By Logan Miller

Yeah, good luck pronouncing that on your first try…or tenth! The World Cup is in full swing, down to the top 16, USA! USA! USA! Sorry got carried away. Now back to reality, most us hopeful fans are in need of a cold alcoholic beverage to temper all the stress, tears, or joy of watching World Cup matches. That, or an IV drip loaded with coffee from the late nights. Since coffee isn’t my thing let’s stick to booze, more specifically a Brazilian booze known as Cachaca, again good luck pronouncing that correctly. Assuming Brazil does its thing and makes it past the group stage let’s honor them with their country’s famous cocktail – Caipirinha.

1 Lime
Brown Sugar

1. Cut a lime in half then quarter it and place inside a tall glass.
2. Pour a single portion-sized bag of brown sugar over the lime, add more if you prefer it sweeter.
3. Take a muddler and press the lime and sugar together, this releases the juice and oils from the lime while crushing the sugar to an extra fine dust.
4. Add 60ml Cachaca and fill the glass with crushed ice.
5. Stir the ingredients together letting the ice melt a little and garnish with a lime wedge.
6. Sit back and watch the World Cup.

A couple tips:
1. Before opening the bag of sugar, press hard on it a few times to help break down the size of the granules.
2. If you find a traditional Caipirinha a little strange on the palate, try replacing the limes with your favorite fruit or add additional sugar to the mix.

Stay thirsty my friends!


Warnings in July 2014

It looks like I’m leaving China, well for a while at least, but before you start moaning and groaning, this isn’t going to be another one of those “goodbye China” letters we’ve all love to hate. After all, I’ll only be leaving for a year at most, so it’s not really goodbye. It’s more like a zaijian letter. Or more of a mingnian jian letter, and I personally have never read one of those before. And there I go trying, not so successfully, to be original once more. Typically, I hate to admit to being typical. I’ve got tons of questions before I make the longer than a normal vacation visit back to the homeland because I’ve never lived there for any decent period of time since becoming an adult. I’ve never rented an apartment back home. I’ve never filed for taxes (arrest me now) nor have I ever had a “real” job, so though most questions can be answered by looking them up on the Internet, it is very rare that I can find anybody who has been in my position. Needless to write, I’m a little bit nervous. A long time ago, I always pictured myself, after having been on so many adventures, as being the one at the head of the table telling tales to those dining with me. You know what I mean? The dude who knows how to tell the right joke at the appropriate time? The guy who can add an anecdote to go along with any topic? The scholar who passes on ancient wisdom? The man who can tackle any obstacle because he’s seen it all?

In the end, that’s not me, so I’m nervous. I’m much quieter than I used to be as well. Somebody even mistook me as being full of thought the other day. Ha! Me? Full of thought? I care to differ. After all of these years, I’ve turned out much differently from that person I once dreamt of becoming. But hey, at the end of the day, at least I’m able to appreciate things like white puffy pillow clouds in the sky, reasonably priced avocados, and being able to drive all alone down a country road. I still love China, with its strict education system that forces my daughter to bury her head in the books. I terribly enjoy the challenges I face linguistically on a daily basis, and I am giddy when making my way through the throngs of people on holidays. Eating and drinking around a big table of ten while making fun of each other is one of my favorite pastimes. I will surely miss many things from the place I’ve called home for so many years, but as Arnold said, “I’ll be back.” I know, I know. How many times have you heard that one before from people who eventually just become distant Facebook “friends?” Then why leave, if I’ll be back? To make a very long story, very short – circumstance. Okay, it’s because my wife got an offer to be a visiting scholar at a university in the U.S. So, I’m off to drive down that backwater lane looking up at the sky while eating my guacamole, maybe with a passenger or two who might be interested in hearing a story.

By Tim Hoerle