I’m an expatriate based in Shenzhen, China. I’m a writer, mainly technical authoring and marketing material – so no books out (at least so far). And as with most expats here I’m also working on a number of interesting opportunities in business, and again as with most expats I’ve not yet made a million except possibly in Zimbabwe Dollars.

This is a collection of my thoughts on living here and my daily life. It’s all coloured by three years’ experience of being here already, so if you’re looking for honeymoon phase 100% enthusiasm for all things China you probably won’t find it here.

Thanks for dropping by and checking out Shards of China you can find me on Twitter too – @ShardsofChina


76 thoughts on “About”

  1. 3 years! I have lots to catch up on on your blog! Thanks for stopping in on mine!

  2. Nice blog. Thanks for your Like of my post.

  3. Ah, love the content of your blog and can relate to some it as well. Thanks for the like as well.

  4. great blog! and thank you for following the happy spaces project, would be delighted if you submitted a space that makes you happy to the project.

  5. svenoblivion said:

    Thank you so much for the like on my post about my upcoming trip to HK!

    Have a wonderful weekend…!

    – s

  6. Hope this blog witnesses unstoppable China’s rise!

    • I don’t know if it’s going to be unstoppable – every economy runs in cycles eventually, but it’s sure going to chart what I see. Thanks for stopping by to comment. 🙂

  7. silverando said:

    Shards of China, interesting fact about China and cultural. Very nice blog!! Thank you for visiting silverando! I`ll drop sometime to check new stuffs here.

  8. Loved your blog. I find China fascinating….and a bit scary:-) Will surely return for more!

  9. 3rdCultureChildren said:

    Thank you for coming by my travel & photoblog, checking it out! A great pleasure, and much appreciated!

    Greetings from warm Recife, Brazil, from http://3rdculturechildren.com

  10. That’s a very interesting and unique blog you have – please continue sharing your experiences and thoughts. Your blog style is easy to follow and inspiring.

    Thanks for stopping by my posts! Glad you liked it.

  11. Thank you for liking my post! Beautifully interesting blog…you have just gained a new fan! Anything “Chinese” makes me anticipate my trip back next year even more..HOORAY!


  12. I have enjoyed reading all of your posts about China and I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Check my post for more details. 🙂

  13. Boy can I relate about the honeymoon phase! Been here 5 months, honeymoon definitely over, LOL.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

  14. Ni hao, friend. Thanks for liking my post on the Kim Jong-Un Weibo situation. Just my opinion of course, you’d have a better idea of how accurate my thoughts are, but very interesting stuff to me. Best of luck in your endeavors in China!


  15. soccernorsk said:

    Hi, will check out your site again! Themes of interest to me if you run dry for topics *smile*: one child policy impact on young adults; orphans; western vs chinese parenting; women’s issues. enjoyed looking at your topics on second wives etc.

    • Women’s issues will definitely be coming up in a later theme – in fact gender issues from both sides of the fence are likely to get examined. The parenting thing, I don’t know enough about (apart from the famous Tiger mum book) but it’s certainly something I may look into when I get the time.

      Thanks for commenting and contributing. 🙂

  16. Hi Nicholas,

    Its been great reading your blog and I look forward to reading more as the days, months and years go by. I have been here in China for over 12 years now and still loving every minute of it. I hope to start a blog of my own one day soon; however until then, please have a look at my photostream which contains many images of China.
    If I can be of any help to you, please let me know.

    Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/ itsmarkinshanghai



    • Hi Mark,

      Your photos are absolutely awesome! You really should turn them into a photo blog at the very least – some of the experience around the shot would be superb.

      Thanks for your kind words about my blog – and I’d love to collaborate on a piece on Shanghai in the future (which I still haven’t been to). I’ll drop you a line on Twitter when that’s coming up. 🙂

      Kind Regards,


  17. Hi, thanks for liking my Gambia blog post, and best wishesw for you and your blog!

  18. Dear Nick, I’ve been a closet blogger for the last six months – so I’m all in a flurry that I got four little stars from fellow bloggers yesterday! 😀 Thank you. I’ve just checked out your blog and what can I say – it’s amazing. I love the attention to research and detail you’ve put in. The range of topics that you cover. It’s China as we have never known. I’ll be back.

  19. Thank you for dropping by my blog and pressing the ‘like’ button! It’s always good to read a new blog and I was interested in yours.

  20. Thanks for your visit and like on my blog. Love the title and content in yours.

  21. Thanks for the like. Your blog looks interesting , I’ll check out the posts.

  22. Just found your blog today, and I love it! You write with a refreshing voice.

  23. Thanks for ‘liking’ my post! You are the first person I don’t personally know to have done son. Really liked what I’ve read so far in your blog- I used to live in China too- but you have a more intelligent view on things than me! Haha

  24. Thanks for your visit to my blog 🙂
    I’m Japanese and studying in the UK just now. I’ve been wondering why Euro-American people are interested in China so much. Everything’s exotic? Do you think it’s similar to that we Asian feel interesting in European countries? In fact, I’m not really interested in any Asian countries and have never travelled in Asia outside of Japan.
    What does attract you the most in China??

    • I think it’s because China has become the bogeyman of Western media now it’s clear that Russia’s biggest threat is to Russia itself – I live in China because my wife’s Chinese, I’d never been particularly interested in the Far East and was far more interested in the Middle East where I lived for a good while for work.

