These Notes originally came about from me just wanting to get a bit of creative down time in my week, but they also ended up offering me a space to dwell on the amazing ‘development’ changes going on in Xi’an.
My life, though, has changed a little since I started these Notes. There is now less time for splashing about on the internet; as I combine studying for an MSc in International Development (2012-14) with a bit of work, continued efforts to learn this language and (since March 2nd) looking after our baby daughter. Thus, there may be fewer Notes, or more likely there’ll be the odd random Note about the wider world beyond Xi’an. As always, we’ll just see how we go.
These Notes and pages weren’t ever intended to be any kind of city guide – they were just a repository for my random thoughts – however, I have created a page that has the more Xi’an Centred Notes collected together, which can help give visitors – or those thinking about coming here - an impression of what this fast developing city is like today. The China Web Links page is a good one-stop shop for all kinds of China sites: it includes China specific news sites, podcasts, language sites, comment sites and a couple of China News aggregators. It is a pretty comprehensive list. A lot of these links can also be found in the sidebar.
Since the beginning of this site there has also always been a Coffee Shop Listings Page but as cafes have begun to spring up all over the place I have chosen not to keep up with their growth. There is just less need, a coffee shop is easy to find now. I will leave the page up and keep what is there up-to-date – the places included are still well worth dropping into for a hot cup of the black stuff (and a slice or two of apple pie).
I have lived in Xi’an for about seven years. I am English, grew up all over Britain, spent quite a bit of time traveling when I was younger, ended up studying Politics and Philosophy at Glasgow Uni. in my mid-twenties, later qualifying as a teacher in London, before deciding that teaching was not for me and traveling through Sri Lanka and India to get to China (where I got a job as a teacher!).
I had realised back in Britain that it was time to decide what I really wanted to do with my life. The answer: that I wanted to travel in India and spend a good chunk of that life in China.
The basic reasons being that first, I had nearly visited India ten years earlier and it felt somewhat like going home to finally go there. And second, after looking around at the world – through my studies and from wider experiences – it seemed that in my life time China was going to have a significant, if not the most significant influence over many of the issues that were going to shape our societies. It seemed to me that if I wanted to get a sense of how our world was to go forward I needed to get a sense of this country and its people. My simple plan before arriving was if I liked it I would stay.
Since being here, I have traveled to a few quiet spots in Gansu, Sichuan, Yunnan and Xinjiang, as well as a number of trips to Beijing and Shanghai. I am now very fortunate to be married to Ling who comes from the South of Shaanxi and we have a lovely baby daughter, Isabella Sophia. I work a little, study a little (a bit more now), do a little voluntary work and generally enjoy a simple and pleasant life here in Xi’an. This country or more precisely this city does seem to have become home. We will see what the next months and years hold.
Richard Frost (李志)
Content Usage/ Copyright:
I haven’t bothered with this before as I really didn’t think about it but, as over the last few months I have come across a few instances where content has been reproduced elsewhere without permission, and without any credit to its origin, I thought I would now add a short comment about permission. This note over at Christine Tan’s Shanghai Shiok! is quite appropriate, so, somewhat ironically, I will reproduce it here:
“Except where otherwise noted, all content belongs to [Richard Frost]. Non-commercial, non-profit blogs and websites may reproduce short excerpts (300 words or two paragraphs, whichever is longer) and up to two photos so long as you credit [Notes From Xi'an] and include a link to the original post. Please do not reproduce longer excerpts, entire posts or multiple images without written permission”. Thank you.
Copyright © 2013 Richard Frost, Notes From Xi’an, All Rights Reserved