Author Archive

Cave Adventure in Guangxi

Cave Adventure in Guangxi
By: Gabriel Nelson “Hey! Hey! Shine your light over here! Look! Look! Shine it here!” The four hyperactive little boys buzz around me like mosquitoes, distracting me as I try to take a pretentious photo of some old personal photographs lying on the cave floor. “Yeah, okay, okay.” I turn my flashlight in the direction they’re demanding, and reveal… Nothing. There’s... 

Star Signs and Magic Coins: Seeing into the Future in Modern China

Star Signs and Magic Coins: Seeing into the Future in Modern China
On a busy day in Nanjing, the street corners around Jiming Temple are full of self-employed suanmingshi (算命师fortune tellers). Their “eight-character” charts, held down with bits of metal or rocks to protect against gusts of wind, are ready to show one’s entire destiny for just a few kuai. In wintertime, the suanmingshi huddle over their charts, perched on small stools and wrapped...