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Chinese Tourists

Everywhere we’ve gone so far, there have been very few foreign tourists like us. Most of the tourists — and in some places all of the tourists — are Chinese. Sometimes they’re in pairs or families,…

Intercultural Understanding and Chinese Beds

When I started teaching a class in intercultural communication this past year at the teacher training college, I didn’t actually know anything about it. Or rather, I didn’t know any of the theory, but I’d had…

Conspicuous Consumption

In my last entry, I mentioned how it seemed to me that the Chinese have wholeheartedly embraced conspicuous consumption. Visiting the Forbidden City the other day emphasized that for me. You could say that the emperors…

Impressions of Beijing

I read quite a bit in guidebooks about Beijing before we came here. Much of what we read was true, but a lot of what I’ve seen (and it’s only been two days) has taken me…

a box of kleenex, a cup of tea with lemon juice and honey, and cough drops

Explaining the health care debate

Every time I try to explain the health care debate to Dutch people I am faced with the same wrinkled-brow, gaping-mouth, puzzled expression that the Japanese president’s wife, Miyuki Hatoyama, must confront when she starts talking…

Thoughts on my Burundi Adventure

I’ve been putting off writing this blog entry, and I’m not sure exactly why. I feel that I need to post something as a sort of summing-up of my Burundi adventure, but I don’t know how……

Street Children

Kirundo, Burundi, August 9 Street Child There are a lot of street children here. They wander around town, dressed in rags the colour of the earth, and beg for money. So, of course, we’re a major…

Twa Pottery

Kirundo, Burundi, August 9 On Friday we were taken to visit a potter, with one of the English teachers, named Claude, as our guide. On the ride there, which turned out to be very short, Claude…