Getting comfortable with my new life as a foreigner in China

I arrived in Nanning at the end of April 2017…

I would soon discover that Jack was not a mafia boss but was instead a very cool guy in charge of settling in the new teachers. He would line me up with an apartment and hook up all the monthly services such as gas, water, internet and other essentials.

Getting acquainted with my new coworkers was interesting. The teachers came from Ireland, United Kingdom, United States and eventually another from New Zealand. The wonderful teacher assistants and company secretaries that helped us teachers and the parents/clients were all locals of Nanning.  Their ability to speak both Chinese and English along with their great personalities made a huge difference in the overall experience. I would be in charge of teaching kids, teenagers and adult in private lessons. They made sure up teachers had a good relationship with our non-English (differed in levels) speaking students and their parents. They did anything for us foreigners to make sure our experience was pleasant. I’m forever grateful and hope that they will be life long friends.

Outside of work, I made it a point to connect (amidst the language barrier) with the locals-especially the business owners at the markets and restaurants I liked. Here and there were English speaking people at my local gym, library, cafes and throughout my local neighborhood.  I soon would meet many great people outside of my work circle.

One of those people was a woman approaching her mid thirties with the air of a teenager. Her English name is Ellen. I would soon call her sweet Ellen…and she enriched my experience during my time in China – even in Thailand – as you will read that she joins me along my travels back in Chiang Mai, in Bangkok and the wonderful south Thailand island of Koh Lanta.

I would discover certain areas around Nanning where markets and foodie heavens exist. Neighborhoods where bustling open air markets served its many citizens nestled in between cement built multi-level apartment buildings. Also, notorious BBQ alleys where thousands of locals and tourists flock for an array of foods and snacks.

Stick around, subscribe and read on. There is more to come about my experiences in China and my South East Asian adventure.

IMG_1865Sweet Ellen and I eating stinky tofu


IMG_7271There’s a wal-mart in this shopping mall…

IMG_7298One open air market near my apartment


IMG_7549_zoomGrandma and Grandma threw their baby on me for a photo


IMG_7592The best way to get your chickens to market




IMG_7644Foodie heaven

IMG_7665My first time at KTV (karaoke)

IMG_7696On the outskirts of the city



One thought on “Getting comfortable with my new life as a foreigner in China

  1. Nanning looks like a fantastic city! Your “work” and acquaintances there offered seemingly such a rich cultural experience as well as great fun (from the looks of your happy expression!) Obviously you took initiative to interact with the citizens, explore new experiences, open yourself to fun and shared your southern charisma! I’m so pleased you had the courage to take this risk of travel to places beyond the normal comfort zone. That final photo showing the tangled wiring on the poles was intriguing! I appreciated the captions when you added them.


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