Justin and Ruyi Dee are from Malaysia. In 2007, Justin was offered an advertising job in Beijing. “Our initial plan was to live and work in China for two years before heading home…” Justin says, but 12 years later, they find themselves here with their 4-year-old son, Julian, a second baby on the way, and their pug Qiaokeli. While the Dees still have plans to settle in Malaysia one day, they’re now just taking life as it comes and enjoying it along the way, like singing their heart out on karaoke weekends!
Your shopping haven in Beijing is…
Taobao. We do a lot of online shopping but if we must go to a mall, our frequent haunts are Indigo mall or The Place.
During the weekends, we…
Relax at home or have lunch dates/playdates with Julian’s friends.
Karaoke tune that dad always belts out:
“My Way,” by Frank Sinatra
Mom’s favorite Chinese dish:
Guo qiao mi xian (Yunnan ‘cross over bridge’ noodles)
No. 1 house rule:
No outside clothes on the bed!
The first thing I do in the morning…
Start the laundry and make breakfast
When dad’s home, he usually…
Chills on the couch if not pestered to play
Our funniest experience in the neighborhood is…
We’ve adopted the local habit of joining the crowd to watch a street drama (for instance, random people arguing on street)
My advice to new families in Beijing:
This city can be hectic. Just relax and don’t take things personally.
House chore that Julian enjoys:
We love Beijing because:
It’s vibrant, exciting, frustrating, and at times mind-boggling all rolled into one. There’s no city quite like it.
This article first appeared in the beijingkids March 2019 Sustainability issue.
Photos: Uni You