Monkey Abroad

A blog about the life abroad. Asian culture and cuisine. Videos, stories, photos, advice, teaching ESL.

(VIDEO) Journey Across China, Part 1 – Homemade Jiaozi

July 14, 2014 by Kevin Cook | 4 Comments

After waiting almost two weeks to receive my passport with a renewed residence permit, I’m free to live in China for another year, and my long-awaited journey across China has finally begun. First stop, Zibo, for some delicious homemade jiaozi.

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traditional Chinese meal video

July 5, 2014
by Kevin Cook

(VIDEO) Traditional Chinese Meal Experience

Sitting down to eat a traditional Chinese meal with friends is one of the best parts about living in China and one of the best ways to experience Chinese culture. Every so often, my colleagues invite me to join them for such a meal, and this time, I’m bringing you along with me. Continue Reading →


June 25, 2014
by Kevin Cook

100th Post Announcements: Summer Plans, Next Job

Sorry for the hiatus. I may or may not have been staying awake ’til the ass crack of dawn watching the World Cup with friends here in Rizhao these past two weeks. Also, I’ve been busy solidifying my legal residency in China for one more year, sending documents back and forth in the mail and whatnot, so the blog has sadly taken a backseat. Today, instead of publishing something about Chinese culture and cuisine, I just wanna announce a few things, including my plans for this summer and my next job. Plus, Monkey Abroad reached 100 posts! Continue Reading →

(VIDEO) The Effects of Exercising in China’s Air Pollution

June 14, 2014
by Kevin Cook

(VIDEO) The Effects of Exercising in China’s Air Pollution

It’s no secret that China suffers from some of the worst air quality in the world, but how does abhorrent air quality affect people who work or exercise outdoors? I want to see if I can tell the difference between exercising on a clear day versus a day with an ‘unhealthy’ air quality index to compare how I feel. Continue Reading →

Teaching ESL

June 12, 2014
by Kevin Cook

Saying Goodbye to Students

This week reminded me of the greatest perk of being an ESL teacher: student love. After final exams, I looked my classes in the face for the last time, thanked them for being great students this semester and, of course, posed in hundreds of bunny-ears photos. As this chapter of my life closes, I’m realizing how much I’m going to miss these students. Continue Reading →

ESL activity

May 23, 2014
by Kevin Cook

The “Amazing” Life of a Chinese College Student (36 Photos)

As a warm-up ESL activity, I asked my students to think of one amazing thing that they’ve done and write it down on a slip of paper. After they dropped their responses in a hat, we drew them randomly to discuss as a class, and while this was going on, it became clear to me that my students live rather unspectacular lives. Continue Reading →


May 20, 2014
by Kevin Cook

The 5 Typical ESL Teachers (Funny)

Teaching overseas takes guts, adventurousness, but most of all, weirdness. Let’s face it, the type of people who pursue the lifestyle of an ESL teacher are a different breed, myself included. After meeting and getting to know many teachers in Thailand and China, I’d classify most nomadic educators into at least one of these five ESL teacher archetypes.

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