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Category Archives: Interviews

The Little Shop of Sex

Note: this article contains images of a sexual nature that may cause discomfort to some. Reader discretion is advised. 中文 What’s on Beijing’s mind? Sex, among other things. The first sex toy shop opened here in 1992, and there are now an estimated 2,000 “adult shops” in the capital. To gain some insight into this [...]

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Proud of the Propaganda

Zha Xi is a Tibetan migrant who moved to Beijing several years ago, in search of better economic prospects. A Buddhist, he is part of a group of Tibetan migrants who sell Tibetan artifacts and Chinese propaganda posters in Beijing. The posters, which are copies of posters printed in the 1960s, proclaim various messages intended [...]

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The Top Tout in Town

John, the top tout in Beijing’s tourist entertainment district Tout (n.) Someone who publicly solicits customers in a bold way. “Hello, want beer?” “Hi, this great bar! Come inside!” “Good drink here!” The calls grow louder and more intrusive as you progress down Beijing’s Sanlitun Bar Street, a cornucopia of gaudy facades, neon lights and [...]

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Let’s Dance

Beijing street dancers Lang Xin Long (left) and Liu Hong Wei (right) 中文 Liu Hong Wei and Lang Xin Long are two young, aspiring dancers who have moved to Beijing with dreams of stardom. On weekend evenings, they can be often be spotted dancing at a busy intersection in the heart of the city’s entertainment [...]

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Down and Out in Beijing: The Story of a Migrant Beggar

Old Zhao in front of Propaganda nightclub in Wudaokou, Beijing 中文 “Old Zhao” is an elderly, bearded beggar who spends his evenings working the streets of Wudaokou, in Beijing’s university district. After several years of plying his trade, Old Zhao, with the clinking of coins in his porcelain begging bowl, has become one of the [...]

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