Highlighting 7 Links on Chengdu Living

Two weeks ago I started noticing “My 7 Links” blog posts showing up in my RSS reader. I curiously checked them out to discover that they were links of a larger chain of interconnected blogs highlighting previously published content. Here’s how it works: a blog selects seven posts to share and then passes the torch onto five other bloggers in the same niche.

This turned out to be a great thing because blogs that I already like were carefully selecting articles that I probably hadn’t read before, being that they were published months or even years ago. I thought an internal link roundup like this would be a great thing to do and Chengdu Living was nominated shortly thereafter by Far West China, a great Xinjiang blog authored by Josh, and then by Steve of You’re Not From Around Here, Are You?

Without further ado, let’s get into the seven links:

Chengdu Living’s Most Beautiful

Interview with Gas, Chengdu’s Most Prolific Graffiti Artist

Years ago I first started seeing the “Gas” tag appearing around Chengdu. Unlike the other tags around town, which were mediocre at best, whoever this Gas character was, he had real style. I wondered who he was and where he was from. And as the tag became more prolific, the desire to discover who the person behind it became greater. After asking around I finally found another graffiti artist who knew him and would introduce me. Since then we’ve become good friends and I love seeing Gas’ artwork around Chengdu. It’s not hard to find considering it’s showing up at official Nike events, cool bars like The Lazy Pug, and much more. Just feast your eyes on his “Chengdu” pieces.

Chengdu Living’s Most Popular

Anti-Japan Demonstration Ignites Chengdu

Picture this: one day I’m walking around minding my own business and I get a call from Sascha who tells me that an anti-Japanese protest is happening in Chengdu. At the time I was at an electronics store signing the contract for an iPhone 4 on China Telecom not far from Chunxi Lu, the shopping district where the demonstration was to take place. With no time to return home to grab proper photo equipment, I tear the plastic off my new phone and put it to good use… taking photos of people burning Japanese flags, smashing windows, and causing absolute mayhem in Chengdu’s most popular commercial district. This post was linked to by dozens of blogs and websites including the well-respected China blog Danwei, the LA Times, and many more.

After affixing the flag, a protester's "thumbs up" emerges and the crowd erupts with cheers

Honorable mention: Chengdu Living Has Been Harmonized

Chengdu Living’s Most Controversial

Attempting to Talk Your Way Out of a Visa Fine

Published on January 1, 2010, this was the original featured post on Chengdu Living. Written by Eli and documenting his experience trying to evade a P.S.B. fine in Chengdu, it drew dozens of comments about P.S.B. rules and regulations, the morality of skirting the rules, and grown men crying. The post itself is fantastically well written and Eli engages each of his detractors one by one in the comments below. If this post was designed for controversy, it was a smashing success.

Chengdu Living’s Most Helpful

The Chengdu Living Forum 

This isn’t a post at all, but without question, the Chengdu Living forum (accessible from chengduforum.com) has become the most helpful single resource on the site. Every week new members sign up and are participating in what is a growing body of varied and up-to-date information on everything Chengdu. Authoring blog posts and interacting with friends and readers is fantastic but the forum really brings a new level of interaction. And I can’t go without mentioning how helpful the forum has been for me personally and other long-term Chengdu residents.

Chengdu Living forum

Honorable mention: The Giving Birth in Chengdu Post Series. A year and a half ago Sascha begun a storied journey into fatherhood that has taught him countless lessons. In that time he’s published an ten-part post series breaking down an incredible amount of useful information about giving birth and raising children in China.

Chengdu Living’s Surprise Success

Greed & Corruption: the USA Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo

This was Elias‘ first post published on Chengdu Living, and man, did it get read and commented on by a lot of people. This first-hand account of a Student Ambassador at the Shanghai Expo detailed the greed and corruption that led to the Pavilion receiving condemnation from all sides. The comments field on this post alone alone erupted into heated debate over the moral and legal implications of the US Expo’s conduct. I had little foreknowledge of the Expo and didn’t comprehend the implications that publishing such a detailed insider account would have.

Honorable mention: Enduring the China BluesSince “China Blues” has been published, I’ve heard the term casually used in conversation at least a dozen times. It just fits.

Chengdu Living’s Under Appreciated

The Most Potent Fertilizer on Earth

The “Jin ke la” post on Chengdu Living has to be the funniest one we’ve ever published. A Chinese fertilizer company produced a series of videos promoting a product called “Jin ke la” and decided to turn the ridiculous up to eleven by associating it with U.S. Presidents and global agricultural revolutions to name a few. From the post: They also claim to have a special fertilizer from America with twice the potency of ordinary fertilizer. The very same stuff that helped America rise to the top of the world and will help China do the same. They sell all over the world and are engaged in discussions with G8 leaders on on a weekly basis. The daring of it all is really admirable.

Honorable mentions: Enjoy Some of the World’s Greatest Teas in Sichuan, China’s Soul Search

Chengdu Living’s Proudest

The Ace of Diamonds: Surviving the Earthquake

Aside from being among the most life-threatening and eye-opening experiences of my life, I love reading this story. I’ll never forget returning from Qing Cheng Shan a day after the earthquake – it took me that long to climb down the mountain and hitch a ride to Chengdu – and telling this story to a circle of close friends. As I shared each vivid detail from my very recent memory, Sascha sat across from me silently writing. Furiously writing. I paid no attention but a day later this story, based on my account, was written. I originally intended to write it myself but Sascha has a way with storytelling, and once I read it I felt immense satisfaction.

Honorable mentions: Chengdu Living Has Been Harmonized, The Murky Evolution of the Chinese Education System


That about wraps up this post on Highlighting 7 Links. Here go my nominations:

What do you think of my choices? Were there any that I missed or should have included? Let me know in the comments below.

6 thoughts on “Highlighting 7 Links on Chengdu Living”

  1. Been away a while but i still read. The jinkela post is the one i showed my dad and my all time fave is eli’s post so yeah, i think you nailed em.

  2. It is gratifying to see how far the site has come. This is a nice reminder of how much interesting and diverse content has been published on here. Thanks for picking my old story.

  3. Bob is still investigating USA Pavilions (USAP) tax returns!

    Just visited my friends and former USAP colleagues in Beijing who confirmed further tales of nepotism, cushy 3 month “end of Expo” bonuses and heaps of money returning to the state department.

    The CFO of USAP was the splitting image of Mr. Burns from the Simpsons…


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