Lowdown Leaves Qingdao

By Jonathan Chandler The Wild East Magazine Magpies… What was it? One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, hundreds of the frockers, a glut. A glut of magpies – building their intricate stick houses the size of an ayatollah’s turban, or a B52 beehive on the just-budding

Read more

New Year’s Day of the Tiger – 'Party' town.

Jonathan Chandler The Wild East The snow which fell a week or so back has yet to melt completely and the winds are still bitter in Qingdao. This ultra-wealthy city where two-wheels are banned and all the cars are brand new is a Party town. Not that kind of party

Read more

Different Times, Different Worlds

Jonathan Chandler The Wild East It snowed dream-like and blew bone-flaying gusts of Artic wind last week. The sky was bleeding lead with pure white snowflakes floating along and then for two days a purplish sea-fog rolled in and tied Qingdao into a manky, ice-cold blindfold. Sombre enough for the

Read more

An 'Informal Settler' in Manila

‘Lowdown’ Goes to the Philippines for Christmas By Jonathan Chandler for The Wild East I made a last-minute decision to get out of sub-zero, Siberian wind-tunnel Qingdao for the Christmas holiday. The prospect of a week’s solitary sopping at Old Jack’s Bar, waiting for the unlikely phone call from my

Read more

When Love is in the Air… in China

The remnants of a typhoon piddled on Qingdao last night, whetting the thirsts of the flowers, trees and citizens, tantalizingly dewy but nowhere near wet enough to slake the dry. So as the sere winds blow in off the Bao Hai Sea, the collective consciousness begins to fret and fray

Read more

Strangely fascinating: China's 60th anniversary fanfare

Golden week came and went in high Indian summer up here in Qingdao. Temperatures in the thirties in the second week of October. Hasn’t rained for months. Big fat flies laze around, eating filth, landing with heavy little legs and a total lack of grace on your skin, billions of

Read more

Fortune-telling Alive & Well in The Middle Kingdom

By Jonathan Chandler Exclusive to The Wild East Certain practices and “superstitions” were frowned upon, violently so, during the Cultural Revolution — a recent hiatus in China’s rich and ancient weave. But with the revival of Confucianism, along with the “opening-up,” a deep thirst for the old ways and the

Read more

People Mountain, People Sea… of Cars

By Jonathan Chandler Exclusive to The Wild East September is here, and with it the teeming masses have left the beach — drunk down all the Tsingtao beer during the two-week Beer Festival — and returned to the provinces to take their dearly beloved one child per family back to

Read more