For a long time, friends and colleagues of mine have urged me to write a book about China. “You lived in China for nearly three decades,” they say. “Surely you have something to say.” My standard reply has been that there are so many books written about China each year; I don’t want to write […]
Noodles or Peanut Butter?
Everyone needs to have take comfort food with them when they travel. According to this story, the comfort food of choice for Chinese travelers is instant noodles. A recent survey showed that more than 30% make sure they have a supply of instant noodles with them when they travel: The practice is popular among both […]
How are the Roads?
For centuries (maybe millennia), a common way for people in China to greet each other has been to ask a simple question: “have you eaten yet?” When I lived in China’s northeast region (“dongbei”), it seemed that every chance meeting or new conversation began with “leng bu leng?” Are you cold? We are now in […]
What Languages Are Spoken in China?
Even though I have a fairly high level of fluency in Mandarin Chinese, there are still numerous places in China where I can travel to and not be able to understand a word of what is being spoken by the locals. This map, posted at That’s Magazine, shows why. Image credit: @nick_kapur, via That’s Magazine Related Posts: Chinese […]
Friday Photo: Minneapolis
In December, we did a family outing to the museum and observation deck of the Foshay Tower, Minneapolis’ first skyscraper. Completed in 1929, and modeled after the Washington Monument, the art deco building was the tallest building in the city until 1972. Today it is a hotel. You can see the reflection of the Foshay in the […]
Homesick for Manchuria
Since I lived in Beijing for the last 15 years of my time in China, it’s not often that I get nostalgic for Changchun, the city in Northeast China that was my home for most of the 90s. Recently I found myself thinking of my time there and the experiences I had. I am, dare I […]