small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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Taking Route

14 Ideas for a Cross-Cultural-Stress-Busting Laugh Break

What do you do for stress relief? Some people go for a run, some people scrub their house clean, some people zone out with Netflix. But sometimes, there’s nothing like a good, long laugh session that leaves your stomach and… Continue Reading →

Stop with the Thank Yous!

Have you ever been going merrily along in the language you’ve been learning only to hit a big bump when you discover that a word you’ve been using for forever doesn’t mean what you thought it meant? That happened to… 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 →

Tongue Tied? Blame Your Affective Filter

So, you’re in class and the teacher calls on you to read some long passage that is full of ridiculously obscure characters. And you were traveling all weekend so you didn’t preview this lesson. And this happens to be the… 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 →

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 →

Thriving Abroad: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

I don’t know about you, but it was pretty easy to love China when I first got here. Most of us are very familiar with the honeymoon stage of culture shock, right? Everything is new and exciting and wonderful! Unfortunately,… Continue Reading →

The Grace to be a Good Idiot

It’s never easy to hold your tongue when you’re being insulted. It’s even harder when it’s a hot, humid, bad China day and you’re being insulted unfairly because of your curtains. How do you find the grace to be a… Continue Reading →

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