Finally, we’re surrounded by mountains, not by a sea of Chinese people. We have some room to breathe, lie down under the open sky and talk about home. Christian comes from a little town in East Germany. We both grew up during the fall of the Communist regime, when our countries were opening up to the world. […]

”I don’t feel free”, a young man suddenly tells me while we’re sharing a cup of tea. I’m stunned. It’s the first time I’ve heard a Chinese person talking about freedom. I tried to steer the discussions in that direction several times, but it seemed as if they pretended not to hear me and changed the […]

Sons For A Day

Sunrays curl up on my blanket. The alarm didn’t go off yet. I merely squint, so I don’t lose the dream that’s still running somewhere in my head, muted, far away; what was it about? “GOODE MONIN!!!”, a woman yells. Without a knock, she stormed the room and then quickly went back into the kitchen. […]

Mao Forgive Us

Mao’s greatest enemy is dancing on his grave. We arrived in Shaoshan, the Chairman’s hometown, and found it to be a site of rampant capitalism. The village thrives from selling its illustrious son. Hundreds of overpriced hotels for the millions of yearly visitors, private museums with fake artefacts, supermarkets with Mao statues, Mao badges, Mao […]

Chinese State Television says Trump is ”a madman”. The news broadcasts show immigrants scared by the wave of hate, and poor white dope fiends who are voting for the madman. The chaos across the ocean is presented as proof that voting is a useless headache that tears the nation apart. The Chinese aren’t happy that the Americans want to increase import […]

Chasing Demons

The widower, it strikes him, has to get up from the Mahjong game table, and make haste to the coffin to pray. He kneels down next to two old men, all of them dressed in white, with vests made out of seaweed and a crown of paper and wire on their heads. The coffin, with […]

A Wedding To Go

Dressed in a white wedding gown and a red cape, the bride stands at the window of a small cold room like a swan on the shore of a frozen lake. She is by herself at the second floor of her mother’s house. The walls are covered in mold and little glittery hearts. Ten minutes […]

For over a century now, the Chinese upper class have been asking themselves: how was it possible for their great civilization to be surpassed by the Western world? Could it be because of democracy? Every other decade, the conflict erupts between those who want more freedom and those who think that that would destroy Chinese culture. […]

A Sound Safari

In a village in the Hubei province we stop to worship the God of Cake. He is a gruesome, but just god and He demands a sacrifice every day. We sit on a table in front of a small shop and rummage through a bag of sweet stuff. A group of kids comes down the […]

Leftover kids

“Oh my god, ohmygod!” A 14 year old teen skips at night on the sidewalk, picking at his friends’ schoolbags and pleading for a picture with us. We are the first foreigners they’ve ever seen. – But where do you sleep? – We don’t know yet, we just got kicked out from this hotel. – […]