An article by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin in the Guardian last Friday has been making the rounds. The piece asks, “why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?” and concludes without much nuance that it’s white racial supremacy at work. I disagree, mostly.Read More
I’m a week away from finishing my first academic year as what can loosely be described as a university teacher in China. Someone told me that I should write some kind of retrospective/memoir, but that sounded like far too much work. I mean, I’m on holiday in a week. I’ve begun the wind-down and I’m …Read More
Jack finished his last class and coming out the door he lit his first cigarette of the day. At his apartment door, Jack crushed his fourth cigarette and took the fifth inside. He checked his phone messages. Then he stepped back out and lit number six and headed to McDonald’s.Read More
I’ve been resisting the idea of doing a “goodbye China” post for awhile now, just as I resisted the idea that I was leaving China. I remember clearly what it was like the summer before I left America. Those initial emails, the excitement, the trepidation. The realization that my options were a) go to grad …Read More
Whenever I journey home for a visit, I’m certain that I push the limits of friendship and familial bonds with my constant weaseling of “in China…” into far too many conversations. Out for dinner, I may casually mention how much cheaper dinning in China is. Walking down the street, I’ll drop a remark about how …Read More
“Freshman?” Jack said. “The first I taught freshman English, all the girls came up to me after class and asked if they could come home and fuck me.”
…and we never had another group dinner.Read More
Seven years of my life are gone. Looking back, it doesn’t seem that long, but I guess it was a long time. I always find myself nagged by a single, ugly feeling: that I wasted my time. That no matter what I did, I never used it wisely enough. For all the stress my rebirth in China brought, there was a lot it did away with. I had time plenty to write a novel, to learn a programming language, hell to learn a real language. What did I do?
The ‘what ifs’, those are the worst feelings. Those are the ones that haunt you. I read somewhere that you will regret your virtues more than your vices. I can’t say that I disagree with that. There are things I did when I was younger that I felt horrible about at the time, but as I grow older, I don’t feel so bad anymore. Maybe it’s the positive you can draw out of even the worst situations…or hell, maybe it is just getting older. Wondering what more you could have done.
As someone who has just shown up in Japan by way of China, this China via Japan series over on Going Loco in Yokohama is pretty fascinating to me. China via Japan Pt 1 China via Japan Pt 2 China via Japan Pt 3 It looks like there might be more installments of this series …Read More
Should any Beijing Laowai have a free schedule tomorrow and wish to support a fellow foreigner in his bid to show a national TV audience that he’s got some guanxi too, while also helping raise awareness for a charity that secures micro loans for poor rural women, please read the following from American expat, Henry …Read More