small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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10 Things Ya Gotta Love About Chinese New Year

It’s the biggest human migration in the world to celebrate the biggest holiday of the year. Sure, there are lots of annoyances, but let’s think positive. Here are ten things that are great about Spring Festival. 1. Everyone is happy…. 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 →

Cross-Cultural Dinner Fail

“They’re going to love this!” ← Famous last words of a naïve cross-cultural chef, preparing food that’s totally unlike anything the guests have ever tasted. Has anyone else been there? I sure have. Lots of times. One time, I was… 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 →

Return of the Knivenswain

You might remember that a few months back, I wrote about how to get your cleaver sharpened in China. (If you haven’t read it yet, pop on over. It was a very popular post.) Sadly, our audio storage device met… Continue Reading →

Favorite TCK Books of 2017 + Giveaway!

I love finding good fiction books about people living cross-culturally. This year, I found three great middle-grade novels that featured main characters living in a new country. I think they’re good stories, especially for TCKs and expat families. Have you… Continue Reading →

O Holy Night, The Disco Ball is Shining

I grew up with Christmas Eve being calm and serene. There was a hush that seemed to fall over all the land as people went to Christmas Eve services in quiet churches where congregants held glowing candles and sang “sleep… 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 →

Figuring out Thanksgiving Far from America

It’s turkey time! If you’re an American living overseas, Thanksgiving is often the hardest holiday in terms of logistics. Is it worth the hassle and expense to get a turkey? How will you cook it in your EZ Bake oven?… Continue Reading →

50 Smells You Can’t Forget if You’ve Lived in China

They say smell is the sense most closely tied to memory. If I could make your screen scratch-n-sniff, I would, and you’d be instantly transported back to the Middle Kingdom. Chou doufu Mosquito coils Getting caught in a cloud of… Continue Reading →

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