The first year of blogging has resulted in well over 300 posts, so in celebration of surviving the writing process that has yielded over 150,000 words, I thought we should revisit a few of the best posts.
My personal favorites – and the story behind them
- There must be something in the air – I don’t think anyone but my wife, and a few close friends know that I had a very short lived blog prior to this one. It was charitably described as “dry” and “overly detailed” (it was deleted shortly after starting this one). That failure helped me realize that I should be writing a blog that was more accessible to those without any first hand knowledge of the country. This post launched the blog, and is still my favorite.
- The best place in China – Sitting in the little tea shop in Longzhou is going to be a memory that I cherish as long as I live. I tried my best here to capture the experience, and reading it again brings back the sights, smells, and sounds. China’s tea culture is something that should be treasured.
- Why are Chinese such bad drivers? – Long before I had a blog, I toyed (briefly) with the idea of trying to do freelance pieces. I remember first drafting this in the Tokyo airport on the way back to the US for Christmas in 2009, as it had always been a fascination of foreigners to speculate as to why the driving habits here were so…what’s a nice way to put this…peculiar.
- China’s largest land grab – This was my first “scoop” and it wasn’t reported in other western sources for another few months. While finishing the piece, I was talking on the phone with my wife discussing a few of the details when she heard a loud click followed by what she described as my voice being played in reverse. We thought that the call might have been monitored and quickly hung up. When I got home my heart was still pounding, and when I threw open the front door my wife was gone. It turned out that she had simply gone upstairs to a neighbor’s and had already forgotten the incident. Nothing ever came of the mysterious sound, and it hasn’t happened again since then, but I doubt I will be able to forget the feeling.
Best ‘Explainer’ Posts
- Going to the hospital in China – A few tips for medical emergencies in the Middle Kingdom
- It’s easy to learn Chinese – Really
- How poor are Chinese farmers?
- The state of rural schools in China and the broken educational system