In February of 2001, the International Olympic Committee made their final inspection visit to Beijing to see if the city would be up to hosting the 2008 Olympics. In preparation for that visit, the city got a major “spruce-up.” Office and apartment buildings that had been a dull gray since their construction decades before were […]
In the Beijing neighborhood that I stayed in last week, I noticed a wall covered with propaganda paintings (in the US, we might call them “public service announcements”). I’m always fascinated by these paintings and/or posters as they give a glimpse into what the leaders are concerned about and what the leaders think the people should […]
When I moved back to the States 5 years ago, I envisioned returning to China often, so even though I closed up my apartment and shipped nearly all of my belongings, I left behind at a friend’s house a small blue bag with some items I didn’t want to haul back and forth. Think toiletries […]
Last night while at a restaurant with friends in Beijing, I had one of those quintessential China interactions. It was beastly hot, so I ordered a can of Coke to go with my meal. The waitress responded, “hot or cold?” Lest you think she was off her rocker, hot coke is a thing here! Related […]
China celebrates International Women’s Day every year on March 8. Usually what that means is women in the workplace are hosted to a lunch or perhaps given the afternoon off. When I taught at a university in China, my classes were in the morning, so I always felt a bit cheated when the school officials proudly announced […]
While visiting a Temple Fair in Beijing during Spring Festival one year, I spotted this street performer having a rest on a park bench. I love the colors.