Life in China

Life in China

Articles that reflect on life in the world’s most populous nation

I Wish the UK Could Learn to “Eat Bitterness”

As the Delta variant of COVID-19 worsens the UK’s already poor pandemic situation, and the health secretary resigns after spectacularly embarrassing evidence emerges of him breaking social distancing rules, I can’t help thinking that the  UK could use more of the Chinese concept “chiku”.

Gyms in China: A Feminist Space?

Gyms are one of the few places in China where women enjoy freedom to wear what they want It’s hard to walk into a gym in China without seeing scantily clad female bodies everywhere.  This surprised me at first; Chinese society tends to encourage rather more conservative dress than the west. Short skirts and exposed […]

GALLERY Lesser Known Zhejiang

浙江日常生活 Scenes of late autumn life from a multi-day 200km cycle from the inland city of Hangzhou to coastal Ningbo, in the southern Chinese province of Zhejiang. From elderly Tai Chi practitioners gathered in public squares, to everyday scenes of family life, to curious fellow travelers on the road, this trip was, as usual, filled […]

Three Conversations All Foreign Women Have Had in China

Sometimes, “Will you marry me?” isn’t really a compliment. December 25, 2020By May GuoNot the amazing ChinaPedlar, but her slightly less talented friend. At least once a week, I try a thing that scares me, just to make sure my heart gets a workout. That thing is speaking Chinese. It can lead to cultural insights, […]

Why I’ve Started to Hate Christmas Music

There’s something not quite right about these decorations that I couldn’t put my finger on. As I sat at the unnervingly familiar wooden table of a Starbucks I had never been to before in Hangzhou, a city of 10 million in southern China, the dulcet tones of Frank Sinatra singing ‘White Christmas’ started to intensely […]