Showing posts from April, 2017


I was in a club with my Chinese buddies one night in Shenzhen.  This club, like many, had club singers.  Some could be called pretty, but it was hard to tell.  The lights and makeup, the sexy clothes and sultry voices, topped off with alcohol, played tricks with the mind.  We found our table next to the stage however, and thus had a good close up of the club’s star attraction.  She was short but moved very, very well.  The “boss” amongst us(I called him boss as he was the wealthiest of us all, always foot the bill, and he and I always got along well.   Like most young Chinese, he was “only” in his 30’s, loved his mother and was semi uber nationalist.) took one look, observed her closely and simply uttered to no one in particular, “ 有困难 ” We all nodded in unison. She would be no easy pickup. But it could be, and was done.  I learned later a laowai I know “quite well” saw her alone at the bar one night, simply sauntered over and said “hi”.   Thinking the poor sap cou

50 years ago today: the life of China's glamorous First Lady took a turn for the worse

(This is the 3rd of a series of posts on Chinese historical female figures from the 20th century.   Feel free to read my previous posts regarding Song Mei Ling  and Sun WeiShi .) In the end life balances out.  And so it did for Wang Guangmei. The story could stop here.  A two line summary of China’s True First Lady.   The First, First Lady of China, whose glamour only fifty years later Peng Liyuan can only begin to remind people of.  I’m afraid most young Chinese today are not familiar with Wang Guangmei.   Her time came very early on, and though her light continued to flicker, the glow she brought to China’s prestige around the world had long since dimmed.   Wang Guangmei was the Jackie O of China.   She paid the price for being Jackie O.   Both lost their husbands in the most gruesome of ways, one publicly and one privately. But perhaps while both were predestined to marrying well, Wang Guangmei simply had good fortune on her side.  A good upbringing in a Catholic