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.
Disclaimer: manager/chef/decorator Pat & Sarah are my friends. Apart from running a lovely and affordable guesthouse, they are also working insanely hard at serving delicious tacos and cocktails and more home-cooked goodness, organising community events at all hours (from craft markets to USA sports events to film nights to debates). The rooftop is a sunny roost where you can often find Kunmings finest chatting an afternoon or evening away. Thanks for creating this wonderful place Pat & Sarah! You're superstars.
During my last trip to Lijiang I joined Carol, the lovely Singaporean owner of Jayden Lodge, for a Kundalini yoga class. The traditional wooden and stone guesthouse and yoga studio are grouped around a small and quiet courtyard, right at the edge of Shuhe and the hills, so it's very quiet and peaceful. Carol and her husband and small son live here too so it's bit like a homestay. There are only a few spacious rooms for guests. Carol and her husband are excellent hosts, serving breakfast, coffee and tea in the courtyard. They also organize small group tours around Yunnan.
I went for an old ankle/foot injury that was playing up. The problem was thoroughly checked with ultrasound. I got a good diagnosis, advice regarding exercise and stretching and a plan for treatment, a combination of high-tech and TCM. It's not cheap but well worth it. Very friendly and great translation service too.
This is a special place! A bit hard to find since it's tucked away in an upper floor of a shopping mall, but well worth it for the amazing food. The focus is on quality, health and well-being and the extensive organic menu has something for everyone, including juices, good coffee, a lot of vegetarian and gluten free options. Nicole (one of the owners) is a wonderful host, she speaks English and is happy to talk about the philosophy behind the menu.