small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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expats

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 →

While You Were Out, These 15 Things Exploded in the U.S.

At some point or another, American expats come home. When you do, you’ll face some level of reverse culture shock as you try to figure out how your country has changed while you’ve been off galavanting around the globe (not… Continue Reading →

9 Ways China Expats Offend on U.S. Soil

I try to remember how to act American, I really do. But so much of behavior runs on a subconscious autopilot setting, and mine stays set to “China mode” even after landing in the States. Yours, too? It takes a… 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 →

14 Things China Expats Binge on in Thailand

Every year around Spring Festival, there’s a flood of Chinese expats from the Great Chicken over to the Land of Smiles. I don’t have an exact number, but judging from the way my Facebook and Instagram feeds are currently bursting… Continue Reading →

A Story Only China Expats Will Mingbai

How good is your Chinglish? If you can follow this story, I’m guessing you have lived in China hao jiu. The other day, I was buying some ershou furniture from a guy across town but I knew it was going… 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 →

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 →

An Expat Tale (Of Taxis, Trains, and Turkeys)

    What is it with U.S. American expats and turkey?!? In honor of Thanksgiving and our beloved bird, I’m recounting a couple crazy turkey tales over at Taking Route today. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving! An Expat Tale (Of Taxis,… Continue Reading →

13 careers living in China prepares you for

Living in China as an expat is like going to a jack-of-all trades vocational school. You’re building quite a resume for your next career. 1. Medical Doctor You’ve become a pro at figuring out what ails you, mostly because you… Continue Reading →

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