Saturday, January 17, 2009

Strange Stones

by Peter Hessler

For the last few years, I have been enjoying Hessler's 'Letters from China' as they have been sporadically appearing in the New Yorker. As China becomes an increasingly important player on the global stage, I think it is very appropriate that we start to learn more about the culture and idiosyncrasies of the place. I especially enjoyed his article on going to driving school in China (insert racial joke here), and how he was taught things such as driving straight across wooden planks a couple of feet off the ground, but nothing about how to behave when other cars are also on the road.

In this article, he recounts a road trip he took with a friend from his Peace Corps days, causing him to reflect upon his time spent in the Peace Corp, stationed in China. It is an amusing article of shifty Strange Stone venders, counterfeit contact lenses, and how Kennedy era foreign policy can still provide life paths for aimless midwestern college graduates.

No comments: