So Why China?

I started this blog to keep track of our adventures as my husband Amaury and I move to Guangzhou, China. We’re so excited to be heading over there after lots of prep, packing, and googling maps and images of our new home.


So where exactly is Guangzhou? I’ve taken to enticing people to come visit us by describing how close Guangzhou is to many popular places: 2 hours from Hong Kong and Macau, 3-4 hour flight to Beijing, short flights to the rest of South East Asia. Apparently, every weekend our friends already in Guangzhou travel to all these exciting places. But, we are also very happy about being in Guangzhou itself, though we have lots more to learn about it. Here is what I know so far from the couple of guidebooks I’ve been perusing: Guangzhou is a huge (by American standards) city of 12 million (!) people that has long been a center of trade. It was once the city of Canton, the point of entry for Western traders. It’s now an industrial hub for China and overseas trade as well as being one of the more environmentally-conscious Chinese cities.

Yes, to your next question. Pollution will be bad in Guangzhou and there will be days when we won’t want to venture outside much. But the good news is that Guangzhou is known for having much better air quality than Beijing and Shanghai. I did purchase vogmasks for us to wear when the pollution is at high levels outside. Amaury was very suspicious of these masks, since he thought they’d make us look silly. Perhaps they do, but at least our lungs will be better off. Apparently, locals don’t really wear them except when they’re sick to protect others from germs. Of course, I got one in purple:


Apart from the pollution and hot, humid weather, Guangzhou is supposed to be beautiful outdoors. It’s right next to amazing natural spaces including Baiyun Mountain, which will be one of our first things to visit. Here’s a picture from Life of Guangzhou that hopefully I can take myself soon:

But for now, we’re mainly focusing our energies on preparing for the move. Our apartment is looking more and more in transition each day. There’s lots to do, to organize, and to make spreadsheets about. I’m thankful that I was able to leave work a month before our move to have more time to organize… though truthfully, I think I’ve mainly been organizing myself mentally and emotionally for this move. I catch myself lost in thought picturing our new apartment and trying to remember the newest Chinese phrase I learned in my online course. This week I learned how to order food in a restaurant. In Chinese “please enjoy”/”bon appetit” is “qǐng màn yòng” 请慢用 which literally means “please eat slow.” I’ve lived in a few different countries at this point, but China will certainly be the most different and, despite all our research, neither of us really knows what to expect.

Till next time, zài jiàn! 再見!

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