China is Winning

Okay, look. China is kicking my you-know-what right now. It’s spring break for me and this should be a joyous occasion. Right? Instead, it’s become a comedy of errors that was topped off by a blinding toothache last night.

Just to put it into a nutshell, it was a weekend of miscommunications, friends going through some major rough patches, air pollution so bad that I could drink it (burning eyes included), late buses, missed taxis, broken wallets, mean waitresses, ruined Chole (fake) sunglasses, shaky internet, rude children in a coffee house, and two bad mochas. And it’s only Monday.

It is also not helpful that I am really struggling to like it here. I have spoken with several people and they say this is perfectly normal. I mean, I was questioning if I even want to stay here next year.

I have to say though; things are looking up. The sky is blue today with white, puffy clouds. I just downloaded some new music and I think I might have perfected my toss for our bi-annual Cornhole tournament coming up in May. I also have an appointment to see the dentist this afternoon. And she speaks English. Bonus!


  1. Come on Claire, cheer up! We are going to win that tournament!

    1. Thanks Yves and yes, let’s win!

  2. Hang in there, Claire. Just know you have a cheering squad (a loud one) in the states. We all want to see you succeed and have fun over there.

  3. Christy Herrmann

    I love that you’re so darn honest. You even write when things aren’t rosy. Hope by now that your tooth is no longer hurting and that things are looking brighter.
    Today I read in the Wall Street Journal about a guy who picked up stakes and moved from Tennessee to Florence Italy to live permanently. Interesting story, but what struck me is that you could be writing for the Wall Street Journal. They are publishing a “series of travel stories in which they ask Americans living overseas, full time or part time to profile their adopted locales and guide would-be visitors through the best the areas have to offer.” Contact info –

    1. Thanks Christy, I will send them my blog!

  4. Susan Wachowiak

    Just think, after this week’s disasters, things should brightened up for the rest of the term. You’ve received your reality check from the “reality gods.” Seriously, hope things calm down.

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