Zoo Coffee Final Project


Zoo Coffee, a 咖啡馆 (pronounced: ka fei guan; meaning: coffee shop) located in Wudaokou, draws in students both Western and Chinese. For Westerners studying in China, a country full of foreign experiences, it is only natural to gravitate toward places that are familiar and comfortable.  Zoo Coffee often serves this purpose.  For many people, and […]

It’s Pure Gold! Fish…


Before I came to China, one of the things I was certain would be different in China was the food.  I sort of looked at it as a matter of fact thing, something that couldn’t be changed, and something I would just learn to deal with and get used to because I would have to. […]

Zoo Coffee as a Symbol

This delicious waffle, is the only waffle I have been able to find in Beijing.  Believe me when I say, I have looked.

In my previous post, I explained how I stumbled upon Zoo Coffee, and why I found it so appealing.  What was it that made me want to come back?  I described how I felt when I was shielded by Zoo Coffee’s “bubble”, and described Zoo Coffee as my oasis from the outside world that was […]

It’s Just Different…


One of the reasons I chose to study abroad in China, apart from my wishes to improve my Chinese, was that I wanted to throw myself into an entirely different culture.  I use the phrase “throw myself into” because, for the most part, I am perfectly content remaining within my comfort zone.  While I can […]

My “Oasis”


While I came to China with a slightly different field site in mind- namely some store in which I could research how a company like Johnson & Johnson adjusts their marketing strategies to cater to a completely different consumer clientele in China- I wound up changing my field site to a coffee shop called “Zoo […]

Project Proposal

The beginning stages of this research project has proved far more challenging than I had initially expected.  While I was most intimidated by the project’s open-ended nature at first, I am now beginning to come across other obstacles I hadn’t originally anticipated.  Establishing contact with people in China has been extremely difficult (no success thus […]

Change of Plans…

As the day for our official project proposal inches closer, I’ve been thinking more and more seriously about what I would like to research in China.  While my previous topic regarding gender roles would have been interesting to study, I realized I would much prefer to hone in on a research topic that was more […]

A look into China’s Past


I’m still very unsure as to what exactly I want to research while I am abroad in China. Performing ethnographic research in Beijing is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I just really hope to make the most of it.  On my previous blog post, I wrote about two project proposals. In this blog […]


Aside from my general tendency to be indecisive when it comes to open ended assignments, I know choosing a topic to do fieldwork research on in China will be particularly challenging.  One of the many reasons I believe this is that there is so much I don’t know about Chinese culture.  While this opens me […]

About me

大家好!我的中文名字是韩阿灵。Hi everyone!  My name is Aly Haas and I am a sophomore at the College of William and Mary.  I have recently been accepted into the Mason School of Business, and am excited to couple my Business Studies with my newly found interest in Chinese.  Having only started studying Chinese this past fall, I will […]