the sheets from their wedding night, where supposedly the woman would bleed if it was her first time having sex. Which is actually not true! I didn't bleed the first time I had penetrative sex. I guess some people do? But definitely not everyone with a vagina, so it's very not cool to make laws about testing women's virginity this way and punishing them. If this is TMI, well, the book of Deuteronomy is TMI.)

I remember reading about the man who was caught gathering wood on the Sabbath, in Numbers 15. God told Moses to kill this poor guy. So they killed him. And little Perfect Number- gosh how old was I then? Elementary school?- little Perfect Number had to force herself to believe that guy deserved to die.

I remember reading the book of Job, and how it just went on and on and on, Job's friends giving long speeches, hammering on the same points over and over. I kind of just skimmed the last few chapters and was like "okay finally done reading this" and totally missed the ending, where God shows up all "WHERE WERE YOU when I laid the foundations of the earth" and "y'all don't know shit about Job" (slight paraphrase). And then God gave Job more kids, because God had allowed all Job's kids to die at the beginning of the story. Yeah, little Perfect Number just skimmed over that part and didn't have to consider whether her God thought children were replaceable. (Of course, I came back to the book of Job again after that, and then read that part. Of course I read the entire bible multiple times.)

So yes, of course I read and loved those "key" passages about "God is love" and all those good things, but I also read about a God who believes a woman's body is a man's property, and a God who believes people deserve to literally die for any tiny minor sin, and a God who lets satan kill your children to prove a point. I was taught that, you know, all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, correcting, etc, and so I fully believed those things and held them as just as true and important as the "important" and "key" passages.

So when Christians talk about "we want to teach our children to love the bible" as if that's a simple and obvious thing, no, I don't really agree with that. I am a Christian and I love the bible, but I don't believe it's inerrant; I think the writers got A LOT of things wrong (but it's useful for us to read because it gives insight into human nature and culture and how they viewed God), and I believe most of it is not appropriate for children.

I want to introduce my son to the bible, but not in the way I was. 

So, let's continue with this Christianity Today article and see what their suggestions are.

The next section talks about the importance of parents discussing the bible with their children, like it's a normal part of life, not just something you learn in church. Yes, I agree! I am always up for talking about the bible (okay but I have boundaries with Christians who want to tell me I'm not a real Christian). And then this bit:

For example, just about every morning, the boys come downstairs to witness their dad reading the Bible over a cup of coffee. When it’s time for him to tackle lackluster passages from books such as Lamentations, he may comment that he’s ready for something more exciting, Simons says. But ultimately this demonstrates his belief that every word from God has the ability to change him, so he’s willing to stick with studying all of Scripture.

Yeah, like I said, Christians claim that the whole bible is valuable and life-changing, but most Christians very much do not behave like they actually believe that. And the ones that do, like in the above paragraph, find themselves having to convince themselves that yeah this "lackluster" passage totally is worth reading in their daily devotions.

On that note, let's talk about "daily devotions." This is a Christianese term that means the habit of taking time every day to sit quietly by yourself and read the bible and pray. (The CT article doesn't use the term "daily devotions" but I am using it here because that's a very common term in evangelical culture.) And I was taught that yes of course Christians are supposed to be doing that every day. Of course! That's like, one of the main parts of being a Christian! (I guess only a few rich people could be Christians before the invention of the printing press in the 1400s.) So of course I did it every day, every single day for years, back when I had a personal relationship with God.

But the more I'm out of evangelical culture, the more I feel like the habit of reading the bible every day is really frickin' weird. You've got this ancient book, written thousands of years ago in the Middle East, in other languages that were then translated into English- but some bits were hard to translate because we really don't know what those words meant exactly, so the translators just did their best, but none of that uncertainty is reflected in the copy of the bible you hold, where everything is in grammatically-correct English sentences and English words that you understand. It was written by a whole diverse group of authors, who each had their own biases (like thinking slavery was normal and women weren't really full people), their own political reasons for writing what they did, and who very much did not believe in the Christianity that you were taught in church- you know, the Christianity that is supposedly simply "what the bible says." 

And you've got a bunch of different genres- Hebrew poetry, parables, apocalyptic literature, history (but not as fixated on getting the facts right as modern people think historians should be).

You take all that, and you sit down for 10 minutes every morning and read a bit of it while enjoying your coffee, and you expect to get some kind of nice inspirational message that you can ponder as you go about your day. You expect you're going to read a few bible verses and feel God's nice comforting presence and then close the book and on to the next thing. 

