I recently read Peter Hessler's amazing books about China and his experiences there: Rivertown, Oracle Bones, and Country Driving.

Among many other things, I learned that

-- guys trying to outdrink one another to be macho is a thing there
-- changes are happening so fast no one knows what is going on, really
-- there was once a proposal to change Chinese writing to alphabet-style
-- pleather factories expose workers to dangerous fumes
-- China doesn't have universal health insurance
-- Chinese has lots of cool and useful words we should incorporate into English, like the word "jiade" meaning fake or knock-off or counterfeit but seemingly applicable to anything.

These book are gripping and informative.
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