Lisa Brackmann -- Hour of the Rat

Lisa Brackmann discusses Hour of the Rat, her latest novel set in China

Brackmann, who has lived in and travelled around China extensively over the past three decades, returns to the country for her latest book, Hour of the Rat. Released this week, the novel takes place about a year after the first book and continues the story of Ellie Cooper (née McEnroe), a tough-n-troubled Iraq War vet living in Beijing who frequently finds herself traipsing around the country running from one mys…

Criminal Check for Foreigners

Beijing rolls out criminal check for foreigners seeking employment in city

The new requirement comes after several recent news reports on foreign teachers sexually abusing their students (see here and here).

The announcement reads:

Per the requirements of the Regulations on the Administration of Employment of Foreigners in China, the Regulations on Foreign Experts’ Applications for Employment Permits, etc., foreigners applying to work in China should submit a certificate of no cri…

French man assaulted in Shanghai. Photo from Shanghaiist.

French expat brutally assaulted by 7 Chinese in Shanghai [Updated]

The incident was captured on video (embedded below) by Shawn Kregan, who happened to be outside the bar eating some chuan'r when the attack took place.

Kregan, who filmed the video at considerable risk, happened to be outside Bar 88 enjoying some kebabs on the street. He noticed a group of Chinese men having some kind of debate amongst themselves, and "we were wondering what was going on," he says.

20 minut…

BJC - The Creamcast

Beijing Cream in your ear with The Creamcast

Popular Beijing-based blog Beijing Cream has just released the inaugural episode of The Creamcast, a weekly podcast hosted by John Artman and The Good Doctor.

The podcast's first guest is long-time China expat Frank Yu, founder of Chinese start-up Kwestr. The format is very much unstructured and conversational, and will remind most of a typical night out with a group of foreigners shooting the shit about living in…

Nicholas Platt

Video: China 1972 — Nicholas Platt’s Home Movies

I caught a link to this video in Bill Bishop's excellent Sinocism newsletter today. The video was published back in 2010 by the Asia Society, and shows Nicholas Platt giving a voice over description of several minutes of home movies he shot in 1972 Beijing, just after the US and China resumed diplomatic relations.

It's interesting that while a lot has certainly changed in Beijing over the last 40 years, a lot …

Quest For the Holy Flat

The Quest for the Holy Flat

How I ventured into the depths of the low-cost real-estate market of Beijing. And survived.
"Keyi nong yi nong."

"It can be fixed a bit." So said the real-estate agent, as she finally managed to pull the front door open — in the little courtyard, the dead leaves had accumulated into a blanket of near-geological proportions. A moment of silence followed, as I stared speechlessly ahead of me.

It was described in…

Taxes - Bang-Head Here

Paying Taxes in China – Reprised

I’m trying to be a good citizen or resident or businesswoman or whatever you want to call me.

I figure I use the things that tax money buys. I use the roads and the street lights at night. I use the parks and the heavily subsidized public transportation.

So I figure it's only right that I ought to pay taxes.

Since avoiding paying taxes remains significantly easier than the act of actually paying taxes, I pre…

Matt Sheehan and Matt Allen in We Livin in Xi'an

Video: The 党 Dynasty’s ‘We livin in Xi’an’

Credit to Beijing Cream for introducing me to the The 党 Dynasty, westside China's latest laowai talent. Made up of friends Bro西来 (Matt Allen) and 他马特老外 (Matt Sheehan), the duo produced the following "We livin in Xi'an" video, which is as ridiculous as it is fun.

on Youku

Straight off the streets of Xi'an, bilingual rap duo The 党 Dynasty lay down the hottest bilingual club thumper to come out of Xi'an since th…

Help preserve China’s disappearing dialects

Kellen Parker, who has both been featured on and contributed to Lost Laowai over the years, is spearheading a new project called Phonemica, which aims to "record spoken stories in every one of the thousands of varieties of Chinese in order to preserve both stories and language for future generations."

We're a small group of linguists (and a growing group of volunteers) that believe that there is tremendous val…

Foreigner arguing on a Chengdu bus

Foreigner loses it on a Chengdu bus driver

The bad laowai category on Lost Laowai has grown a bit dusty over the past year or so, as I questioned whether it was a good idea to lend attention to a very small section of the foreigner crowd who were behaving badly in public (and becoming Youku stars for their efforts).

It appeared for a while that the Chinese, and more relevantly, the Chinese government, were weighing these autonomous events with more mass th…