The End

Ten years ago, armed with a generous free baggage allowance, I packed everything I thought I would need over the next 12 months into two large suitcases. I was on my way to China. It was two weeks before Christmas, but temperatures were still mild in North Carolina for the late fall. I had just […]

Cabbage season

It’s 2018. Beijing is gentrifying like crazy and becoming more and more developed every day. And yet, I ran into this obstacle on my way to work today. The Chinese cabbage (da bai cai, or napa cabbage) is such a staple in China that its name translates literally to “big white vegetable.” I love that […]

On racism

Racism exists. A woman from Texas started speaking to me the other night. She started by wedging herself in between the wall and me and asking me if the bar we were at had any dessert. I pointed her to the food page of the English menu, copies of which we both had, and told […]

Checking in with China

It’s been a while since I last blogged. What’s happening in China these days? Bad stuff, it seems. Critics of Western media coverage of China often complain that articles are overwhelmingly negative and rely on easily digested tropes that conform to foreign biases. But reports on China’s current political climate over the past few years […]

White Christmas, Red Alerts

It’s another white Christmas in Beijing, probably the whitest one we’ve had. Usually you can see the towers of the Central Business District in the picture above, but not today! City authorities have issued an orange alert – only the second-highest rating on the smog chart – so it’s not so newsworthy in the eyes […]