“Zhong guo” is the pinyin or roman alphabet scripting of China in Mandarin Chinese.  中国 is the Chinese characters.  中means “Middle” and 国 stands for “Country” or “Kingdom.”  In calling this blog Zhong guo Jumble I am sharing a flow of ideas and images that have influenced me while living in China.

I’m an American woman who originally came to China in the fall of 2007 and nearly seven years later I’m still living and working in Shanghai.  Nearly two years ago I married my husband who is Chinese, starting another phase of life in China.  As my Mandarin has improved, my understanding of the culture and history of this country deepens layer by layer.  Shanghai is a vibrant place with lots of opportunities and challenges which I share here.

Welcome to all former readers of “The Shanghai Chronicle.”  This blog serves as a continuation of sorts after a nearly two year hiatus to share my musings on China and Asia.  I hope you enjoy.


53 Responses to “About”

  1. Mona March 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Hi! I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Check it out: http://monahoward.com/2012/03/25/and-were-versatile/

    • gkm2011 March 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      Thank you! I am honored. I will have to do some research as to what this is when I have some free time and then compose my response.

  2. jotsfromasmallapt April 13, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    gkm….this may be a bit much…another award: You might want to check LIEBSTER LORE on my site. Nominated you for a LIEBSTER AWARD!

    • gkm2011 April 17, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Thank you very much! I will check it out soon – I have been traveling a lot lately, but should have some time coming up.

      • jotsfromasmallapt April 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

        Very welcome. From reading your posts I know you are a traveller and busy. I, too, am having a difficult time responding to “another” award given to me last week….and I don’t travel. Life just becomes….life. Juggling available time and priorities becomes….well…you know……

  3. Madhu April 21, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Really enjoyed what little I have seen of your blog! Shall return to browse through your archives! Appreciate your dropping by my blog to comment!

    • gkm2011 April 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      Thanks for visiting my site and welcome back whenever you have a little free time! I enjoyed yours as well and will be back to see more of yours as well. Cheers!

      • Madhu April 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

        Was just reading your post on Yangs Fry dumplings, and was saddened to learn that it has closed down! Those were the best Xiao Long Bao we had in Shanghai!
        Not able to comment on the post for some reason.

      • gkm2011 April 22, 2012 at 9:03 am #

        The original place has closed, but they still have several restaurants scattered through the city. Shanghai folks recognize how good they are too! I’ll look into the comments. Cheers-

    • gkm2011 July 19, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      Thank you! I appreciate it.

  4. I followed Mona to your blog. Will look forward to seeing your perspectives of living in China, now that we switched position – I was born in China and have been living in the US for 19 years.

    I wish that I can appropriately address you by your name. 🙂

    Take care,


  5. throughenglisheyesmark August 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Hi there,

    I stumbled accross your blog and i’m so glad I did 🙂 so now I must take the time to follow you and gain some more insights into your life in China. I too live here, have done so for around 12 years or so. If you have chance please take a look at my blogs http://reflectionsofchina.wordpress.com and http://moreimagesfromme.wordpress.com, the former is for all images China and the latter for images i take in other countries during my travels. I do hope you take a look.
    Regards Mark

    • gkm2011 August 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

      Hi Mark – I think I have seen your blog before during my rambles through the blogosphere. You have some great photos – capturing unique moments in time that I don’t think will exist for much longer. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. annaamazhang September 3, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    I’ve been to Shanghai for a week when I was in China and it’s definitely one of the most westernize cities I’ve been to in SE Asia! I am curious to know what kind of job you are doing over there?? 🙂

    • gkm2011 September 3, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      My initial reason was to go to teach English as a bit of a break from my corporate job, but now I am back in the Corporate world, focusing on consulting to multinationals. It’s never boring!

      • annaamazhang September 6, 2012 at 3:52 am #

        That sounds awesome! It’s always nice to take a break and view a different perspective. I studied abroad in China for a year and I loved it!

        Coincidentally, I am actually in the process of looking for a consulting internship in Shanghai or Beijing! I am glad I bumped into you. I am in the middle of doing a bit of research and would love to get more insight! If you don’t mind, can I take a little bit of your time to ask a few questions by leaving me your email? Or if it’s better, you can reach me at a.amazhang@gmail.com

        I would really appreciate it! 🙂

      • gkm2011 September 7, 2012 at 8:38 am #

        Yes, China can be a very exciting place to work. At this point my employer is not looking for anymore interns, but I wish you luck in your search. Cheers-

      • annaamazhang September 10, 2012 at 12:32 am #

        Thank you, but I really just wanted to know if it is hard to communicate with some foreign companies or do most of them have English speakers?

      • gkm2011 September 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

        There are a lot of individuals within multinationals who speak English, but in general the language of day to day business is in Chinese within the office. For my own company we typically only hire bilingual interns because a big part of what they do is translation work. Senior management may or may not include foreigners depending on the company – but typically management reports, etc. will be in English for sending up the chain to home office.

      • annaamazhang September 13, 2012 at 1:43 am #

        Thank you for letting me know! That’s what I had thought. I am thankful I was in China for a year to brush up on my Chinese since typically a lot of firms in China will require a lot of translating. Good luck in Shanghai!

  7. The Retiring Sort October 14, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Just wanted to let you know I have nominated you for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. I hope this will be welcome news for you. If you prefer not to accept the award, I certainly understand, but I hope you will visit the other nominees, and they will visit you, just the same. To see the other nominees and rules for accepting the award, please visit my post at http://wp.me/p2ekZU-Pt – All the best!

    • gkm2011 October 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      Thank you for the nomination! It may take me a while to reply, but I appreciate your support and reading!

