Perspective

I got my finances under control last week but I have a ways to go. Luckily, my salary, which seems miniscule by today’s Western standards, makes me a very rich man indeed in Beijing, and I can pay it off fairly quickly if I cut down on the $45 dinners.

Work is good, especially with the boss on vacation — I love her, but she does make everyone feel some pressure, she is so demanding. I gave a seminar yesterday on grammar that definitely terrified some of the less English-savvy Chinese employees. It was pretty tough, but I got a lot of thanks for it.

It is late October and utterly freezing here. It just struck me that October 9 came and went and I never thought about it, the anniversary of my brother’s death. And October 30, yesterday, is the day Roy died, my best friend from college. These are all things that put my own problems in perspective.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

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