Category Archive


Wàiguórén family dinner: how I preserve my identity while living abroad

My name is Nicole, or Nikki to my friends. But, every day for the last 15 months, my name has been 外国人 (Wàiguórén) — “Foreigner.” In America, I was the oldest sister to three brothers. I was the chick at the bar all by her happy self, reading a book while drinking beer. I was the girl who went pale at the thought of starting a conversation with a complete stranger (and for a rather dark-skinned African-American, that’s a feat). But here in China, my identity has come down to one word. Wàiguórén. Foreigner. Outsider. One who does not belong. But I’m also the one who, every few weeks, hosts a family dinner. For me, and I think for many of us, those family dinners are a safe space.

Beijing’s tiny underground apartments that house millions

Did you know millions of people in Beijing live in tiny underground apartments built into subterranean apartment blocks and air raid tunnels under the city?

Look through Sim Chi Vin’s photo essay to meet a mother with an eight month old baby, twentysomethings saving on rent by living underground, and people who are woefully underemployed — all living in 10’x10′ boxes.

How to consume ethically: reducing and recycling electronics and home goods

Recently we discussed Lolly’s question about how to consume ethically. Here’s what we came up with.

Moral dilemma of a first worlder: Let’s talk about the ethics of the goods we buy

What with recent events in the news about Foxconn, the Chinese company that produces gadgets for Apple, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and others, I’ve started to sit down and wonder if I really want to be purchasing products that were made by people living and working in poor conditions. But I need tech. What do I do?

Your next vacation is to China’s World of Warcraft theme park

Gamers, start saving now: China has opened a completely unauthorized Starcraft and World of Warcraft-ripping theme park, and we have the photos. Photos of night elf ladies and Protoss roller coasters.