Noel Smith

4 minute read

Let’s admit it. Sometimes certain languages have words that just hit the nail on the head. In the case of Chinese, characters are often combined in interesting ways which produce words that are compact and concise and have no appropriate cognate in English. Here I’m thinking of xiangfa and banfa, loosely translated as “way of thinking” or “way of doing something.” I absolutely love these two Chinese words, and I often find myself searching (always in vain) for the English translation when…

Noel Smith

11 minute read

During the near decade I lived in China, there wasn’t much I refused to do and try. Aside from adamantly declining to eat certain things, like stinky tofu, birds nests, and the feet of various animals, China was my oyster. Yet I did draw the line regarding two things in China: I said that I would never buy a house and that I would never get a driver’s license. This year upon my return to China I crossed one of those lines to do what was once unthinkable. I got my Chinese driver’s license.

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