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Update 1: Still messing with the theme, please be patient.  Update 2: I’ve noticed that notification system is a bit wonky for comment replies, meaning you might not get notified when I reply to your comments.  Please check back from time to time for replies because I’ll reply to all comments to the best of my ability, thank you.

Have you ever wanted to know more about the REAL China? Or find out real information about coming to visit, work or god forbid, live in this crazy country?

Read on.

This blog is for anybody who is interested in coming to visit, work or live in China. Written by an expat, for expats, and to any expats who are eager to join us. An real, non-BS, straight up, advice/culture/answer blog, if you will.

Why? Well…,

I’ve seen a lot of English Blogs focusing on China, and most of them belong to 4 categories:

  1. Travel Journals filled with personal references and colourful/shocking pictures/commentary.
  2. Vitriol filled expat blogs venting frustration, injustices, etc, that they have suffered/witnessed here.
  3. Political blogs filled with things too onerous to mention.
  4. Life Journal type life blogs filled with personal stories, observations, and experiences living here.

They are great and very interesting to read, but personally I didn’t find them very useful when I was looking for information concerning China.

A lot of Chinese expats and I shared a very similar and painful struggle trying to adapt to China. China is an experience. An experience that in its totality overwhelms even the most strong willed among us. “War” stories are usually shared among old Chinese expats with a cynical smirk or a bitter laugh.

So, China can be tough(especially if you don’t speak Chinese). But that doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy it. For those brave, adventurous, curious, and fascinated about this magical kingdom, I hope I can be of a slight service using this little blog.

No amount of hand-holding (least you go with a tour group in prepackaged tours) will prepare you 100% for China. China always throws a curve ball despite your best plans. But I hope that if you are armed with the right skills/advice/knowledge, you can at least be somewhat forewarned (prepared) when things go awry, and even then, know what to do in/how to handle such situations. And like me, you can find humour and a little bit of understanding amongst the whacked out things this crazy country has to offer.

To start you off, if you have never been here:

10 Things you Need to know before you get to China part 1!!

And Part 2!

Ever Wondered what to pack for a trip to China?

What about my wardrobe?!

For those coming to work/or are interested in working in China:

Some friendly Advice from experienced expats about what to expect when you get a job in China.

Maybe you should do some soul searching first before you come here for work!

10 Commandments for working in China, a must read for those working for multinationals relocating to China.

Do you want to start a career or find a job in China?  Then read this one before you decide!

Are you looking for an apartment or any other place to call home in China?

Ever wondered about Chinese food IN China?

How do I choose a restaurant in China?!

Choosing a Restaurant in China part 2, why can’t I find my favourite Chinese dish from the west in China?!

For Visa questions, there is a lot of info online, so I won’t repeat myself too much.

Taking a taxi in China?

Just taking a visit to Beijing?

Beijing 101 For Dummies. 

Beijing 201 for the slightly advanced!

Welcome to my Blog!

Feel Free to ask any practical questions about living and working in China, and please share your opinions, blogs, advice and etc about China with me!  Helpful advice and personal experience are always welcome.

Addendum: All of the personally written posts are copyrighted by me (unless otherwise noted), please credit me or link to the original posts here when you share or post anything written in this blog.  Pictures or videos taken by me will be duly noted, so please credit me when appropriate.  All comments are moderated, so any forms of blatant or shameless self promotion will be either ignored or openly mocked.  If you don’t even have the courtesy to consult me before plastering your business links all over the comments, then you’ll be openly ridiculed or ignored at your own displeasure. 

Enjoy your stay, and may your expat life be wondrous, fascinating and filled with amusement.

16 thoughts on “Home

  1. lol, Thanks for commenting!

    I had to put that up there when I was starting to get embedded advertising from non-bots/or what looks like real people. For some strange reason, they thought I would immediately approve – meaning endorse their business without so much as a hello.

    Thanks for coming by, I find your blog by chance and it was pretty cool to read. Your story of how you became an expat on a whim and a prayer struck a chord with me. My first trip to China was decided in less than 24 hours. I was offered a chance to work in China, all expenses covered, at 12:30 – 1 am Friday morning, and I was on a plane to China via HK by 2 am Saturday.

