The Book of the Week is “Big in China” by Alan Paul, published in 2011. This wordy ebook describes the experiences of an American expatriate family in Beijing, China, as told through the eyes of the husband/father. His wife, a journalist, got a three-year job transfer there.
Paul remarks, “Our fake rich lifestyle included daily household help, the gated community, regularly hiring drivers, and a general sense that access to anything was just a phone call away.” He was grateful for the extra freedom that allowed him to spend more quality time with his two-year old daughter and two older sons, play blues music in a band, blog about his new life, and write a music column for a well-known publication.
Paul relates details on cuisine, poor sanitation, social isolation, extremely bad pollution in the city, and the way his children were the center of attention on the street for their blue eyes, fair skin and light-colored hair. Nevertheless, because they were culturally curious, he and his wife made a conscious effort to break out of the expat community, taking their kids to see the “real” China.
Read the book to learn of their adventures.