Articles in kelly west’s travel blog
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Many great questions have been pondered throughout Chinese history. On a hot June day in 2009, four brave women dared to ask: “Where is the toboggan?” Their quest was part of this year’s Reporting China assault on the Great Wall of China and a special mission to search out a toboggan ride discovered by the 2008 Reporting China team that provides travelers the option of a little mechanical help in getting up to and down from the battlements, with a few thrills and chills thrown in for good measure. Join them now to see how they fared.
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When I arrived in China, I expected to meet people sporting red armbands and green hats, like icons from a 1950s propaganda poster. So when I began seeing young people in Beijing that broke this mold – Mohawk-sporting musicians, tattooed skateboarders, extreme-sport enthusiasts – it seemed more significant than what this same behavior might mean back home. Thus the question: In a country that has put so much stock in conformity, do new forms of self-expression represent small but meaningful forms of rebellion?
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My family arrives today!” said Ye Huabin, as he served customers at his gourmet tea shop behind Beijing’s Forbidden City. As he talked about his wife and two children who were traveling by train from Fujian Province southeastern China, Ye poured steaming cups of fragrant tea with the dexterity of a shell-game artist.
It’s been a year since a UT student introduced Ye’s story to our Reporting China audience – his entrepreneur’s zeal for selling upscale teas to the city’s nouveau riche as well as his painful decision to trek from his home in southeastern China. . . .
And you thought walking a tightrope was hard. The sport of slacklining developed in the 1980s in the United States and is gaining popularity around the world. It has been slow to catch on in China, however, a country not known for freedom of expression or citizens trying their hand – or feet – at out-of-the-ordinary sports. But at least one Beijinger, Rio Zhang, is trying it out, and he talks about his experience with this extreme pastime.
Says Zhang: “I think when you try to balance your body, it helps to balance your mind.”
After reports that tainted formula had sickened thousands of babies in China in the fall of 2008, American shoppers cruised the aisles of their local grocery stores warily studying food labels – products with a “Made in China” label got chucked out of the cart.
With concerns mounting over the hold Chinese products had gained on American consumer habits, the powdered milk scandal sparked an outcry for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take action. But the U.S. public wasn’t the only group to demand reform. . .