Beijing, China


Wishing I could be in New York right now.

The Great Wall

The Big Buddah, Hong Kong

In Hong Kong

There was some sort of corn flavored drink too…

The leftover ma la tang in my fridge was so old I had forgotten what was in it.

More updates soon, if only to distract MHC students from studying for their finals.  And I have midterms so it’s a solidarity thing, yeah?


So this is a thing? - Beijing, China

An Artist Takes Role of China’s Conscience – NYT 4/5/11

“(You) are really hard on Libyan people. They are already so busy with the mess their country is in. Now they have to learn Chinese.” – full article at Ministry of Tofu

The 4th Media [link]




Nanjing, China

I had my first encounter with a pickpocket today. I was out with a few friends exploring Qipu Lu (I have to check the spelling on that) which is also known as “cheap street”. Like a lot of these types of markets in Chinese cities, there are many stalls on different levels of a building, starting below ground at the subway station.  You can find clothing, accessories, etc. both good and bad quality.  Some stalls have tailors and fabric selection for custom-made clothing.  The area I went to with my friends also has a section devoted to nail art, another for small pets.  After 5 or 7 in the evening the indoor markets, which take up at least four large buildings, shut down and vendors move outside.  These vendors set up racks of clothing and lay out shoes, jewelery, bags and other goods next to food vendors selling various meats on sticks as well as a wet market where you can pick out a live quail to be butchered, soft-shelled turtles and produce (among other things).  Generally, it’s very chaotic and deserves a more in-depth explanation of the environment which includes some aggressive sales tactics and bargaining for sport.

And it’s very crowded.  So crowded that I wasn’t paying attention to the people bumping into me as I browsed skirts and sunglasses.  I was looking at some earrings on a tray and listening to the vendors talk about foreigners not understanding Chinese (hmmm) when I felt something in my pocket.  A tall man, he couldn’t have been more than 25, was in the process of examining my cellphone and putting it back into my pocket, all in one swift motion.  It happened very quickly and I barely had time to react much more than looking at my friend long enough to say “Really?  Did that just happen?”

The phone I use in China is one I bought at a market very similar to the one I was shopping in today.  It’s a good looking phone, one I picked in part because it looks sort of like a Blackberry.  While it looks somewhat decent it’s a terrible phone, from the quality of the screen to the basic functions.

So did he single me out as a foreigner that would have a nice phone?  How often do pickpockets take things only to return them when they realize they didn’t get what they want?  What did he intend to do with my phone if it had been what he wanted and he had taken it?  Would he use up all the minutes on my SIM card or buy a new one to call a sweetheart or a cousin?

All of my semi-valuables will be kept in the the inside pocket of my jacket from now on.  Not that anyone wants them or anything.