Vid: glass-blowing studio in Dream Community, Taiwan

As detailed in my last blog post, I recently went to the Dream Community in Taipei, Taiwan.

And here is a short video showing a bit of the process which takes places in the glass-blowing studio:

 

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Financial Times: The End of the Chinese Miracle?

This is a sponsored post. I was recently contacted by the Financial Times concerning “The End of the Chinese Miracle”, and have been invited to share the following video and give some of my commentary. Definitely a must-watch for all China observers:

 

China is certainly changing. And according to the Financial Times, the economic growth will not last forever. Specifically, due to the cheap labor of migrants winding down in recent years. I am not an economics expert myself, but the doubling of wages and repercussions globally do seem troubling. An interesting analysis.

The interview with a migrant worker who has decided to return to his hometown is key. Hundreds of millions may follow suit (the numbers are staggering), and the dependence of the world on ‘made in China’ products is going to have to change. There is also the phenomenon of of Vietnamese coming to work illegally in China explored. While India may be the next big thing, in the meantime the world is going to have to get used to new status quos.

Not mentioned in the video however, is the widely-believed analysis that the crackdown of Xi Jinping’s government is all about keeping China stable — and under the party’s control — as the economic downturn inevitably moves along… Not to mention the explosion of housing prices in major Chinese cites, which I have witnessed firsthand.

I don’t usually get into politics and economics on this blog, it’s mostly been about just my own experiences, yet I always welcome discussions with those smarter than myself. I do try to be optimistic, and the truth is no one can completely predict the future accurately.

But there is certainly much to be anxious about.

Would you like to add to the discussion?

Letters From China… Cold Reading in Guangzhou

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Last weekend, I was honored to have been invited to the Letters From China bilingual poetry event in Guangzhou courtesy of GZ-based poet Aaron Styza. It was at Yi-Gather, one of my favorite places in the city, and the turnout and conversation were excellent. I, of course, read from my novel South China Morning Blues.

Unfortunately, it was one of the coldest nights of the year and the place doesn’t have heating! This happens when living in the tropical southern regions; all year you’re sweating and you never know what week is going to be actually cold… and you are not at all prepared for it. Seriously, even though it doesn’t get below freezing (and I did grow up in a place with four seasons), the combination of humidity and winds makes for some very harsh conditions.

The next day, something magical happened that made the weather more than worth it! It actually SNOWED. It was about two or three degrees Celsius and by some miracle small pellets of frozen water (maybe technically hail, but looked enough like snow) softly fell to the ground and immediately melted. Brief and ephemeral, we couldn’t believe our eyes. Not that it was a polar vortex like elsewhere, but in the context of this tropical environment it was amazing. Sadly, wasn’t really photographable.

I heard it’s the first time the weather had been this low in the region in some fifty-sixty years. And, a month ago was the warmest year’s winter ever. Not going to get into climate change or anything, just sayin these temperature extremes are interesting.

 

Anyway, here is an Instagram picture followed by Youtube video concerning the event:

[Yes I know I do not look good nor sound good but the self is an eternal process and I shall work on it]

Another great event in #Guangzhou, honored to have been invited to #read for Letters From China!

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Guangzhou – Reading & Chinglish

In light of so much interesting content last week, I have decided to combine an update of my book promotions with Chinglish, as well as a video below. Hope this makes for a doubly entertaining read.

Last weekend we went to Guangzhou, and enjoyed Yuexiu Park. Though there was lots of uphill walking, it’s nice to see pagodas and the beautiful nature settings. Paddleboating was most fun indeed.

And so many Chinglish signs. Glad to see that they haven’t changed the place in years 🙂

 

 

Later, it was a treat to discover this awesomely named dim sum restaurant. Delicious and PRO!!!

Best tagline for a #dimsum place ever!

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Finally, Saturday night I came to read ma’ book at the awesome Open Mic event at one dimly-lit hip art bar Loft345…

#Guangzhou Open Mic #read

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Always nervous to do these sorts of things, it’s even worse to record and hear myself. Do I really sound like that? Well, I did my best and that’s all that can be done; seems to work out most of the time.

Monkey Vid

Hi all. I’ve been back from South Africa for several days, and busy with getting my China life back on track.

There are also some great new developments with the book and I will happily share soon enough…

Please be patient on my South Africa blog post updates. I have a lot to write about. (Coming up in two parts.) Currently drafting!

 

For now, enjoy this very short video I made about seeing monkeys at the Kruger Park campsite: