Foodies are still made fun of, but food is one of the great pleasures (and mere necessities) of life. This alone would make it something to consider – and try – in any attempt to learn to be at home in this world, and at home in distinct places. But then, there’s even more when […]
Visiting China, living like a Chinese, celebrating a wedding – it just had to involve some home purchasing aspect… :-p The background, if you need it: You may have heard about the challenge in finding a wife that the surplus of men in China faces. You may have also heard of the phenomenon of “leftover […]
“Cities are all the same nowadays,” you will often hear. Global trade has led to many brands (seemingly) being everywhere, and many an inner city has come to look basically the same as any other, it is true. [vrview img=”http://www.zhangschmidt.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/20160812_185333.jpg” ] The beginnings of globalization in the Columbian Exchange (as in, when Columbus “discovered” the […]
Going to the beach is not exactly a lesson in cultural identity and intercultural issues – except that, as the summer of 2016 came around, with the burkini ban in France, beachwear did show its political, cross-cultural side. While this debate was raging, we went to the beach in Haikou, Hainan. This being China, things […]
China’s tropical island paradise, Hainan, may easily be one of the most interesting places for getting to know the craziness that is China. Especially if you look at it with an awareness of Chinese history, it is quite paradoxical – and all the more interesting for it. Hainan, after all, used to be one of […]
We feel that everything is changing ever faster, and that maybe it’s better that way, too – but there are also many things that seem hardly changed and all the more interesting for it. The Buddhist temples in Beijing do all that and more. They are, often and unexpectedly, still around. Traditions and practices […]
Three years – has it really been three years already?! – after the first time I visited the place my wife grew up and her parents still (mainly) live, deep in the countryside of Hunan, we returned. One of the things I returned to was running in a circle.
“My” China is not that of so many a visitor to or expat in that country. I have not lived there for so long, took quite a long time before I finally went and stayed, but then it was neither the Beijing or Shanghai (or other large city) of most tourists and expats where I […]