This is a poignant and irreverent diary of the author's yearlong (2001-2) experience of teaching English to college students in Beijing, People's Republic of China. From the very first pages, the author draws you into his struggle with a culture worlds away from his comfort zone. The author's generous and compelling personality allowed him to gain access to the lives of his students and their families, who became characters in his tale. One can experience the author's wit and humanity throughout the narrative.
The author's humorous view of China is especially timely and dovetails with the current explosion of interest in that country as it enters the modern world. The book is neither a travelogue nor a look at the government, although elements of those subjects are woven into the story. Instead, it is an engaging look at China, tailored toward those who know little about it. Still, those who have lived and/or traveled there will also enjoy the book as it reminds them of the absurdities they, too, experienced.
Letters from Peter's Students. The students react to tragic news.
Weeks 40-44, Epilogue. A shocking end to the tale
Weeks 36-39. Peter finally gets a key to his classroom and teaches his students how to root for the home team.
Weeks 32-35. The Central Michigan Chippewas come to visit.
Weeks 28-31. Peter attempts to describe authentic Chinese food and goes traveling with Wang Lu.
Weeks 24-27. The students find out Peter is writing a book. Peter's American friend, Martha, comes to visit and promptly has her backpack stolen.
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So glad I stumbed upon this..
What an amazing podcast! Well worth listening to - very interesting and keeps your attention all the way through. So glad I downloaded this one..