A Season in Red: My Great Leap Forward in the New China

By Kirsty Needham | Go to book overview

Prologue
Laowai, 2004

Sanlitun Lu, Beijing. Partying people spilled out of the bars in that other Party’s republic, and into the dark dirty alleys. It was more like a maze than a thoroughfare. I took midnight bearings from the giant beer mug that glowed on the corner of Workers’ Stadium Road and headed south to where the shadows hid a gauntlet of blue jackets. ‘DVD?’ demanded a crimson-cheeked entrepreneur with a bulging sack at her feet. ‘Yangrou chuan?’ implored the next wizened face, his scraps of spicy, fatty mutton roasting on coals. I slipped into the black, around rubble-strewn corners, as old neighbours disappeared into old brick apartment blocks. Metal rockers in vintage sidecar motorcycles rumbled by.

Ahead was the roar of a dusty, loud mixing pot. Neon shacks that overflowed as young Chinese and foreigners converged on the street to unwind. The crowd gasped for air on hot summer nights like this, and sucked up warm Yanjing beer as a substitute. ‘Ganbei!’ cried a friend with a bottle in his hand. ‘DVD?’ called the shadows. I was

-ix-

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A Season in Red: My Great Leap Forward in the New China
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Prologue - Laowai, 2004 ix
  • 1 - Red Fever 1
  • 2 - Yellow Dust 12
  • 3 - China Daily 35
  • 4 - Certified Expert Foreigners 59
  • 5 - Dragon Gorge 70
  • 6 - Sars and Propaganda 86
  • 7 - A Captive Audience 102
  • 8 - Sky 128
  • 9 - The Campaign against Youth Spiritual Pollution 153
  • 10 - Street Scenes 180
  • 11 - When Red Means Go 194
  • 12 - Hot in the City 208
  • 13 - Gaining a Name, Losing Face 224
  • 14 - Checking out 247
  • Acknowledgments 271
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