This notice has been going around Twitter and Facebook all day, so it's likely you've seen it, but we want to hear from the students in Beijing -- what happens if you say no to this "study tour" that "all foreign students have to attend"? Drop us a line.
Because it's politically expedient to do so -- proven by Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, etc., to work -- Beijing conducted a drug investigation that recently culminated in a bust of street-level slingers in Sanlitun. This news doesn't affect the vast majority of Beijingers, foreign or local, which is to say, there's little reason any of us should cheer. If anything, we should cringe, knowing these "crackdowns" almost always disproportionately affect those on society's fringes who are most powerless to defend themselves.
More than 30 foreigners, most of “black complexion,” have been arrested on drug charges, and more than 790 grams of methamphetamine, ecstasy, and marijuana have been seized, according to an article on Tuesday in Legal China. Expect a few less head nods and “You good?”s around Taikoo Li. Also, you might need to find a new drug dealer.
Attention, writers of Beijing: we're holding a flash fiction reading on Sunday, July 13 at Great Leap Brewing's Original No. 6 location (Doujiao Hutong No. 6). Space is limited, so we're asking those interested to register by emailing us -- spots will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is 50 RMB, which includes a select GLB beer, with all proceeds going to the charity Educating Girls of Rural China. Also, importantly: we're seeking readers!
If you find yourself needing transportation around Bajiao Amusement Park on Subway Line 1, Tiantong Yuan North Station on Line 5, or Longze Station on Line 13, perhaps it's best to take the bus or a cab. (This is the first and only time I'll recommend taking a taxi over the subway, considering this city's traffic). If you need a reason, check out the video above.
An ostrich escaped from a farm and ran alongside cars on a road in the Changying area of Beijing yesterday around 8 pm, reports Shanghai Daily. "The ostrich, apparently upset by noise made by vehicles passing by, ran down the guardrails of a farm as it was being fed, according to the person surnamed Yu who is in charge of the ostrich farm." Lest you think we're surprised... we're not. We've seen this before:
On April 16, Alec Ash of the Anthill gathered eight writers (technically nine) to read stories at Cu Ju, a rum bar in the hutongs owned by the somewhat legendary Badr Benjelloun, who paired each writer with a rum. The result was glorious. Alec graciously allowed us to record the entirety of that event, which we now present to you as an episode of The Creamcast.
Our friend Amy Sands sends along these pictures from the 13th Beijing International Automobile Exhibition, China's largest auto show. "Like being on the set of a James Bond movie," she says. "Couldn't decide if I found it disgusting or awesome." Bumblebee's having a good time, at least.
On March 16, we co-hosted an event called Poetry Night in Beijing with Pathlight Magazine as part of the Bookworm Literary Festival. Every Thursday, we'll post a video from that evening. This week: Canaan Morse, Pathlight poetry editor, reading about a childhood memory from Maine and a tribute to lobsters in reply to William De Witt Snodgrass.
The Wall Street Journal's China blog made the cool map above, which shows Beijing's subway stations translated literally into English. They enlisted that indispensable tool, Baidu translate, to help with the task. Sadly, it's like a quarter-complete, but whatever, we all know WSJ employees aren't paid to do fun things.
There's the only picture evidence you need that Badr Benjelloun's tipple of choice is rum -- pure rum, navy rum, sweet rum, fragrant Yunnan rum, Cuban rum ("love, passion")... Captain Morgan's... it doesn't matter. The man will take your rum and sell it back, likely with a historical anecdote on the side.
Beginning today, we'll be posting, piecemeal, the entirety of our March 16 event Poetry Night in Beijing, co-hosted by Pathlight Magazine for the Bookworm Literary Festival. (A big shout-out to Patrick Lozada for filming.) Up first was physics teacher / poet Stephen Nashef, introduced by Pathlight poetry editor Canaan Morse.