small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

Pippin’s Real-Life Puppy Surprise

In our last episode of All My Puppies, we left Pippin in labor (poor thing), with all of us wondering how many puppies there would be. Okay, seriously, let’s take stock of the situation: this is a young pregnant mama… Continue Reading →

10 Lessons I’ve Learned From Raising TCKs

What are some of the unique things facing TCKs and their parents while they are living in a host country? Loneliness, schooling issues, and health matters are just some of the things that spring to my mind, and there are… Continue Reading →

Meet Pippin! (And Her Unexpected Guests)

Ever since we moved into this apartment complex about a year ago, our whole family has been sad about the stray dog situation. It seems like every month or two, a new homeless dog appears in the neighborhood. Most start… Continue Reading →

Nesting Again When You’re All Nested Out

We painted last weekend! It’s something we had talked about doing since before we moved into this apartment over a year ago. The walls were dirty and really needed some TLC. (Apartments don’t automatically get painted between tenants here; it’s… Continue Reading →

13 China Mysteries No Expat Can Explain

There’s a lot about China I love, and even many┬áChinese customs I’d love to see in my own country. Then are also aspects of life here which I don’t particularly like but can understand the cultural, historical, or practical reason… Continue Reading →

Beach on the Ground Floor, Horseback Riding on the Roof

What kinds of entertainment venues do you expect at your nearest mall? A movie theater? An indoor playland for kids? An ice-skating rink? How about a beach and a horse riding arena? That’s what’s now on offer at the mall… Continue Reading →

No Such Thing as a Simple Errand

Anyone else dread going to the grocery store? Actually, in the U.S. it wasn’t something I hated. I actually kind of liked it. But in China, it’s a different story. It’s become a task I really don’t like. It’s physically… Continue Reading →

Like Turtles? You’ll Love Yuantong Temple

Tucked away between the famous cherry blossoms of the Kunming Zoo and the famous seagulls of Cuihu (Green Lake) lies a relatively unknown Kunming landmark: Yuantong Temple. Despite its proximity to two of Kunming’s most famous sights, Yuantong Temple remains… Continue Reading →

Clean Water, Copper Pot Rice, and Blueberries Top our Reasons to Visit Fuxian Lake

Located about an hour south of Kunming, Fuxian Lake is China’s second-deepest lake, Yunnan’s third-largest lake, and one of China’s only clean lakes. Flanked by some low mountains, and enjoying the same mild climate as the Kunming area, it’s no… Continue Reading →

Our Three-Wheeler Just Got a Sweet Upgrade

Half a year ago, our lives changed when this sanlunche (three-wheeler) entered the family. We were ecstatic to finally have a vehicle that our whole family could fit into. Suddenly, it meant we could go on short trips and errands… Continue Reading →

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