Welcome to China!

Happy New Year!

china Ros canton tower


I’ve got so much to tell you but I don’t even know where to begin.

We arrived in Guangzhou on January 10. Long flight, kids were amazing and within 30 minutes of our arrival at our accommodation, my husband was out to a work dinner. No downtime – we jumped straight in!

I took the girls to their new school the very next morning bright and early, purchased uniforms and took them to class. They are both loving their new school, have made some friends and have adapted like ducks to water. Phew.

china girls canton tower


My challenges for the first few days were to find the grocery store, get a meal on the table and explore my immediate neighbourhood. I’ve had some great support and help from other Aussies here and I’m gradually starting to meet a few new people.

Overall it’s been a whirlwind and my feet haven’t quite touched the ground yet. Add to that the coldest weather in 50 years in Guangzhou and yesterday it snowed – very unusual for city with a tropical climate!

china siu mai


A few quick observations –

  • The Chinese people have been extremely kind and helpful and I’ve already learned a few words to get by. Ni hao (hello) xie xie (pronounced sher sher – thank you), yo gwai (turn right) and zho gwai (turn left) – extremely helpful in a taxi!
  • Taxis are cheaper than public transport at home. The metro system here is only 10-30 cents per ride. Winner!
  • I have to learn to look right and keep right! Traffic is on the right side of the road here.
  • The food is THE BEST.
  • Guangzhou is an extremely modern city. Tall buildings with creative architecture, very new and futuristic.
  • It’s always busy here. Traffic jams all day long.

Thanks to the cold snap, today I’m off to buy a beanie, some gloves and tights. Brrrr!

china ros opera museum


Our current accommodation is temporary and hopefully we will be moving somewhere more permanent in the next 2-3 weeks. Once that happens, the logistics company will release our shipment and my sewing machines will arrive sometime in March. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime I’ll just have to check out every fabric market this city has to offer…I went to a big one last week but it was mainly garment fabric. Hunting down quilting cottons will be my task.

china fabric market


The city is gearing up for the huge Chinese New Year celebrations on February 8th. It’s an exciting time to be here – 2016 is the Year of the Monkey.

Overall it’s been a great introduction and we are having a blast. Once life settles down a bit I’ll be able to get into some sort of routine and rhythm and get to more regular blogging. I’ll pop in now and then and I also owe you a book club report! That will be next!

28 thoughts on “Welcome to China!

  1. So exciting! Sounds like it has all gone so smoothly for such a big move. And great that the girls have settled so quickly – that would always be my biggest worry I think. Looking forward to reading more…

  2. I’m so glad to hear things are going so well! Thanks for taking the time to let us know a bit of what’s going on, Ros. Looking forward to hearing more when you are settled. Happy New Year!!!

    1. Hi Kris! Happy New Year, and again for us next week with Chinese New Year! Things are going really well and we’ll be moving into our permanent place tomorrow so that will help us get a bit more settled. xx

  3. Don’t be alarmed, but I think there is a UFO behind your daughters!

    China looks and sounds great. And the best thing is that the kids a settling in so quickly. Kids are amazing at accepting whatever situation they are in.

    1. Haha the lights at night are crazy here – they look great though. Then all of a sudden at 11pm BOOM. They all switch off. Must be the curfew time 🙂 Kids are great, they are so flexible. I think their easy acceptance of everything has made my transition easier.

    1. Thanks Deborah! Hope your trip to Australia has been great. I’m disappointed I missed you – hopefully our paths will cross again!

  4. What a wonderful adventure! We visited the city a while back and were really impressed with how huge it is. Went to several museums, river cruise, and bought metal chopsticks and nail clippers at the open market. I remember thinking the public transportation map looked like a quilt! Will be so interested to hear details about your language classes. Sure wish I could be your neighbor!

    1. June – so exciting for me to hear from someone who has visited Guangzhou! Most people only travel to Beijing or Shanghai. The public transport ‘quilt’ has been challenging but I’m working it out and I use the trains a lot. Language is hard so far, I’m learning the four tones and how to read in pinyin, the english lettering of the languange. I recognise maybe about 4 characters so far. My main adventures at the moment revolve around food – buying groceries, cooking with new ingredients and eating out! Lots of fun.

  5. So nice to hear you’ve arrived and settling in well Ros! I have been thinking of you and wondering how things were going for you. My hubby is just back from China again so I’m with you in spirit! Hope things continue to go well for you, what an amazing adventure you have embarked upon! So brave!

    1. Thanks!! It’s going well so far and we are about to move into our permanent place so that will be nice. School holidays for Chinese New Year are about to start so the girls can relax and we can do some exploring!

    1. Thank you! It’s good to be back. Haven’t read any blogs for ages…looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to.

  6. Straight into it eh?! Kids are so adaptable. Glad you arrived safe and sound. We’ve had extremes of weather here in Tassie too…….fires all over the North-West and flooding down the east coast…..crazy. I used to love going to the supermarket in China…..the deli section……big trays full of chicken feet. Take care, Louise.

    1. Oh yeah the chicken feet. EVERYWHERE. Straight into it was actually a great way to get the kids started, school has become a haven for them and they are thriving. School holidays for the next two weeks for chinese new year so we can do some exploring and relax over the holiday period. xx

Leave a Reply