I’m quoted in USA Today, in an article about the pre-Olympic security measures and visa restrictions. The article talks to disappointed Beijingers — Chinese residents, long-term ex-pats and tourists — about their pre-Olympic experiences. It’s worth reading, although it’s a sad look at my dear Beijing. And it seems to confirm my worries that due to security measures and general pre-games clean-up, Olympic visitors will be missing so many of the things I love in Beijing.
The whole article is here Beijing’s welcome is a mix of pride, spies and suspicion – USATODAY.com and here’s the parts about us:
China’s new approach to foreign visitors was why Meg Stivison left the country last month with her boyfriend, Chris Malavette, and will watch the Olympics from her parents’ home in New Jersey instead.
Stivison, 27, says she moved back after her boyfriend’s visa wasn’t extended. Previous extensions had been a formality during their two years in China as teachers. “I cried on the way to the airport; I was absolutely miserable,” Stivison says. “It didn’t occur to me that China would throw out two people who love China.”
Actually, that’s not quite my boyfriend’s last name, a typo which means he remains anonymously Stick! I think I’ll use Malavette from now on when talking about Stick’s family. Plus the next time we have a discussion about why I don’t want to change my name, I have another reason. Clearly Stivison works better in print than Malavette.
It was also used by the Roanoke Daily Herald:
New Jersey native Meg Stivison, 27, and her boyfriend have been teachers in China for the past two years. The government routinely extended her boyfriend’s visa during this period-but not now. “I cried on the way to the airport,” Stivison said. “It didn’t occur to me that China would throw out two people who love China.”