Lotus Pods and Jambalaya in Jianguomen: Memory and Change in a Beijing Neighborhood
“It was like walking through a time capsule.”
I arrived in Beijing in July of 2012 with the newfound optimism of an exuberant college student still reeling after her first year of independence. The Connecticut winter had been a shock to me—in Hong Kong, we had monsoons; in Middletown, Connecticut, we watched the snow pile into three-foot-high walls. Even more perplexing were all the people on campus who’d insisted on dissecting my identity upon introduction. Some remarked innocently on how good my English was for a person who grew up in Hong Kong; some felt the need to try and tell me who I was—one even demanded, point-blank, “Why are you here?”
All photos courtesy of the author.
More in this series
“Many look at the world through the eyes of conquerors. What happens when you stop taking your position for granted?”