Today is our fifth post in our “Firday’s foreigner” series.
Check back each week to “meet” the other expats!
See our other interviews here.
Read more below to become acquainted with Yannis.
What’s your name, where are you from, what brought you to Hohhot and when did you arrive?
My name is Yannis. I’m a citizen of the United States Washington, D.C. Like most I arrived here to teach English at local schools.
If you are doing something different now than when you first arrived tell us about that.
I love to teach so teaching whenever I can. Other than that writing and working on the projects I have in mind.
If you have free time, what do you do with it?
I really do not know what is free time. I’m engaged in life all the time.
Tell us something about your pre-Hohhot life that most people here don’t know.
My story was just a man trying to do something with his life while dealing with what life gives. Studying communications and writing poetry was what I was doing. I was a skincare and fragrance expert working at a store called Sephora.
Where in Hohhot do you find inspiration for any of your artistic pursuits?
I find it in the same places as I always do…in smiles, people playing, music, and just life itself inspires me.
Do you have any upcoming performances our readers should check out?
At the moment no however you can sometimes find me at a random bar spittin. lol
Favorite local food and where you like to get it:
Wish I knew how to type it in Chinese right now. I just know it starts with the letter “B”. Its a wrap bread with spices and your choice of selections inside. It’s pretty nice and cool for eating breakfast on the go.
If you could make one city-wide change to Hohhot, what would it be?
This city to me should have it’s own holiday. It’s such a good vibe you get when being in Hohhot, at least that’s how I feel.
What has been the most surprising aspect of life here?
Connecting definitely. The people I’ve met especially the ones I call my family and friends. I’m in a band here and my band is my family. The fact that I have a family here is wicked. I’ve grown majorly attached to them and their culture as they have the same for mine. We have such a unique bond and I love them. BD2H!
What’s the funniest thing you’ve experienced here?
Maybe the time when I played basketball outside at a school. I slammed dunk the ball and the rim broke. I was yelled at by a elder guy however the kids and other people calmed him down.
What is the kindest thing a local has ever done for you?
I like to call him my little bro (Weiles) always helping me when it comes to searching for something I need. Too many things to list unfortunately.
What’s the most culturally awkward situation you’ve been in here?
Sadly but reality that many people would deny or treat me different because my skin tone is dark. Many schools won’t even consider me though I’m a native speaker.
What advice would you give to someone just arriving to Hohhot?
No advice really. Just don’t be so close minded when meeting new people. Anything else I believe they would want to control on their own.
Where do you go to “escape?”
Inside my earphones. No one knows where I am.
When your time here is done and you return home, what do you want to take with you?
I’m in a relationship now so hopefully a family.
You can hear and see more of Yannis by subscribing to SUMBIDY on YouTube.