Life

Flashback to Christmas: Hark, the Harried Angels Scream

Written by Life

Posted from: Beijing

“So… how many people are coming?”

“Seventy.” Marta, looks up from the guest list and gives me her patented Czech pause. The pause, when Marta does it, means one of three things:

– “That was borderline idiocy.”

– “I have no idea,” and,

– “Hark, there be a shit storm on the horizon.”

D, all of the above. (more…)

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Grab Life by the Peanuts

Written by Life

Posted from: Beijing

“Penis,” said the Japanese business man, looking at his friends for confirmation of his English. They nodded supportively. “Penis.”

“Excuse me?”

“Penis? Penis?” They are hopeful and polite. (more…)

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Up the Peng Ke!

Written by Life

Months ago, on a mission to simultaneously party with Zakhar, introduce Eric to something other than the mainstream, and cleanse Marta’s sweet soul of Celine Dion’s foul taint, I dragged my friends out in full metal regalia to a Beijing punk rock show. At least that’s what was on the flier. “Up the pung kuh suh!” it said. “Pogo Qi Lai!” (more…)

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The Noodle Soup Stand

Written by Life

Posted from: Beijing

This Imperial Palace, said an internet guide to Chinese tourism, was built in 1772 during the heyday of the Qing Dynasty and destroyed by war disasters in the 19th century. Upon which grounds, Emmanuel Goldstein and I discovered on arrival, a commemorative landfill has been built in homage to kingdoms and conquerors past. (more…)

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Life, The Universe, and Introspection

Written by Life

Posted in: Beijing, China

It turns out that it takes a sort of vigilance not to go dull with solitude. I’ve made the observation on several occasions that speech, wit and elocution – all the externals of human interaction – are like muscles. They go flaccid in disuse. I used to think it was romantic.

So it goes. (more…)

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University Ranked #1 in Food Safety

Written by Life

Posted from: Beijing, China

“B?” Diana said. “I dunno, you sure you wanna eat here?” We were standing outside of an Indian restaurant over on Fairfax Ave staring at the health department sanitary-rating sign in the window. “You wanna gag on a hair halfway through your curry?” (more…)

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The Language Partner

Written by Life

I’m good at saying no. Some people have a really hard time with it. They don’t want to offend anyone, or they just find themselves complying before they really considered what ‘And just write your phone number in there at the bottom’ might mean. Not me, man. My No is many things. It can be soft and gentle like a Downey dryer sheet, it can be some dude with no muffler running the engine under your window at 3AM, it can be one tailored, professional sunnofabitch. (more…)

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Bicycle Derby

Written by Life

Posted from: Beijing, China

My goal for the day was not to die.

I didn’t wake up with extreme sports on the brain. When I yawned and stretched at the God-awful hour imposed by the time difference, my first thoughts were not on how effectively I could off myself before sundown. I did have a pile of stuff to do, though, and had to do them faster than my feet could carry me and slower than a cab driver’s slurred Chinese. You see where this is going. I rented a bike. (more…)

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