Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Favourite posts from the 2nd quarter of 2011

Time for a roundup of my best posts from the middle of last year.

Pick of the Archives:
Favourite Posts, April-June 2011

1)  The vision thing  -  5th April 2011
One of the things I found most striking on a recent visit to Malaysia was the fact that drivers there actually look where they're going - in striking contrast to what we find on the streets of Beijing! (And here's another example of homicidal stupidity by a Beijing driver.)

Forget the Boat Race; now we have a Stoat Race!

3)  Signs of Spring in The Jing  -  9th April 2011
None of them good, unfortunately; the blooms we've long hoped to see are still hiding in their buds.

4)  Inscrutable llamas  -  13th April 2011
In which we learn how to interpret the facial expressions of the woolly animals... because it might come in useful one day.

5)  Time travel is BAD, m'kay?  -   14th April 2011
One of the daftest stories to come out of China since... the last one. State censors attempt to ban TV shows featuring time travel.

6)  It doesn't travel well  -  18th April 2011
Perhaps the ultimate reason for not learning Chinese: nobody speaks it outside of China (and not even everybody in China speaks it).

7)  Does that come with potatoes?  -  19th April 2011
Assorted silliness inspired by my recent crashing of an International Potato Expo in Beijing.

8)  A lesson from history  -  25th April 2011
I happen upon an analysis of everything that went wrong in the latter part of the reign of the Emperor Qianlong; and it all sounds uncannily similar to today.

9)  Limits to growth  -  5th May 2011
Academic economists come up with more highly persuasive evidence that China is on the brink of a slowdown... that could become a meltdown (but maybe not).

10)  Uses of the Jasmine Flower  -  7th May 2011
Some reflections on the possible origins of China's misfired 'Jasmine Revolution'.

11)  The after-scent of a sunny day  -  9th May 2011
One of the - sometimes too rare - incidental pleasures of living in Beijing.

12)  An important lesson  -  15th May 2011
What does a Mexican gravestone have to do with Hilaire Belloc? I can find a connection!

13)  Mr Grindtooth again  -  17th May 2011
Why I don't like working for Chinese education companies and universities... (Amongst the reasons!)

14)  My Fantasy Girlfriend: Phyllida Trant  -  22nd May 2011
The lady barrister played by Patricia Hodge in ITV's Rumpole of the Bailey may have been responsible for one of my signature fetishes. My own failure as a barrister is probably down to my falling in love five times a day whenever I went to court.

15)  A touch of Zen  -  25th May 2011
A rare example of a good Beijing cab driver experience.

16)  Great Movie Songs  -  28th May 2011
A list of favourite songs that somehow didn't make it into the American Film Institute's Top 100.

17)  Reasons to live in Beijing  -  7th June 2011
I'm not convincing myself any more. (Three years earlier, I'd come up with a much more positive list.)

18)  HELL  -  21st June 2011
Just when I thought my working life couldn't get any worse... they sent me to Wangjing, the worst place in Beijing. And my experience got even worse... and worser.

19)  FREE at last!  -  23rd June 2011
A little musical celebration, prompted by my ecstatic relief at having quit one of my most horrific ever jobs.

20)  Film List: Great chat-up lines  -  25th June 2011
An end-of-the-month quiz for you.

21)  The secret to a long life  -  28th June 2011
I'd been having a very stressy month, but my discovery of this wonderfully restful little song - Be Like A Duck - by Sandra Boynton may have saved my life.

22)   A strange dream  -  30th June 2011
I don't remember my dreams very often; but when I do, they are doozies!

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