Monthly Archives: August 2009


  • Tales from the Mogao Grottoes
    Amitabha's ParadiseTechnically, Dunhuang is an oasis. But for those who don't regularly lead camel caravans through the Taklimakan desert to China, Dunhuang is anything but.


  • The Cross-Cultural Wit of Lin Yutang
    It doesn't take long for a China expat to become a self-styled expert on the many idiosyncrasies and inconsistencies of his host culture. Not one such expert has the insight or brio of expat Lin Yutang.


  • Final Arrangements in Old China
    Life in old China could certainly be trying, but then it didn't end with death, or at least you didn't believe so. Depending where you were on the Daoist/Buddhist belief matrix, death was either a ticket to visit the ancestors in heav


  • Midsummer Lotus
    - By Liu LiyingThe bright moon appeared in the sky, covering Lotus's courtyard with a layer of frost. It was at this time that Lotus, entering her courtyard, heard a loud cough from Dad.


  • The Incredible (and Filmable) Di Renjie
    Hollywood is now run by twelve- year- olds. Twelve- year- olds with underactive imaginations. Aside from guinea pigs solving international crimes, we’ve had the umpteenth installation of wiz-kid Larry Porter and a remake of GI Joe to get u


  • Veiled Mountain, Hidden Valley
    Namcha Barwa, Mountain of Burning Thunder, still guards the heart of the world, as he was sent by the gods to do. As kings, he and his brother Gyala Peri watched over southeastern Tibet, a land of mystery to this day.


  • Six Chinese Tea Mixes
    Pills don't heal, nature does. Alright, we're not saying pills are useless, but it should be acknowledged that even the cleverest medicine, say Viagra, is a synthetic compound mimicking more natural substances.


  • Wudang, the other Kung Fu
    Now we can say, with great relief, that kung fu is not the deadliest martial art. The UFC and Pride League have proven that, like any art, combat is performed best by those with international perspective.


  • Rites to Build in Old China
    To expats and the growing nomadic horde, place comes before house. Job opportunities, a swirling international scene, the city outside the apartment door justify a washing machine in the kitchen and lack of bathtub.


  • The Forgotten Dynasty
    The new steps to the old tomb of an ancient kingJune 9th, 1983: on Xianggan Mountain in Guangdong Province, a government dormitory is undergoing repairs.