Travel

Hong Kong: Where the Money Meets the Road

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Posted from: Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a never-ending commercial paradise of pristine luxury goods, tiny cakes, delicate food and refined, respectful manners. No one shoves their way onto a packed subway car, smokes in enclosed spaces, spits gobules of phlegm in your general direction, breathes in your face, bothers you while you’re reading, screams in restaurants, or pokes you just to see what will happen.

“This city is lame,” I said to Charlie, as yet another person politely waited their turn for the escalator. (more…)

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Ruminations on Chinese Noms

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Posted from: Beijing

The staff of Seven Treasures Pond, our local Buddhist vegetarian restaurant, greeted us with such enthusiasm us that Kyle was sure they were secretly cannibals. “No one’s that happy to see you unless they plan to cook and eat your bubbling flesh,” he insisted, sniffing the appetizers. They fattened us up on a ginormous, boiled-at-the-table bowl of watercress, fake meatball, jujube and five spice soup. If this is Buddhism, I thought with a face full of lotus root, then namo-freakin-amituofo. (more…)

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Last Rites in Columbia, First Rites and Guanxi in Beijing

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Posted from: Beijing

In my final days in South Carolina, faced with an empty house and no internet, I actually bought a jigsaw puzzle. The analog kind, with actual pieces you can actually lose. And on our very last night, myself and a nameless collective of miscreants wrote a note about the origins of Blue Stalin on a paper plate  – the last plant-based writing surface we hadn’t packed yet – stuffed it inside his hollow, hollow head, and left him in a bed of leaves in an undisclosed location.

I had forgotten how much of travel is waiting. The good traveler knows how to make waiting bearable. Waiting for the dryer to finish the last load of laundry so you can finish packing. For the shuttle to come. For the plane to take off, and immediately thereafter, for the plane to land. For the jetlag to wear off, for it to be early enough to fall asleep or late enough to get out of bed. But the waiting’s over. We’re in Beijing, finally, finally. (more…)

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The Road Back to Beijing

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South Carolina

I remember the first time I landed in China. Almost 10 years ago now, I stepped off the plane in Changchun airport to the sounds of construction and the mewling of oxcarts. “Dude,” I thought, “oxcarts”. You know nothing, Jon Snow. (more…)

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NC in Pictures: A Gamers D&D Weekend in Highlands, North Carolina

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Highlands, North Carolina

A nerdy D&D / Magic: the Gathering weekend at the Dial family cabin. (more…)

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Puerto Rico in Pictures: from the beach to Old San Juan

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Puerto Rico, USA

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Raleigh in Pictures: Terrifying Animal Portraits from the Museum of Natural Sciences

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Raleigh, North Carolina

Animals are the worst. (more…)

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Paris in Pictures: Magic, Notre Dame and Bastille Day

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Paris, France

Bekka, Gregg, Kyle and I seeing some friends around Bastille Day (more…)

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London in Pictures: we miss you, Ian Sherman

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London, England

In England for Ian’s wake. (more…)

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Vietnam: Mui Ne Beach

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Posted from: Mui Ne Beach, Vietnam

The miniature tropical garden that spreads out before the porch of our honeymoon bungalow is infested with beetles. Big, skittering scarabs wait until sundown to rustle and clack out of the half-grown palm leaves in one-bug hordes. They collide in mid-air, bearing each other to the ground with the wight of their brief copulation. (more…)

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