‘Anyone Can Learn to Count in Chinese’, by Death to Giants

Two Chinese youth holding up the Chinese character for "2" in a Death to Giants music video.

Ni Howdy! My name is Nichols. I am a half-Chinese, half-Hillbilly American. That basically just means I know the lyrics to “Dixie” in Chinese. In 2008, I left my native-South Carolina and moved to my half-ancestral home (a halfway home??) of China to learn Chinese, teach and travel for a year. In Shanghai, I was attracted to the energy and pace of change. I also fell in love with the unique blend of the residents. People from all over China and all over the world come to Shanghai to live, work and play and the result is a social experiment unlike any I’ve seen in the world.

Four years later and barely still in my twenties, I am still here, now working full time as a math teacher, very involved with the Shanghai music scene, and just started writing a column about the local music scene. I made this video for my band Death to Giants as a tribute to the people and things that year-after-year inspire me to stick around: my students, my neighbors, my friends in the music scene, the McDonald’s delivery men, the street food vendors and the mind-blowing (for better or worse) television programs. Its not always an easy place to live but these comforts excite me and make Shanghai a beautiful place for me.

A horse in pink dancing in front of the Chinese pavilion from the 2010 Shanghai World Expo in a Death to Giants music video.

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