Monthly Archives: October 2019

Expat Lifestyle: Greetings from Beijing! (一)


你好 Friends!

If you couldn’t guess by the post title, I am currently living as an ex-pat in Beijing, China.

My husband is here teaching economics for a semester and I decided to join him for a couple of months. I’ve been here a few days, and thought friends and family back home would appreciate it if I started up ye olde blog and shared some adventures, thoughts, etc. about living across the globe.

I’m going to keep things short and sweet in an effort to post more frequently. Enjoy!

To start, I’m going to list some bullet points of things that differ between China and the U.S., or things I’ve noticed about living in here that may not be intuitive. If you want all the nitty gritty details, it’s probably best to ask me when I am back on native soil. You never know if big brother is watching…

      • English is not widely spoken. At least not in Beijing, since they have never been a territory of English speaking countries (i.e. Hong Kong). It’s making for some very interesting hand gestures, and I am infinitely grateful for having spent some time using HelloChinese (a language app) before arriving! Granted, I sound like a toddler and get quizzical looks more often than not, but it’s something.


      • WeChat = life. Unless you’ve spent time in China, you probably aren’t familiar with this app. However, I have very quickly discovered that if you don’t have WeChat, you can’t really function in society. You use it to order food at restaurants, to sign in at gyms, to rent bikes, it is the main source of communication between phone users in China, and it is how you pay for basically everything (cash is not even accepted in many places). Want to know the fun part? I didn’t have WeChat for a few days upon arriving. It SUCKED. I made the mistake of downloading the app while in the U.S. and was immediately flagged as “suspicious” and locked out. I’m serious. It took 3 – yes, 3 – different people vouching for me on the app to finally be allowed access, and those people had to provide bank and identification information.


      • The internet is as bad as they say it is. The only way I am able to blog right now is because I have 3 different VPNs downloaded onto my computer, which I had to install before leaving home. Even so, every day is a new battle with the internet and accessibility, since China fights back against these companies quite hard. It’s made working remotely a very interesting experience, and something I will no longer take for granted in the states. Enjoy your internet freedom, people!


      • Big dogs? Nah. I am a lover of big dogs, and have seen exactly 1 – a goofy yellow lab – since touching down in Beijing. It seems that tiny is the way to go in the big city, and even those are very seldom seen. I’ve seen more people lugging around birds in cages to “air them out” than any other animal. Stray dogs are not a thing from what I have seen. Oh, also there are no leash laws or poop laws, but amazingly I have seen no rogue piles of the stuff.


      • WILD HEDGEHOGS. You read that correctly. Apparently they exist. I haven’t seen any yet, but you bet your asses I will take photos if I do, and granted I don’t pass out from cuteness overload.

That’s all I’ve got for you at the moment my turtle doves. Stay awesome!