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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals

Siem Reap, Cambodia,

CAMBODIA | Wednesday, 30 Jul 2008 | Views [880]

I've stayed in Siem Reap longer than planned because I'm more comfortable than I thought.  But that's only because I'm not really seeing Cambodia.  I'm kind of scared of it.  Luckily, I've made a friend.  Brendan from Ireland has been my travel buddy ... Read more >


THAILAND | Saturday, 26 Jul 2008 | Views [864]

Because my Vietnamese visa doesn't allow me into the country until August 1 and because everyone says a week in Cambodia is more than enough, I have been chillin' in Bangkok for two weeks now.  By chillin' I mean doing almost nothing.   It's been amazing.... Read more >

Oh the people

THAILAND | Thursday, 24 Jul 2008 | Views [1431] | Comments [1]

There is this street in Bangkok called Khao San Road.  It's very famous.  In fact, when I told people about my coming to Thailand, to Bangkok, most often I was asked if I would be staying around Khao San Road.  In the movie "The Beach", Leonardo ... Read more >

If you want to have a sex change, go to Thailand

THAILAND | Wednesday, 23 Jul 2008 | Views [2449] | Comments [1]

I started an entry about a week ago that got lost in cyberspace.  Here I will try to recreate it, but I'm not sure it was have the same effect.  Mostly because the other was tinged with a heavy layer of first stage culture shock (which I was happily ... Read more >

Another arrival

CHINA | Tuesday, 15 Jul 2008 | Views [908]

Bangkok this time.  My flight was about four hours, so I tried to catch up on the sleep that I'd missed by "sleeping" in the airport the night before.  It worked alright. I arrived and bought a Thai sim card for my cell phone.  However, my ... Read more >

The last few hours

CHINA | Sunday, 13 Jul 2008 | Views [907]

I arrived in Shanghai this morning at 8:15 for my last 24-hours on Chinese soil. It feels appropriate. Like I've come full circle. I'm leaving the same port that I arrived in 17 days short of one year ago. Twenty-five days short of the Olympics.... Read more >

One week in (day 7)

CHINA | Friday, 11 Jul 2008 | Views [799]

Tonight, I had conflicted interests.  I spent the day wandering around a lovely restored part of town called Ping Jiang (Peace River) and the Couple's Garden (a classical Chinese garden).  It started to rain, so I planted myself in a coffee shop for ... Read more >

More musings...

CHINA | Wednesday, 9 Jul 2008 | Views [853]

In the U.S., I've often thought that employers try to stretch their employees too thin. Instead of being a cashier, one becomes a cashier/floor cleaner/shelf straightener/item getter/item putter away/problem solver/customer greeter. There is always ... Read more >

Nanjing (day 1)

CHINA | Saturday, 5 Jul 2008 | Views [1103] | Comments [1]

With the opportunity to write far sooner than I ever thought, I'm taking advantage. I arrived in the Southern Capital (that literally what the characters Nan Jing translate to) at 4am. I mentioned earlier that I managed to screw up my train ticket ... Read more >

Last night in my apartment

CHINA | Tuesday, 1 Jul 2008 | Views [878]

Today, my last day in my apartment, I woke up after noon.  I almost immediately started cleaning.   I picked up my carpets and swept.  I washed some dishes and started the process of cleaning out my fridge.  I threw away a lot of stuff.  I gave my left ... Read more >

Train tickets

CHINA | Monday, 30 Jun 2008 | Views [906]

The one thing I was sure I could do in Chinese was buy train tickets. I've done it countless times now (mostly in Chinese), and I've never once gotten the wrong ticket. Today, I attempted to purchase my third to last train ticket in China. I went ... Read more >

Russian food and more goodbyes

CHINA | Saturday, 28 Jun 2008 | Views [802]

Tonight was Mario's last night in Beijing. He flies out tomorrow for Los Angeles. We decided on Russian food and one last night in Sanlitun. So we ate stuffed cabbage and chicken kiev with huge beers, went to Nanjie for Y10 gin and tonics, and ... Read more >

