- By Isaac Stone Fish
Isaac Stone Fish is associate editor at Foreign Policy. Previously a Beijing correspondent for Newsweek, he wrote stories on such subjects as the Dalai Lama’s effect on international trade, China’s love affair with rogue states, and crystal meth in North Korea. His articles have also appeared in the International Herald Tribune, the Economist, and the Los Angeles Times.
While the Chinese Consulate in New York has, at the request of family members, withheld personal details about the Chinese graduate student at Boston University who was killed in Monday’s bombings, the New York Times is reporting that "a classmate, a Chinese university official and a state-run newspaper in her home city have said she was Lu Lingzi, who accompanied a friend to watch the marathon from near where the blasts shook the streets."
Indeed, many other news outlets have mentioned Lu, and she is already being widely discussed across the Chinese Internet. Besides some basic details — she grew up in the Chinese rust-belt city of Shenyang and studied international economics in Beijing — not much is known about her. The last post on her Sina Weibo page — a photo of cubes of bread and vegetables with the caption "my wonderful breakfast!" — has drawn more than 21,000 comments, the recent ones mostly consisting of red candles.
Much of Lu’s 545 microblog posts focus on food: her love of chocolate and ice cream, "fattening products," and a meal that was a reward for her diet. Because most of her posts are just a sentence long or less, it’s sometimes difficult to contextualize her remarks. But they nonetheless paint a fascinating portrait of a Chinese student’s views of the United States — not always the easiest place to live. There are "too many Chinese people" here, she said at one point. "Could orientation be any more boring!!" she complained.
Lu remarks "wow" on a post about strange U.S. legislation, including the supposed Massachusetts law that "it’s illegal to go to bed without first having a full bath." A day after posting on the "maddening" process of finding a place to rent, she wrote, "America’s level of efficiency makes me so speechless… how did their country ever develop?" Lu is not always down on the United States. A January post features a blurry picture of Boston at night, with the caption "I love this city!"
As for Boston’s metro system, "there’s nothing crappier," she wrote.
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.| War of Ideas |