Repetitive motion

Beijing is perpetually under construction. This isn’t some sort of grand metaphor or anything like that. Spend enough time here and you’ll be able to distinguish the make and model of a drill within three floors of it being used. It’s so prevalent that it took six years of constant noise before neighbors realized that…

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Taste test: Oreos vs Faux-reos

Speaking of Instagram (how’s that for a day-delayed segue?), I recently posted a photo from the market on my street that people had a lot to say about. Living in China, you get used to the things you buy being almost like the real thing. Back in 2005, my prized possession was a pair of…

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Sorry words, I’ve been cheating on you

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I’ve written the next great American novel via Instagram. I realized recently that I’ve been completely remiss in posting to the site and tried to get to the root of the cause. It turns out that I haven’t bothered writing here since I installed Instagram on…

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When Beijing hands you lemons

By now it’s basically made the news everywhere that Beijing is in the midst of an “airpocalypse” of epic proportions. This past Saturday night the US Embassy air quality monitoring station spat out a terrifying AQI reading of 755. Considering the “acceptable” level is less than 100, and the advisory scale maxes out its severest…

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Other People

I’ve touched before on the fact that Beijing is chock full of people. Teeming with people, people everywhere, pretty much a nightmare for anyone with an acute fear of a zombie epidemic. Even though I’ve now lived in Beijing a combined 4.5 years (in two different stretches), because this is so different from how I…

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Taxi cab confessions

Conversations with taxi drivers generally follow the same formula. I could probably record my side of the conversation a la Ferris Bueller’s doorbell routine and save myself quite a bit of talking time. Yesterday, however, my cab conversation took a turn for the delightfully quirky. It started raining sideways basically the moment I stepped out…

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