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The entrepreneur, now in his early 40s, went to school in the UK aged He still buys his clothes in London: This is freedom of the sort most Kenyans with deeper pockets can find at home only when they travel outside their capital. For year-old Nonnie Wanjihia Burbidge, who lived in Notting Hill, west London, before homesickness drove her back home to Kenya, London was a playground filled by friends she now considers extended family.

Mesmerised at first by anyone with the savvy to negotiate the underground, she soon grew to prefer walking and the bus. But she recalls fondly the welcome she received: Choose your FT trial. Do foreigners see London as hip and happening or overpriced and over the hill? FT correspondents October 14, Listen to this article Play audio for this article Pause Cookies on FT Sites We use cookies for a number of reasons, such as keeping FT Sites reliable and secure, personalising content and ads, providing social media features and to analyse how our Sites are used.

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Quirks of European political divisions and territorial boundaries also arouse Chinese curiosity. There is considerable confusion about who does and does not belong to institutions like the European Union and the eurozone.

Netizens also ask why German-speaking Austria does not unite with Germany, and why Italy and Spain do not respectively annex the Vatican City and Portugal. Attitudes toward China feature prominently in Europe-related search results. The top suggested search for Poland asks why it hates China, with most results linking to an essay cataloging a range of slights extending from the Paris Peace Conference to the Beijing Olympics.

And as for France, a leading query asks why locals in the top European tourist destination for Chinese tourists so often cheat Chinese travelers.

Foreigner Tests Chinese Locals on Their Chinese

A couple of caveats bear mentioning. Also, Chinese grammar means there often are multiple ways of expressing even simple queries. See below for an example for Switzerland. Notice the different arrangement of Chinese characters in the initial question stems:. Autocomplete suggestions are most numerous for large, rich countries and grow fewer as countries get poorer and smaller.

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Baidu has no suggestions at all for most Balkan nations, suggesting limited Chinese interest in a region that weighs heavily on the minds of some Europeans. Monsters, real and imagined, external and internal, are the subject. Here, and in the towns beyond, the young live hard and wear the scars…In each story, a local voice delineates the grittiness of post boom Irish society.

These are unforgettable characters rendered through silence, humor, and violence.

Ten must-read books that explain modern China | Fortune

With the grit of Raymond Carver, the humor of Grace Paley, and a blend of wit and melancholy all her own, Berlin crafts miracles from the everyday, uncovering moments of grace in the Laundromats and halfway houses of the American Southwest, in the homes of the Bay Area upper class, among switchboard operators and struggling mothers, hitchhikers and bad Christians.

Such richly fraught mother-daughter relationships can be lifelines, anchors, or they can sink a woman like a stone. Nowhere are these qualities more ingeniously brought together than in the works of short fiction she wrote throughout her life. Chaon mines the psychological landscape of his characters to dazzling effect. Each story radiates with sharp humor, mystery, wonder, and startling compassion. What if we discovered that the fundamentals of mathematics were arbitrary and inconsistent?

White people wanted: a peek into China’s booming ‘rent a foreigner’ industry

What if there were a science of naming things that calls life into being from inanimate matter? What if exposure to an alien language forever changed our perception of time? What if all the beliefs of fundamentalist Christianity were literally true, and the sight of sinners being swallowed into fiery pits were a routine event on city streets?

These are the kinds of outrageous questions posed by the stories of Ted Chiang.

Sometimes you find you have crossed an invisible line and must cope, as best you can, with petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time embroidering terrible fates or with endless paths in deep, dark woods and houses that never appear the same way twice. Strange himself and the Raven King. Here, in small-town Massachusetts, after more than a decade of boom and bust, everyone is struggling to find their own version of the American dream: Doerr explores the human condition in all its varieties—metamorphosis, grief, fractured relationships, and slowly mending hearts—conjuring nature in both its beautiful abundance and crushing power.

Some of the characters in these stories contend with hardships; some discover unique gifts; all are united by their ultimate deference to the ravishing universe outside themselves.

Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China

In her debut collection of short fiction, Due takes us to Gracetown, a small Florida town that has both literal and figurative ghost; into future scenarios that seem all too real; and provides empathetic portraits of those whose lives are touched by Otherness. Without abandoning the tenets of classic storytelling, Elliott revels in lush lyricism, dark humor, and experimental play. In these stories, Evenson unsettles us with the everyday and the extraordinary—the terror of living with the knowledge of all we cannot know.

In the hands of master storyteller Everett, the act of questioning leads to vistas more strange and unsettling than could ever have been expected. In July of , in Hardin County, Ohio, a boy sees ghosts.

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A teenage runaway and her mute brother seek salvation in houses, buses, the backseats of cars. Preteen girls dial up the ghosts of fat girls. A crew of bomber pilots addresses the ash of villagers below. A medical procedure reveals an object of worship. A carnivorous reptile divides and cauterizes a town.