How Crowded is China?

One of the first things you notice when you arrive in any major city in China is just how many people there are. On every street, people bustling past, old ayis (aunties) doing their shopping, business men hurrying to work, people selling vegetables, girls taking selfies, old men rolling slowly down the street on their…

Can You be a Celebrity in China?

Shanghai is such a large and international city that you don’t notice this too much living there, but when you venture further inland and travel to small, out-of-the-way towns in the mountainous west, or even large second-tier cities an hour or two away, you’ll likely find yourself experiencing something like celebrity status. Over three hundred…

Where to Find English-Language Books in Shanghai

Where to Find Foreign Language Books Of all the things I missed from the states, apart from my family, the Colorado mountains and the fresh mountain air, when I lived in China, I most missed thrift stores and used bookstores. I missed being able to browse and buy several books for a dollar or two…

Beggars and Poverty

 “Hey, do you have any change?” “Excuse me, can I borrow a quarter?” “Do you have some change I could borrow?”  Having recently returned to the US from China, these pandering requests asked by men in cheap clothes and dirty shoes brought to mind some of the striking differences between poverty in these two countries….

Do You Have the Imagination to Change Your Life?

Few People have the imagination for reality I wrote this quote in one of my journals during my first year living in China. I suppose as a pretentious 21-year-old with something to prove, I felt as though the oxymoron sounded cool and the fact that the quote belonged to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe seemed even…

How to Travel by Train in China

One of my favorite things in China is the transportation between cities. Between every major and minor city there are dozens, if not hundreds of trains daily, ranging from slow, to fast, to extremely fast and everything in between. Contrast this with the US, where it’s not even always possible to take a train between…

Cost of Living in Shanghai

How much does it cost to live in Shanghai? Of course, the answer to this question is: it depends. However, I can tell you how much I paid, as an unmarried 26-year-old without kids.  Rent: 4000 yuan ($597) for a small, old studio in a good, central neighborhood near many cafés and bars. The kitchen…

Dating in China

If you are planning on moving to China and living here for a few years, I’m sure that, if you’re single, you will want to date, and want to know what dating is like here. How different is it? Despite differences in culture and language, I believe that people are people, and we are similar…

What you Notice when you Return to the States

If you are not from the United States, you may not be interested in this article. Then again, you may find a similar experience upon returning to your home country. When you go to China, you will experience some culture shock. You probably already expect this. What you may not expect is culture shock when…

Is Now the Time to Move to China?

We are in the middle of a pandemic and in countries all over the world, it seems, people are taking an indefinite hiatus from travel.  Although a new vaccine has been released in the US, I believe it is still our responsibility to take some precautions when it comes to the spread of Covid-19. The…