Shenzhen: Making a Pig’s Ear of Spring

After kicking off the year with many visits to regional Guangdong it was time to re-aquaint myself with the one and only Shenzhen, the city that still holds a special place for me even though I’ve now lived longer in Guangzhou. This time I try something different which is to catch a bus. Having discovered the joys […]

Qingyuan: Strangely Familiar

On a foggy day in early January I notched up my 80th city and it fell to this relative obscurity to the north of Guangzhou (co-incidentally my first beginning with Q). So off I set on this mini-adventure by bus from Tianhe Coach Station. The vistas of both Tianhe and Huadu are known to me and […]

China: Five Years in a Kingdom of Red

This December marks five years’ since I first arrived in the middle kingdom. One of the most common questions I get asked by my students is: Why did you come to China? In short, I had been to Turkey and the school there breached their contract. A friend suggested I teach in Thailand. When I got […]

Guangzhou: Adventures in the Fog Delta

It’s said that the fog in London can be thick as pea soup though I reckon the Pearl River Delta can give it a run for its money. March is the doldrums for weather in Guangzhou. Pulling the curtains back each day reveals a white canvas enveloping much of the terrain before me. Only once […]

Guangzhou: The Food From UNCLE

Cheap eateries in the glittering wealth of far eastern cities are gold dust; think Saizeriya. As previously mentioned in another blog, my kitchen is the size of a shoebox, so I’ve been steadily building up places to dine. In recent months I’ve come across a place called UNCLE – why it’s called that I don’t […]

Playing Boule with the Chinese

Even within the grounds of the campus I live and work the Chinese night is a hive of frenetic activity with people jogging, kids riding bikes, canoodling students, you can even get a haircut at 10pm should you need. Over the last few months I’ve witnessed all manner of sports taking place: basketball, tennis, volleyball and […]

Saying Goodbye to Summer

Incredibly here in China, it became autumn on August 8th, though you’d never have noticed through the monsoon humidity, cracks of thunder, soggy t-shirts and feet (I need new shoes). I’ve planned, at least in part, the blog and my teaching schedules for the upcoming year and investigated my next travel destinations. The summer has, as […]