Uh, really? Isn't it more likely you'd be like "wtf did I just read" and wow it's already been 10 minutes and you feel like you haven't gotten anywhere near a "nice inspirational message" from God... you feel like you better go to the library and check out some books on ancient Hebrew culture before you can even begin to understand...

Actually... I'll be honest with you- back when I had a personal relationship with God, I did experience those "daily quiet times" as helpful and uplifting and feeling God's presence. I read the bible, all of it, all the wtf parts, and I had so much faith, I really 100% believed that all those extremely-shady-sounding things that God commanded were just fine. Surely God had a reason, and it's all good. I really believed that. And yes, the daily bible reading did strengthen my devotion to God, relationship with God, obedience to God, and love for the bible.

But after I started to question, the whole concept of "daily devotions" became impossible for me. I would read just a few verses and get so stuck on how wrong they felt, and I'd end up so confused, and feel so bad about my inability to do this very basic Christian thing, to sit down and read the bible with the correct blinders on so that it would simply be an uplifting experience that strengthened my relationship with God.

(And yes, I'm aware that there are certain sections of the bible that much more easily come across as "nice and inspirational and teaching you nice lessons about God"- like the epistles, some of the psalms, most of the passages in the gospels. But I don't think I'm wrong if I say the majority of the bible is ... weird.)

(And ughhh, yeah I know that some good evangelical is going to read this and take issue with my word choice when I say "nice and inspirational"- they are gonna say "well her approach to the bible was all wrong! The bible is not just supposed to be nice and inspirational- it also convicts us of our sin and teaches us hard truths that we might not want to hear, but we need to obey." Yeah, I know, and I'm not sure what words to use instead... I'm not talking about "I wanted to read the bible and feel good about myself, but instead it told me I'm a sinner"; I'm talking about "I wanted to read the bible and learn things about God, but instead I found a God who does a lot of really really bizarre things that make no sense, like making laws about 'proof of her virginity', and ordering an execution when someone was gathering sticks on the Sabbath, and giving Job more kids to replace his kids- and hundreds more examples. Also why is there so much written here about foreskins.")

Anyway. So. Coming back to the topic I'm actually trying to write about- how to introduce the bible to my son. I would like him to read it, but the "have a quiet time every day" thing is weird. It makes more sense to me to read the bible on one's own terms, and when one has enough time to be looking up information on ancient Israel in parallel. And maybe don't just read the bible- also read books by modern biblical scholars from a variety of different viewpoints. Yeah I even want him to read stuff I don't agree with, because he has to learn how to judge someone's argument and decide whether it makes sense or not. When I was a kid, I assumed that all the books written by Christians were 100% true. And there were some books on some topics that we weren't allowed to read, because we would be "led astray." I don't think that's a healthy approach now. I think you can read whatever, no need to be afraid of "being led astray", and the important thing is that you personally have the critical thinking skills to know when you should reject an idea.

But Square Root is a toddler, so all of that is many years away from us.

Oh but fortunately, that Christianity Today article has recommendations related to toddlers and little kids! Let's take a look:

Teaching kids to study Scripture—not just read it—can begin at a young age. Quina Aragon, a spoken word artist and author of the children’s Bible story picture book Love Made, takes a simple, age-appropriate approach with her four-year-old daughter. Aragon says she’ll often begin a brief time of Bible study by asking her little girl to repeat a few phrases she learned from Bible Study Fellowship’s children’s program. “I’ll say, ‘The Bible is … ’ and then my daughter will shout, ‘God’s Word!’ Then I’ll say, ‘And all God’s words are … ’ and she’ll shout, ‘True!’ And then I’ll say, “And the whole Bible is about … ’ and she’ll shout, ‘Jesus!’ ”

Oh. Uh. Yeah I am not a fan of this. 

Like, cringe.

This mom has taken a very big, multifaceted, abstract concept, and condensed it down to 3 simple sentences, and presented it to her child as if they're just simple indisputable facts. Yes, if the mom believes "The Bible is God's Word" etc then I don't have a problem with that- and as an adult, she is capable of realizing that "is God's Word" can mean a lot of different things to different people, that it's the kind of thing where one might ask "what do you mean by that" and have an hours-long discussion about it. And 5 different people might all say "The Bible is God's Word" but mean 5 different things by it. And many perfectly good people who love this little 4-year-old girl do not believe that "the Bible is God's Word."

