an Americanish life in backwater China

Tag small town life

The Song of the Knivenswain (Or, How to Get Your Cleaver Sharpened in China)

  Getting your cleaver sharpened in China is well worth the price of admission. It’s not expensive, but it’s quite a show. Especially when law enforcement gets involved. Want to get your cleaver sharpened by a professional in China? Here’s… Continue Reading →

5 Reasons It’s Still Small Town Laowai

When we knew we’d be moving to Kunming, I was already thinking what many friends would soon ask me. “So, will it still be Small Town Laowai?” Yes, it will, and it is. Here’s why. 1. Years of small town experience… Continue Reading →

I was a China dancing granny…and LIVED

“You gonna dance?” I’m relaxing on a bench at the volleyball court in our apartment complex. My kids are skateboarding around with other children and the sky is nearly dark. I should have known this was a dangerous place to… 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 →

Waffles, darts, and Valentine’s Day

Here in China, Valentine’s Day is an imported holiday. It’s celebrated only by 1) young couples who aren’t yet married, 2) any restaurant, flower shop, or bar that can make money off of said young couples, and 3) laowai. Since… Continue Reading →

Sunny day, sunning day

In the winter, we don’t get a whole lot of seriously sunny days around here. Most days are either overcast or outright rainy, so when the sun breaks through, the people rejoice. And by rejoice, I mean, they drag out… Continue Reading →

Rice paddy bonfire

Now that the rice has been harvested, everyone is burning their fields, which makes for really cool-looking scenery. Apparently, after rice is harvested is also when family and friends gather in the fields to make a bonfire from the rice… Continue Reading →

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