Category Archives: Other stories

An International City

One night early this month, on my way to meet a Swiss colleague’s PhD students from the university that she teaches at in Germany, a woman in the subway started to talk to me by complimenting my bracelet. She spoke English, … Continue reading

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[Article] Learning to Speak Lingerie: Chinese merchants and the inroads of globalization

This story about Chinese entrepreneurs in Egypt was published in the New Yorker in August 2015. Though not entirely new, it remains newsworthy. In my view, it’s fascinating because who would think that lingerie would sell so well in predominantly … Continue reading

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[Article] Inside the Mall at the Center of China’s Transformation of East Africa

By Mansi Choksi and Kim Wall Mariam Namata’s face was dappled with sweat when she arrived for a job interview at Sunshine Foods, a company that claimed to be Uganda’s first homemade chips manufacturer. It was October 2015, a fierce … Continue reading

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Gender and its inconveniences for Chinese women

“You know I never think about this. But sometimes I hate I am a girl,” my Chinese friend, Swift, wrote on WeChat one day. She was feeling annoyed with the Chinese man who’d agreed to rent one of his rooms … Continue reading

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Doing smart business or digging a deeper hole?

The days that led up to Anna showing Swift, my Chinese friend, some figures related to the jewelry wholesale business that she had helped to set up in Togo months ago were nerve-wracking. The fear she felt and why she feared for … Continue reading

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Fearful for her life…once again…in Togo

It’s getting close to late January 2016. Swift will soon have to return to Lagos, Nigeria to tend to her business. A Chinese manufacturer has been hounding her for his money. He wants it before the Spring Festival (this year … Continue reading

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A prequel: surprised ending

July 2015, Swift returned to Guangzhou from Togo. First thing she did after landing was to meet with me at the place where we had arranged beforehand. I’ve lived in South Africa and done research in other African countries, so she wanted me … Continue reading

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