#6: 再见美国

There is a trope one sees on social media; someone does something quite badly (this often seems to be Donald Trump) as if to dare others to do worse. To indicate that someone else is up to the challenge, one identifies the original screw up, and who can surpass that level of incompetence, along with the phrase “hold my beer.”

I used to think United Airlines was the biggest disaster in the airline industry. Frequent delays, poor communication with customers, missed connections, lost luggage: you name it. But then there is American Airlines. Here’s to American Airlines for being able to say “United can’t do anything right? Hold my beer.”

And props to Delta: they took off when they said they would, the flight from Philadelphia to Detroit lasted as long as they said it would, the layover was as long as they said it would be, the flight to Beijing lasted as long as they said it would, and my bag was where they said it would be. I was suffering a little cognitive dissonance, I have to admit, to have a United States airline company tell me things that turned out to be true.

I’m in Beijing for the site-specific (e.g. China) Fulbright orientation. I got here a couple of days early for sight-seeing; there is a lot to see in Beijing, and I only managed to make it to a few things. As usual, pictures and brief captions to follow. For your viewing pleasure, I give you some of the sights of Beijing.

Jingshan Park, where the last Ming emperor saw the Manchu writing on the wall.

Overlooking the Forbidden City from Jingshan Park



The White Dagoba in Beihai Park

The steps up to the White Dagoba in Beihai Park

Yonghe Lama Temple: The Buddhists were out in, uh, force.

Confucian Temple.
孔子 was less popular on this day than the Buddha.


I’ve already learned much here; e.g., my new teaching approach.

I just finished the first full day of the orientation. Heard good stuff, learned good stuff, and, as usual, the staff was helpful, efficient, and informative. As usual, my colleagues had many questions and interesting things to say. Mostly it seemed that every time I turned around someone was feeding me. Seems like a pretty good deal. Here’s the gang having Beijing Duck and 5,346 other dishes. I may return with the new nickname “胖子.”

The irrepressible Iris is not pictured, because she is taking the picture.

Published by Kurt's Fulbright

B.A (English, History, Philosophy), SMU (Dallas TX); MA, PhD (Philosophy), The University of Chicago. Author of "Necessity and Possibility: The Logical Strategy of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason."

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