Andy Smart

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Andy Smart

Goodreads Author


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Influences

Member Since
July 2014


In 2005 Andy Smart opted for a life change and hit the road; a truly amazing three year journey across China, South East Asia, South Korea and Mongolia. After setting roots down in Beijing he finally found the time to put the adventure on to paper. Andy writes with humour in mind so if you want something to put a smile on your face then grab ‘Just Turn Left at the Mountain, multi-entry trials & tribulations meandering across Chinese borders’. In his down to earth streetwise style Andy writes with the sole intention of making his readers laugh out loud and brighten up their day.

TEFL: A radical new approach designed especially to bring energy onto any spoken English lesson in China. Since getting his PGCE back in 1991 Andy Smart has taug
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Andy Smart Hi there Feather.
Great to hear from you. Yes an awesome life changing experience to be sure. I’ve been back in the UK for some time now and all I can…more
Hi there Feather.
Great to hear from you. Yes an awesome life changing experience to be sure. I’ve been back in the UK for some time now and all I can think about is hitting the road again ASAP! Actually hand on heart I didn’t do a great job of travelling then and I doubt I will in the future. I still make shed loads of mistakes and sometimes still feel as green as when I left the UK back in 2005.

RE Food: Sometimes I see my English stomach as a separate life form that moans if it isn’t happy adapting to foreign lands, especially as it’s used to big pieces of meat and lots of carbs. Also eating with a knife and fork allows me to shovel in the food in record time, whereas in China chopsticks mean you eat at a steady pace over a longer period of time. Consequently I often find myself hungry an hour after eating. But hey, who can complain about that? I lost a lot of weight during the first three years. Yes some food is really hard to handle as are the restaurants including people’s habits.

By the summer of 2008 I’d lost so much weight that my belt had been taken in with new holes by about four inches. I guess that’s Mongolia for you though. I think generally, the bodies’ remarkable ability to heal itself went a long way to my survival. In order to aid the self-repairing process I stopped smoking completely which went a long way as Asian cigarettes are really terrible.

I am quite OCD and have this thing about lists. I have lists everywhere. My office at home is covered in them including a large pin board and white board. I have a line of post it notes on the desk in front of the computer, lists in my back pocket, spare blank lists ready to go, piles of old lists from up to a year ago and I also carry a number of pens around with me. Luckily this is one of the things that becomes an advantage when you’re on the road. There are certain things that jump start your language ability and the one at the very top is food. I had a note book filled with the most useful vocabulary including the things that I knew I could eat. Rice, chicken, pork, tofu, certain vegetables and green tea are available in any restaurant though sometimes you may get stomach if you are not careful, yeeech! If you like sticking around a new place in order to really get a feel of what it’s like there, you get familiar with various restaurants and write down the names of the staff who work there. They get to know you and your habits then receive hospitality to the power of ten when they see you come in again for the third time that week. Never underestimate the power of the notebook! LOL

Some Western values you definitely do have to brush under the carpet. Many Chinese people don’t differentiate between animals as food. I mean why not eat dog? It’s an animal the same as a cow after all. You have to deprogram your Western brain to cope with this logic and get on with it, especially if someone is being hospitable. If something is killed in front of you that’s a tough one as well, but at least it has the benefit of being fresh at least (though unfortunately lacking the ‘crispy crumb’ and fillet shape that you often get in Western supermarkets). More so in the South of China, animal rights is not top of the list of priorities but enough said on that one.

You sound like you’re about to hit the road Feather. If so I’d love to know your destination.

Whatever though, it’s a pleasure to be in touch with you and wish you all the best.
Have a great week.

Andy Smart
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Average rating: 4.3 · 283 ratings · 45 reviews · 19 distinct works
Just Turn Left at the Mount...

4.75 avg rating — 16 ratings — published 2014 — 10 editions
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IELTS Breaker: 100 topics f...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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Smart English - Tefl Discus...

4.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2013 — 2 editions
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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2013 — 2 editions
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Southern Silk Road Part 04: GPS Coordinates for Filling Stations

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Rouqiang is the last town in Xinjiang before heading into the Qinghai Province. Still feeling utterly terrible, I decide to drive the three or so hours from Qiemo and have the afternoon off. There’s nothing much going on in Rouqiang. It’s a fairly empty place and you can saunter across the roads with no sign of traffic. The river is bone dry and full of rubbish. I film a guy fly t...

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Published on April 03, 2017 17:16 • 77 views

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Comments (showing 1-2)    post a comment »
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message 2: by Andy

Andy Smart Anthony wrote: "I got in touch with you as I read Just Turn Left and found it captivating. I've been reading a lot of travelogue memoirs recently, as I now write books about life in our backwater in Croatia, and m..."

Hi there Anthony
And then there was your message tucked away at the very bottom of my page, phew! Also written a month ago so I really hope you don't think I'm rude for not replying sooner.
Thank you so much for your kind words about Just Turn Left. I'm really glad you liked it, especially that you found it uplifting. I hope it put a smile on your face.

Of course I'd love it if you could write a review of some kind for me whether here or on Amazon.

Now back in Beijing enjoying writing number two in exactly the same way bar my writing being a bit tighter these days.

Your island? Really? My next stop is your page to check this out.

Best to you Anthony and have a great week (Monday tomorrow)

Andy Smart


Anthony Stancomb I got in touch with you as I read Just Turn Left and found it captivating. I've been reading a lot of travelogue memoirs recently, as I now write books about life in our backwater in Croatia, and most of them are decidedly dreary.....
Yours was terrific fun, and most insightful. Congratulations. I'd ask you to come and stay on our island if you were nearer! I must put a review of it on amazon.
Anthony


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