Like millions around the world, I watched in horror yesterday as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was engulfed in flames. A building that has stood for centuries, and has survived wars, revolution, and Nazi occupation has been partially destroyed. My initial thoughts turned to my own memories of visiting the cathedral with my family […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
In case you’re wondering about the ship we were on, it was the Norwegian Breakaway, one of the largest vessels in the Norwegian Cruise line’s fleet. 3900 passengers and 1500+ crew! The highlight of every evening was watching the sun set as we left port.