Episode 7: Inventory

I hate to speak in clichés, but have you realised how this year has flown by? I just arrived in China, and, lo and behold, I am already about to leave. It is only appropriage to sum up my experiences. And because I’m so awfully fond of lists, I’ve summed up my year in a…

Episode 6: Everyday Stories

How a Sabrina‘s grandmother saved me from the sun My first story takes place on a particularly hot and smoggy Thursday afternoon not long ago. It was so hot and humid that for the first time in my life I really appreciated my eyebrows. And I discovered that I can sweat on the small area…

Zion

Guest post by Russell Phillips So where are you from, then? Where is ‘home’ for you? The number of times I have been asked this question and struggled to provide an answer! I am actually not THAT rootless and eclectic. I have one native tongue, English, which both my parents spoke. I have one passport,…

Episode 5: Observations

China is loud! Yes, it is. Even louder than Italy. There is a constant car-clattering, tyre-squeaking, horn-sounding. You can hear the pedestrians gesticulating, market criers offering their goods, and ducks quacking before they are brought into a backyard to make close acquaintance with the secrets of the Chinese kitchen. Even spiritual life in China starts…

Episode 4: Winter

I can’t remember ever having been as cold in my life as I have been in the beginning of this winter. It‘s probably not colder than at home, it just seems a lot worse because the cold is so inescapable. From a heating point of view, China is divided into two areas: The areas north…

Episode 3: The Flat

We begin our tour of my flat at the front door, this seems like a sensible point to start. After I finally manage to open the heavy iron door we find ourselves in the living room. The room is too big for the bit of furniture scattered in it. There is a small sofa, a…

Episode 2: Communication

“I’d like a cup of coffee, please!” I‘m in a coffee shop, laptop in my backpack, exhausted from my ten minute walk in the blazing sunshine. I‘ve made an effort to speak Chinese, yet the waitress behind the counter rewards me only with a confused stare. “A cup of coffee,” I repeat, doing my best…

Not At Home: My Year in China

Have you ever been in a country where the language and culture were so completely foreign and confusing that you had to rely on other people to get even the simplest tasks done? A couple of years ago I spent a year teaching English in China, and it was one of the most confusing experiences…