small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

Tag

challenges

Let’s Play Overseas Mom Guilt Bingo!

All moms struggle with mom guilt, but I think living overseas adds an extra layer of struggle. We get all the normal worries plus fun bonus ones like tropical diseases and second languages. We beat ourselves up for all the ways we… Continue Reading →

Why it’s so hard to answer the question, “How many times have you moved?”

I’m in the middle of packing up our apartment. Again. In our nearly 17 years of marriage, this will be our 11th move. Or maybe it’s our 14th? No, wait. 18th? Or maybe even 21st? I’ve lost track. I’ve been… Continue Reading →

The Great Ant Invasion: Day IV

We’ve had ants in this apartment ever since we moved in. Our househelper says it’s because we are on the second floor and surrounded by trees. I think she’s right. She also pointed out that the apartment below us has… Continue Reading →

My true whale self doesn’t drink red wine

I want to drink red wine. I see it all over my newsfeed. A glass of it in the hands of laughing friends, relaxing together. Being sipped as swanky folks prep their grass-fed, wild-caught, do-I-even-need-to-say-organic dinner. It gets paired with… Continue Reading →

13 things I’ve learned about staying at Chinese hotels

There are a few important things I’ve learned over the years about staying in “hotels with Chinese characteristics.” Here are the highlights. 1. Slippers are your friends. As soon as they open for business, the carpet in Chinese hotels is basically… Continue Reading →

My hair and China are not on speaking terms

When we moved to China, I knew I’d have to learn a new language, a new culture, and a new toilet. But it never occurred to me that moving to China would affect my hair. Let’s explore the history of… Continue Reading →

Bloomability (Review)

If you’re looking for a great book for a middle-school TCK (third culture kid), you’ve found it. Sharon Creech is already recognized as an outstanding writer and storyteller. She is best known for her award-winning book Walk Two Moons. Bloomability… Continue Reading →

5 hours or 109 miles, whichever comes first

We just visited a small city near us. It’s 176 km away, according to Google maps. That’s 109 miles for all you Muricans, which would take about an hour and a half if you were driving on freeways in the U.S…. Continue Reading →

Foreigner! Foreigner!

I wrote most of this a couple of months ago, but never quite finished polishing it up ’til now. Enjoy! When I tell people back in the U.S. how much we get stared at, photographed, and shouted at here in… Continue Reading →

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