Bundled for Beijing

Bundled for Beijing.jpg

This is the outfit I bought today for my move to China. Yes, that’s a real Russian fur hat, and the coat is so dense and heavy I think it can also serve as a bulletproof vest.

Happy New Year to all, and I’ll see you next year!

(Oh, and the picture only makes me look like a cyclops; the other eye is there under the fur flap.)

The Discussion: 28 Comments

Well, it is a tradition in China and Korea to welcome the new year in a new outfit. New year, new job, new country, new coat. Looks like you’re ready to face those blistering Siberian winds! Just think how much better that piping hot pot of huoguo will taste as you peer through the steamed up windows at the frosty street outside.

January 1, 2007 @ 11:25 am | Comment

Why the Chairman Mao button?

January 1, 2007 @ 11:56 am | Comment

Richard, please send me your exact measurements. I’m asking one of my Innuit friends to make you an authentic blubber-coat.

It will keep you comfortably warm, even if you are submerged in icy water. Unfortunately, in your size, the coat will weigh a little more than 250 pounds, but at least you will be as warm as a whale’s gizzard.

And did you remember to get one of those tiny pocket tents that you can quickly unfold and climb into when you spot a dust storm approaching? The ones with the snorkel attachment work best, at least that’s what Other Lisa told me. She found one in her local Chinatown, uses it when LA has a really bad smog alert.


A Happy and WARM New Year to you, Richard … and to all the Duckyard Quackers!

January 1, 2007 @ 12:26 pm | Comment

Slim, thanks a lot, and I hope to talk with you on the phone real soon.

Mingtian: Why the Chairman Mao button?

A friend applied the button to my jacket and said he wanted to see which of my readers would spot it. Congratulations, you are the first.

January 1, 2007 @ 2:33 pm | Comment

December 31, 2006: Despite Bushโ€™s attempt to overshadow the grim milestone with a political execution, the 3,000th dead American soldier was sent home today in a body bag. The soldier fell on the last day of 2006, ringing in the New Year with a march towards 4,000.

Bush is now contemplating a “surge” in troops. How about a “surge” in more body bags? But of course, it’s the poor hispanics and blacks that are dying, so what’s the big deal? In Bush’s own words: let’s do some shopping.

January 1, 2007 @ 3:23 pm | Comment

December 31, 2006: Despite Bushรฏยฟยฝs attempt to overshadow the grim milestone with a political execution, the 3,000th dead American soldier was sent home today in a body bag. The soldier fell on the last day of 2006, ringing in the New Year with a march towards 4,000.

Bush is now contemplating a “surge” in troops. How about a “surge” in more body bags? But of course, it’s the poor hispanics and blacks that are dying, so what’s the big deal? In Bush’s own words: let’s do some shopping.

Didn’t mean to spoil your festive holiday mood, and it’s a nice coat.

January 1, 2007 @ 3:24 pm | Comment

You look warm. And a little like we should be hunting ‘wabbits.’ But it’s definitely stylish.

Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2007!


January 1, 2007 @ 8:56 pm | Comment

Should have held out for a Sean John hood. You get the real fur for the cost of the faux.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2007 @ 10:52 pm | Comment

Sociologist Li,

Your heartfelt concern for American lives is deeply touching. I do need to correct your assumption that only Blacks and Hispanics are dying. The war continues to claim the lives of Americans of all ethnic groups and both poor and middle class, as well as Iraqis.

January 1, 2007 @ 11:30 pm | Comment

Sonagi’s right about the war claiming Americans of every ethnicity (you can see it for yourself here – I strongly suggest a visit). I will guess, however, that the majority of the average soldiers (not the officers and career soldiers) are from the lower end of the economic ladder. There are very few wealthy successful Pat Tillman-types signing up to fight in Iraq and the military has lowered its standards for enlisting because so many of those who would even consider enlisting are poorly educated and are having trouble finding work elsewhere. I would doubt that those being killed are a balanced mix of middle class and poor. Maybe lower-middle class and poor.

January 2, 2007 @ 2:00 am | Comment

I’ve said this before: the American society is not a Nation-State, it’s a Colony without a host nation. It is, for all intents and purposes, a pirate ship. People come to this place from around the world, not out of “the desire to be free”, or to “seek the American dream” as your high school textbooks tell you, but to loot and pillage as much as they can for themselves. Americans are linked by a common desire to profit, once that profit bubble bursts, you think most of those immigrants from Mexico, from India, from Russia, from China will stay loyal to this country? I know I wouldn’t, I have most of my families in China, and my root and my home is anywhere but here. So once I pillage enough for me and my family and see that this pirate ship is sinking, then it’s Adios to America.

January 2, 2007 @ 3:29 am | Comment

And a happy New Year to you too, Sociologist Li.

Projecting much?

January 2, 2007 @ 3:35 am | Comment

Sociologist, for a smart guy that’s a mighty off-the-wall comment. I know why my own grandparents came here, and it wasn’t to rape and pillage. You’re dead wrong on this one, I’m afraid. The majority of American immigrants, like my own family, have traditionally shown intense loyalty to the US, and examples of this are everywhere if you really want to know the truth. Happy New Year.