To teach a child something like "the whole Bible is about Jesus" in the same way you teach them that the sky is blue and 1+1=2... this is not good. Yes, I understand that the parents believe those things are all literally equally true- but the parents also understand that people have different opinions about religion, and we don't have absolute proof about it, and people are free to believe what they want and you shouldn't be mean to anyone about it- and none of that is getting communicated to the child.

Moving along:

Aragon focuses on just a little bit of Scripture at a time. “Lately we’ve been discussing a few verses from the book of Mark,” Aragon said. “I’ll open my Bible and point to the letter M because my daughter has begun learning the alphabet. I’ll say, ‘M is for Mark.’ Then I explain how the numbers represent chapters and verses. We’ll read three or four verses, and I’ll share one concept or point from the passage that she can repeat back to me. Then I’ll pray and give her a chance to pray.”

Aww this is nice. Yeah the gospels are some of the more child-friendly parts of the bible (until you get to the whole "torturing Jesus to death" bit, yeah that is not appropriate for children) and I like the mom and daughter reading it together and the mom talking about how she interprets it. I like the idea of letting the child experience it, but not telling the child they have to believe it or anything like that.

Mitchell suggests another idea for studying Scripture with children of multiple ages: Create a visual prompt using a large poster with the question “What is God like?” written on it. “Every time you read a story in the Bible that tells you something about God’s character, write or draw it on the paper,” Mitchell said. “You’ll see how he’s good, loving, merciful, and what his grace looks like. It will build and build.” This is one way for children to learn about the attributes of God and begin processing life experiences through the lens of knowing and trusting his character, Mitchell explained.

Uh, this only really works if you severely limit which passages you look at. Otherwise you have to write "thinks virginity is a real thing, believes the myth about bleeding the first time having penetrative sex, thinks women who have unmarried sex deserve to die" and many other extremely questionable things we see God saying or doing in the bible. Do you really want your 4-year-old reading that?

Okay, yeah, since we're talking about "severely limiting" which parts of the bible we show to children, I'll say this: There is a lot of good stuff in the bible. There are a lot of very good and beautiful truths about God. There are a lot of stories that are great for kids to read. BUT. Most of the bible is not that. So yes, I want to show my child the good parts, but I don't want to misrepresent the bible and have him think that the bible is all about exciting stories, and teaching morality and godliness, and learning good things about God. No, the bible is very much about foreskins, and genocide, and God sending war and disasters as punishment, and laws that had zero understanding of human rights.

And I believe in evangelical culture, the bible is very much misrepresented in this way. People say they believe the whole bible is inspired by God, is worth reading, can change our lives- but there are so many passages that you never hear about in church. The really weird ones. And kids like Little Perfect Number (ie me as a child), taking them at their word and actually reading right through, all the good and bad and ugly, not the version of the bible that's been carefully curated to present in Sunday School class... Little Perfect Number sitting in church wondering what "proof of her virginity" means, when she'd never even heard of a hymen, when she didn't even know that the kind of sex that makes babies involves penetration... It's not right. (And if you're like, why does this blog post keep talking about this virginity stuff so much, it's WEIRD- well you should ask Moses the same question.)

So what do I do, read Square Root a bible story and then tell him "that's from the bible, but actually most of the bible is INCREDIBLY WEIRD, it's not nice stories like this"? That seems... like an odd thing to say to a toddler? So I don't really know how to handle this. 

Right now I read him board books about the Christmas story in the bible, that's all. He loves to point out the star and donkey and sheep. It's adorable. I have not sat him down for the "the bible is INCREDIBLY WEIRD" talk yet, lol.

But hey, let's get back to the CT article:

Beyond teaching information, Borgo suggests that parents focus on their child’s spiritual formation when imparting Bible knowledge. She encourages parents to view Scripture as a conversational partner or as an opportunity to help their kids encounter God in the stories of the biblical characters who’ve experienced God throughout the ages. When reading a Bible passage, Borgo recommends parents pose a few key exploratory questions. “They can ask, ‘What is it that you wonder about this story? What is it you wish would have happened or not have happened?’ ” she said.

I love this! "view Scripture as a conversational partner or as an opportunity to help their kids encounter God." Love it! I see the bible as sort of something to bounce ideas off of, not something that you have to believe because it's inerrant and if it seems wrong to you then better change yourself because you're the problem. Also I love the part about "What is it you wish would have happened or not have happened?" Omg, let's write fan fiction! Let's play with it! Let's explore. I love it.

