About the author

I have lived in China since 1988.  That is a long time, right?  When my family came to China everything was different.  We lived in Nanjing, not too far from Shanghai.  There was no heat in the homes, schools or offices.  There was no hot water except what you boiled.  Many homes had coal stoves, and possibly no bathroom.  There were no telephones, except at the gate to your work unit or residence area.  No cars.  Barely any taxis, except at the big hotels.  There was a two hour nap period after lunch when even the bank closed.

You would hardly recognize it.  Now there is heat, hot water, plenty of bathrooms, telephones and cell phones galore, so many cars that transportation is often difficult, taxis everywhere at every hour of the day or night.  The pace has quickened to the same frenzy you find in New York or Paris.

What does that have to do with me?  Good question.  Somewhere in the midst of all this change from old to modern, I grabbed hold of something that is timeless and put down my roots into the depths of the culture itself, and have been enjoying the spring of wisdom that is there ever since.

Is that all you do?
No.  I do lots of other things. I like to keep singing crickets in the fall. This year I had three – Jiminy, Chester, and Pork Pie. You can guess which one ate a lot.

Checking out the cricket housing market in Beijing

This is one of my friends at the Cricket Market in Beijing. She is holding a cricket condo, and I have some cricket handling tools. Her husband is in the back of the photo looking for a Big Golden Bell cricket for me.  The folks at the cricket market in Beijing are kind souls.

Nothing is better than drinking tea at a Chinese teahouse

I like tea too.
I am not sure which China has more of – types of tea or types of calligraphy. Tea is very relaxing and can take away your cares if you let it. So can calligraphy. So the two fit very well together! At the same time they keep you awake, which is why the monks, who meditated for hours on end, especially appreciated it.