small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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expat life

The Great Firewall in a Nutshell

If you’re new to China, you may be wondering why people keep talking about “The Great Firewall.” Are things really blocked? Is your online activity actually monitored by the government? As I was clearing out some old files, I ran… 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 →

Do You Have What it Takes to Drive in China?

  So, you think just because you have a driver’s license from your home country, it should be a piece of dangao to get your license in China? Think again. To get a driver’s license in China, foreigners must pass… Continue Reading →

What’s on Your 2017 Cultural Bucket List?

It’s a new year! This is the time when we think about goals and plans for the next twelve months. This year, my goals include getting out and exploring the city and culture I’m in. My list includes Chinese zodiac… Continue Reading →

This Global Life: Southern China

  It has been incredible to follow along with Taking Route’s October series, This Global Life. Each day this month, we’ve been treated to glimpses of  everyday life in 31 different countries through the eyes of expats who live there. I’ve… Continue Reading →

10 Lessons I’ve Learned From Raising TCKs

What are some of the unique things facing TCKs and their parents while they are living in a host country? Loneliness, schooling issues, and health matters are just some of the things that spring to my mind, and there are… 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 →

No Such Thing as a Simple Errand

Anyone else dread going to the grocery store? Actually, in the U.S. it wasn’t something I hated. I actually kind of liked it. But in China, it’s a different story. It’s become a task I really don’t like. It’s physically… Continue Reading →

Sorry, Stephen Colbert, but I am America

If you’re Chinese and living in a rural area, or even a smaller city, you might have very few chances to ever talk to a foreigner. Sure, you’ve seen them on movies and on TV, so you’re pretty sure you… Continue Reading →

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