Snow Days

Last Friday, a first blanket of snow covered Beijing for a few hours. I was safely tucked away, out of the cold, in a classroom on the third floor, overlooking the university's playing fields. The more curious of the class peered out of the windows at the heavy dollops of snow coming down past the silvery trees [...]

Chinese Dentist Time

What time is it? It's Chinese Dentist Time!  When I was a kid, just as ten to ten became Cowboy Time (ten to ten to ten ten ten..., two thirty became tooth hurty - Chinese Dentist Time. It was years before I realised the racism of this joke. But it has nonetheless been circling my head for the [...]

Since you left me

Here is a piece I wrote a little over a year ago, sitting in a coffee shop in Beijing, recuperating after a disappointing afternoon and a tough first few weeks in China. After all the frustrations I'd come up against and the trying paths I'd trodden to get there, I hoped that maybe I had [...]