For the second time this month, I took some visitors to Cuandixia, a Ming village tucked away in a mountain valley west of Beijing. It has been developed into a popular tourist site, but on this Tuesday after the first day of school, we practically had the village to ourselves. I also made a dash […]
Reading a Book
This is another in my occasional series of photos from my early days in China. Most are a stark reminder of how much things have changed. This one is the opposite; in fact it could easily have been taken this week in an urban or rural village. It was taken in 1984, probably somewhere in […]
A Donkey Cart
A donkey cart doesn’t always mean what you think it will mean. This is a great photo that someone posted today on Weibo, China’s micr0-blogging site.Talk about a role reversal. There is something kind of poingnant about the photo as well.
Book Review: China Road
Last week I taught a course on Chinese culture, history, and contemporary society to new arrivals in the Middle Kingdom. In preparation for the course, I had them read "China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power", by Rob Gifford. I have spent the last 2 days reading their reviews of the […]
Top Ten Features of China’s Car Culture
When I first came to China there were very few cars on the roads–just the occasional Shanghai Sedan models with curtains drawn. Only officials had access to cars back then and they did not want to be seen by the people. The streets were instead filled with bicycles — big black bicycles — that were […]
The Return of Dunkin’ Donuts?
A blogger in China recently wrote about the appearance of Dunkin' Donuts in Xi'an: Somewhere in between rickshaws barreling down streets, three-wheeled cars, and sidewalk vendors selling boiled lotus roots, I didn’t expect to see that strikingly familiar orange and pink Dunkin’ Donuts sign. As a Massachusetts native, I frequented Dunkin’ Donuts in my school years, and […]