This is the first in a periodic series of reviews of other blogs.

One of my favorite blogs on the whole, wide web is Jonna Wibelius’ SHEinChina.  I stumbled across it innocently enough.  Back in the old days (early 2009) when The Soap Boxers was on blogspot, I would check out the “Blogs of Note” and SHEinChina was featured one day.  I was hooked from the first day, and have been a daily reader and frequent commenter (to her credit, Jonna has not yet told me to shut up).

Jonna is from Sweden, but has spent a good chunk of her life living in other countries.  She currently lives in China, hence the name of the blog (by the way, the “SHE” stands for Seen, Heard, Experienced – it is not simply the word “she”.)  Jonna’s goal is to eventually speak  Chinese at a native level.

From my perspective, I actually get to learn about two countries when I read her blog.  Of course, China is the prevalent topic, but the expectations she brings from Sweden also teach me about Sweden.  She also has a worldwide audience and you can often learn a lot from the people who leave comments, as well.

What sort of adventures does Jonna experience?  Here are some examples:

  • She has a recurring issue with exercise.  Specifically, the fact that she exercises regularly and tones her muscles.  This is really not the norm in China, and she has been told that she has “big” muscles.
  • A Chinese wedding tradition is to have the bride and groom have pictures taken in costumes.  Yes, actual costumes, not just the wedding attire.  This is done before the wedding.  I had never heard of this, and honestly was a bit surprised.
  • Tales of how laowai (foreigners) are treated differently (usually worse) by vendors – but also tales of how she is treated very well by other vendors.
  • Photo blog posts (pictures that are worth 1000 words)

This is a small sample of topics.  Jonna posts nearly every day and covers a broad spectrum of topics.  Not only is the subject matter interesting, but her writing style also makes the blog very easy to read.

Jonna will be off to Finland for a couple of months this summer (before returning to China), allowing us to learn more about yet another country.

Check out SHEinChina at http://sheinchina.blogspot.com/

Update, July 11, 2009:  Jonna is joining the staff of The Soap Boxers.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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