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Happy Freakin’ Valentine’s Day

NOTE: A shorter and less, um, explicit version of this story will appear in the February 2003 issue of that’s Shanghai magazine.


I hate Valentine’s Day. And, I would guess, privately most of you do too … unless you happen to be wrapped up in the flowers, greeting cards and chocolate racket. There’s not much less romantic than a holiday that tries to force you to be romantic. There’s not much less romantic than V-Day’s origins, either. First, there was ancient Rome’s Lupercalia, the mid-February fornication festival that required each horny young boy to pick at random the name of a female (it didn’t matter if she was horny) to be his plaything for the following year. Erotic? Yes. Romantic? No.

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01.24.2003, 7:34 AM · Humor, Stories · Comments (1)

shanghai diaries gets some press …

… but dan can’t read it.

01.15.2003, 6:23 PM · Site News

dvd doozies: ocean’s eleven/legends of the fall

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Legends of the Fall (1994)

Maybe they were busy drooling over Brad — excuse me, Bard — Pitt. Maybe they had taken a hit of that "head-shaking drug" my students keep telling me about. Or maybe there were some keys missing from their keyboards (check out the credits for Legends). Whatever it was, the folks who put these covers together are currently the odds-on favorites to take home the inaugural DVD Doozie Awards for Synopsis Writing. Excellent work guys. You have set the bar very, very high.

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01.11.2003, 1:31 PM · Humor, Movies

a student makes me smile

This is an e-mail I received from one of my students recently. It made me smile.

Hi Dan!

Last week, Iattended an English speaking contest held in Jiaotong University. Even though I didn’t get any prize, I enjoyed the experience. And my topic is about your class. Wanna have a look?

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01.08.2003, 9:51 PM · School

Simple Sells

NOTE: Versions of this story appeared in the South China Morning Post (subscription only) and that’s Shanghai magazine.


Who says the Chinese don’t have a taste for cheese? Turn on a television here and you’ll likely see dancing chopsticks, singing office workers and plenty of pretty people cavorting through tall fields of grass under an unusually bright blue sky. To a Westerner, Chinese advertisements — not to mention many of the shows that take up space between them — seem rather, well, cheesy. It’s as if we’ve seen it all before. And, in many cases, we have.

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01.01.2003, 1:09 AM · Stories


Shanghai Diaries is a website about Shanghai, China ... and lots of other stuff. Voted Best Mainland China Blog in the 2004 Asia Blog Awards.

Editor: Dan Washburn

Related: Shanghaiist and Mudan Boutique

Dan is a freelance writer living in Shanghai. More about Dan.

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10.08.2005 (127 new)
Fujian Power!
Visit an old colonial island in Xiamen and huge earthen roundhouses in rural Fujian. Scenes from my National Day 2005 holiday.

10.08.2005 (41 new)
Go on the set for my very first infomercial! I play the role of “Dr. James,” inventor of a product called “Dolly.”

10.08.2005 (57 new)
Gaelic Football
Get some sweaty culture at the Asian Gaelic Games. Gaelic football comes to Shanghai!

10.08.2005 (14 new)
Xingfu 13
Jam with Xingfu 13 at the Shanghaiist.com launch party.

10.08.2005 (29 new)
Shanghai Sex Expo
Take a stroll through the Second Annual China International Adult Toys and Reproductive Health Exhibition, also known as the Adult Expo or the Adult-Care Expo.

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