What is She Doing?

Yesterday, while having lunch with some friends at a cafe in the Ritan Park area of Beijing, we spotted our waitress squatting beside the table next to us.

Leave a comment on this post and tell me what you think she is doing.

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I love Beijing!

Lu Lingzi’s Dream

llzOn April 15, 2 home-made bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring dozens. One of those killed was 23-year old Lu Lingzi, a graduate student at Boston University. She and her friend were waiting near the finish line when the bombs exploded.

Lu Lingzi was living the dream of practically every student that every English teacher in China has had in his or her class. We know them well: the young man who wants to earn an MBA and make is millions; the young woman who wants to become a scientist and discover the cure for cancer.

Each student comes to us, the foreign teacher, to tell us their dreams. We reluctantly offer encouragement, knowing that a few will make it, but that most won’t. It is hard to know how to respond when a young man from a village announces his intention to study at Harvard. We cannot fathom the drive and determination it takes — took – to get out of the village, nor the drive it will take to get escape the Chinese educational system.

Her death hit hard in China, not simply because she was a compatriot who was killed in a foreign land, but because of the dream that her life (and now death) represented.

On April 22, Boston University held a memorial service for Lu Lingzi. Here is a section of the eulogy that her father gave:  (please click the link to read it in its entirety)

An ancient Chinese saying says, Every child is actually a little Buddha that helps their parents mature and grow up. Even though we brought up Lingzi, and yet today while reflecting on her short twenty-four-year life, we as parents admire and appreciate her kindness, courage, and her yearning for a beautiful life!

Lingzi, you are simply the best!

Just shortly before we came here, your former teachers, classmates, as well as strangers on the website back at home, all spontaneously gathered in the Shenyang Central Square one evening. They lit candles, and held a ceremony in your memory. Your elementary home-room teacher wrote, “May you remain as jolly as a little elf in the heavenly garden!” 

Going Underground in Beijing

On Wednesday afternoon I landed back in Beijing, after being away for 5 months. I’ll be in town for a month, connecting with people and working on a couple of projects. I must admit that it was strange to arrive without having an apartment of my own to go to. Never mind; thanks to the generosity of friends, I am not homeless.

Yesterday was a glorious spring day in The Jing, so I got out and walked around the old ‘hood. As is always the case in China, things have changed a lot. All the trees have been chopped down along one street which is apparently being widened. A 3-story mound of dirt marks the spot where  our beloved “Green Umbrellas” restaurant used to be. And the plaza where the pensioners dance every evening is now housing for migrant construction workers.

The biggest change, though is the opening of a subway line. For years, we on the far west side of town had no easy access to the subway system, but that all changed in December, with the opening of Line 6, and the extension of Line 10. No more long bus rides or expensive cab fares to get out of the area.

Pretty exciting, until this morning I stumbled across a photo essay on the China Daily website about the Beijing subway system, and was reminded of how crowded they are.

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Line 6, here we come!!!

Image source: China Daily