In the company of bloggers

Two of my most enjoyable encounters in Beijing over the past few days were with fellow bloggers. I was lucky enough to have dinner with one of them last night and enjoy a spirited discussion about US politics, the Chinese media and the changing mindset of Chinese university students. We don’t agree on everything, but we come pretty close. The Chinese blogging community includes some of the greatest gentlemen/women I’ve ever known. It’s been a real privilege knowing and meeting them.

I’m in Shanghai now, where I spent a few hours today visiting the local office of the company I worked for in Beijing. Tomorrow I say goodbyes to a few other friends, then head for Hangzhou for a few days and finish the trip back in Beijing.

It’s been a great journey, with some of the usual jarring experiences I came to expect here. Half the time, China’s Internet wouldn’t let me on to post or comment, but half the time I got lucky and there was no problem. I had a hilarious episode at a state-owned hotel in Beijing this morning that brought home a barrage of memories that every expat has about how customer service in China is not always what it is elsewhere. But then, that’s part of the inherent uniqueness that makes the place so endearing. There were some other examples of those aggravations that at first raise your blood pressure to near-bursting but that, after time, you learn to just smile at.

Still can’t devote time to politics or news here; I just want to take in the scenery before I say goodbye.

The Discussion: 4 Comments



March 11, 2004 @ 11:37 pm | Comment


It was great spending time with you; in the travels that lay before you, please know that you are always in our hearts. With much welcome and anticipation, we and Beijing await your return.

Joseph & Ellen

March 12, 2004 @ 12:55 am | Comment


March 12, 2004 @ 11:49 am | Comment

Thanks Joseph. You are a gentleman — and a scholar, if you don’t mind the cliche.

March 12, 2004 @ 3:35 pm | Comment

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