Weekly Wanderings: In Like a Lion Edition

• I’m spending the first few days of March visiting my family in Philadelphia, which means I got to experience a wild winter storm on Friday. Forecasts predicted high winds and lots of rain, with a bit of snow at the tail end. Instead, heavy, wet flakes began coming down around 11am and continued untilContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: In Like a Lion Edition”

Weekly Wanderings: Xi’s in it for the Long Haul Edition

• Since the third edition of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know touches on current events, Jeff Wasserstrom and I knew that there was a chance something we discussed might require updating even before the book’s official publication date. My money was on Jiang Zemin going to meet Marx, but insteadContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: Xi’s in it for the Long Haul Edition”

Weekly Wanderings: Ringing in the Year of the Dog Edition

• 新年快乐!狗年大吉!(Happy New Year! Happy Year of the Dog!) Most of my Western New Year’s resolutions have already fallen by the wayside, but the Lunar New Year on Friday gave me the chance to start fresh all over again. My #1 resolution—a recurring one, I suppose—is to write here more, and to write more regularly.Continue reading “Weekly Wanderings: Ringing in the Year of the Dog Edition”

Raise a Glass of Pumpkin Beer to La Rentrée in October

Over the past few days, I’ve been working hard to gain control of my ever-exploding inbox, which is in even worse shape than usual because somewhere around mid-September I fell behind on the dozens (seriously) of email newsletters I subscribe to. I love reading all these newsletters, which regularly lead me to interesting links thatContinue reading “Raise a Glass of Pumpkin Beer to La Rentrée in October”

Weekly Wanderings: Random Things I’ve Read Edition

A bunch of things I’ve read and want to share, with a bit of commentary here and there … ▪ Wait inside the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and you’ll notice the same announcement playing every ten minutes or so: a reminder (first in English, then in Japanese and Chinese) that Detroit is inContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: Random Things I’ve Read Edition”

Finding My Way in Seoul

That Old Familiar Feeling I am not, I admit, all that good with maps—the old-fashioned, non-digital kind, that is. I’m generally okay with directions and excellent at using landmarks to re-trace a route I’ve already traveled, but maps and I have never clicked. Before the blessed arrival of smartphones, I spent enormous amounts of timeContinue reading “Finding My Way in Seoul”

Weekly Wanderings: Censored Bear Edition

▪ It’s not often that my longtime love of Winnie the Pooh has much to do with my career as a China watcher, but the two finally converged a couple of weeks ago, thanks to the PRC government’s decision to censor online images of one Silly Old Bear because he allegedly resembles President Xi JinpingContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: Censored Bear Edition”

Weekly Wanderings: Heavy and Light Edition

This has been a very weird week for me: although I’ve been surrounded by a bright and cheery Michigan summer filled with fun things to do, I’ve also been preoccupied with the many dark and dispiriting news stories surrounding the death of Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died on Thursday while still serving anContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: Heavy and Light Edition”

Weekly Wanderings: Roadblocks, Detours, and Roundabouts Edition

▪ How many times this spring did I tell myself, “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll get up and start writing again. Tomorrow for sure”? Pretty much every day. But as the near-silence around these parts indicates, I never followed through. The #1 reason for this is that for the past several months I’ve found it nearly impossibleContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: Roadblocks, Detours, and Roundabouts Edition”

#HongKong20 Reading Round-Up

In the United States, the past five days have been all about the Fourth of July holiday—an extra-long weekend this year that led many people (including me) to step away from the news for at least part of the time. But in Hong Kong, journalists were putting in overtime to cover the July 1 eventsContinue reading “#HongKong20 Reading Round-Up”