After the traumatic experience that took place at my last school, I have to say my second experience in China has been a walk in the park thus far. Yes, people still stare, but it’s definitely not as bad as the first time. The fact that I am now married probably has a lot to do with that. Although, this time around, the kiddo is back stateside finding her way in this world as an adult. Continue reading “Living in China…Again”
I’ve largely been silent on here because this past year at my place of employment has been pretty darn traumatic. From being the victim of racism (in Nigeria no less), to unsupportive colleagues and then being forced to work closely with and train a bully who consistently attempted to paint himself the victim and of course, others so readily believed and having to do it all with a “smile” pretty much muted and masked my true feelings. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait for the end of the school year and finally being rid of that very toxic environment. I’ll speak more about the mind-numbing ordeal this past school year has been in a different post. Continue reading “And so it begins…”
In one of my Facebook groups, someone recently asked why more POC didn’t consider living in countries that were predominantly POC. To this, someone responded “Racism is everywhere so go where you feel called.” I thought about this and thought about my observations and my experience here in Nigeria and I asked myself two questions: 1. Do I feel racism here in Nigeria? 2. And if so, is it the same as it is in the United States? Continue reading “Does Racism Exist in Nigeria?”
This past Spring Break the kiddo and I journeyed to Cairo, Egypt and Rome, Italy. And what a journey it was. We had no idea what to expect from Cairo, but I made sure to fit in as much as possible without overdoing it physically, as well as, financially. This was going to be a 12 day trip and I needed to make smart budget decisions so that we wouldn’t be in any kind of uncomfortable situations, you know…like unable to eat. Lol. Nonetheless, Cairo did not disappointment and we had a great time. Continue reading “Seeing the Pyramids in Egypt- Khufu, Khafre and Menkare”
The hardest thing about living abroad in general for me is being away from my family, my mother and sister specifically. If I came from one of those globetrotting families who travel all over the planet and meet up in exotic locations, it would be much easier. If I had my way, we’d meet in London during fall break, South Africa during Christmas and some sexy beach locale during the summer. But whether or not I see my family and friends back home depends a lot on me. Folks simply don’t visit. I’m sure they’ll say money is an issue, but hell, even when I’m home I don’t see them unless I go to them and sometimes that requires me traveling an additional two to three hours even though I’ve traveled thousands of miles and most of the times, more than 16 hours. Continue reading “Gratitude in Da ‘Buj”
Call me ignorant if you choose, but I’ll be the first to admit that I miss with all of my heart American Chinese food. I would give anything for a simple order of shrimp fried rice or Singapore noodles with tofu or General Tso’s shrimp or even shrimp with broccoli. Oh how my mouth waters at the thought of egg foo yung and crab ragoon and chicken lo mein. Call me crazy for assuming that living in China would put me in close proximity to a limitless supply of those dishes I now long for. Imagine the shock and horror when I discovered that the Chinese food I loved is, in fact, not authentic Chinese food at all. For shame!
Don’t get me wrong, there are some dishes that are close to the ones I grew to love in America, but here in Foshan where Cantonese food reigns supreme, it is quite difficult to find Chinese dishes that make me crave the local cuisine. The lo mein or chao mein is probably the closest, but even that is prepared differently. Ginger and garlic are the go to spices for most local chefs. This leaves their food mildly seasoned and just lacking flavor. But hell, I’m no food critic; I just like to eat.
I’ve asked several of my Chinese colleagues about these dishes which I cannot and they often just give me a blank stare. They don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. However, I haven’t determined if it’s because most Chinese tend to eat the local food they grew up on or if it’s because American Chinese food really is solely an American thing.
There have been a few dishes which have tickled my taste buds like the sautéed squid rings, the grilled, garlicky oysters and the steamed scallops with rice sticks. Despite bemoaning the food, one of the things I absolutely love about living in Foshan has been the access to fresh and varied seafood. Nonetheless, ultimately, I am still in search of good, really, really good authentic Chinese food. In the meantime, I’ll take complete pleasure in the search.
One of the most important factors that I have to consider when traveling or living abroad is my quiet, reserved, yet very opinionated teenage daughter. Adjusting to living abroad is one thing when you’re solo, but when you’re a parent, and especially of a teenager, it adds an extra layer to the already challenging dynamic. My precious one agreed, albeit somewhat begrudgingly, to go on this journey with me. I thought the least I could do was give her a platform to share her thoughts. These are her words, raw and uncensored.