13 May 2014

I left Yangshuo on an evening like a furnace, dripping with humidity and sweltering with light. I left in a flurry of teary smiles and sweaty hugs, feeling some of my heart stay behind. It lingered in the view from my sixth-storey window, built itself into the walls of...

10 May 2014

The heat has come to Yangshuo. It is thick and steaming and heavy, like a blanket whose down was spun from dew. It rains in rushes and hushes, little outbursts of liquid applause rippling through the theater of the sky, thunderhead climax and cloudscape denouement shot...

26 Apr 2014

Every single thing in Yangshuo weeps. Water drips steadily from every ornate lamppost, each rooftop, each windowsill and tree branch, spreading lazily through the glistening streets on a slow, liquescent quest to join forces with the puddles, the streams and the creeks...

22 Apr 2014

Landing in Guilin was like descending through an aeronautic obstacle course of karst mountain and cloud, storm-filtered sunlight painting the rice paddies a thousand shades of silver. The tear ducts began mustering armies. When my bus crossed into the countryside on th...

21 Apr 2014

Sometime between the fourth and fifth day, I finally fell in love with Shanghai — the ruckus and the uproar; the staring, spitting locals; the bizarre and piquant smells. Now it's time to leave. In the morning I will begin a lengthy and bewildering journey to Yangshuo....

20 Apr 2014

Until today, Nanjing Road has been my least favorite district in the city. It's a broad pedestrian shopping avenue teeming with hustlers and touts: "Hi lady! You want bag? You want watch?" There is never a moment's peace on Nanjing Road. 

This morning I decide to brav...

19 Apr 2014

I have thus far managed to locate only one cafe on my street with an English menu. There, one might order the following dishes, among other unappetizing curiosities:  


  • "A whole thing" (10 yuan) 

  • "80s mashed potatoes"

  • "Sauce pepper steamed stinking meat"

  • ...

18 Apr 2014

I. A pedestrian never has the right of way. Nevermind the crosswalks and do not trust the little green man on the traffic light. The appropriate procedure is to wait until no one is coming and then run for your life, whether the little man is red or green. 

II. Mopeds...

17 Apr 2014

Shanghai sprawls like a sleepy lounge singer under silky robes of motionless fog, making the city look like an antique Chinese watercolor painted two thousand years late. Pudong Airport was an hour’s drive from the city center, but the endless march of skyscrapers bega...

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