Friday, 14 December 2012


The post from May describes Shui Ying growing up in a small village in Sichuan. Following a tragedy in her family, her mother sends her to find a job in Shanghai.  She spends the first night in this hostel.

Shui Ying is overwhelmed being in one of the largest cities in the world.

She spends time at People (Renmin) Square feeding the pigeons. The most important event in the book happens in People Square subway station. Shui Ying leaves the subway and Emily enters and takes her seat.

She walks on the Bund along the Huangpu River looking at Pudong on the other side. She sees the same view when she visits the M on the Bund Restaurant,

When she's reunited with Liang, they go to Oriental Peal TV Tower and view Shanghai,

and they eat the Stinky Tofu.

They stroll along Nanjing Road and check the book stores in Fuzhou Road.

An old song about Shanghai is by Frances Yip.

When Shui Ying disappears, Emily and her friends search for her in the Jade Buddah Temple in Shanghai.

When Shui Ying and Emily meet in Shanghai, they go shopping at Nanjing Road. It is the main shopping street in Shanghai and one of the world's busiest shopping streets.

One of the famous people born in Shanghai is basketball player, Yao Ming. Shui Ying watches him playing in the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


While Petra fights to help the people in New York City, Helga looks for clues about Petra's past. She has the first clue before going to Berlin.

Helga finds the second clue in one of the buildings in this video.

She hugs the blue Berliner bear for good luck before entering the bank.

And walks in Berlin's main shopping street

Petra listens to songs by Annett Louisan who lives in Berlin

and by Lumaraa and Eisblume  who live in Berlin
and to Maya Saba who was born in Berlin.

And to this song by Silly, a popular band formed in the former East Berlin.

A popular punk rock from Brelin is Die Artze

And a popular rapper from Berlin is Sido

And the most popular band from Berlin is Rammstein

Currywurst is the popular fast food that was created in Berlin in 1949.

Petra likes the movie where Franke Potente is running in Berlin

And Helga likes the movie about East and West Berlin
and about their favourite car, the Trabi

Marlene Dietrich was born in a suburb of Berlin

and one the great theatres is the Berliner Ensemble

Friday, 31 August 2012

Bonn, Jena + German songs

Petra moves with her family to Bonn, where Beethoven was born.

Beethoven's Ode to Joy is the anthem of the European Union
David Garrett from Germany performing Beethoven

and Bushido who was born in Bonn.

You have a little of Bonn in your city: The Gummi bears candies.

One of novel's main characters is Helga who lives in Jena.

She was born in the former East Germany and after the reunification feels nostalgic to the past. Ostalgie is the German term.

She met her boyfriend as a student at one of the oldest universities in Germany, University Jena
The philosophers Hegel and Schlling were teaching at this university and Karl Marx earned his doctorate from the University of Jena.

And she used to work here as a gardener.

She eats the food from her state of Thuringia, like Thuringer Klosse (potato dumplings)
and Thuringen Rostbratwurst (grilled sausage with herbs).

And drinks her favourite Cola made in her state.

And she loves her Trabi car

And to listen to songs by Silly and their former singer Tamara Danz who was also born in Thuringia.

And the composer Johann Sebastian Bach was also born in Thuringia

Petra listens to many songs, including Schlager music, popular in Germany and Central and Northern Europe. The songs are sweet ballads with catchy light pop melodies.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Germany and Hamburg

My 21st century America-Germany novel for young adults is ready. Unlike the many negative books and movies about what Germans did in the mid 20th century, my novel is positive.  It's written also for the 90 million German speaking people in Europe and the 50 million German-Americans. It's the story of 17 yrs old Petra, who moved with her parents from Germany to New York City. Willkommen (welcome) to Germany:

They came to NYC on a flight with Lufthansa Airlines.

Petra was born in Hamburg in Northern Germany. Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, after Berlin, and is viewed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Petra and her mother, who works at Goethe Institute in NYC,  enjoy singing the song by Maria from Hamburg, reminding them about home.

Their favourite song, singing together, is from Austria. Mom likes the singer so much that she named her daugther after her.

Petra and her father, who moved from Bonn to the German Consulate in NYC,  are fans of Hamburger SV, their hometown's football team. She plays soccer in her NYC High School, inspired by Birgit Prinz, Germany's famous female football player. 
She started playing soccer as a little girl.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Sichuan, Chengdu and Chongqing

My novel starts in a small village in the province of Sichuan in Southwest China, where Shui Ying is growing up ... "Sichuan, which mean four rivers, is one of China's most populous provinces. It is one of the country's main agricultural areas for growing rice, wheat and other grains. It is home for the giant Panda bears who feed primarily on bamboo. Kung Po chicken is the best known Sichuan dish and the secret of Sichuan food is the purity of the salt collected from the mines of Zigong." When Shui Ying is born, the biggest cities in Sichuan are Chengdu and Chongqing, but after a few years Chongqing separates from Sichuan to become one of the four direct-controlled municipalities in China.  China's greatest leader in recent history is Deng Xiaoping who was born in Sichuan. He is the founding father of China's economic rise.
Welcome to Sichuan (Szechuan)

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province. It is one of the most important economic, transportation and communication centers in Western China. It has the most tea houses in China. Its people have a reputation in China for having a laid-back attitude and for knowing how to enjoy life.

These are the famous cute residents of the city

And these are famous places in Sichuan that appear in my novel.

The most populous city in China, and the world, is Chongqing with about 30 million people, while Shanghai and Beijing have about 20 million each.  The Beijing government "Go West" strategy is urging companies to set up operations in inland cities to prevent immigration to cities on the east coast. Chongqing is the main beneficiary of this policy.

People from Sichuan, Chengdu and Chonqing like to eat spicy food like the  Hot Pot.

Americans and Canadians wishing to try the Hot Pot in their countries,  please check the locations for:

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Hong Kong

My novel travels to many places in China, mainly to the province of Sichuan (Chengdu), Shanghai and Beijing. There are two stops in Hong Kong. I was introduced to Hong Kong by Shui Ying, a wondeful woman living now in that city. She e-mailed me this beautiful 360-degree panoramic view over Hong Kong harbour

For walking tours in Hong Kong, please go to "A Kindle in Hong Kong" by blogger Shannon Young, where she has many great photos of the city.

Hong Kong is a bridge between mainland China and the West. Last year Hong Kong retained its position as the freest economy in the world. In mainland China there is state capitalism with planned economy. Hong Kong is one of the two special administrative regions of the People's republic of China. Many of the 7 million residents of Hong Kong wish that mainland China wil become more like Hong Kong, while the regime in Beijing hopes that Hong Kong will become more like mainland China.  The city flower of Hong Kong is the Bauhinia. To learn more about the city:

Enjoy this song about Hong Kong (1978) by the late Teresa Teng
and this