In Defense of Your Er Nai, by: the male ego

– Ah, springtime in Jiangnan: fields awash in patches of yellow canola blooms…plum and cherry petals whipping around the picnickers beneath them…lovers meeting secretly before the wife gets home… Yes, springtime is much more beautiful when it’s shared with an er nai. And why not? You’ve got the money to keep one–rent an apartment, buy expensive … Read More »

Nanjing chosen as capital of China’s new Cha-ching! Dynasty

– Last week, Louis Vuitton opened its Nanjing store. It opened with all of the pomp and ribbon-cutting and champagne and full-page newspaper ads announcing itself that one would expect from LV anywhere in the world. What I didn’t expect, though, was the literal mobs of shoppers that rushed the store the second the doors swung … Read More »

Year of the Not-So-Golden Pig

– I am always a bit behind in writing and posting ideas. This post would optimally have hit the blogsphere, sometime, say, in the months before an estimated 22 million Chinese women conceived in order to give birth to babies before the end of the year. But alas, it’s too late to stop them. However, my … Read More »

The First Honest Apartment Advertising in China

– In American suburbia, like the one I grew up in, new housing developments fell into two categories: those named after the streams and hills which they drained/bulldozed to develop, and those named using esoteric Celt words that sound mysterious and intoxicatingly inviting. The apartment buildings Chinese developers are popping up makes good ol’ Plum Run … Read More »

Lost in Pinyin-ation

– While in the Shanghai Museum a month ago, I picked up a museum guide flier “Treasures in museum’s collection” which featured this instantly forgettable sentence: “Yuan Ji (Shi Tao), Zhu Da (Bada Shanren), Kun Can (Shi Xi), and Zhan Jiang (Hong Ren) were the four monk painters of the late Ming and early Qing period.” … Read More »

Our Harmonious Society

– By now, just about all laowai should have heard of our “Harmonious Society“. The first time I saw those words was about three years ago, in Chinese, written in huge font on a billboard along the road just after the Lupu Bridge in Pudong, Shanghai. At the time the sign was an anomaly, but within … Read More »

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