small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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China

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 →

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 →

The One Hour China Book

We get asked a lot of questions about China. A lot. China is coming up in the world at a pace unmatched by any culture or economy in history, and it’s got the world’s attention. Naturally, people have a lot… 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 →

Star Wars 7 is Finally Opening in China, Not That They Care

  In 36 hours, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will descend upon China, three weeks after it hit the rest of the world. Although Hollywood is holding its breath to see what impact China’s box office power will have on… 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 →

Today Marks 10 Years in China

Today is the 10th anniversary of our family’s arrival in China. It came and went with much less fanfare than it would have received had I been more prepared. There probably would have been fireworks. But I did pause to… Continue Reading →

Monster Hunt: The Chinese Blockbuster You’ll Have to Wait to See

I really enjoyed this movie. Apparently, so did all of China. Monster Hunt became the biggest-grossing Chinese movie of all time during its first month in theaters, making $170 million in its first eight days alone. Our family finally went… Continue Reading →

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