Monthly Archives: January 2010

  • The Death of a Living Buddha
    From the banned book Stick Out Your Tongue, by Ma Jian. The Ceremony of Empowerment was to be conducted as usual by Labrang Chantso. Sangsang Tashi felt short of breath at the thought that tomorrow she would have to perform the Union of th


  • A Farewell to Hutongs
    The tourists all have the same poppycock opinion. "How can they tear down the hutongs? The destruction...the loss of culture...so tragic!" Sure, John Q. Westerner, you try living in an unheated, cold-water pile of bricks, padding out to use a publ


  • Gods of the Tea Table
    So you've decided to replace some of your daily coffee intake with Chinese tea. Wonderful. And you got yourself a tea kit, and a table to put it on.


  • Peaceful Chinese Dissent
    From A Journey Through the Chinese Empire, by French missionary Evariste Regis Huc, first published in 1855. The Chinese are not in the habit of bowing beneath the rod of their master so unresistingly as is imagined.


  • A Most Memorable Courtesan
    Land sakes. We just came this close to having the first Mr. Gay China competition. In terms of invisible demographics, the only event more shocking would be a Ms.


  • The Travels of Xu Xiake
    Super Traveler Xu Xiake, "Brave as a tiger, dexterous as a gibbon." World's fastest train aside, travel in China is still not quick and easy. The newly arrived expat who blithely plans a weekend trip to Xi'an ("It's only two hou


  • Chinese Food Combining: Do's and Don'ts
    Synergy has served us well historically: John + Paul = Beatles, gin + vermouth = martini. Beyond human and chemical synergism, however, the Chinese have long known that the effects of different foods eaten together can be greater than the sum


  • Keeping Out the Foreigners
    ~Adeline Yen Mah In 1949, many Shanghai entrepreneurs fled south to Hong Kong to escape the Communists. Like the scholar Li Si years earlier, my father also left his home and travelled to a distant place in search of better opportuniti


  • China's Provinces Past
    It's a hopeless task, truly getting one's brain around an entity as vast and old as China. Therefore, unless blessed with Asperger's or idiot-savantism, one inevitably uses shortcuts.


  • The Yi Jing Guide to 2010
    This is not the future our childhood cartoons promised us. We're enslaved by the machines that were supposed to free us, and endangered by the war technique that was supposed to keep us safe.