      I don’t think I’ll stay in China forever because it’s not somewhere I feel at home and I’ve been here long enough to get that. I’d rather be in the Phillipines or Malaysia or Thailand, all of which appeal to my “rough and ready but not totally alien” side more than China.

      But to some extent I find all cultures fascinating – I’d love to see Japan one day for example, though I’m not drawn to live there. The same goes for almost every country on earth – the place I’ve been happiest in (long-term) so far was Bahrain. But you never know what tomorrow may bring.

      Thank you for stopping by to comment. It’s nice to meet you and I hope you’re enjoying the UK even if you’d prefer to be back in Japan. 🙂

      • Thanks for the interesting answer 🙂
        If you know China, visiting Japan is very good opportunity to know the difference. We are neighbours but have very different culture and mentality.
        Actually I think I could live in Italy, Croatia and Slovenia – I felt like a sort of nearly “at home”. Anyhow nice weather and good food are essential for human beings I definitely think so since I came to the UK (but Scotland!).
        Anyhow, it’s nice to meet you and good to know your nice blog.
        Cheers 😀

  25. Thank you for the like! I’ve stopped by Shenzhen briefly and had a nice spa experience there. There’s still a lot I’d like to learn about my homeland so I shall follow you. Looking forward to reading your posts!

    • No problem and thanks for stopping by to check out Shards of China. 🙂

      • Hi Nicholas,

        I’ve had a growing interest in your background and what you are currently doing as I read more of your posts. I’m trying to learn about my roots, but there’s a lot of history and facts that I have missed out on over the years. Would you mind conversing over email? It would be much appreciated.



      • You’re welcome to send me an e-mail and if I can help at all, I’ll do so. I need to warn you I’m very busy with work at the moment, so I might take a little time to reply.



  26. Heyo! I’ve “tagged” you!! Perhaps you’ve been tagged before, but if not, it’s just another cute wordpress game. Check out my blog for more info 🙂

  27. Hi! Thanks for dropping by — I wasn’t sure at first if you were someone I know (most WordPress “likes” are strangers who seem to just be promoting their blogs, but I have so many friends in Asia who come via Facebook). It appears we are not acquainted but I love the tone in which you write! Looking forward to reading more of you 🙂

    • Hi thanks for visiting Shards of China too – I don’t do much in the way of promoting Shards, but I do read most other China blogs and drop in on the other travel stuff from time to time. I only “like” material I actually like though – so I hope you take the “like” as a compliment it is intended that way. 🙂

      • Oh I definitely took it that way, as I don’t bother commenting on, or looking at, all the weird blogs that are just promoting 🙂 We share a common interest so I was glad that my side of the strait caught your attention!

  28. Hi there! Thanks for visiting my blog and liking a post. I’m checking out your blog, too and I can see that you have interesting posts.

    Cheers x

  29. Thank you for your excellent blog, I have given your blog an award – you can check it out here if you like! http://bwbears.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/liebster-blog-award/

  30. Another award: I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Check it out: http://monahoward.com/2012/03/25/and-were-versatile/

  31. Thanks for visiting my blog “Eyes to Heart” and liking my post “The White House …” The feedback is encouraging. … My partner would love to go to China .. He was born in Shanghai and escaped with his parents when he was an infant during the Japanese occupation. He’s never been back. I, however, am not convinced it’s on my bucket list. Maybe if I followed your blog I might be convinced? … Be well, Dorothy 🙂

    • Hi Dorothy,

      Thank you for visiting Shards of China – I’m a little snarkier than some China bloggers so I don’t know if I can help add China to your bucket list. But I am currently running a virtual tour of the whole nation – so maybe something would catch your eye anyway. I can understand why your partner is keener than you are in these circumstances.

      Take care,

      Nick 🙂

  32. Three years? May no longer be gee whizz about everything, but it’s long enough to gain some perspective, and real knowledge. I’ll be interested to read your thoughts.

  33. Hi! You’ve been nominated for the beautiful blogger award. Please go here http://arabwriterchick.com/2012/05/21/beautiful-blogger-award/ for details! Have a great day!

    • Hi, sorry for the delay in responding to this – I have been rushed off my writing feet (or hands) so to speak this last couple of weeks. Thank you very much for this nomination – you’ve made my day. 🙂

  34. Hey, Shards, you might have noticed it’s Awards Season and I couldn’t not add your fabulous China blog to my list of nominations for the Illuminating Blogger Award. I won’t be upset if you can’t find the time to play, but if you can, pop over to check it out: https://thewanderlustgene.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/confessions-awards-and-the-atlas-game/

  35. Dear Nicholas,

    We located your site while researching blogs related to China and Chinese. Although your latest post mentioned you are wrapping up your China adventures, it seems clear you have built a good connection to the expat community in China.

    Therefore we would like to inquire if you have interest in lending a helping hand in raising awareness on an important issue: “Expat Illiteracy in China”.

    Here is an example of recent press this topic received: http://www.chengduliving.com/combatting-expat-illiteracy/

    Might you have interest in writing a blog post on this?


  36. Hi, I can’t figure out where else to contact you: I’m a writer at Tea Leaf Nation writing an article about transgender right in China. I was wondering where you got the information on regulations in this post: https://shardsofchina.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/sex-in-china-the-third-sex-transgender-people-struggle/. I will of course cite and link your great blog as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s