And the bit about "biblical characters who've experienced God throughout the ages", yes, that's totally how I view the bible. The writers were writing from their own perspectives, their own experiences and their own views of God, and it's so interesting and useful to read those different perspectives. Of course there were lots of things they got wrong, but also lots of things that can serve as good models for us. Use your own brain to figure out which is which.

Back to the Christianity Today article. It has some book recommendations! Let's take a look:

Danielle Hitchen has published a series of Christian board books for babies. For example, there's Let There Be Light: An Opposites Primer [affiliate link], featuring pairs like "wet/dry", "day/night", etc, with a bible verse and nice artwork for each one.


This looks pretty good! I feel like some of the board books in this series get a little too abstract, like "2 natures of Jesus: fully man, fully God" in the counting book, but hey, it's okay to have some more abstract stuff in baby's library. Probably won't be the kid's favorite, though, because it's so abstract it's hard for them to relate to it. Also, uh... nobody is gonna have a problem with "day and night are opposites" but you tell a baby "Jesus was fully man and fully God" and you've glossed over centuries of debate and kicking people out of the church for heresy. So, umm, not super thrilled about all of the stuff in these books. Also I wonder how much they get into the "you are a sinner and you deserve to die and go to hell" ideology- which I don't believe, but most evangelicals do. I don't want my kid exposed to that. My child is the most precious thing to ever grace the earth with his presence. Ain't nobody gonna tell him God thinks he deserves to go to hell. Not on my watch.

But yeah, I definitely think it would be good to get little Square Root one of these Christian board books. And if it has a few pages I don't agree with, well we can teach him that adults don't agree about everything. I guess. Well, I'd want to read the whole book myself first to make sure there's nothing about "you deserve to go to hell."

Looking at some of the other links in the CT article, these ones look like they could be good:

Love Made: A Story of God’s Overflowing, Creative Heart. Oooh it's about God's love, the story of creation, and really nice pictures of cute animals. And I like how it's a story, so the child can view it just like any of the stories in his other books- like it's nice to read but that doesn't mean it literally happened. I mean, yeah sure when he grows up he can believe this literally happened, or there is literally a bunny being patted by Paul and Judy, or whatever.

Jesus and the Lions' Den (Tales That Tell the Truth). Ooooh what an interesting concept- it's about finding similarities between the story of Daniel in the lions' den and the story of Jesus. Wow this is skirting dangerously close to "the gospel writers embellished the story with stuff they found meaningful from the Old Testament." Love it. I'd have to actually read it myself to see how they present it, I'm guessing it's more of a "the whole bible points us to Jesus" vibe actually.

So. In summary. I am excited about the idea of introducing my child to the bible. I'm a Christian and I love the bible. There's a lot of great stuff in there. But then I look at Christian materials for children and there are always things that make me cringe or say "that's not appropriate for children", or that completely misrepresent the bible by presenting it like it's NOT a book full of weird stuff. (Foreskins, genocide, etc.) In this Christianity Today article, there were things I loved and things I very much will NOT be teaching my kid. There were a few book recommendations that are worth checking out. It's going to be a process, teaching him about the bible, and I don't have a clear answer yet about how to do it. But it'll be fine.

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Disclosure: I use Amazon affiliate links, which means if people click the link and buy the thing I earn money

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Related:

Taking My Kid To Church: God Loves My Son

Why on Earth Did I Ever Expect the Bible to be Anything Other Than Incredibly Weird? 

The Bible is a Model, So Use Your Brain

Honest Lent: Unclear Passages

For all the posts in the "Taking My Kid To Church" series: Taking My Kid To Church (Blog Series)

Friday, May 14, 2021

Blogaround

1. Animation: Gender Eyeshadow (posted April 30) "God knows how many days in the Enchanted Woods (not to mention several swims in the ocean) and Elsa and Anna are still rocking their eyeshadow game."

2. Twitter thread from Rachael Denhollander about the newest situation with Josh Duggar (posted May 7)

3. Why I say “I don’t experience split attraction” not “I don’t have a romantic orientation” (posted April 17) "When I first starting pushing back against the concept of split attraction, the only way I could think of to describe my experience was to say “but to me ace and aro are conflated” but I’ve become increasingly opposed to using the word conflated (which was used on Tumblr to imply that my experience was inherently wrong) to describe myself."

4. The False Hope of a Mature Creation (posted April 5) "Did all these events happen in just the past 6000 years? There is no remotely plausible scenario which can compress all of this history into such a short time frame."