My last date with Agent Cooper

CHINA | Friday, 27 Jun 2008 | Views [792]

Today, I finished that enigma of a TV series, Twin Peaks. Kara and I watched until our eyes nearly bled and learned the conclusion of my recent obsession. It satisfied in an eerie way. But the ending of the show wasn't as sad as knowing I don't ... Read more >

Errands...oh the errands

CHINA | Thursday, 26 Jun 2008 | Views [779]

Because I didn’t do anything in the way of moving out yesterday, I decided to devote today to those tasks. Last night, after dinner, I bought the “Sex and the City” movie and spent the entire night watching and re-watching it. ... Read more >

Twin Peaks

CHINA | Wednesday, 25 Jun 2008 | Views [807]

Today, I forwent doing all kinds of errands necessary for the moving out process in order to finish the cult classic. I went to Kara’s this morning around 11am, and we watched about six hours of “Twin Peaks”, but we still didn’t ... Read more >


CHINA | Tuesday, 24 Jun 2008 | Views [867]

Carlos is one of my best students.   His English is pretty good.   His concentration is awful.   His desire to pay attention in class is minimal.   But his creativity…is astounding for a Chinese student.   He often thinks of ... Read more >

Rainy day

CHINA | Monday, 23 Jun 2008 | Views [838]

Today I gave my first round of finals for the last time. I didn't have anything to do until 1pm, so I slept in and generally enjoyed my morning alone. I went a little early to get my stuff together, but students were already there. "We've ... Read more >

Goodbye parties

CHINA | Friday, 20 Jun 2008 | Views [697]

It began yesterday. Case invited a few friends for martinis at a pretty fancy bar in Beijing. It was his last Thursday in Beijing, and he wanted to take advantage of the two for one special. The goodbye lasted as long as four martinis, ... Read more >

Early mornings

CHINA | Thursday, 19 Jun 2008 | Views [716]

I’ve been sleeping with the doors and windows open to let in the breeze lately.   I don’t really want to buy more electricity credit before I leave, and my air conditioner doesn’t really work that well anyway.   So any sounds that ... Read more >

Hot pot

CHINA | Wednesday, 18 Jun 2008 | Views [780]

I was craving hot pot for some reason.   I hadn’t had it since I was in Sichuan, and I didn’t have anyone to eat dinner with.   So I went to the grocery store and searched out the thinly sliced bits of dead sheep and the seasonings.   I ... Read more >

Visas visas visas

CHINA | Tuesday, 17 Jun 2008 | Views [755]

Another trip to Cambodian embassy today.   This one was much more pleasant.   I went between my classes.   So I arrived a little early.   I sat on the curb waiting for the clock to strike two.   As soon as it happened, I waltzed into the visa ... Read more >

Singing out loud

CHINA | Monday, 16 Jun 2008 | Views [709]

My song presentations proved another thing about my students.   In addition to having really bad taste in music, they also can’t resist singing if they know the words.   Almost all of the songs were really, really old American or British ... Read more >

Visa schmisas

CHINA | Friday, 13 Jun 2008 | Views [793]

I went to the Cambodian Embassy today. And it was quite an adventure. One of my students helped me find the address online because I couldn’t figure out the Chinese after many, many hours of fighting with online “type in Chinese” programs. ... Read more >


CHINA | Thursday, 12 Jun 2008 | Views [678]

The lesson on “Imagine” in my text book led to an idea for my final quiz.   I ran it by Mario and Ilan to make sure I wasn’t insane.   With a confirmation that it didn’t seem to hard, I plunged into it, really excited about the idea.... Read more >


CHINA | Wednesday, 11 Jun 2008 | Views [889]

Mario is leaving soon, so he decided to go to a few more places in China before his visa expires.   We made plans to have dinner and watch a movie on his last official night living in Beijing.   But these plans didn’t work out because ... Read more >

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