small town laowai

an Americanish life in backwater China

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U.S.

Rambutan in a Foreign Land

When was the first time you saw an avocado in China? Or a bag of Doritos? Or a can of Dr. Pepper? You were probably elated and amazed. You probably bought it despite the hefty price tag. You may have… 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 →

8 Ways China is More Environmentally Friendly Than the U.S.

Any expat who lives in China can easily rattle off the ways China is harming Mother Earth. (air quality index, anyone?) But there are also plenty of ways that the laobaixing incorporate environmentally friendly habits into their everyday lives, even… 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 →

8 Reasons the U.S. and China are Basically Twins

There are times when it feels like the U.S. and China are the farthest apart you could possibly get in terms of culture, language, and many other aspects of life. However, the two countries actually have quite a bit in… Continue Reading →

The Force Won’t Awaken for Another 23 Days in China (Not That I’m Counting)

So, the world is seeing Star Wars today. Well, most of the world, anyway. My Facebook feed has blown up with pictures of movie tickets, friends in Star Wars T-shirts and costumes, and threats that they’ll unfriend me if I share… Continue Reading →

Commemorating the End of WWII at the Flying Tigers Museum

China is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. On Friday, a military parade in Beijing grabbed the whole world’s attention. Yesterday morning, on the opposite side of the country, my family and I went to… Continue Reading →

Top 10 things I get overly excited about when visiting the U.S.

We’re only in the States for a precious few weeks this summer, so I’m packing the time full with all the stuff I miss while we’re in China. Since the theme at Velvet Ashes is “Top 10” this week, I… Continue Reading →

50 signs you’re an American expat in China

There’s fifty nifty U-ni-ted States, and 50 ways to tell you’re from one of them.

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