Arxan, Inner Mongolia

“Are foreigners not people?”

For the Chinese National holidays in October, 2015, hubby, I and Little Song (our then 15-month-old son) make a road trip to the Arxan mountain range (阿尔山 Ā’ěrshān) in Inner Mongolia (内蒙古 Nèiménggǔ) near the China-Mongolia border. When we arrive at our…

Jilin: The Cafés of Tonghua

One day while travelling through my husband’s home province Jilin in July 2013, we come by a city called Tonghua. My husband’s friend is living there and my husband has promised to pay her and her mother, who is seriously…

Hong Kong: Welcome to Congee Wonderland

As much as I love Shenzhen with its many flowers and lots of space – when it comes to food I would trade it for Hong Kong without hesitation. A few years ago I entered a congee restaurant with the…

Kunming, Yunnan: My friend, the palm reader

One evening in July 2012 the rain drops are pounding heavily against the windows as we sit in the living room of a friend’s place in Kunming. We are happy for the rain, because in the last three years and…

Guilin, Guangxi: “Where are you going?”

As I enter the long-distance bus station in Guilin, a guy in his 30s asks me: “Where are you going?” Thinking that he wants to sell me a black-market ticket, I say: “I’m buying the ticket at the booth, thanks.”…

Chongqing: City in the mist

It had been two years since I had left the southwestern city of Kunming – the beautiful city of spring that had become my new home for one year of studying abroad. When I came back to China in the…

Beijing: Lost in translation

My first trip to China was to Beijing in September 2005. I couldn’t speak a word of Chinese at that time, but I had already made up my mind to study this beautiful language. So far, my paths have led…