small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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Chinese New Year

Retailers in Malaysia and Thailand Embrace Chinese New Year

There are just a few days left in the official two weeks of Chinese New Year! Our family happened to be traveling through Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and parts of Thailand in the days leading up to Chuxi (New Year’s Eve)…. Continue Reading →

To Win Chinese New Year, You Must Master Snacks

If you want to host a Chinese New Year’s party, you’ll find plenty of tips and how-to’s online about what dishes to serve, what decorations to use, different Spring Festival greetings to use, how to accumulate enough fireworks to start… Continue Reading →

Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkeys

It’s fascinating to observe how China prepares for their biggest holiday, Lunar New Year. At a time when U.S. retailers have started putting Christmas stuff out in July (seriously?), it’s almost refreshing to see the first signs of New Year’s… Continue Reading →

What in the Middle Kingdom? Lucky red squares

This Chinese New Year, I noticed something I’d never noticed before in China. All of a sudden, cars and other vehicles were sporting little red squares of paper. They were adorning the hoods, front ends, or back bumpers of most… Continue Reading →

Baa-ram-ewe, baa-ram-ewe, to the Year of the Goat-Ram-Sheep be true

So, which is it? Is 2015 the Year of the Goat? Year of the Sheep? Year of the Ram? I’ve had several people ask me, and the answer is easy: it’s all of them. In Chinese, it’s Year of the… Continue Reading →

8 photos of the aftermath of Chinese New Year

I know I keep saying how crazy the fireworks are for Chinese New Year, but let me try to show you one more time. Here’s some photos I took the day after the insanity. Every sidewalk, street and alley was… Continue Reading →

The chaotic, dangerous, beautiful fun of Chinese New Year fireworks

Last night was Chinese New Year’s Eve, and boy, was it a doozy. (But then, Chinese New Year’s Eve is always a doozy in China.) When people ooooh and aaaah over fireworks shows in the States, they’re talking safe, orchestrated… Continue Reading →

Preparing for tonight’s “war zone”

If you’ve never experienced the absolute and overwhelming explosion of the world at the stroke of midnight on Chinese New Year’s Eve in China, it will be hard to explain it to you. Over and over, I’ve heard foreigners describe… Continue Reading →

Smokin’ pot outside everyone’s home (wait, that sounds wrong)

If you’ve ever learned anything about Chinese New Year, I’m guessing you were told that Chinese families gather together at Spring Festival to bao jiaozi (stuff dumplings.) While that seems to be true in much of China, it isn’t so… Continue Reading →

New Year’s is coming, the goose is getting fat

It’s T minus 33 days to the biggest holiday in China, and I’m just now starting to see signs of the season. Stores are starting to put out special gift packs of all the things you’re going to want to… Continue Reading →

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