I think I have found what is arguably the world’s most boring news article. It’s a product of the Xinhua News Agency, China’s official news outlet and mouthpiece of the Party. The headline alone nearly put me to sleep: "China’s Top Officials Receive Lectures on Society’s Top Issues." I love the phrase "received lectures." As […]
King of Masks
On Tuesday afternoon I went with a friend to the Changdian Temple Fair. Temple fairs are a traditional feature of the Chinese New Year celebrations. Now, rather than have them in the temples (which are far too small), certain city streets are blocked off for the first five days of the new year, and are […]
As you can imagine, when I saw this billboard downtown, I did a double-take. Sterility hospital? A place where you go to get sterilized? Is that what they’re really saying? If so, why does that man look so happy? And wait…isn’t that Steve Martin? Even though I instinctively knew that it couldn’t mean what it […]
Stay Away from the Windows
I’m back in Beijing now, after a very quick trip to the US to attend a conference. I flew to the east coast last Wednesday, just in time for the Valentine’s Day Storm that wreaked havoc on air travel. I landed in Newark alright last Wednesday, but found that my onward flight to DC had […]
Get in Line!
The Beijing Spiritual Civilization Committee has launched yet another campaign to improve the manners of Beijingers in the run-up to the Olympics. The target this time is "queue-jumping," which is an interesting term in itself, because it implies that there might be an actual queue to jump, something that is usually NOT the case. This […]
Wandering Around Suwanna-BOOM!
No, that’s not a word I’m trying to make up. It’s my attempt at spelling out phonetically how to pronounce the name of Bangkok’s new international airport. It’s spelling in English is: Suvarnabhumi. How they went from that pronunciation (suwannaboom) to that spelling is beyond me, but never mind, it’s a fun word to say. […]