The laowai relapse

– There I was, a 6-month China veteran, standing in the middle of a Beijing street, having my first ever argument with a tuk-tuk driver, while my shell-shocked parents and younger brother gaped in awe.  To my credit, the argument was in Chinese.  Not to my credit, my part of the argument consisted of about 3 … Read More »

Raising kids in China

– For their Perspectives feature in the Expat Corner, eChinaCities asks laowai and native Chinese alike to comment on issues that affect all those who live in China.  This week’s question was, “Would you rather raise your children in China or abroad?”  I ended up writing a much longer response than is necessary for the Perspectives … Read More »

Travel-Worn: the scarf

– Scarves are a big trend in fashion now, especially in China. I was assured of this by a woman who told me “all Chinese girls like to wear scarves!” when she sold me a pair of custom-painted knock-off Chuck Taylors for Y70. I’ve purchased a few scarves since arriving in China, and they’ve come in … Read More »

Foreign culture in the classroom

– A few weeks ago, I decided it was time for a change in my English as a Foreign Language classroom.  The lessons I’d been teaching had been disjointed one-off topic lessons that piqued the interest of a very small portion of my 825 (give or take) middle-school students.  The vocabulary used was scanty, I hardly … Read More »

It’s a sickness

– As an English teacher at a 6,000-strong middle school in the northwest of Hunan province, I come into contact with several hundred students a day.  My course load puts me in front of roughly 850 students a week.  In a school as cramped as mine, the students and staff are constantly breathing each other’s germs. … Read More »

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