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Friday, May 8, 2020

Remember China?




















Remember when I came back from China a year ago? I got on a flight and returned to America without a plan? I was working at the country's state media agency and did things like host livestreams and this report on the international horticultural expo? Remember that? I was on Chinese TV? Who knew?

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Day 15: All Questions, No Answers

A little patience, Teddy...no travel yet.

It's been two weeks of working from home. It's been two weeks of eating pasta and rationing my greens. It's been two weeks of watching the news and the stock market and wondering.

If nothing else, my closet and floors have never been cleaner.

This whole coronavirus thing has thrown everyone for a loop, and I'm thankful to be able to ride it out with a great roommate, a job I can work remotely, and a city that is no stranger to suffering.

The lack of any stress to do anything than exactly what I'm doing has been refreshing. Living in the present is the only choice, and I am here for it. Sure, I can go for a run, but other than that, this is it. Me. My desk. My bed. A tiny stuffed Teddy who has not started to respond to me. Yet.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Making Sense After China

About a year ago I was waiting in Paris to move to China, to take up a job in Beijing. The adventure was cut short, but my few months there did leave a mark on me. While there are things I miss, there are also plenty of things that I don't mind having left behind across the ocean.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019: From Beijing to Tahiti

The cookie crumbled.

So, 2019, that was…fun.

I haven’t really talked about where I’ve been since China out of fear of jinxing myself. After moving from Paris to Beijing in February, I left China in May on a one-way ticket, fleeing a job that ended up being a total bust. It was a bait-and-switch sort of job. I entered Beijing thinking I’d be a travel editor. I ended up editing mostly political propaganda. As a journalist, I couldn’t look myself in the mirror.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Beijing: Week 11 and Farewell

All good things come to an end, like this cyclist's ride, which ended a moment after when he fell off his bike drunkenly...
My final week was, by all accounts, lovely. I had committed to leaving China and, as such, dedicated my final days to enjoying Beijing as much as possible.

On Monday I was supposed to work at an event but was told I wasn't needed at the last minute, so I took some time to visit the Lama Temple, which had been on my list for weeks. It was an incense-filled visit to, what I think, is the city's prettiest temple with all of its Tibetan influence and its 85-foot tall statue of Maitreya, successor to the Buddha. The Portuguese president was in town for the event I was meant to cover and joined me (well, not really) at the temple for a visit. Check and check.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Beijing: Week 10

One of my favorite images I took in Beijing...
By now it's no secret that I'm out of China, but I still had a few days to enjoy Beijing before I peaced out to the U.S. The entire cultural aspect of living in this city never got old, and I made sure to immerse myself in it as much as possible.

I did one last epic walk past the lakes and through the hutongs, taking advantage of another seriously sunny day. I oriented myself towards the bell and drum towers, some landmarks that were cute enough to explore before doing some shopping at the super touristy Nanluoguxiang hutong. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Beijing: Week 9

The Bund at night...
Well, week 10 was not so much about Beijing as it was about Shanghai. I took a long weekend to explore my neighbor to the south, taking the train about 5 hours through some unremarkable landscapes, ultimately arriving at what would become one of my new favorite places.

For the record, Shanghai is amazing. Let's just start there.

Perhaps Beijing, in all of its cold, dirty, capital city drear, has lowered the bar for me, and my expectations for Shanghai were unfairly low. After three days, however, I was seduced. Maybe it was the post-colonial charm, the excitement of the skyline views from the Bund, or the food, or the cycling, or, more likely, all of it.