    Life is interesting like that :P . so stay awhile and enjoy yourself.

    Cheers!

  2. Yes, yes it was. :P

    Hangzhou wasn’t that bad as a first starting point in China, the food was mild and the people were relaxed. My first impression of Beijing was an entirely different story. It felt Apocalyptic. It wasn’t a cultural shock. It was a physical and visceral sensation that I had truly come to a different world. I was too shocked to be scared since Beijing bombarded me with unknowns in all my senses. I said to myself, “This is Modern China” and it wasn’t anything I thought it was.

    Latvia sounds pretty interesting too. I always wanted to visit the lesser known countries of Europe. I’ve already been to Vienna, Rome, Paris and etc. Amusingly, I know quite a few Scots or Brits, but I never had a chance to go there.

    Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. An American girl I know moved from Riga to Beijing, thinking that Riga was too small for her – she seems miserable there though! I think she’s looking for somewhere else to move to now ;) I guess it was too much of a shock to the system after the relaxed pace of life in LV! And the pollution there sounds extreme!! Are you planning on staying there for a long time?

  4. Woo.., I don’t want to sound harsh, but Beijing is a tough gig. The living expenses are similar to first tier cities around the world but the living standards aren’t necessarily so. It all depends on her expectations and whether or not she can find her own little niche of comfort in the Imperial City.

    There is a lot of cool things about Beijing though, since there aren’t a lot of places in the world where you have a giant Palace in the middle of the town. When I took pictures similar to that of my header, it was pretty breath taking.

    I’ve already been here too long (9 years in China)! :P You should see the Smoggies post. I am thinking of moving from Beijing to Shanghai or Hangzhou. Well, there are lots of reasons to stay in China, and it’s different for everybody. Personally, there is no way I would get the same pay or have a life where I can afford maids (not live in), or personal assistants in Canada unless I work in the oil patch or something. There are a lot of interesting things in China that aren’t available elsewhere as well, but like I said in my posts, it can be harsh. Telecommuting has made things easier when I stay home in Vancouver. Once I made enough, I would probably sell the boring side of the business and move on to the more fun stuff where I can travel everywhere.

  5. Ah maids, I don’t think I’ll ever see that day! I’m planning on making this my last year in Latvia (although I’ve said that before!) Will definitely stay in Europe – just undecided as to where yet… I’m thinking Germany at the moment! I’ll be following your adventures from now on anyway! Nice chatting to you today! :)

  6. lol, I’ve said that before about China too.

    As for Germany, my impression – Cold, too much sausages, and oops, I can’t be late! It felt a (just a little) bit boring compared to Asia, but I only went to Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, and Munich.

    It was lovely to meet you too. :)

  7. Thanks for stopping by and following our blog! I can’t wait to read some of your posts. I have friends that live in Shanghai and I would love to visit at some point. I am fascinated to know what it’s really like to live in China so I look forward to following your blog! Have a great day!

  8. lol, thanks for stopping by!

    China is ludicrous. If you are curious, read my latest post on How to move 300 million people all at once. :P

    Are they working in Shanghai? How are they enjoying it?

    I know this isn’t an usual China blog, as I have noted here. If you find it interesting or helpful, I would be delighted!

    Welcome to the neighbourhood! I’ll see you around. :)

  9. I look forward to reading that post! I saw it in my feed last night and was quite interested.
    Yes, the husband works for a marketing firm for tesco and his wife is a stay at home mom in Shanghai. They seem to love it.

  10. As long as they enjoy it, then it’s great. Some people get sent over by their companies and they make themselves miserable. It’s best to be open minded in China or just have a sense of humour and not to take anything seriously. ;)

  11. Thank you for stopping by the neighbourhood!

    I try to do my best given the limited time I have these days.

    I do enjoy fashion so, but alas, it’s a passion that requires dedication of time or resources I can’t spare right now. That does remind me, when I have the time at the end of this year, I might write about old school fashion in China.

    Cheers!

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