small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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By the Numbers

It’s 39°F in My Bedroom, But I Can’t Complain (Seriously. I vowed not to.)

When we woke up this morning, the thermometer showed that it was 39°F (3.9°C). Not 39°F outside, friends. That was the temperature INSIDE our bedroom. Brrr…. But I am not going to complain about how frigid it is because…I promised not to. This… Continue Reading →

One Pumpkin, Four Ways

Our friends gifted us with this gorgeous gourd about a month ago. Wow. It was so pretty that I couldn’t bring myself to slaughter it right away. I just wanted to enjoy looking at it for a while before we… Continue Reading →

6 Chinese Words I Learned from Songs

Learning the lyrics to Chinese songs is a really fun way to learn new words and phrases in Chinese. It’s a great window into culture, too, to hear the poetic way sentiments are expressed in songs. From the time I… Continue Reading →

These 6 Taobao Freebies are All Winners

If you live in China, you know just how much most people have come to depend on Taobao. You can get ANYTHING on Taobao. Some of my friends from Israel just bought a shofar on Taobao, for crying out loud…. Continue Reading →

8 Reasons the U.S. and China are Basically Twins

There are times when it feels like the U.S. and China are the farthest apart you could possibly get in terms of culture, language, and many other aspects of life. However, the two countries actually have quite a bit in… Continue Reading →

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 →

13 China Mysteries No Expat Can Explain

There’s a lot about China I love, and even many Chinese 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 →

These 9 Chinese Notebooks are All the Inspiration You Need

If you’re looking for a creative boost, a muse to whisper ideas to you, or just something to give you a kick in the pants, look no further than your local Chinese stationery store. Instead of dismissing the bizarre English the… Continue Reading →

What 30 Seconds in an Elevator Teaches You About China Today

Our apartment building’s elevator, like so many in China, is equipped with a small TV to play ads for passengers. Captive audience done right, yo. So, every day for about 30 seconds per ride, we get to have short glimpses… Continue Reading →

46 Signs China is Permeating Your Soul

The longer you live here, the more China starts seeping into everything you do. Here are 46 signs that your time in China is changing you. 1. The line between ketchup and marinara has blurred. 2. Cherry tomatoes and canned… Continue Reading →

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