Gudday! Just a few words...
I hail from Newcastle, NSW, Australia, proudly raised in blue-collar suburbia. After studying Music Industry Skills, and working as a bartender, factory worker, paperboy and actor, I moved to Melbourne to chase my dream. Pity I didn’t know what it was.
I spent eight years there, finishing an Arts Business degree, and a Graduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing. During this time, I worked in dozens of kitchens in Melbourne, while getting articles, reviews, interviews, stories and even poetry published. I felt that I was finally headed towards my goal. Pity I didn’t know where that was.
In 2006, a friend gave me the opportunity to teach English in Wuhan, central China, and I jumped at the chance. My plan was to go there for one year, come back, and get a “normal” job in Australia. One year turned into eight and a half, for reasons that are all within the book. In China, I found the ideal lifestyle. Pity I didn’t know whose it was.
China changed my life forever, in a thousand different ways, and for that I will always be grateful. So, without further ado, let me introduce the main attraction…
ABOUT THE BOOK
The book has a long history.
It had humble origins – it started as emails to my family and friends. Simple. They started small, but ended up gigantic. The average novel is 80,000 words…I wrote 327,000. So I had a wee bit of editing to do.
While I was editing, between 2016 and 2019, I released bits of the book via various websites, and, most notably, I had photos and text from the book in art exhibitions in Melbourne. Check out the pics here!
There was always something to write about – learning the language, cultural differences, the education system, my new culinary landscape, Chinese business ethos, and the dozens of places I visited, from metropolises like Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, to dozens of smaller cities, towns, and villages. I also had the best jobs I’ll ever have, and met some of the most beautiful people I’ll ever know.
Writing these chapters let me see China in a clearer light, and helped me celebrate the good times, and heal through the dark ones. The benefit to you is that you get to discover China with me, as I did, because everything I thought I knew about China, and the personal effects of a long-term stay there, was wrong. Come discover China with me, and get laughs throughout.