The Daily Roar

The sleepy town of Jinshan, China

Falling in love is one of the most fulfilling life experiences. And falling in love with China, I didn’t or at least not at first.

According to Wiki, China is one of the most travelled countries in Asia. The great Wall and the Forbidden City in Beijing are a tourist must see.

When I first came to China about a year and half ago, I was basically coming for adventure. I am not your ideal tourist but I had estimated my visit would last at most 3 months. A good friend had talked me into joining him in China. This I did with no hesitation. I have always had this obsession with living in big cities for so long. When it came to China; Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou were top on my list. Living I did, in various big cities but it didn’t just click for me.

It’s not the many stares in the bus on my way home from work I didn’t like or the many inaudible whispers in the elevator. No, life in China is easy, relatively cheap compared to many Western countries. Though language barrier can be really frustrating, it’s always easy to get around. Be it by public buses or trains, you can either find this information online or find a willing native to help you. Nevertheless, I felt like I was looking for something that I couldn’t really pin down.

It was definitely not in Chinese cuisine which I happen to like. There is the popular hotpot; Huǒguō, spicy chicken; Dàpán jī, Beijing duck just to mention a few. As a foreigner, Chinese people will be more than willing to invite you for dinner. What of their traditional white wine; Bái jiǔ ? that is so generally offered during these dinners.


For the past year, living from one capital city to the other I never felt at home. I ate, I lived but I never loved.

Three months ago, I moved to a small suburb of Chifeng called Jin shan. Chi feng is a town of Inner Mongolia in Northern China. The weather here is cold for most time of the year. Surrounded by mountains, Life is quiet, peaceful and the people are genuinely warm.

Living with a typical Chinese family is probably the highlight of my stay in China. Here people pay attention to the small things in life, gathering on the dining table for all the 3 meals in a day, a mandatory afternoon nap and that blissful evening walk with a pet. The grandmother in the family sees me off to work every day and welcomes me back home with a warm ‘Nǐ huí jiā!’ (You have come home!) which makes it the more worthwhile.

As I pack up back to Africa, I have seen historical sites, mountains, rivers, I have dined and played but the most memorable part will be living in the best part of their world, which is their hearts! The hearts of the people of the sleepy town of Jinshan.

/// Written by Salome Mbuthia, China

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