“Could you put this on the Internet?” The elderly man had leapt up from his stool on the sidewalk next to Nanjing Road as soon as he saw me pull out my camera. I had thought he was going to warn me not to take pictures; I could spot a security guard a few yards … Continue reading A Housing Protest on Nanjing Road
The emails come in every week or two, and I usually delete them without bothering to read the message. I don’t even really pay much attention to the subject line, in fact; as I buzz through my inbox, once I see the sender is “Koryo Tours,” I click the box that marks the email for … Continue reading Is It Ethical to Travel to North Korea?
Back in the fall of 2011, Jeff Wasserstrom (with whom I’ve co-written several articles, and who’s also my dissertation advisor) asked me if I’d like to be a contributing author on the second edition of a book he’d published in 2010, China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know. Part of an Oxford … Continue reading China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know—The Second Edition
For some reason—I can’t recall ever making special note of the date before—I suddenly remembered this week that it was on February 15, 2005 that I boarded my first flight to China, leaving JFK for a long trip across the Pacific to study Chinese in Beijing. So today, the final day of the Chinese New … Continue reading My Eighth China-versary
I began my Hainan trip in the capital city of Haikou, on Sunday, with plans to head down to the beach town of Sanya, Hainan’s main attraction, on Monday. I thought that since my plane landed in Haikou, I might as well explore the city a bit and see what it had to offer, not … Continue reading Rebuilding Haikou’s History on Zhongshan Street
I kind of hate fireworks. They’re loud, they’re unpredictable, and they involve fire, which is something I like to stay far, far away from. But this week is the Chinese New Year holiday, and the #1 way to celebrate is to light enormous bundles of fireworks, then cheer as they explode. Everyone gets into the … Continue reading Ka-BOOM! The Year of the Snake Has Arrived
One of the funny aspects of living abroad is that things from home that ordinarily wouldn’t interest you very much take on a new significance. I’ll almost always eat at least one meal in McDonald’s when I’m out of the U.S., even though I don’t normally like their food very much. In part, I want … Continue reading Super Bowl Monday in Shanghai
At the end of every year, journalist and photographer Howard French posts a list at his website of all the books he read during the preceding twelve months. I decided I wanted to start doing that in 2013, but the end of December seemed too far away—when I’m excited about a book, I want to … Continue reading January Recap