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

By Kirsty Needham | Go to book overview

4.
Certified Expert
Foreigners

Two items had been brewing in my mind as essential for setting up home as a Beijing worker. By Saturday I had acquired both.

I scrubbed like a mad woman to remove ‘Merry Christmas’ from the windows. A set of delicate red papercut monkeys I had found among the folk art stalls at the Panjiayuan dirt market would be its replacement. It was the Year of the Monkey and chineseastrology.com had warned I should expect the unexpected, mischievous forces were at play. It was a year of clever manipulations, problems to be sidestepped, short-lived projects and transformation.

‘Monkey years spin everyone’s concept of normal’, said the online oracle.

Although I was a few months late for Chinese New Year, when papercuts were traditionally put up, gluing the soft rice-paper frames to the glass fulfilled my cinematic fantasies of what a Chinese window should look like. I was sure Zhou Mi would approve.

-59-

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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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