William Dyke is a writer who has been living in Beijing since 2013.
Hello there. My name is Will and welcome to my blog. I write about the entire gamut of issues that come up while living and working in China.
In Chinese, there is a term zhōngguó tong (中国通) that is loosely translated as “China Hand” in English. It is a word that signifies someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in the language, culture, and people of China.
Every “China Hand” has a story: why they came, what happened while they were here, and ultimately how it all ended.
I guess it’s slightly narcissistic to call oneself a “China Hand”, but what the hell. My China story is still being told. The first part goes like this…
I came to Beijing in 2013 on a teaching gig after graduating from university in my home state of New Hampshire.
I remember my first taste of China so clearly: the thick cloud of smog at Peking Capital airport, the dingy hotel just north of the third ring road, and all those screaming children who wanted to be anywhere but in my class.
In the beginning all I wanted to do was leave, but somewhere along the line I made some friends. Then I started to learn the language. After a couple of months, everything began changing for me.
Since then I have changed jobs a few times, but I still call Beijing home. Most of the people that I first came to the city with have left, yet a few of the golden ones are still here. Life is like that.
My goal with this blog is to give you a micro view of life in China. If you want the macro then you can check out some of the bigger name publications. They are great and I subscribe to most of their newsletters. However, it’s hard for them to really tell you what it means to live in China on a daily basis – to be a “China Hand”.
That’s my goal here. I hope that I can help to paint the picture of what it means to live in China as a foreigner for a prolonged period of time: the good, the bad, and the strange.