The Old Man and the Sea review

“Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with that there is” It’s such a simple story — a man trying to catch fish — written without much fanfare. Few adverbs and I doubt there is a single metaphor in this book. But how we […]

Read More

Apples & yogurt: What money means in China

Janet, 1970s Janet teaches about foreign-invested joint ventures in China at Fudan University. At the start of her lecture, she introduces herself starting from present to past. She now travels around the world advising big multinationals — but her roots lie in 70s rural China. Janet tells us how she’d perceive an apple to be […]

Read More

You cannot love what you want to change

We can improve the way we love when we stop looking at love like a kind of work, the way we may look at careers: how to mold the perfect child, how to have the perfect partner. Modern lovers search for their perfect romance and *the one*. Young girls try to live up to the […]

Read More

Nio ES6 review

I’ve driven a NIO ES6 for a few thousand kilometers in between Shanghai & Suzhou, across highways, parking garages, and little alleys. I’m not an expert car reviewer, but I’ve driven (not owned) other full-electric and hybrid cars. Last updated, September 17th 2020 Pros of the NIO ES6: The NIO ES6 is big. Especially the […]

Read More

Last mosque in Suzhou

The last mosque in Suzhou. Before 1949 there were over ten mosques in the city. Among small restaurants and butchers, Taipingfang 太平坊 was restored in 2018 — made anew and more turquoise — and it now offers a spot to pray for local and visiting Muslims. Shifu gave us a tour, even though non-muslims aren’t […]

Read More

Artful review

I started reading this with my full attention but it just wavered — to the point, I was skimming over the last pages because I lost interest and wanted to get to the end. Ali Smith’s writing style is loose and goes all over the place. Weaving and fusing and referencing texts and books and […]

Read More

3 years in China

三年在中国,我回到起点。街道变了一点儿,我变了更多。我现在可以看懂标志而能和中国人沟通。 Three years in China. The street changes, but not as fast as me. Taikang Road next to Tianzifang, for me the starting point in Shanghai. I try to go back once a year, even though now it’s far from my home and work.

Read More

For this live, not the next

She looks south and seawards and always. Putuo Shan is the dojo for Guanyin Bodhisattva. She’s originally the patron saint of seafarers, but she now gives an audience to anyone who comes with wishes. And listen she does. The three characters that make up her Chinese name (观世音 Guānshìyīn) literally means ‘the one who hears […]

Read More

Purify the soul

In Chinese they describe it as “净化心灵”, meaning ‘purify the soul’. We stayed on the farm ‘椿庭朴门’ nor far from Shanghai, with 大熊 (Big Bear) and his wife Moqi & their two daughters. The place is far from a typical Chinese rural farm. Here, everything is made from bright wood bend into various shapes, fit […]

Read More

Harmoniously together

The new home. 同和, two characters meaning ‘harmoniously together’. It’s the international compound next to Fudan University, even though there are barely international students now. It’s also near GoEast Mandarin and surrounded by dozens of cheap restaurants that are rather hit or miss. I love this part of Yangpu, it’s like a small village surrounded […]

Read More