拆 - chai, the symbol for demolition. An all too common sight here...

Family stories from Driver Shi

Last week Driver Shi told me some stories about his family. He doesn’t talk much about himself so it was quite a treat. He casually dropped in that he used to own and run a restaurant! I can easily picture him as the brains of the operation.

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More conversations with Xiao Chen

Xiao Chen thinks it’s great how much I’ve travelled, that I speak Chinese and enjoy Chinese food. What truly stunned him was my explanation that in western food potato is considered a staple (starch) food more than a vegetable.

Snippets of Chinese conversations

The best moment came later, after we’d talked for a while. She said to me, “You speak great Chinese. Actually, your Mandarin is better than our boss’s. He’s been here in Beijing more than 10 years but he still doesn’t speak as well as you.”

Cold and Cab Stories

Hey everyone, This isn’t a regular update email. Instead, it’s some China storytelling! I was reminded recently that one of the most popular updates I ever sent out was the “Water Stories” of last summer (July 2009). So I’ve been on the look out for some stories to tell you – so here goes! Cold…