January 2, 2007 @ 3:42 am | Comment

That’s not a “majority” of the American population.

January 2, 2007 @ 3:51 am | Comment

Sociologist Li, I am pretty critical towards my own country (particularly in the last six years), and I consider myself a friend of China. But it strikes me as a real “pot/kettle” scenario for a Chinese person to label the US a “pirate country” populated by pirates with no national loyalty. The Chinese government makes deals with the most unsavory regimes on the planet to get raw materials; modern China is notorious for the lack of concern exhibited towards its weaker members (for example, migrant workers and coal miners) and is often characterized as a society where family and friendship bonds are very strong but community bonds are not. You have a weak legal system, and authority is frequently arbitrary. Factories break your own laws and pollute with impunity in order to get ahead. I realize that progress is being made, and the legal system is a work in progress, but…

The US has done a lot of objectionable things in terms of foreign policy (the Iraq war is IMO criminal and a stain on our history that will never be erased), and we have plenty of societal problems. But at the risk of being one of those posters here whose defense of every wrong is, “well you guys do it too, nyah nyah nyah, so there!” um…

Anyway, happy new year, and can’t wait to see that coat, Richard!

January 2, 2007 @ 4:13 am | Comment

Sociologist Li sounds like another chinese immigrant who complains about America yet can’t bring himself to leave. He not only comes to China to visit his parents but also to try to bring a former classmate back as a wife. Sexual frustration is an ugly thing.

January 2, 2007 @ 5:26 am | Comment

Mr. Li,

It’s that kind of attitude that really hurts your fellow countrymen and women when it comes time to apply for US graduate schools, fellowships, and visas. There is already an attitude among some in academia and in the government that Chinese students are only out for their own gain and have little interest in contributing to a common quest for knowledge. It is sad that such backwards thinking is coming from a self-described academic. It really makes you sound very 土。

January 2, 2007 @ 5:57 am | Comment

Why is a Mongolian bloke mascarading as Richard?!?

January 2, 2007 @ 6:15 am | Comment

Other Lisa, social problems in China are a complex and entirely different problem. But in any case, it has nothing to do with the current state of American society. If you want a more in-depth study on the current Chinese society, I recommend this book from my Ph.D. Advisor, doctor Li Yi:


He’s known for his model of Chinese Social Stratification:


Jeremiah, you are right that Chinese are essentially opportunists, and I am one of them. Thanks to the “Get Rich First” policy of Deng Xiaoping.

January 2, 2007 @ 6:32 am | Comment

Sociologist Li seems to be channeling Gordon Geckko.

My point in bringing up China in this context is that I am not sure why Sociologist Lee thinks that will be a safer, more stable place in case of some kind of global crisis. The social bonds are frayed there as well, and the tradition of a rule of law is comparatively weak.

But like I said, I don’t want to be one of those, “you suck too!” commentors, so I’ll leave it at that.

January 2, 2007 @ 7:21 am | Comment

And as for opportunism, I seem to recall a famous Chinese who said something like: 君子喻於義,小人喻於利. Perhaps you’ve read this before? “A gentleman dwells in what is right, it is the small man who dwells in what he might profit or gain.”

Haha, and George Bush says America is a nation of peace. You must have also heard of “人不为己,天诛地灭。โ€œ, “Those who don’t think for themselves will be punished by god”.

January 2, 2007 @ 7:42 am | Comment

Sociologist Li is a reminder about how so many Chinese just don’t get the whole concept of “civil society” and what it means to those who live in it. So they despise what they fundamentally cannot grasp, thinking it doesn’t really exist, interpreting what they see in terms of their own limited knowledge. It’s sad, especially since Li styles himself a sociologist.

January 2, 2007 @ 10:02 am | Comment

Very natty get-up, Richard. When can we expect to see you in the Swallow Capital?

January 2, 2007 @ 10:57 am | Comment

What’s even sadder, Michael, is that Li is obviously a very bright guy. Such an odd contrast – obviously well educated and well read, has a facile mind and is highly articulate; and then he spouts the kind of nonsense I’d expect to hear over in the China Daily forums…

Brendan, I’ll be in town next Sunday night after dinner. Don’t let the PSB know.

January 2, 2007 @ 11:31 am | Comment


Is it just me or are you gaining weight since I saw you last? Maybe the coat is really thick.

In either event, I’m still in KL (the first winter EVER without a jacket or sweater) until maybe CNY.

Have a safe trip to Beijing! And don’t sweat the PSB. They’re off-work until after CNY.


January 2, 2007 @ 1:40 pm | Comment

It’s the coat – I actually lost quite a bit of weight this year. At 6’2″, I now weigh a mere 170 lbs.

See you in Beijing real soon.

January 2, 2007 @ 2:14 pm | Comment

Nice outfit Richard ๐Ÿ™‚

January 2, 2007 @ 6:22 pm | Comment

You look mahvelous!

January 4, 2007 @ 5:29 am | Comment

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