Friday, October 30, 2009

Hot Spots & Dodgy Places

This book, as the name implies, is a collection of stories from a few places or regions that have appeared in world news in the past two decades...It is not a travelogue in the usual sense of the word, but an attempt to highlight facts and events in a more timeless fashion. It is a journey into the history and cultures of these places told through my journeys, particularly the amazing historical coincidences and links between the past and the present, and between seemingly unconnected places.  An example is the link between China and Sudan, told through the story of British General Gordon, who was regarded as a hated imperialist by both countries, and yet the inspiration behind the chivalrous character played by Andy Lau in the film Warlord.  And of the story of the Queen of Sheba who ruled what is now Yemen and King Solomon, and how that led to the foundation of Ethiopian state, and that of coffee and Moca and their links with Yemen.

Monday, October 26, 2009


An article about Henan reminded me of the distinctive Henan dialect I was once familiar with... 河南人最常用的有一句口头语,就叫"中"..."中"在河南是非常好的意思,它不仅表明了对这件事情有一个很好的回应,而且"中"也包含着一个可以、同意、通过,通过,畅通无阻,行,没问题...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Funny names of Christmas Island, Kiribati

London, Paris, Poland, Banana and Tabwakea are names of 5 villages on Christmas Island of the Pacific Nation of Kiribati. These names were given by a French priest who once lived on this island which later became a British nuclear test site.