small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

Category

Reflections

I’m Not That Tall

Let’s just get this out of the way up front: I’m tall. 5’10”, in fact. Possibly 5’9 3/4” if we’re being really exact, but, honestly, no one cares about that quarter inch. In the United States of America, 5’10” is… Continue Reading →

Chatting About the Weather Isn’t So Foreign After All

“Can I ask you a question?” My language tutor and I had been meeting for several months and were getting to know each other really well. So well, in fact, that she had begun asking me lots of questions about… Continue Reading →

10 Things to Know About Teenage TCKs

How are things different having a teenager overseas versus having a younger child? And how are teenage TCKs different from their monocultural peers? I’m answering those questions in a guest post over at China Family Blog: 10 Things to Know… Continue Reading →

What a Buddhist Nun, A Skeleton, and a Muslim Mom Taught Me About Death

One of the classes I took in university towards my minor in Religious Studies was Buddhism. My instructor was a Buddhist nun from Singapore, and I can clearly remember her standing in front of the class with her shaved head… Continue Reading →

HOME, JAMES is here!

I am thrilled to let you know that my book, HOME, JAMES, is now released! Readers are saying: “It’s a book about every middle schooler who’s ever felt like an outsider. And that’s pretty much all of us.” “…had me… Continue Reading →

Book Announcement!

Alright, friends, it’s finally time for MY BIG BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT!! Two years ago, I promised myself I would finish a book draft as a present to myself for a milestone birthday. (21st, right? :)) I did it! About a year… Continue Reading →

The 10 Craziest Questions I’ve Been Asked in China

Being white in China, especially in off-the-beaten path areas of China, seems to make it fair game for any stranger to ask you any question about America. This can sometimes be awkward or weird, especially if you are a white… Continue Reading →

Are They All Yours?

Early on in my Mandarin studies, I learned the word 都 dōu. Although it can mean “both”’ the meaning that stuck firmly in my head was “all”’ as in: “All the Americans in Nanning love to play Ultimate.” “All of… Continue Reading →

We’re Going Through Transition, We’re Not Scared!

A July fun fact for you: The word “summer” is derived from the Proto-Germanic word sumaraz, meaning “upheaval, chaos, change, uncertainty.” Wait, no. No it’s not. But it sure feels that way in Expatland. Summer is when everyone travels, moves,… Continue Reading →

8 Observations about the First 5 Hours in America

Like many American expats, June is the month our family boarded a plane back to the U.S. It’s always surreal to arrive back in the Land of the Free and Home of the Big Gulp. And there’s nothing like the… Continue Reading →

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