Like to write? Got something to say about being a foreigner in China? Why not contribute your thoughts and opinions to the Lost Laowai Blog? We’re looking to stir some fresh expat pee into the writer pool here. If you’ve got a unique voice, a solid ability to write, and — most importantly — something …Read More
Should we get involved? A question that has plagued foreigners living in China since time immemorial. Do we step in when we see some gross injustice, or simply let it pass as “not our fight?” It’s a tough question, and one not easily answered — unless you’re a rollerblading laowai in southern China’s Guangzhou. Being …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
… He died an old man in a cold Chinese hospital an entire hemisphere removed from everyone and everything he had ever known. Surrounded by strangers, he couldn’t even have read his own obituary.Read More
I had an English class once where this girl interrupted me to ask what I thought of Japan, and without waiting for an answer, proceeded to tell me that Japan had killed many Chinese people, that they hated China, they were jealous of China. Then she went into Korea. Korea “stole our culture”. You’d think imitation the sincerest form of flattery, but not this girl.
I didn’t know what to say. On one hand, listening to this recorded message, it dawned on me that I was 12,000 miles away from everyone and everything I had ever known…and that according to some people, this, this, blind allegiance, blatant censorship, and self-checking all in the name of “harmony”…this is the next superpower.
On the other hand, she was speaking. I take what I can get.Read More
“How can someone who exists on the fringes of a society understand that society?” Jack said. “You’re a laowai, a wai guo ren, an outsider. You can’t understand pigs without shoveling pig shit, you shouldn’t even fucking eat bacon. How can you be an expert on death without taking the occasional life?”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
Those first few years were the worst. You enter a period in your life where you can’t say for sure what you’re doing or even who you are. Each day the same as the last, they blur together like a flipbook. You can only see flashes of what you did, what you were. Little isolated fragments that do nothing to illustrate what happened and everything to add to the mystery.
“Why do you come to China?”, my students ask me, which is pretty much “What’s a nice laowai like you doing in a place like this?”. Well…I suppose I came here for a better life. I suppose. It’s hard to say. It’s hard to know what I was thinking. Look at it like this: I was treading water in the middle of the ocean, waiting for a boat to come by.
China just happened to be the first.
I was a foreign teacher in China for seven years.
They say life is too short. Well, then they ought to come to Wuhan, China.Read More
I just finished reading Hong Huang’s opinion piece in the China Daily entitled, “Dear laowai, don’t mess with our Chinese-ness” and I can’t figure it out. What I’d like to think, based on Hong’s reputation, is that it is self-depreciating humour actually directed at Chinese about Chinese superiority and penchants for stereotypes. If this is …Read More
Recently I was in Shanghai as part of the China 2.0 tour. Though much of the tour revolved around visiting local Web companies, the organizers did provide us with some high-class networking opportunities. During one such event, at Shanghai’s newest hotspot M1NT, an enthusiastic stranger came up to me and slipped a USB flash drive …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