The Kind of Thing I Miss About China

Yes, I know, you could have a "serious" reaction on several levels to the news clip below. But as soon as I saw it I burst out laughing and thought, "That's what I miss!" When living in China I would see things like this every day. It's from a report in the Economist on Chinese-Saudi relations and tensions, including Chinese companies building a railroad in Saudi Arabia:

"Some firms would have been put off by the fact that non-Muslims are barred from working in Mecca, so China simply converted hundreds of railway workers to Islam."

This is the same Chinese pragmatic ingenuity in finding "a" way to do things that I marveled at (and illustrated with photos) several years ago, here. I know what people have in mind when they warm up for big speeches about the "lack of creativity" caused by East Asian rote-schooling practices, and about the conflict between free academic discourse and China's controlled media environment. But if you want to see ingenuity applied round the clock and on a huge scale, that's another reason to head to China. (Thanks to reader JE.)