My health has suffered mostly from more than a year of bicycle travel and the illnesses I picked up on the way before I came to China.
Speaking of ridiculous (straw man alert): of course my own country has fruit and veg, but here it is abundant and a lot more affordable, so yes I am enjoying that. And the good weather, the opportunity to go out into the countryside etc as I also pointed out, and glad I am slowly getting back to good health.
As for my mental well being, well what do you know? I am in fact very happy here, quite unlike some of the regular narky commenters in the forum it seems ;-)
I did an online TEFL course while I was travelling, to increase my chances of getting a teaching job.
You get what you pay for: it's cheap, it's not rocket science, still it's a nice refresher on how to structure your lessons, grammar etc. It definitely made me feel more confident going into job interviews and demos, and you tick one more box for having a TEFL certificate.
I did this one, which I thought was very good value for money as they offer a lot of extra resources apart from the course itself:
Update: it is possible to do a bank transfer abroad for more than 500USD per day. I changed RMB to euro cash with a money changing lady, went to the bank, deposited the whole amount into my BOC account and transferred it in one go to my Dutch account. It took an hour and a half, it was expensive in fees (30 euro on the Dutch side + 350 RMB on this side, gah)
but I only had to show my passport and my BOC bank card. Worthwhile for larger amounts for sure.
I am doing a four month tea course with Mabol Discover Cha. She is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about everything tea (especially Pu'erh) and I'm enjoying the weekly classes. If you want to learn more about Chinese culture this is a great way to do it.
Lovely cafe. Big conservatory style windows with greenery instead of traffic outside, no noise and a nice cat. All in all a peaceful atmosphere and a good place to work or have a chat with a friend. They serve very good coffee (roasted on site) and tea. Didn't try the food.
I ended up at ER and later in a private room at the cardio department with quite scary symptoms. My friend who speaks fluent Mandarin was with me when we checked into the ER which was great as I don't speak Chinese very well. They were very quick to test and remedy the immediate symptoms and kept monitoring me throughout. I felt safe and well looked after. A day later I had an English speaking cardiologist who kept me well updated on what was going to happen next with regards to tests and results. The nurses were also very helpful and kind. I got thoroughly tested and got a sound diagnosis. The toilets are pretty disgusting (no paper, no soap, not clean) so I was happy to have my own clean bathroom once I moved to the private room. Friends and family have to bring food and sundries and help with washing etc as the hospital doesn't provide this.
I thought this was the most authentic and historic part of my visit to Lijiang. It was also really quiet and peaceful. I was staying in Shuhe so it was only a short bicycle ride away from my guesthouse. Together with a wander around a Baisha it makes for a beautiful and peaceful escape from busy Lijiang.
I have only heard stories about the 'old' Hump, but the new Hump is amazing! Beautiful clean, new and spacious dorms in a historical building that is really well-restored. The location and the views from the rooftop terrace are great, so even if you are a Kunming resident and not staying in the hostel it's good place to visit for a drink or something to eat.