The New Normal

Hello from the other siiiiiiide ✌🏼
My blog is so shiny and new, it’s very exciting. Do you like it?
I was finally able to sort everything, or rather the wonderful people at Site Ground were (because I am terrible with technology), and although it looks as if the changes were purely cosmetic there was a lot of head spinning issues regarding transferring my website and such. I won’t bore you with the details, mainly because I don’t actually know what the details were! 😉
Since my last post at the beginning of July(!!!!) I’d love to say we’ve been up to a lot of interesting things but the reality is we’ve just been living life. We took a long weekend trip to Xi’an (blog to follow, I promise) but other than that I’ve been here in Guangzhou. I’ve said it so many times before but it really is strange when the big, new adventure of living somewhere different becomes day to day normality. It’s a gradual transition, one that you don’t really notice, but I’m glad that we made that shift. 
Speaking of, I thought I would share some of the things we do and the places we visit in order to make our life here as comfortable and “normal” as possible. Of course these are all personal preference and as much as we love embracing Chinese life, every now and then you need to step back into your bubble of comfort and there is NOTHING wrong with that!
Expat Supermarkets
We have one just across the road from our apartment called Ole and though most things there are painfully expensive it’s great to know that we can buy anything (brands that we know) should we need it. It is slightly irritating however that they plaster Chinese labels on everything. Want to know just how many calories are in that bar of chocolate you couldn’t resist? You’ll have to learn how to read Mandarin I’m afraid. OR claw at the back of the packet in a desperate attempt to remove the label, but I swear they use industrial strength glue to stick them down and the sticky label will always win. 🤦🏻‍♀️
International Hair Salons
Have you ever heard of Toni & Guy? Of course you have. There’s one located a short walk from our apartment (we’re in a great location but I’ll go into detail on that soon) and they’re brilliant. The hair dresser I like to see only speaks basic English but that’s no problem. I show him a photo, we attempt to have a brief chat and off he goes. The first time he cut my hair I was a little terrified due to the language barrier, but he was amazing and now I actually love him. I’m fully aware that this a bit of a silly one, because I’ve been told that there are some amazing salons dotted around Guangzhou that will charge far less than I’m paying, but like I said.. personal preference. I used to go to Toni & Guy in Singapore and I’m a creature of habit! 
Familiar Food
I’ve been told that I’m lucky to live in Guangzhou now VS 10 years ago. Since the expat community here has only really grown in the last few years so has the variety of food. There’s some amazing Turkish, Mexican, Italian (we have Pizza Express!), Japanese, Korean and “Western” restaurants spread all over the city and we also have some amazing coffee shops, all of which are insanely Instagram worthy and attract crowds of fashionably dressed girls on the lookout for that perfect selfie. Our personal favorites are the cutest little bagel shop that we visit religiously every Sunday morning for a bagel (obviously) & coffee and an amazing cafe that serves delicious smoothie bowls and avocado toast for lunch. We adore Chinese food and I genuinely miss eating noodles when we’re traveling elsewhere, but being surrounded by it makes the food you’re used to even more special. 
Facetime (Because China Doesn’t Like Skype)
This is a big one. How people lived thousands of miles from their family & friends before the wonders of technology I will never know! I love being able to cook my dinner, open up my laptop and chat to my parents while I’m eating during the evening. It’s ALMOST as if we’re out having a meal together (despite the fact that I can’t give them a cuddle, which obviously sucks). Likewise I love being able to give my best friend back home a call every few weeks to sit and catch up on life. Even though we text frequently there’s something comforting about hearing a familiar voice. 
Making A Space Your Home
We all do this wherever in the world we live, but being able to come home everyday to a space that is our own is nearly (I am still in China after all) the same feeling I get when I walk through the door of my childhood home in England. A home is a home is a home. We try to purchase little trinkets wherever we go (we have various elephants framing our television from the UK, Singapore, Cambodia & Thailand) and photos of our loved ones and both of us from our wedding. Two of my favourite things come from my parents, though. For our first wedding anniversary my mum (who is a budding calligrapher) wrote out a quote from our ceremony and framed it, and we also have a beautiful water colour painting from my super talented dad. I’ve always loved our apartment since the second we stepped through the door to view it all those years ago. It just feels like a comfortable, relaxing space.
Like I said though, we really love being able to experience another culture and I think we do a pretty good job at absorbing as much of it as we can. We’re always reminding each other to not take this adventure for granted and to live in the now! 
I’m so, so pleased that I’m finally happy to pick up where i left off with this blog. I have so much more to document and to share with you so if you’re still following along thank you so much for sticking with such a lazy englishgirlinchina. Oh and if you haven’t already, go ahead and subscribe so that you don’t miss the next one. ❤️
Happy Sunday.

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