Two of the video clips that have gone viral in China this month are of drivers parking their cars. One man in Fujian Province is exceptionally good and has come to be known as the “Parking God of Fujian Province” because of his skill in maneuvering his car into an insanely tiny space. (note: if you […]
Happy Birthday, Alaska Highway
On this day 50 years ago, the Alaska Highway was officially opened to military traffic, only 8 months after work began. Here’s how Wired reports on the anniversary: Until the early 1940s, Alaska was a neglected U.S. territory. The Klondike gold rush of the 1880s and ’90s was a distant memory, and oil had not yet […]
Is the Curse of Kenny G About to be Lifted?
In my early days of blogging, back in 2005, I wrote a post titled The Curse of Kenny G, in which I went on a bit of a rant about the popularity of Kenny G in China. Here’s what I said: A great mystery here in the Middle Kingdom is the Chinese love affair with Kenny […]
A Conversation with Peter Hessler
One of my favorite China writers, Peter Hessler, recently sat down with a reporter for Xinhua, China’s official news agency, to talk about his books, as well as the joys and challenges of writing about China. (if you receive this post by email and cannot view the video, click here.) Hessler’s books are all worth a […]
Only One “Why?” Question Per Day, Please!
A month or so ago I was having a lovely outdoor dinner with group of friends, one of whom was a high school kid from Beijing studying at a school here in the Twin Cities and living with an American host family. As we were sitting around the picnic table, frantically grabbing for brats, corn on the […]
Insiders and Outsiders are Different
When I first went to China many years ago, one of the things that I and my American colleagues found most annoying about living there was the difference in price between what we paid for things and what our Chinese friends had to pay. For us, a train ticket was 400 yuan; for our Chinese friends it was […]