Hello Uncle Foreigner

Who is this Uncle Foreigner?

Peter does the snaps, Emily does the text

We are Emily and Peter, a couple of 美国’s abroad. We’re both ex-New York media types — Peter, with a background in the graphic and visual realms, and Emily in writing and web work. These days we’re calling China our home. And we’re sharing our experience of it in multimedia, here on our blog and on YouTube.

Our story started in mid-2010, when Peter, in the midst of a frustrating job search, joked, “We could always just go teach in China.” After about a week, Emily asked: “On the chance that you weren’t joking … I’d go.” And after about a year of research and preparation, we were on a plane to Luzhou City, Sichuan Province, China.

What? You’ve never heard of Luzhou? Well, that’s because this small town (of 1.7 million people!) is considered somewhat of a backwater in China. (Though it’s local liquor, Luzhou Laojiao, is known and drunk throughout the country.) But it’s a city with ambition. We watched it grow over the four years we spent there (check the archives for stories), and as we said as we left, “Luzhou will always be our Chinese hometown.”

But leave it we did. To head even further west to the city of Lijiang, in Yunnan Province. Lijiang, while not yet well known to foreigners, is China’s premiere domestic tourist destination. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Lijiang is strikingly gorgeous. They’ve got mountains, lakes, hot springs, and more. The locals are a mix of different ethnicities not found anywhere else in China and — though some of it is prepackaged and sold to wealthy travelers — their heritage is still living and vital.

And then … after a year we came back to Luzhou! We love Sichuan province so much that we couldn’t bear to be away. But we’re more active than ever. Our main focus is cross-cultural communication, and we want to help the world’s people share their stories with one another and forge new bonds. If we can get some good snacks along the way, all the better.