Month: March 2012

Man Push San Lun Che

Man Push San Lun Che

I tried to watch Man Push Cart a few years ago… well after I was indoctrinated into Chinese life. I ended-up turning it off. It probably would’ve had more resonance if I’d not seen so many people doing far more manual tasks as just part of their daily lives.

A Simple First Step to Meaningful Negotiations with North Korea

Refer to the country by the correct name… the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. I can tell you from first-hand experience that they don’t like being called North Korea. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK, or Korea were the three choices that were given to me when I visited Pyongyang in 2009.

Here are some other indicators:

Heck, in an article on the China Daily site, they even go so far as to correct the president:

“North Korea (DPRK) will achieve nothing by threats or provocations,” Obama said during a press conference in Seoul after talks with his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak.

Look, we’re talking about a country that has the fifth largest active army, the capacity to launch rockets/long-range missiles, and might be developing nuclear weapons.

If the US is really intent on reaching-out to the people and/or government of the country, they can start by using their chosen name.

Beijing Bicycle (Rental)

In August of 2007, roughly a year before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, an entrepreneur rolled-out a bicycle rental scheme in the capital city. This effort was noted in both Chinese and Western media:

Although I think Mr Wang surely must’ve made money off of foreigners visiting the city for the Olympics, here’s what one of the rental stations now looks like:

Beijing Bicycle (Rental)

The bicycles have long been abandoned, left chained together in key places through-out the city as they rot away. This particular place, in the Wudaokou area, had more than 50 bicycles. (There are actually two groups of bicycles here — one red and one white — I think the red ones might’ve been from a competing company.)

In discussions with friends at the time, there was a general consensus that the scheme would fail:

  • The bikes were of poor quality
  • Most people who would ride bikes already had them
  • The one year fee was more than that a person would pay to own a bike outright (especially at some of the city’s “used” bike markets)

In addition, it seems that there wasn’t much maintenance being performed on the bicycles.

Note: the title refers to the movie Beijing Bicycle.