Monthly Archives: December 2003

feral sinologues

You’re not allowed to bring guns into the Great Hall of the People. It says so in Chinese, right at the top of the sign at the entrance. Some of you may be thinking that you could still bring in a handful of ammunition and be all, “Ha, gotcha, suckers! You didn’t say anything about […]


So it’s the 110th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s birth somewhere or other near Changsha, Hunan Province, and there were a bunch of related TV programs on tonight: dramatizations of the Long March. documentaries on Yan’an, and what appeared to be a half-hour documentary about how much Mao loved the writing of Lu Xun. (Oddly, it […]


For our Oral Chinese midterms last month, each of us had to come up with a five-minute speech on a topic of our choice. This part was no big deal – we do this fairly regularly in our Kouyu classes. This time, though, we’d be marked by our classmates on the basis of our “fluency,” […]


Being back at Beida is strange. I’m forced to reconcile my old memories of it from 2001 with the new situations: classes are no longer in Shaoyuan Building 2, but rather in the Russian building. Outside the North Gate there is no longer a street full of DVD shops, laundromats, and restaurants; these have been […]