​An Australian Creative Director and Strategist fumbles through life in America. Live from New York.

An Australian Creative Director and Strategist fumbles through life New York City.

Filtering by Tag: expat

A shoulder to cry on

From a close friend, who is an excellent writer (and definitely my favourite Reiter).


On Tuesday, all China Daily employees were asked to wear black, white or gray in honor of a fellow employee who died last week from a brain hemorrhage. Li Xing was based in the United States, but started her career in Beijing in 1981, when the newspaper opened. 

She worked in many departments throughout her 30 years, and eventually rose up in the ranks to become the chief US correspondent and assistant editor-in-chief. 

I would say it was a definite shock to everyone here that she died. 

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The never ending hunt.

One of the many hilarious parts of the ex-pat lifestyle in China is the never ending hunt for Fa-piao, which are government sanctioned receipts.

As an expat, 30% of my salary is tax free, if I can obtain Fa-piao that add up to that percentage. Selective fa-piao only though - rent, eating and drinking out and laundry are the only acceptable ones. So at the end of each month, we all begin to strive to get as many of these golden tickets as possible.

This makes heading out for a big dinner/drinking session with other ex-pats a hilarious experience: you have this great night, and then when the bill arrives, you’ll suddenly witness everyone turning on each other like snarling dogs, desperately bribing the waitress and knocking each other out of the way for the all-important scrap of paper.

Even more hilariously, to encourage citizens to utilize receipts (and businesses to use them, and therefore pay tax), each fa-piao has a scratchy area in the top corner, where you can instantly win money: 20, 50, 100, even a 1000 RMB.

Yet another reason to love China: its insanity.