Ed and I sit in the stairwell smoking. A security guard walks in the door. He bums a light off Ed. “I love China,” Ed says. I nod. We finish and walk back to the Kindergarten. The school is between a piano shop and a Costa Coffee. It is colorful. Inside the door, our boss approaches us. “Hi Justin.” “Hi boys.” Justin smiles. He always … Continue reading Teaching in China
Ed leans against the bathroom stall. He knocks. “Yes!” Ed’s student calls out from the other side, in Chinese. “Spiderman?” Ed asks. “Yes!” “How old are you?” There is a pause. I light a cigarette; Ed too. “Yes!” I frown. “His name is Spider-Man?” Ed shrugs. “I guess. They let them pick their names.” “So what’s his real name?” Ed looks at the stall. “Spider-Man! … Continue reading You Could Kidnap Spiderman if You Wanted To
The subway system in Beijing boasts the nickname: tuna can. There are men, tuna-packers. They stand, in yellow vests, shoving every last bit of flesh into each compartment. Once, a friend explained it to me rather well, he said, “You know when you’re in the subway and you are so packed in that you know it is not possible to fit another person? “Yeah,” I … Continue reading The Tuna Can
Stepping off the Great Wall, Chris turns to me. “Want to see the bear park before we go?” he asks. I shrug. He leads the way. It is only a short walk. Inside, we walk past pit, after dirty pit, of bears. A PETA-activists nightmare, or wet-dream, depending on the activist. The bears are as grime-caked as the pits they live in. There are jungle … Continue reading Bears at the Great Wall of China
Beijing is a beehive in a dirt storm. I follow my recruiter into the officetel. She calls herself Jennifer. I don’t know her real name. She wears classes. Her English is poor. “You will interview.” “Okay.” “This is good company.” “Okay.” In the elevator, she stares at her phone. She turns it to me. “Who is this?” I look at the picture. It is her, … Continue reading Moo.