I came across this book while looking for other books on foreign experiences in China. This one is by far the most interesting and touching book of the lot. As an English-speaking student of Mandarin, I have considered applying for a post as a teacher of English as a foreign language in China, and this book helped me decide that, despite the many differences between China and the rest of the world, it would be a worthwhile experience. The author gives extermely well-crafted descriptions of not only his own experiences but of his travels within China and the scenery and people he meets. He illustrates his growing knowledge of Chinese by translating a sign he can see from his window--at first he can read only a few words but by the time he can read the entire sign we have been through quite a lot with him.
Anyone who wants to travel within China or spend a year or two teaching English there must read this book.