Blogging from China – Kristie Lu Stout

Story.Beijingnew From CNN.com: The Spark team is in , China, and Kristie Lu Stout is blogging on the road. Bookmark this page to read her daily journal.

It’s been five years since I moved from Beijing to Hong Kong, and each time I return I scan for my old haunts…

Liangma Flower Market, still standing. Asia Star restaurant, it’s there. And the Liangzi foot massage center? Yup, still open late in the evening.

I hunt for these pockets of familiarity only because this is a city in fast forward. Too many cafes, old lanes and neighborhoods have been knocked down to make way for sky-high buildings with steely exteriors.

Thankfully, the locals don’t seem to be mirroring their new surroundings. They’re still chatty and unpretentious, with a gentle sense of humor.

I’m back in Beijing for a series of interviews for Spark, including a reunion with Alibaba.com CEO and founder Jack Ma.

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