“This is China” (often shortened to TIC) is a saying one often hears from mainland China-based expats in moments of exasperation. For example:
- Upon seeing a row of sleeping construction workers laying perpendicularly across the cycle path you might swerve, roll your eyes and sigh, “This is China.”
- When holes in the walls of your rental have been repaired by simply covering them with Hello Kitty stickers, you comfort yourself by thinking, “This is China,” while your mouth hangs open.
- If you spend all day desperately trying to access the New York Times, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or basically any useful bit of the internet, but are completely unsuccessful, you will shout, “This! Is! Goddamned! China!” while banging your head on your keyboard.
So there is the temptation for those based in China or other hardship locations to view expat life in Europe as a uniformly soft and cushy affair, filled with bakeries, jovial chats at neighborhood cafés and fabulous wine cellars. Well it simply isn’t so. European expat life can also be filled with eye-wateringly difficult red tape, painful cultural misunderstandings, creepy crawlies and strange food stuffs. Luckily, no matter the global location, these experiences are always terribly funny to read about.
And even more lucky for you, a group of award-winning expat bloggers in Europe have joined forces to share some of their funniest tales in the book, Uprooted and Undiluted.
I am absolutely thrilled to be included in this book! It turns out that one year in the Netherlands was worth comedy gold!
To read about the book’s contributors and publication date, take a look at the new Uprooted and Undiluted page on my blog.
This post was updated October 15. The editorial team is re-visiting its connection with the earlier mentioned charity as the book might be too “undiluted” for their taste!