Expat in China Books


I’m pleased to announce the second Expat book, Expat in China: The Chengdu Blues, which in this case is the prequel. It was a life-changing year in China for Heidi and me in 1988-1989 that created the impetus for the later trip. This new book is partly a glimpse into the just-emerging China at the time of the Tiananmen Square protests, and partly a coming of age story for two young Americans. The print book is available in print now on Amazon, and for Kindle, Nook, or iPad.

Expat in China: A Family Adventure, the story of our family’s year living in Chengdu, China, has been available in both print and ebook versions for a year now. One reviewer says, “Not since Bill Holmes’ groundbreaking work Coming Home Crazy or Mark Salzman’s iconic Iron and Silk has there been a book written from one person’s perspective as insightful, genuine, endearing and hilarious as Greg Rhodes’ family odyssey with his wife Heidi and children Tommy, age 10 and Nikki, age 13.” I’ve heard from many readers how much they have enjoyed the book.

Take a look at both books, and please let me know what you think.



On The Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta Vietnam tour

Every now and then a simple tour represents much more. Mostly I'm not an organized tour guy. I'd rather launch out on my own, getting dirty and getting lost. However, we were traveling with my parents during semester break, getting a break from … [Continue reading]

Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History

Nikki Chengdu Sichuan bike bicycle expat

Nikki was justifiably pleased with her "Well-behaved women rarely make history" t-shirt, and it showed up all over China. (She's wearing it in this photo.) Unfortunately, few people could read it or understand the sentiment. I get asked regularly … [Continue reading]

Massage – A Reason to Go Expat

China, Chengdu, massage

Life as an Expat in China could be very stressful - language barriers, unfamiliar foods and culture, pollution, staring. Some days were exhausting, even if we had little to actually accomplish. Thankfully, we discovered (with a little help from a … [Continue reading]

Gentrification Chinese Style

The view out our hotel window in Kunming

Getting of the beaten track in China can be so rewarding, and you don't necessarily have to leave a big city to do so. In Kunming our hotel room looked out on a rapidly disappearing neighborhood, contrasted along the skyline by modern towers, both … [Continue reading]

Down the Side Street

A girl performs household chores

I'm a big believer in getting off the beaten track when traveling. Off the heavily-traveled tourist path you find more interesting, authentic, or unusual experiences. This can certainly mean choosing to visit cities and towns that aren't on the … [Continue reading]

School Lunch Break

chinese school lunch students kids

As I've written, our kids attended art and PE classes at our local Chinese elementary school, mostly for the interaction. Often our kids traveled the half-mile to and from school by themselves, but sometimes we would meet Tommy as he emerged at … [Continue reading]

Expats as Entertainment in China

Although Tommy struggled most with the constant attention in China, we all served as entertainment for the locals. If we stopped to buy a bottle of water, people would stop to gawk: "Hey, look, the foreigners drink water!" If we used our … [Continue reading]

Alone in China – A Few Years Later

kids china chengdu photograph

In the Expat Book, our son Tommy struggles with his exile to China. Regularly people ask me how it all looks to him a few years later. Earlier I let our daughter Nikki describe a bit of her experience, so here is Tommy's reflection on what China has … [Continue reading]

Christmas Eve in Chengdu!

Chirstmas Eve Chengdu China

I've been waiting months for the chance to describe Christmas Eve in Chengdu, one of the most bizzare, intense and amusing experiences one can imagine. In the spirit of the angels singing "Peace on earth and good will to men," the people of … [Continue reading]