  8. CanadianTravelBugs November 11, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    OK answered my own question by reading on… so what work do you do in China?

    • gkm2011 November 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      I initially came to China on a leave of absence from my job and taught English, but by profession I am an actuary and for the last four years in Chins have worked for a multinational in the consulting space. That’s what I did when I lived in the US as well.

      • CanadianTravelBugs November 12, 2012 at 5:53 am #

        Cool… and you have been able to learn Chinese. I work in English all day and haven’t learned that much. Work is too busy to have the time to take lessons… it would be a waste of money.

      • gkm2011 November 12, 2012 at 7:24 am #

        My former teacher used to have students like you. The company would pay for the lessons and they would cancel all the time. She used to laugh about their “dedication.” I was able to get a jump start when I first came, but it has been a constant journey with mandarin since.

      • CanadianTravelBugs November 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

        I wish I had more time to do it, but 10-12 hour days and most weekends are used catching up on work there is little time for studies!

  9. Kristin December 3, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    I’ve just nomintated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award – congratulations! If you would like to accept, you can follow this link to see the post and learn more about the rules for this award: http://expatiallymexico.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/yay-its-very-inspiring-blogger-award-time/
    Thank you for inspiring me!

  10. petroleumwife December 3, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Thanks for visiting my blog, really enjoying reading through yours 🙂

    • gkm2011 December 3, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

      Glad you stopped by! Living elsewhere and being flexible is a learned skill.

  11. languagewanderer April 15, 2013 at 1:42 am #

    Your blog is very interesitng. Good luck!:)

    • gkm2011 April 15, 2013 at 7:42 am #

      Thank you for stopping by! Good luck on your quest to learn Norwegian.

  12. Mona May 15, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    I hope that you don’t mind, but I linked to your blog and nominated you for this award because I really like what you do here.


    • gkm2011 May 18, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      Thank you Mona! I appreciate the recognition and will try to participate, though it may take me a while!

  13. Every Day Adventures in Asia June 12, 2013 at 2:25 am #

    Psssst! I know you have received a Liebster Award already… back in the time when it was not 11 – 11 -11. 🙂

    However still had to give a ‘nod’ to the amazing lady that inspired me to also blog.

    Check it out: http://everydayadventuresasia.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/liebster-award-share-the-love/

    • gkm2011 June 15, 2013 at 6:25 am #

      Thank you so much and congratulations!

  14. Sherri July 29, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Hi gkm. I love your blog! Thank you very much for visiting my blog and for the follow. I have never been to China but it is a place which fascinates me and your blog is so interesting, and makes me so hungry!!! I have signed up to follow you too and look forward to your updates 🙂

    • gkm2011 July 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

      Hi Sherri, thanks for stopping by and checking out Jumble! I post on food quite a bit, but not all the time so hope there is enough to keep you interested!

      • Sherri July 29, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

        Oh I’m sure there is! I love the kind of food you write about, as do my family, so don’t worry about that and I’m looking forward to learning some great tips from you 🙂

  15. simpletravelourway August 7, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    We’re so glad to discover your site! We have some things in common – aside from blogging on WordPress. We also lived in Michigan and we’re enjoying reading about Shanghai where we’ll be stopping in September on our round the world trip.

    • gkm2011 August 8, 2013 at 7:38 am #

      Thanks for stopping by! Shanghai is a wonderful city – constantly changing. Hope I can pique your interest further!

  16. herschelian September 23, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    Ni hao – just found your blog via a round-about route (Campari & Sofa to Lady of the Cakes to you). I too am an expat in China, living and blogging from Beijing. This week is the 20th anniversary of my first of many trips to China but I have only been really living here for four years. My Mandarin is improving – very very slowly! Will be following you from now on.

    • gkm2011 September 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by! I prefer Shanghai to Beijing but will see if you can change my mind. Good luck with your mandarin studies and understanding this fascinating culture. I think it will take several lifetimes to study it all!

  17. buildingmybento October 16, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    Cheers for liking my post about language study! Do you recall your first Chinese words?

    I was reading about your visit to Taibei 101 and calling it yao ling yao. I’m that way too:) Quite fast internet over in Taiwan too!

    • gkm2011 October 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

      I think they were likely the numbers, hello, goodbye and thank you. I don’t remember specifics six years down the road but that is my best guess. I enjoyed Taiwan a lot – very welcoming and friendly culture.

  18. buildingmybento November 4, 2013 at 5:45 am #

    Cheers for liking my posts about airline food! Which looked the best to you?

    To where will you be taking Emirates? Their catering is so-so, but it’s generally edible. That’s key.

    • gkm2011 November 4, 2013 at 7:28 am #

      To the Middle East – their home turf! Will try to compare.

  19. Every Day Adventures in Asia December 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    While you are enjoying the feasting, family and playing in the snow with Li back in the US of A, wanted to just say ‘thanks’ again for sharing, caring and all that!

    I know you’ve received these kind of blogger awards already, but I’m bestowing upon you yet another! Especially you are a ‘top commentator’ on my blog so that deserves an extra ‘nod’ of recognition. 🙂

    Here you go – you’ve been nominated for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award http://everydayadventuresasia.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/dragons-loyalty-award/

    • gkm2011 December 29, 2013 at 12:17 am #

      Thank you! You have been a loyal follower of my blog as well. Too bad there is no reciprocal blog award….


  1. Verrrry Interesting – Specialty Blogging Awards | The Retiring Sort - October 14, 2012

    […] https://zhongguojumble.wordpress.com/about/ all things Chinese – including food […]

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