"Dear Navjot, my name is June and I am one of your readers. I am writing to thank you because your blog has saved my life again and again!!
I have two kids, and as a Taiwanese growing up in the states, then moved to China for family business, then married an American who now lives with me in Taiwan, traveling is an important part of my life.
As a mom of two kids, picking the right airline is absolutely crucial to make my traveling experience either a living hell or heaven on earth. I know it's so trivial, but I just want to express my gratitude for making most of my traveling experience with kids as great as it can be!!"
Situated in a quiet affluent neighbourhood in Hangzhou's Binjiang District, Angelo's Bar is a nice cosy bar where you can just chill out on a Friday or Weekend evening with family, friends or colleagues. A popular haunt for Hangzhou's immigrants (sorry I meant expats!) who want to stay away from the noisy/touristy eateries and bars in downtown Hangzhou. The food is VERY good (in my opinion), the ambiance is great and they have a nice selection of drinks. Average meal with a drink can cost around 100-150 RMB per person (about US $18-25).
...shopping in Sainsbury's supermarket in Croydon...and he's emptied the shelves of ALL the cereal bars, crunchy nut corn flakes, and PG Tips teabags (oh, and Nutella jars as well...which costs at least RMB75/GBP£8 a jar in China...in the UK it costs around £2.30 a jar (about RMB20))! Shopping for groceries never felt so good (!)
Yes, in Hong Kong, Suzhou, Shanghai, and other Chinese cities with an expat population we can get such goods, but they are mostly imported (i.e. they've most probably have been on a container ship for at least 3 months), and cost at least 3 or 4 times the price we pay in the U.K. (Tesco in China is nothing like the Tesco in the U.K. - it's localized to the Chinese consumer).
When you are living for 90% of the year in a country where not many local retailers understand why foreigners drink black tea with milk at 4pm with cakes and biscuits (I can't live without it!), and why we eat cereal with milk every morning, your homesick body craves for such stuff when living 6,000 miles away (my Chinese/Australian/American and other expat friends who live in the U.K. do the same when they go back home for THEIR holidays to their countries).
While it is exciting and fun to live as an expat in China, the problem is that it is so far away from HOME (well...some may say it's only a 12-hour flight). My parents live in Dulwich, and like most expats who live thousands of miles away from their parents and other loved ones, it's always a difficult choice to make when deciding to live abroad. There are over 3 million of us Brits living outside of the U.K., the highest number of expats from any one country within the EU. People live in countries other than their own for various reasons (study, work etc.).
Flying in between the U.K. and China may be fun, BUT (and it's a BUT with capital letters), the older you get the more you start thinking if you want to keep living as an expat forever (!). I love the romance of living in a place such as Suzhou, and Guangzhou; but also miss home- so I am always suffering from culture shock (and REVERSE culture shock!)- can't have the whole world.
I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who is a Chinese expat living in London (from Chongqing) about this subject. He is experiencing the reverse (i.e. his parents are in China, and he lives in London working as a Doctor).
The good thing of coming back to Blighty is that you get to get to spend time with your parents...
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