Throwback (gan bei!) Thursday

Mike Violette

It used to be a breeze to fly direct from Dulles to Beijing on United. A 14 hour hop over the pole. Now, “No flights match your search criteria.” I was reflecting on the days of yore before this nasty virus hit humanity, longingly yearning for a visit back to one of my favorite cities, Beijing. I have been fortunate to be able to tour the hutongs and ride the subway (direct translation of “subway” is “underground iron”) and press through masses of people in the neighborhoods around Gulou (Drum Tower). Now, it seems a long time until I can return. While we all bear with the present situation, waiting for our front doors to swing wide again and flights to open up, I’ll be resurrecting a few of my earlier posts from my jaunts around the globe (if you’re in need of a little distraction while staying safe). The first is a quick wrap about a lively night of socializing, Sichuan food and sharing…

Engineering a New China Reality: My Dinner (with the) Party

Moutai bottle
Moutai bottle

Moutai (pronounced “mao tye”) is made from sorghum, a grass kin to sugar cane. Fermenting and distilling the grain produces a clear liquid drink that is lovingly referred to as “jet fuel” by our Taiwanese colleagues. The customary Chinese dinner— banquet or casual dining with friends—often makes use of the super-proof alcoholic beverage (also referred to as baijiu—“bye-joe”) to toast friendship, business, cooperation or the arrival of a new dish to the table. Gan bei and welcome the ma pu tofu. Cheers to the soybean curd!
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