Sitting in the teachers office, notebook in one hand whilst the fingers of the other feathered over the last page of questions I had diligently prepared the night before in an attempt to maintain a sense of professionalism and respect for the place I was sitting, I looked up to Anya, a teacher and the recipient of all my inquiries and confessed the interrogation was over. She smiled with a grin of curiosity and posed a question to me: What made you decide to visit here today?
If there is ever a time when the expat lifestyle gets hard, it is around special occasions, especially those holidays which are typically designated for family. With travel restrictions still in place, many who would typically head home for the comfort of familiar surroundings will find themselves stuck both far from home and without a clue of what to do. Even those well-seasoned expats who are experienced with the whole holiday away from home situation may find themselves a bit adrift this year, as friends and family who may have come to call will not be able to do so this year. So, whether this is your first year away from home or your fifteenth, you might need some help recreating a bit of the holiday magic right where you are.
One of the great things about life as an expat is that you are able to meet people that you would have never had the opportunity to meet staying at home. Along with the diversity of people comes a great variety of traditions and different spins on the holidays that can help you to celebrate in a truly international style. To better understand each other and where we are coming from, we interviewed several expats about how they celebrate the holidays back home.
November 14 is World Diabetes Day (WDD). WDD was established by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization to raise awareness about a serious health risk posed by diabetes. The date of November 14 was chosen because of the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting. He co-discovered insulin and, together with John Macleod, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1923. Insulin, which is the primary treatment for type-1 diabetes and used for type-2 and gestational diabetes, has saved many lives.
On October 1st, 2020, China Blonde hit the shelves. Written by former Sky News newsreader and former expat resident of Xi’an Nicole Webb, this book tells about her experiences while living in Xi’an. If you’d like to get a copy of the book, you can pick up a signed copy on her website www.nicolewebbonline.com (ships globally, including to China) or you can get a copy of the ebook at Amazon by scanning the QR code on the next page.
Every culture has its superstitions, or 迷信 (MiXin). As Englishman, I can’t walk under ladders, cross knives, or say ‘Bloody Mary’ in the mirror three times in a row (literally daren’t). With the onset of Halloween, I see no reason why we shouldn’t discuss ways in which we may avoid tempting fate, or worse dishonour our hosts, while here in China.
It’s often been said that bookstores around the world are struggling. With the rise of the internet, and the subsequent easy access to information, as well as digital publishing, it would seem that this rumor would be true. In China, however, bookstore can still do quite well, as paper books still have a certain clout amongst readers, both for children and adults. These bookstore have moved beyond the basic model of simply providing books and have ventured into the territory of becoming entertainment centers all on their own. As such, they have often become sprawling mini-metropolises containing a plethora of options for both material objects and experiences.
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