Manners (and I know it’s been said before, but not like this)

– I have eaten dinner with Chinese people at a number of fancy restaurants and a variety of closed-off rooms at special establishments. Each time, I pick out the things that I can bear most from the curious selection of oddities on the table and prepare to eat. Each time, this carefully chosen meal is interrupted … Read More »

The Amateur’s Guide to Chinese Name Translation

– Chinese names, to the untrained ear, may sound somewhat similar. They jumble together in a scrambled binary of Changs, Wangs, Wus and Hus. They are hard to remember, since they are all 2-to-3 segment K’NEX sets of syllables that fail to strike a strong note with western minds. Yet upon further intensive (albeit unscholarly) investigation, … Read More »

The Forecast for Today: Death from Above!

– Mother Nature must show up drunk at China’s doorstep, or she’s on some pills or something. Beijing is said to have year-round weather, but I never knew there were more than four seasons until I flew across the Pacific. To the usual line up of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, add the new seasons: Boggle, … Read More »

Ode to the Beijing Garbage Man

– In the wee hours of the dusty morn, a hero lurks the alleyways of old Beijing. He has the body of the Spartan and the face of a ghoul. His eyes and cheekbones seem chiseled from granite. shirt and pants are torn asunder and streaked with every oil, chemical, paste and sauce imaginable. With his … Read More »

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