During the two weeks I was in China, I took four different high-speed train rides (the absolute best way to travel). As with all other public spaces in China, there are lists of behavior rules posted all over the train, and a steady stream of announcements over the loudspeaker about prohibited “uncivilized” behavior. Most of […]
When China began building its amazing high speed rail system in the early 2000s, Hu Jintao was the leader of China. As with all leaders, he had a slogan or catchphrase that was used (ad nauseum) to symbolize his rule. With Hu Jintao, the slogan was “build a harmonious society.” For his 8 years in […]
A Vile Vial
My travel itinerary on this China trip took me to Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi Province. Besides being the center of China’s coal production, Shanxi is famous for vinegar. In fact, when you step off a train or plane, the smell of vinegar is in the air. Upon arrival, our hosts took us to a […]
Cover the Cars!
While visiting friends in an old neighborhood of Beijing last week, I noticed something I hadn’t seen before –quite a few of the cars parked along the streets and alleyways were covered. When I got to my friend’s house I asked her about it. The conversation proceeded like this: Me: Why do some of the […]
Ethnic Minority Park
I’m back in the Middle Kingdom for a couple of weeks, traveling with some friends. Last week, we stopped into the China Ethnic Culture Park, located close to the famous Bird’s Nest. Although I lived in the city for 15 years, it was actually my first visit. However, even though I had never been there, […]