I ran into “Jason Statham” in Dubai

DUBAI, UAE — I didn’t actually run into Jason Statham in Dubai, unfortunately, but what do you think? Does this guy look like him or what? Talk about a brother from another mother. This is seriously his long-lost twin. An Emirati version of Statham.

How crossing the street in Hanoi looks like

HANOI, Vietnam — The trick is to walk across at a steady pace. People will avoid or maneuver around you. It took me some time to get used to crossing the street this way. I thought it was too dangerous. This is how crossing the street looks like in most Asian countries though. You must ...

Youth embrace public affection in a time of materialism

BEIJING, China — Young Chinese couples in romantic relationships mingle through the crowd with hands interlocked, hugging or kissing and displaying other forms of affection. Foreign tourists strolling the Qian Hai boardwalk, a lively sightseeing destination in central Beijing, might not give this level of public affection, common in many other countries, a second thought. ...

Cleaning up Xiejiaqiao’s Yuxi River

XIEJIAQIAO, China — At 20,000 RMB ( $3,080 USD) income per capita, the 801 villagers of Xiejiaqiao have the highest GDP in Henglu Township, which is made up of seven communities located in the mountain greenery of Zhejiang province. Part of that economic success stems from the village’s prosperous pecan and bamboo production–crops that couldn’t ...

Women working uphill against discrimination

BEIJING, China — “I get ridiculed by male customers all the time,” says Fan Baolian, 28, a restaurant manager at the Songlei Business Hotel & Spa in Beijing. “They say dirty words to me like why am I working here when I’m a woman and should be at home taking care of my kid and ...

Ninja Assassin analyzed in a cultural context

AUSTIN, Texas — Ninja Assassin generally received negative reviews and poor ratings mainly due to its numerous amateurish-like gore scenes, which critics’ argue didn’t include a convincing storyline.  Focusing only on the entertainment value of the film, reviewers failed to see the kind of depth that underlay the movie when examining its connection to our cultural world ...

The border between North and South Korea D.M.Z.

DMZ, South Korea — The Demilitarized Zone is a border barrier that divides the Korean Peninsula. We were warned during our visit not to make any sudden movements. It was a tense and engaging atmosphere. A soldier checked each of our passports while we were waiting on a tour bus. Korean nationals aren’t allowed to ...

Ninja Assassin rhetorical analysis

AUSTIN, Texas — It’s pretty clear from all the exaggerated gore scenes in the film, which spat and spewed gallons of fake, water-like blood that director James McTeigue wanted the audience to have a little fun while watching this martial arts movie. Underlying the obvious, though, what is not so apparent for action-movie goers is ...

Bakugan toy box at Myeongdong in Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea — “Have you heard of Bakomon?” I asked George, who was sitting next to me, on the tour bus. “Pokemon?” he replied. “No BAKomon,” I said while laughing. He shakes his head slowly and stares at me with the same blank look he always had on his face since the first day I met him at ...

First time in South Korea

SEOUL, South Korea — I’d like to thank CIEE for giving me this opportunity to visit Korea. I’ve made many wonderful friends on this trip. We are very well fed and everyday is a big day.

The dream lives

AUSTIN, Texas — In 2007 Colorado’s Senator and presidential candidate, Tom Tancredo, stated on his official website: “I am 100 percent opposed to amnesty. As President, I will secure our borders so illegal aliens do not come, and I will eliminate benefits and job prospects so they do not stay.” The senator’s bold statement and ...

The blogosphere vs. the mainstream media

AUSTIN, Texas — Just two months before the tight and hotly contested 2004 Presidential Election between George W. Bush and John Kerry, CBS aired a 60 Minutes segment that was critical of Bush’s service in the Air National Guard. “Tonight, we have new documents and new information on the president’s military service,” Dan Rather said in ...