“So, how long have you been in China?”

I get asked that all the time, by locals and foreigners alike, and I’m never quite sure how to answer. The simplest answer is, “since 2005.” The longer answer involves sitting down with you over a cup of coffee, so let me know the next time you’re passing through.

201410 Emily Steele JacksonMy husband, two kids and I are Americans living in a small town in southern China. Life is always interesting when you live cross-culturally, and it just gets more interesting when you’re in rural China.

If you also live in China, I hope you find some useful posts here that help with practical matters, but also some encouragement from someone who is right here in the Middle Kingdom with you. And for those of you who aren’t in China, you are most welcome to come explore life here with us. We never know what the day will bring, but whether it’s stocking up on fireworks or self-inflicted culinary disasters, it’s always certain to be an adventure.

Emily Steele Jackson

Update: Well, much of this is still true, but one important thing has changed: we now live in a city. So, why has my blog title not changed? I’m so glad you asked. Here are 5 Reasons It’s Still Small Town Laowai.

Update again: Now my family and I are back in the U.S. but I’m still posting Small Town Laowai stories. Plus I wrote a book

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