Monthly Archives: September 2002

technical difficulties

Update 10/3 Whoa! My Beijing plans have sort of worked out, against all odds; I’m posting this from the Youyi Hostel, which, besides being ridiculously cheap and offering ‘net access, is also right around the corner from the Golden Elephant Thai and Indian restaurant, which has an Italian place across the street from it. I […]

joy sorrow parting reuniting

Zhongqiujie – the Mid-Autumn Festival – is tomorrow.* The story goes that long, long ago, there were ten suns circling the earth. Normally, each one took its turn to provide heat and light, but one day all ten appeared in the sky at once, scorching the earth and blinding the people. An archer named Hou […]

heat and noise (bar street revisited)

Renao literally means “heat and noise,” and is the Chinese word for “lively, exciting, fun.” In Chinese, most nouns can be verbed and all verbing can be adjectived, and re’nao is no exception: South Sanlitun has renao, is renao, and is where you go if you want to renao*. The Black Sun Bar, in the […]


In my evening class today, I asked the students if they knew what day it was. A girl raised her hand. “Today is sunny and a little cold.” “Yeeees…” I said. “Good. That’s the weather. Now, what day is it?” A boy in the back of the room raised his hand. “Wednesday.” “Good! Wednesday! And […]