A Backpackful of Stories


A Backpackful of Stories

Despite having travelled considerably for the better part of my life, these experiences have never made it past scraps of paper bound together by twine, and then often lost in a stash of similar scraps of paper. Much as I love writing, I often felt myself suffering from the poor journaling syndromes mentioned by Dave Fox in his book, Globejotting - "The owners of these journals return home safe and sound, but their journals die a quiet and lonely death".

Right now, I have just begun an overseas internship at China Radio International Online (CRI Online)'s Travel Channel. I hope this two-month stint in Beijing will leave me with colorful stories to offer 😊 So here I am, determined to maintain a more efficient and consistent documentation of my experiences, and share them with fellow globetrotters!

Asia » China » Beijing June 10th 2010

It's lunch time! But I'm up in the office (which, if I haven't mentioned, is actually an apartment with office desks set up - not very conducive for working indeed but they're moving end June I think), being anti-social and lunching alone. Actually I have been getting takeaway most days this week, not really fond of the outside food and the hassle of eating (the whole works from deciding where to go and ordering and paying) in a large group. Also I feel like I need some alone time after yesterday, to do some "admin work" - administration of my life and conduct, that is. Ha. Also also, I wanted to continue my online chats, it's rare that so many friends are online and available at the same time. Also also also, I wanted to plan ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing June 2nd 2010

(When away from home,) I embrace unpredictability. I think all avid travelers do, or rather, to be an avid traveler you have to. And this midweek has been nothing short of that. On Monday, I planned to meet Elvis, Eewei and their friends for dinner at Xidan 西单 after work. They were traveling in China after the Sino/Singapore Exchange Programme and dropped by Beijing - for only one day, miserable dudes - and were returning home the next day. And dinner we did have, though not after Eewei and Eugene led us on a long merry-go-round to their proposed eatery (I thought guys were supposed to be better at directions), which ended up not very good anyway. It's a homegrown fast-food outlet facaded with a Bruce Lee logo. And because we got there so late, a ... read more
Tired but happy at 3AM
thoroughly drenched!
but glad and thankful to be alive!

Asia » China » Beijing June 2nd 2010

An email I sent back home today. I try to send emails every week to make up for my lack of presence on Skype - sometimes, it's really hard to bring myself in front of the computer at night after staring at it the entire day at work. Chinese for my parents, English for my brother. I sure hope this is not a sign of occupational hazard showing up, i.e. translating every single thing I get in touch with. --- Hello! How was your trip to Genting? And Kevin, how's field camp? Let me "report" about my past week at work. 让我来“汇报”一下上周做了些什么! Extremely happy to have attended 2 press conferences last Wed and Thu. One was for TripAdvisor and the other was a Slovenia/Croatia tourism promotion press conference. Got to interview hotshots like the ambassador and ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing May 30th 2010

Matt was right when he said that Beijing seemed like the kind of place where, the longer you stay, the more things you discover. Over the past few weeks I'd been surprised several times - not the "boo"-from-behind-sending-adrenaline-rushes-down-your-back kind of surprise, but rather the sort that gradually forms a smile on your face. (Or, it could very well be because of my personality that it's all shaping up this way, ha.) This really is a very diverse city (thus far most of my time has been spent in the city part of this city, which actually takes up only 8/18 of Beijing - 10 out of the 18 districts are in the 郊区, i.e. rural districts). This "diversity" (ohhh, diverse city! ha) I wouldn't quite define in the same terms as Singapore (multiracial, multi religion)... it's ... read more
The kids at Shangdi
With John and Mingyang
The Bridge Cafe

Asia » China » Beijing May 26th 2010

Into my second week of work, and I'm starting to get bored of engaging in my daily routine of translating travel-related articles and travelogues. It's still fun globetrotting online, but, well the more effortless any task is, the less interesting it can be. So after overcoming - somewhat - the challenge of english-chinese translation, I was raring for more to come. This whole works of getting bored has become part of the routine, too - it usually sets in after lunch and is accompanied by symptoms like drying eyes and restless fidgeting. Now before these words are (mis)taken to be a developing dislike for the job, let me clarify - in fact, I really do enjoy this job for the most part of it, and amongst the variety of holiday jobs I have undertaken, this is ... read more
Addressing the media
Posing for the media
Posing for the media

Asia » China » Tianjin May 22nd 2010

Today, I finally met up with my friends (and their friends) who have been doing a semester exchange in Beijing, and we went down south to... Tianjin 天津! Perhaps due to the dearth of fanfare in the way people's responses when I said I was going to Tianjin, it turned out to be more interesting than anticipated - and definitely something different from Beijing (maybe except for the fact that both are self-controlled municipalities, i.e. not belonging to any province in China). But my energy level was up really high, perhaps cos I haven't had much to say all week - still trying to get used conversationalizing in thick Beijing accent with my colleagues. That includes both understanding and responding to what they say, heh. In the late 1800s, China was attacked by what is known ... read more
Photo 4
Photo 5

Asia » China » Beijing » Great Wall of China May 18th 2010

After 10 power-packed days of trooping around Shanghai, Xi'an and Beijing, I bade my fantastic travel mates farewell (as they return to the States) and was ready and extremely excited to start work at CRI Online. On Sunday, Amy emailed me my first assignment - which entails spending a night at the Great Wall to cover a two-day programme held in conjunction with the 34th International Museum Day, which falls on May 18th. The lineup was put together by an committee of officials from the Great Wall Museum and included a conference centering on developments of the Wall and the museum. Invited guests included big-shots like Great Wall experts (all veterans 70 years of age and above, I dare guess), governors of the Yan Qing County (延庆县) and museum authorities. Although this would be my 4th ... read more
On our way down Badaling
"You're no man if you don't scale the Wall"
Jinshanling Great Wall

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