On the Court in Xiamen, China

I tell my students, “Whatever characteristic you have, unless it’s something you share with a dog or a cat—like fear of loud noises or fear of falling—you learned it, and if you learned it then it’s tied up with culture in some way.” This is also true on the basketball court, as I learned in 1985 when I interviewed two tall Westerner students at Xiamen University.

Steve’s story

During the next two weeks I’ll be playing in the Fujian Provincial College basketball tournament on the university team. I think all my teammates are really looking forward to this because they … Read More

In the Bathhouse (Mogyoktang or 목욕탕)

In 1988, I interviewed a petite, pretty, blond and blue-eyed Englishwoman in her early twenties about her experiences in a Korean bathhouse. Later, from my own experience, I discovered that little had changed since then except for the prices. Around 2005, in a basement-level neighborhood bathhouse, I was still able to get all the services Jane describes here—except for the massage—for about 10,000 won or about ten dollars. At a window I bought a ticket, went below ground to rooms with concrete walls. I put my clothes in a wooden locker, took the little hand towel I was given and Read More