PEK to Beijing

From Peking to Beijing: A Long and Bumpy Trip

Not long ago I went out to dinner with some friends who had just recently arrived in China.  Since this was their first time in Beijing, we naturally went for the city’s signature dish at Quanjude.  Just as any religious pilgrimage is accompanied by certain obligatory rituals and prayers, so too does the Beijing visitor’s requisite eating of kaoya demand its own incantation.

In our case, it came right when we walk…

History of China in 3½ Minutes

This is just all sorts of awesome. Created by the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors (bio below), the video delivers what's on the box -- the (abridged) history of China in 3 1/2 minutes.

Sorry, no non-Youtube version for all you non-VPNers (does anyone not have a VPN these days?)

18MMW Bio
Quite possibly the world's most psychotic Asian American Theatrical Comedy group, the Warriors have been together since 1994…

Taoism in modern times

In October of 2010, I was invited to take a welcome break from my life on the hamster wheel that is Shanghai, and visit Jinhua's famous Taoist temple and caves. I was very excited by this invitation, partly because of my interest in Taoism and its place in Chinese culture, and partly because I had been invited by my new friend Kathy; a US-educated professor of Biochemistry, Taoist, and my guide to the considerabl…

New DNA evidence for Liqian’s truly lost laowai

So the story goes that around 2000 years ago approximately 10,000 Romans, prisoners of Parthia after a failed campaign by Marcus Licinius Crassus (played in this blog post by Lord Laurence Olivier), were put to work guarding the Parthian Empire's eastern borders in exchange for not being put into slavery or executed.

Members of the "Lost Legion" are then theorized to have worked as mercenaries for the Kingdom of K…

Absolutely amazing PRC 60th anniversary parade video

I spent several hours over the course of the last couple days compiling a retrospective look on 60 years of the People's Republic of China, and after getting 1949 to 2003 down in a draft, I realized I didn't want the site to go the way of the still blocked Peking Duck and Danwei, and so have scraped it for now. Sigh.

However, I should give it up to the PRC for putting on a hell of a parade. I only managed to catch…

SixFour Thoughts

I've been debating with myself today about putting together a post on that topic which has the brass in Beijing with their gitch in a twitch. In truth, I'm a bit muddled on where I sit with the issue.

On one side we seem to have Western activists shaking their fists and demanding action, recognition, acknowledgement, better bumper stickers and other assorted things that activists define themselves with; and on the…

Twitter & Flickr blocked ahead of Tiananmen’s 20th

Tweets are filling my screen with reports that Twitter.com and Flickr.com are both inaccessible in Mainland China. They join YouTube, as well as WordPress and Blogger blogs as the latest casualties in the Great Firewall of China's war against free speech.

Undoubtedly the blocks are in an effort to curb online commentary and the dissemination of information about the [*TAMM*], which on [*j4*] celebrates its 20t…

Itadakimasu!

I was away at college when my family first got into sushi, but I remember the story well. During one of our weekly Sunday night telephone conversations, my mother drolly recounted to me how she and my sister had been sneaking take-out from a new local restaurant into the house behind my grandmother’s back.

While my mom is Chinese, she was born in America and harbors no personal resentment toward the Japanese o…

Cunningham reliving Tiananmen in new book

I ran across an article at Found in China entitled Chai Ling: then and now, which made mention of Philip J Cunningham, author of a new book called Tiananmen Moon.

Over the years I've seen an article here or there about Cunningham, but had no idea he was so intimately involved in the protest, being one of the few foreigners to have marched with the students to on May 4. Tiananmen Moon captures that march, as we…