Tag Archives: Che Fang

Living with mess

Here in China you are drawn to places crumbling under the fingertips, muddy spots where people have shat or died or both. Your hands and shoes flake off plaster or bark where hundreds of hands have scraped off bits of history and caressed plaster and brick into homes. Those Chinese hands have all too often…

29 Comments Continue Reading →

A beautiful squalor: photos from Che Fang

Her hand is a smile opening him to this place – Che Fang; the bitter twists of steam from oil drums used to fry dumplings and egg cakes on this nameless path to the school where he teaches … …the Chinese mist gentling the bareness of people’s lives here, the threadbare clothing and shoes. The…

18 Comments Continue Reading →

On the politics of bottom-touching in China

I recently had a fresh cultural shock here in China: seven to 10-year-old kids, at the primary school I sometimes teach at, who have a fondness for running up and touching my backside. Including in class. I tried to understand the reason why. I think it’s because Westerners, by and large (forgive the pun), actually have butts. There…

5 Comments Continue Reading →