Last week I was with a group of friends in Lanzhou and we had a rambling, hours long discussion- one that eventually lands on the topic of Fu Er Dai (Second Generation Rich). China is notorious for its roster of badly behaved billionaire millennials that try to outdo one another with very public displays of wealth: stables of Maseratis, matching Shanghai and London duplexes, gold Apple watches for THEIR DOGS. Their parents were the first ones to get super-rich from the 1980s onwards after Deng Xiaoping’s reform policies took off.
I frontloaded the first week of August with a fairly straightforward plan: fly down to Chengdu, take a bus south to some obscure cities where a couple of my volunteer friends and students are based, and ultimately see the Shunan Bamboo Forest.
Shunan Bamboo Forest is where several scenes from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon were filmed- Zhang Ziyi and Chow Yun Fat fly through the bamboo stalks, dueling over the Green Destiny sword.
So, I hoped this trip would go smoothly but the first day was a total disaster. Continue reading
Here is a collection of sketches I put together from the previous semester- it is a continuation of (naturally) Semester One Sketches! Many paintings are from my winter trips to Beijing, Harbin, and Taipei; others are from various walks through Lanzhou, a PCV softball game, and a trip to Linxia.
Summer Project has come and gone! This is a two week event that every PCV must complete between the first and second year of service. This year, all volunteers from Gansu province were sent to small-town Lixian together, to teach primary, middle, and high school teachers Oral English.
I had been hyping up this reunion for the longest time- between Ana and Monique (from Taipei) – and Monica and Fox (based in Lanzhou). We talked about this for months and months, as the girls met years ago in Thailand and hadn’t seen each other again since.
Our plan was to hangout for a weekend in Lanzhou before I took the girls from Taiwan on a trip to Qinghai
As luck would have it, the first evening Ana and Monique arrived in the city, I was about to have dinner with my relatives, Fay and Ma Qiang. They were thrilled to invite the girls to eat 涮羊肉 (thin-sliced, rapid-boiled mutton) with us, so the girls hustled into a tuk-tuk(ish) car-thing to get to the restaurant ASAP.