top of page

Nearly a year in China

Well, ten and a half months in China. Time to head home for a vacation. That sounds weird, no? Where is home right now? If it's where the heart is I'm conflicted a bit. I guess home is still in Washington, but there are things here in China I'm going to miss. The advanced technology (not kidding). Seriously, their use of the cell phone for all financial transactions is awesome. I haven't paid cash for anything even once. My new friends, some of which I hope to see again. Perhaps a trip to Liverpool is now in the future plans. I'll miss having Paul here next year on poker nights. And of course, Aiyun. Five weeks feels like a long time to not see her.

A time to take stock. What have I seen? Learned? Become? I'm mellowing as I age. When confronted with situations that would have made me angry in the past I'm facing those scenarios with a lot more patience. I've become more curious, not judgmental (Nod to Ted Lasso).

As a teacher I've received a strong refresher in The Calculus. Some topics I haven't thought about since I was in college. I've embraced a website called TeachersPayTeachers for extra teaching materials. Cheap and quality stuff there on just about every topic. Lots of other online sites like Kahoot and Desmos are becoming more common in my classes. There's a lot of good stuff out there if you take the time to search for it.

The Chinese people and culture? Books could be written on the similarities and differences. What things stand out most to me? They're short. Haha. Okay, true, but for the most part they're people just like Americans. However, they been raised from childhood with some major differences. Mysogeny is real here, but there's a sliding scale of severity that correlates to age. Younger generations don't have the same issues, but it's still a problem. That sounds bad, but in general the people here are friendly and helpful when they realize I don't speak much Mandarin. They sometimes do things that we would perceive as rude, but that's rare. Waiting patiently in a line isn't their thing. Also. Speaking loudly on their phones in public is also a thing. Three things I have yet to see in China; homelessness, crime, and a gun. Not even on the hip of a police officer. The homelessness thing is a head scratcher to me. They have to exist, but where I don't know.

Things I have seen a lot of in China? Tall apartment buildings. Lots of them. They come in complexes that usually have from 30 to 50 separate buildings. The locals call it pigeon living. They're like birds living in a giant birdhouse. I've seen a few single family homes on their own plot of land, but they're rare. I know they exist more often in more rural areas, but I haven't been out of the city much. And a ton of KFC. I've had it a few times here and I have to say it's better here. Or at least I think so. That's high on my list for when I return to the states. Have some KFC so I can compare. Lastly, trains that run on time. I had one that was 10 minutes late at the end of the day once, but that's it. Transportation in China is awesome. Taxis, subways, bikes. It's all good, and inexpensive.

Politics is something Americans want to talk about with Chinese people, but they're not interested. It's not like they can't due to fear, they really just don't care much about it. It's like the weather. It's out of your control, so why bother? They focus on work and family instead.

What about the next year? I hope to get out to Mongolia, Xian, and maybe Chengdu. Perhaps a bit touristy, but I still think of myself as a long term tourist here. Aiyun and I have talked about a Xian trip together in the fall. That's probably my top priority. Terracotta warriors. Just a bullet train away.

37 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All



Oh, I hated the Colonel with is wee beady eyes! And that smug look on his face, "Oh, you're gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhhh!"

he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly.



one of my favorite Ted Lasso lines! I'm looking forward to seeing tourist Dave. What a great year.

Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page