Uncategorized | 5:27 pm | August 20, 2008 | By Ashiner

Media Slave

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 12:37 p.m. — My close range perspective has defined my Olympic experience. Although I’ve seen the athletes and venues in person and experienced five weeks of the host city’s culture, I know little about America’s Olympic pursuits. Realize my situation: I don’t understand any televised Olympic coverage and many high-priority Chinese »

Uncategorized | 5:27 pm | August 20, 2008 | By Ashiner

American palate

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 11:03 p.m. — I don’t care for McDonalds. Everything on the menu tastes the same: soft textured protein and carbs, occasionally with a mild crunch, mixed with a creamy sauce and a limp vegetable. But whereas the food is merely boring it’s the image that’s actively bothersome. The Golden Arches symbolize something foodies »

Uncategorized | 12:09 pm | August 17, 2008 | By Ashiner


By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 1:03 p.m. — It’s the ambiance that counts in Beijing. For the past four weeks I’ve been struck as much by this city’s extraordinary sights as by their environs. In cuisine, architecture, and history, it’s the subtleties, which in America I so often take for granted, that make the difference. Take »

Uncategorized | 4:57 pm | August 14, 2008 | By Ashiner

Sexed-up karaoke: awkward

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 7:31 p.m. — “Which do you think is the prettiest?” I was shocked. “They’re all very attractive,” I said with an astonished smile.“ I knew you’d say that.” Ten young women, all identically dressed in black miniskirts and plunging neckline tops, lined the front wall. I leaned towards Sam, “Are »

Uncategorized | 1:46 pm | August 13, 2008 | By Ashiner

Olympic machinery

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 12:30 p.m. — The Olympic Green Archery Field was somewhere in North Beijing — that I knew. The hundreds of blue and white-shirted Olympic volunteers swarming the subway entrance would know precisely where and would speak English. That I knew too. I whipped out my ticket (high quality card stock, very »