Jeff Brown

Jeff J Brown is author of 44 Days Backpacking in China, and blogs at Reflections in SinolandHe lives in Beijing where he is an elementary school teacher in an international school

Posts by Jeff Brown

Beige Spirit

History repeats itself in Inner Mongolia – short fiction by Jeff J Brown


Every day after school, Xiao Ding came sprinting across the fields to be with Beige Spirit, his parents’ gift for his thirteenth birthday. His father had offered as many pointers as he could and, for months Xiao Ding did his best to exert mastery over the big, tall gelding horse. But the beast was downright contemptible. Xiao Ding had tried everything: food, love, brushings, wash downs and even whispering in the big beast’s ears, as its huge, black eyes gazed down menacingly. Over the months, Xiao Ding came to realise that their relationship had become a war of dominion. Only one of them could be the boss and, for now, Beige Spirit was winning hands down.


The Road to Tibet

Climbing the highest plateau on earth – by Jeff J Brown


Leaving pullulating, steamy Chengdu and heading up to the Land of Snow is a great way to start the day. Up to over 3 km above sea level, up to the remoteness, isolation and naked beauty of the Tibetan plateau, where the air is pure and evanescent, and the sky as translucent as crystal. Up to an emptiness which defies the statistics that so many people live in China.

But you don’t just get on an escalator and saunter effortlessly to the Roof of the World. You have to fight your way up, and my samurai warrior today is an engaging and friendly man named Peng. His sword is a loosey-goosey steering wheel; his war saddle a well-worn driver’s seat; his stirrups an aged clutch, bad brakes and a sticky accelerator pedal; his reigns a cranky, grinding stick shift; and his mighty steed is a fully depreciated rust bucket of a bus that holds about twenty restless souls.