10 Key Lessons Learned in Shanghai


Within the span of two months, I’ve transformed into a local.

The only differences are the shock of blonde hair, physical stature and skin tone, and the curious habit of speaking in English interspersed with mispronounced Mandarin.

Alright, so maybe I’m not a local. But I like to think that I’ve adapted relatively well! At any rate, I’ve experienced quite a bit since my wide-eyed arrival.

Here are 10 lessons learned in the mega-city of Shanghai:

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The Post-Drink Meal that China Does So Right


Beer and fried food are a match made in heaven.

No one in their right mind questions that statement. However, deciding which fried food to grub on after a long night of Tsingtao interspersed with shots of dubious Chinese rice wine can be difficult.

Luckily, drunken hedonists all across Shanghai agree that bing is the kingpin of trashy, late-night snacks.

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Gambling on an Experience


When I found the position with the ELCA as a global missionary I almost lost my breath in disbelief that such a job would exist.

The description was exactly what I had studied as an undergrad at CLU. The job was in one of my favorite countries I visited when I studied abroad with SAS. The organization was through a church that I am proud to be a part of. It was a dream job.

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Middle School Nostalgia as a Foreigner


Coming from a small town, being on display is nothing new to me.

It seems that everyone else is secure in who they are to the outside world. They know their place, where they are, and what it means to be South African. I’m still discovering what it means to be American, and yet I’m not just on display, but I’m also a window into the USA.

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6 RMB for the Greatest Dumplings of Your Life


The first of what will inevitably be many posts praising the Shanghainese food scene…

With a smiling face, dough-caked fingers, and a quick invitation for you to sit down, the waitress at my local steamed dumpling joint is better than yours — not that it’s a competition (and if it were, there wouldn’t even be one).

That said, it’s probably impossible to get a bad meal in the entire city of Shanghai.

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