Some surprising news went around last week – Kungfu Komedy veteran Turner Sparks was doing his last stand-up show in Shanghai. And then a few days later came some more surprising news – Kungfu Komedy veteran Joe Schaefer was doing his last stand-up show in Shanghai. And that was followed by some more surprising news – Kungfu Komedy veteran Paul Johnson was – you guessed it – also doing his last stand-up show in Shanghai. These shows all went down a within a week of each other. So what the heck is going on with Shanghai’s best stand-up outfit? Are the comedians just tired of risking their lives in the Kartel elevator?
An unfortunate thing occurred recently – a disagreement which resulted in the sudden and complete severance of a friendship. And all because of the I Ching. This caused me to confront once again an age old question: who has the right to speak for China? Let me explain.
I’ve lived in China for 18 years, but I didn’t start taking my health seriously until 2008, just after the Olympics. This had nothing to do with the Olympics, though, and everything to do with the fact that I suddenly found myself in my mid-30s, choked by the Beijing smog, and staring reality hard in the face.
I’ve been traveling in China for 15 years now and seeing the sunrise on Taishan was easily one of my top five experiences. I didn’t expect it to be as moving as it was. Here’s my experience.
A century ago, Moganshan attracted Shanghailanders looking to escape the summer heat. They went down and built wonderful stone country homes amidst the bamboo forests which still stand – and are still famous – even today. But even before that, the same thing happened in Lushan, a lush, green-clad, cloud-wrapped mountain which sticks straight up from the north Jiangxi floodplains. Today it is a fantastic getaway which combines culture, nature, architecture and a unique political history.
Slow news day in White Confucius land so I dug up this.
This was broadcast throughout Indiana, on all the NBC affiliates, back in 2008. These nice people took time from reporting on the Olympic action to give an Indiana boy his three minutes of fame. They wanted the editor of the pre-eminent entertainment magazine and website in Beijing to show them how Beijing parties. So that’s what I did.
Who hasn’t been victim of a scam in China at least once? Maybe the teahouse scam or the ladybar scam or the maybe, like me, you simply suspect that life in China is one giant scam. But last week I heard a new one. This happened to a colleague of someone I know, a Chinese girl. She was bilked for RMB40,000 in the space of a day. Here is her story.
I recently moved apartments. Everyone hates moving, except me. I kind of like it. At least I like getting to know a new neighborhood, exploring it, discovering what it has to offer. And after a few months I can say that my current neighborhood is one of my all time favorites. Here’s why.
Shaoxing is a magical place for me. There are a few others in China–Qingdao, Moganshan, and Xiangshan just outside Beijing. These aren’t obscure places. Many people have been there, but maybe they don’t see them the way I do. I have been to each of them many times and even after years of separation I don’t need any map to get around. Each is a separate and important thread of my China story. Previously I have written about Xiangshan. Now I want to talk about Shaoxing.
It’s that season, just before Spring Festival, when beggars proliferate, hoping to make some extra money before the holiday like everyone else. Two new ones appeared in my neighborhood last weekend, pitiable things out there in the cold holding pieces of ripped cardboard scrawled with their sad stories. They stood at intersections of busy streets, shuffling from car to car, getting nothing. And then there was one new one near my office near iAPM. He sat on the ground, shirtless. His left arm was the size and shape of a cucumber. I gave them all money. Just a coin. I almost always do. Here’s why.