Page 2 of tye zai zhongguo Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu September 19th 2009

So about a week ago, a guy walked up to me on campus stone-cold out of no where and asked if I was a native English speaker. If so, was I interested in doing some private tutoring for some people he knew? I was dubious as to why a middle-man was necessary, but his quoted price was right, so I figured, no harm in exchanging phone numbers. A few days ago, he text messages me, alternately asking if I would be interested in teaching at a primary school on weekday afternoons and if I wanted to learn calligraphy from him for free. Confused but intrigued, I set a place and time to meet that night. Justin says he is a 30-year-old graduate student living on campus, and I have no reason to disbelieve him. He's short ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu September 15th 2009

(Currently listening to: Venetian Snares) As I sat down to type this, just before I conjured the first sentence, a knock on my door. I open it: "安全调查!“ "Safety Inspection"? Uh, okay. I was about to become disaffected at the intrusion of personal rights to privacy and space, but then I watched as a random guy walked past me into the room, glanced around with arbitrary obligation, bent down to check that both Ethernet ports were not broken and walked politely past me out of the room. Welcome to China. To me, this country's infrastructure and mentality seem to still be based on caring for the small jobs because they lay the foundation for big projects, the greater good. Which is great, but when everyone has so many small, odd jobs to care so much for, ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu September 6th 2009

Classes start tomorrow. Just got back from checking my schedule, and picking up a couple things at a campus supermarket. In one of my stranger collection of purchases ever, I just bought ping-pong paddles, mosquito repellent candles and a jar of sesame seed butter. Anyway, I wrote this last night. It'll be weird but informative for y'all back at home to read. 9/5/09 This past week is a smear of raw experience across the porousness of me. The absorbent parts of my brain spill over. Sensually, the things and ways I’ve felt, I’m incapable to translate into language. At a bar a short walk from campus, the bartender was excited to see me. I’m a foreigner, and I speak English. He had only been attempting English for a month, apparently using some tapes or books that ... read more

Asia August 30th 2009

Can't forget this. Oddly enough, these nonsensical, faux-English trendy shirts and tops, worn mostly by girls but also by sporty guys at times, has become perhaps the most engaging part of my arrival to Sichuan University. In a few days, there have been perhaps four dozen instances where I not only saw the shirt clearly enough, literally stopped in the middle of the street or sidewalk and immediately written it down in my pocket notebook. I now bring you the best of these, their novelty T's and my novelties. "Luxery Queen" -- "PARIS ROME NEW TORK OUTSIDE BACKSTAGE FILMS" -- "ZEBRA LIVE ON" -- "QIANFS" -- "Fashion Spring Summer Collection Rogue" --- "ERUNER ... feel different in ere style" -- "NO THE STYLE" -- "Enjoyment is my game" -- "D.S. Army a complete history" -- "DETROITE ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu August 30th 2009

It's funny. I've been in China 5 days. And although I'm still constantly being challenged by simple things such as buying a cell phone and operating a washing machine, already I'm forming routines and developing a lifestyle. I have favorite routes through campus and restaurants I'm already planning to visit again. New friends to make plans with. The track near my dormitory is great for morning runs, and the city streets conducive for evening walks. Somehow amid all the absolute and (previously) inconceivable experiences of the past few days, I'm settling down and living here. I guess that's the idea--when you have to rush from a late dinner at a restaurant that's literally a shack with a Portugese guy who ditched the meal right after the order because of sudden stomach problems, leaving you to sit ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu August 27th 2009

China-logue (notes from before, during and after my flight and arrival in Chengdu, China) 8/23 My last day in America today. How scary. I should be more scared than I am, or excited, or something. Or less tired, maybe. I wish I could’ve slept more this week. -- My last American swim for the year. That was an enjoyable swim. I enjoyed myself. 8/24/09 10:15 a.m., LAX Looking everywhere, I see/nothing but people Looking everywhere, but/I see, nothing but people -Blonde Redhead, "Dr. Strangeluv" I was unable to sleep at first last night, just up imagining scenarios of what my life might be like this fall—What will it be like to walk to class on that campus? Who will I met, and who will I talk to, and in what language? What does autumn feel like ... read more

North America » United States » Arizona » Phoenix August 18th 2009

As most of you know, I'll be studying Mandarin Chinese language and Chinese culture as a foreign exchange student this fall at Sichuan University in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. I leave this monday. I'll miss y'all, but I'll return with novel, re-conceptualized thoughts and states of being to further mystify y'all with. It'll be good. Trust me. I know. I won't be able to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, or my twenty-first birthday in America. But no worries: It doesn't concern me. Why let it concern you? It'll be cool. China's cool. Trust me. I've been asked a lot this month: "what's the one thing you still need to do before you leave?" I took care of that this morning--a fashionable haircut, of course. (see photos) But what I've also asked myself a lot is, "Why are you ... read more

North America » United States » Tennessee July 12th 2009

From the surprise trip to Jasper, TN for 4th of July//grandma's birthday, coordinated by Aunt Beth, Jessica, Brian & myself. The photos in their entirety can be viewed @ But, a few of the best here as a teaser--... read more
welcome to the South
a man, a horse
Looks good.  I'm down.

North America » United States » Arizona » Phoenix August 5th 2008

For that last Silk Road entry, I'd been writing those thoughts and experiences down on buses, hotel desks, night train windowsills, in a notebook as they happened to me, as they were fresh in my mind. As for the last few days of the trip, I knew they would be too busy for that, so I decided to go out and experience the pair of Chinese metropolis cities, Shanghai & Hong Kong, for what they were and worry about putting it into words later. Well, coming back home is making me face a lot of those "worry about it until later" sort of things--I'll be spending all day today looking for apartments, I still need to find transportation, a job and/or internship, get my textbooks, write a CHI294 essay... So I'll do the best I can ... read more

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Turpan August 4th 2008

Part 2: Silk Road PREVIOUS WEEK IN REVIEW… (listening to: King Tubby) Tuesday Our Final Exam format was revealed, and CHI 201 portfolio due. Not too stressed about the course any longer now that all major projects are turned in; Final looks manageable especially since it’s all I have to focus on. Had the most delicious BaoZi for breakfast this morning—shredded carrot w/egg & potato. Most surprising thing about Chinese cuisine this trip has been the often and exceptional use of eggs. Past few days have been such a blur that I don’t remember much more about them in retrospect. Our new art teacher, Dr. Beningson, arranged for us to visit an art exhibit called “Reason’s Clue” at Lin & Keng Gallery, and talk to two of the artists participating in the show. Zhang Hongtu, a ... read more

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