By Kirsty Needham
Whilst journalist Kristy Needham heads to Beijing to paintings at a chinese language newspaper as a “foreign expert,” she has studied the language and the background yet has no inspiration what lifestyles in China will particularly be like. As this compelling tale finds, she quickly learns that Communist slogans, transvestite nightclubs, SARS scares, and militant groups of vacationer handlers are only many of the disparate components of way of life in China that she needs to navigate. From being consistently requested if she is a secret agent to maintaining her integrity at a government-controlled paper, Needham is stuck in a country haunted via its earlier and surging towards the longer term. via wry, journalistic observations, this brilliant memoir bargains an enlightening, hilarious, and infrequently frightening outsider’s tackle modern China and its swiftly changing culture.
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Extra info for A Season in Red: My Great Leap Forward into the New China
Prices soared, and the international galleries moved in. But a weary comrade in blue overalls, cloth shoes and a cap could still clock off early for the day with a voltmeter tucked under one arm and the weekly arts guide under the other. I saw him wander freely through the white-washed creative maze, checking out the neighbours. It was truly bringing art to the people. Tonight a group of professional expat women were hosting an event at 798 that had promised the elusive: big imported knickers. Marks & Spencer, Calvin Klein, Hickory .
There were so many highly qualified bilingual Chinese with overseas experience (hai gui they were called, or sea turtles) that multinational offices barely needed to look at a foreigner these days. Others were American-born Chinese who had their heritage stamped on their face but couldn’t utter a word in their ancestral tongue. They were here trying to bridge a cultural gulf that was rapidly narrowing with every new McDonald’s that hung out the golden arch. I had accidentally bumped shoulders with a tall college boy on the stairs and automatically threw a quick duibuqi in apology.
These were man magnets. And in a city of famed local beauties the stakes were high and prospects poor for a foreign girl without this sort of ammunition. Spotting a new face, a short black suit with dazzling pearls marched up and thrust a card into my hand. She was doing PR for an American investment firm. The Beijing Professional Expat Women’s group was still finding its feet, but the new arrivals kept coming as international companies poured into the city, she told me. A girl dressed in a silk Chinese jacket introduced herself as Panda Li.