I began traveling to Beijing in early 2006, and moved here in 2007. Although I’m second-generation Silicon Valley, my dad’s father immigrated from Asia (Armenia) to the US as a young child.

My wife (Shanshan) and I have a son (Chong Chong), a dog (Leo) and a cat (Xiao Mao).

We have an apartment within the Fourth Ring Road. Which, since she is of Old Beijing Stock, is important to her.

My Chinese name is Su Jin Yan. “Xiao Su” is a joke, since I’m neither young or little.



  1. I’m coming to Beijing March 6-10, 2019. I’m looking to get a tattoo while there. Since I have a limited time frame so wanted to try and set a time up. Thanks Victoria

  2. Great blog. Your photos are wonderful – I will be following to see more. We have adopted five girls from China (Xiamen, Wuhan, Changji, Hefei, Fuzhou). I have really been impressed with the people of China – the ones we met just walking around the towns.

    1. Sorry, your comment was marked as spam. I really don’t know any beekeepers, but can give you an idea where some would be located…. do you speak Mandarin Chinese?

  3. That sent me to You Tube find “Hurt” and here it is. This may be the first time I’ve heard this one from Johnny Cash. It must have been near the end of his life.

      1. Thank you. This video was a much better quality then the one I found on You Tube. The theme of old age is strong. For those of us that live long, we often see many of our friends and those that we love die before we do. My mother lived to 89 and one day she told me all of her friends were gone. My father died a decade before she did and she lived alone hundreds of miles from the rest of her family.

    1. Yep, well aware of the song. I enjoy playing around with words and references. I’ve grown to appreciate his music more in the last few years. (I’m playing “Hurt” right now… it has become one of my favorite songs.)

  4. wonderful site, robert. i’ll share it on facebook. and delightful description of yourself. also the title “a man called su” is very funny. i look forward to more posts. love, mom

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