Tom Sampson

Tom Sampson is an English teacher currently based in Lijiang

Posts by Tom Sampson

Beijing beatdown

Why not to quibble over a bill in Sanlitun – by Tom Sampson


It was December 31st – New Year’s eve!

Most of my friends at Beijing Language and Culture University had gone home for the holidays. The foreign population on campus had declined dramatically. The grounds were covered in untouched snow. The bare branches of the trees were as defenceless and vulnerable as I would feel later in the night.


The art of guanxi

Or how to get a visa, Sichuan style – by Tom Sampson


I first set foot in Xichang, in southern Sichuan, to teach English in spring 2009. Xichang is the capital city of the Yi minority group, surrounded by rugged mountains and with blue skies all year round. I felt like a real explorer. There wasn’t anything in particular that I wanted to learn or take away from the place – but that was out of my hands. After my time there, I am now a highly qualified back scratcher, trained in the dark arts of creating and maintaining guanxi.