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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals

Trip: Year in China

There are [154] stories from my trip: Year in China

Last night in my apartment

CHINA | Tuesday, 1 Jul 2008 | Views [914]

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 [937]

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 [834]

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 [837]

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 [814]

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 [844]

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 [910]

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 [884]

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 [729]

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 [752]

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 [815]

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 [787]

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 [743]

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 [835]

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 [715]

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 [925]

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 >


CHINA | Tuesday, 10 Jun 2008 | Views [671]

I had a completely boring day.   Class.   We were doing the activities in the book.   For some reason, the last activity was basically explicating “Imagine” by John Lennon.   Chinese people LOVE The Beatles, so I figured they’d enjoy this assignment.... Read more >

Bei Hai Park

CHINA | Monday, 9 Jun 2008 | Views [1031]

One of the last things I still hadn’t done in Beijing but desperately wanted to do was Bei Hai Gong Yuan (North Lake Park). I was waiting for pleasant weather, and accompaniment (it’s hard to get motivated to see touristy things without someone ... Read more >

Tags: bei hai park

Dragon Boat Festival

CHINA | Sunday, 8 Jun 2008 | Views [722]

No class tomorrow in celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival.  Several different articles on wikipedia yielded no real understanding of why this is celebrated.  However, a day of rest is always appreciated.  The actual festival is today.  In its ultimate ... Read more >

Tags: dragon boat festival

Beijing Film Festival

CHINA | Saturday, 7 Jun 2008 | Views [1165]

Tonight, Mario, Bo, my couch surfer, Frank, and I went to the Beijing Film Festival.  It was much antipated.  It was also interesting that such an event presented itself in a city like Beijing in a country like China.  Most of the films were foreign ... Read more >

And so it begins...

CHINA | Thursday, 5 Jun 2008 | Views [663] | Comments [1]

A morning of packing, drinking coffee, and saying goodbye to one of the best friends I've found in China has me looking leaving straight in the face.  I have less than a month left before I will no longer have to deal with the subway at rush hour.  ... Read more >


CHINA | Thursday, 5 Jun 2008 | Views [745]

I met her in Dalian.  She had just moved to China.  A 20-year-old with the bright eyes of someone who'd just finished her first year of college.  Incredibly enthusiastic about teaching.  A lover of children.   We became friends instantly.  Many conversations ... Read more >

Three extra bodies

CHINA | Tuesday, 3 Jun 2008 | Views [654]

Tonight.  Three extra people will call my apartment home.  It's entirely circumstantial.  Let me explain.  I agreed to have a couch surfer.  Kari came to Beijing to say goodbye.  One of her friends from high school came to Beijing to see her and say ... Read more >

Summer fever

CHINA | Monday, 2 Jun 2008 | Views [524]

My students are driving me insane right now.  Only a couple of weeks left before finals, and they are definitely ready for summer.  As am I, compounding the situation.  I still can't figure out why, after 10 months of working with them, they can't shut ... Read more >

Iron Man

CHINA | Saturday, 31 May 2008 | Views [543]

I'd never been to a proper movie in China.  It costs three times as much as a DVD off the street.  The movies don't come out until months after they've been released in the States (often after you can buy it on DVD).  There's a pretty good chance they've ... Read more >

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