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Share Whom Can You Trust?
2015-12-5 13:26
Modern China is a great ongoing experiment, a place of many extremes never before seen in history. Casual observers marvel at its giant cities with huge modern airports, extensive subway systems, and huge shopping malls while deploring the massive traffic jams, terrible pollution problems, and internet restrictions. Westerners often wonder why Chinese behave as they do, what motivates them. But insiders are well aware of how Chinese society itself has changed. Some like He Huaihong, ...
4329 views|0 comments
2015-9-25 11:48
The United States plays host to many world leaders. This week both Pope Francis and Xi Jinping are here. I'd like to ask Xi and the CCP how they feel about being outshone by the Pope, because there's really no contest between the welcome Americans are giving to the two, or the media coverage they're getting. I asked a friend in Jiangsu what he thought of Xi, and he said, “What does he have to do with me? Or you?” I suspect many Chinese would say the same. Xi touched down in ...
4495 views|0 comments
2015-7-27 10:45
Chinese just adore traveling. In the 70s and 80s, tourists from a prosperous Japan flooded into big destination cities in the US, much like Chinese tourists today. Puzzled Americans observed them as they went about in large groups with cameras strapped about their necks, taking photos of everything from grocery displays to bed linens in department stores, herded by tour guides with megaphones. The Japanese loved to shop, but since they spoke little English, they didn't dare wander off a ...
2657 views|0 comments Popularity 9
2015-7-17 03:02
The subject of gender identity has been receiving worldwide buzz after the recent US Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, making it legal nationwide. It's fair to say what's happening in America and American media influence public views about sexuality and LGBT in countries such as China, for better or worse. I, for one, didn't believe gay marriage would become the rule of the land here in the US in my lifetime. The odds seemed stacked against it, even five years ago. But it' ...
3006 views|0 comments Popularity 10
2015-5-12 06:30
Premier Li recently went to a coffee shop in Beijing, ordered a vanilla cappucino, and his server admitted to being so nervous he had to make six cappucinos before creating one “worthy of Li”. After that, the shop sold out of the drink in an hour. Do you see the irony in this picture? The Premier has been leading the charge trying to encourage innovation in China as the economy is slowing. A cappucino is Italian, you know. And Starbucks, which is American, is the a model for most mode ...
2565 views|0 comments Popularity 10
Share Are You a Control Freak?
2015-2-9 07:19
Westerners may wonder why Chinese people are always so bossy. You should eat this, it'll help your digestion. Buy this, not that; do this, don't do that; go there, etc. Even strangers will get after you, and your Chinese friends - what, are they trying to take over your life? If you marry a Chinese woman, chances are she will take over your life. Why are these people such control freaks, you ask? Why can't they just mind their own business? I have news for you. Th ...
4872 views|0 comments Popularity 11
2015-2-2 12:10
Chinese shoppers are always on guard against being cheated by vendors. People were always warning me not to trust merchants and offering to accompany me when I went shopping. If they accompanied me, they'd warn the vendors, “Don't cheat us!” or else the vendors would say, “We're not trying to cheat you!” In other words, the default mode was not one of trust. The public should be even more skeptical when they buy stocks. We're not talking about buying dofu or carrots anym ...
3602 views|0 comments Popularity 2
Share Hello, How Are You?
2015-1-20 12:04
When Chinese people hear someone say, “Hello, how are you?”, they are programmed to answer, “Fine, and you?” They joke that they don't know what else to say, how else to answer. One day, I informed my Chinese students that Americans greet each other in many ways. I told them it's perfectly OK to say good morning, good afternoon, or good evening. This is a bit formal for youngsters, but common among adults and business acquaintances. How do you do? is acce ...
4157 views|0 comments Popularity 11
Share Encouraging the Inventor, Part 2
2015-1-12 11:50
I'm a great believer in learning proper form. You must learn the proper use of a knife before you can even hope to be a chef. You can always tell if dancers, musicians, athletes, calligraphers, painters, or tradesmen have a good grounding in the basics of their craft. But most don't go on to break new ground. More is needed than just form, discipline, and hard work. Chinese children learn by memorizing form and doing things in the accepted way. They are told what to do ...
1193 views|0 comments Popularity 13
Share Encouraging the Inventor, Part 1
2015-1-6 10:49
Most kids in China are raised under the strict supervision of their families and teachers. Someone is always telling them what to do and when to do it. They're not allowed much freedom to do much except study hard for the gaokao. But if they've never known anything different, they can't miss it. So if they learn how to do something by memorizing “The 10 Rules of _______”, they don't sit around imagining it can be done some other way, and they're actually discouraged from doing so. ...
1234 views|0 comments Popularity 6

I am a semi-retired American physician and medical/science writer who lives in New Orleans, in the southeastern USA. I spent 2012-2013 teaching at a college in Lianyungang, Jiangsu.

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Recent comments
  • The Story of a Corrupt American Mayor 2014-9-18 21:26

    LaoshiDan: The tigers in the US are the big Wall Street banksters (none of which have even served a single day in prison since the 2008 financial crisis) and mos ...
    According to political writer Clancy DuBos, "Nagin owes more than $500,000 [very little compared to bigger fish]  in court-ordered restitution... faces foreclosure on the family home...admitted he had only $23.65 in his checking account and his wife earns a mere $360 a month...must serve at least 85 percent of his 10-year sentence".

  • The Story of a Corrupt American Mayor 2014-9-18 11:43

    Will 10 years in prison become 5 after review and parole?  Did he repay any corruptly obtained funds?  If not,he could have got off pretty lightly compared to China!  Even though Jenny we aren't comparing with China!

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