(And on the same site, this satire piece from 2017 is FANTASTIC: Answers from Genesis: Reclaiming the Biblical Authority of Joseph’s Global Famine)

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Sinopharm vaccine, 1st dose

Aww yeah, I got my first dose of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine!

In China, there are 2 different vaccines being given to the general public- one developed by Sinopharm and one developed by Sinovac. Seems like some locations here are giving one and some locations are giving the other, and you get whatever you get. Both of them use the inactivated virus, and both of them require 2 doses.

In late March, Shanghai started encouraging the general public to get vaccinated. Here's what I wrote about it in my April 3 blogaround:

Good news- here in Shanghai, starting around March 29 there's been a big push for people to get the COVID vaccine. I saw a bunch of articles on social media (WeChat) about how to register, there was a flyer posted on the 1st floor of our apartment building, somebody came door-to-door with the flyers too, and HR at work sent an email. (There is a separate system for foreign passport holders to register, because the main system requires a Chinese ID number.) I have an appointment in a few weeks for the first dose! Woo I love vaccines!

They are saying everyone who is age 18 to 75 and healthy should get vaccinated. Right now everyone in that range can go ahead and make an appointment, it's not broken down into different risk categories or anything like in the US. (People who are higher risk because they come into contact with international travelers etc have already been vaccinated.)

Only some of the vaccine locations have been designated as accepting foreigners. I assume it's so they can make sure they have someone who speaks English there, and a place where you can pay for the vaccine if you're not on Chinese social insurance, and whatever other weird edge cases they might have to deal with to accommodate international people.

Ah, so about that Chinese social insurance: It's kind of like how in the US, you get money deducted from your salary to pay for social security and whatever else. If you are paying into the system (which I am), then you get benefits related to health care, maternity leave, unemployment insurance, pension, etc. (When I was on maternity leave I got paid 100% of my salary for the whole 4 months I was off work.) And, if you are in the system, you get your COVID vaccine for free. If you're not in the system, it's 100 rmb, which is about $15.

Oh, another fun fact: I am still breastfeeding my little toddler son. There was a lot of talk in the mom groups (on WeChat/ social media) about "should I get the vaccine if I am breastfeeding?" Some moms did, some moms didn't, some moms went to the vaccine site and were told they weren't allowed to get the vaccine because they were breastfeeding. The latest recommendation in China is that pregnant and breastfeeding people can totally get the vaccine, but this is the kind of thing China is super-cautious about (in my opinion, way too cautious), so sometimes the staff at the vaccine site still don't allow it. I am all about that natural immunity being passed on to the baby through the milk though. :)

Anywayyyyyyy I took pictures for you, blog readers, so here they are:


You have to show your green QR code (to prove that you haven't travelled to any medium-risk or high-risk places in the past 14 days), and this security guard is taking everyone's temperature.

新冠疫苗接种人员入口 = COVID-19 vaccination entrance

Taking temperature on the wrist

Yeah he's taking everyone's temperature, but like not very accurately.


(The above image is a sign that says: 疫苗接种 Vaccination 预检登记处 Pre inspection registry)

Then you have to go to the registration desk and show them your passport, then on to the next window where you fill out the consent form. It asks questions about if you are allergic to any vaccines, etc.

This is the page you have to sign to confirm that they gave you the consent form.

Turns out the vaccine site I went to is a vaccine clinic that normally sees children. They had very cute animals on the walls, and charts about what vaccines babies need to get. But that afternoon they had the place set up to only do the COVID vaccine.



After the vaccine, you have to sit in the "observation area" for 30 minutes in case you have a reaction. This is standard in China- every time I take my son for a vaccine, or if I have a flu shot, or whatever, have to wait around for 30 minutes.

The vaccine I got was the Sinopharm one. Here's an image I found online that shows what the box looked like:

Box for the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine. Image source.

The box says:

新型冠状病毒灭活疫苗(Vero细胞) 

SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine(Vero Cell), Inactivated

The small print at the bottom says the vaccine was made by CNBG/ Beijing Institute of Biological Products (China National Biotec Group, which is owned by Sinopharm).

After the vaccine, my arm was sore for about 1-2 days, but I didn't have any other side effects.

They said the next dose should be 3-8 weeks later. Really looking forward to being fully vaccinated!

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Good news~ My Patreon account reached its goal of $20/month! I said I would publish posts about my life in China when that happened, so here is the first one! Many thanks to my Patreon supporters and to all my readers. <3

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