Harmoniously together

The new home. 同和, two characters meaning ‘harmoniously together’. It’s the international compound next to Fudan University, even though there are barely international students now. It’s also near GoEast Mandarin and surrounded by dozens of cheap restaurants that are rather hit or miss. I love this part of Yangpu, it’s like a small village surrounded […]

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Being poor is a cycle

Kids from rich parents spend their weekends doing extra classes, like maths and English and public speaking, while kids from poorer parents spend their weekends watching videos in the store or restaurant while their parents work. All-day. It’s the same all over the world. Poor people spend more time behind the television, less time with […]

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The desire path

I have this recurring daydream, usually when I’m doing low-focus work like Photoshopping, or like now — sitting in the high-speed way train from Shanghai to Suzhou. It’s this moment from my high school. We need to run three kilometers or some distance like that. Too far to sprint, but close enough to just sort […]

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Assembling airplanes

From my childhood, I strongly recall the strange but pleasant smell of our sofa, the engine sound of my mom’s of Citroën AX, and the songs on the radio such as Steve Miller’s ‘The Joker’ and Henk Westbroek’s ‘Zelfs je naam is mooi’. And when I go back to that time, the worries of today […]

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On idioms

I never realized how important idioms, proverbs, and expressions are to language. I never had to. Not only did I always live in a Western culture, also English and Dutch are pretty close to each other. So close in fact, that we often just translate idioms (Rubbing salt in a wound / Zout in wond […]

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The Plot Against America review

There’s so much in this book. First, it feels so incredibly real because it’s reworked on existing history. I want to look up the events on Wikipedia, even though many never happened. Roth weaves his own coming of age into the story, and the characters feel so incredibly real. Each character unique — brought alive […]

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The White Book Review

The relationship between the author and reader is a bit of that of a parent and a child, a teacher and student, a falconer and a falcon. Make it too easy, plain, pedantic — and the reader switches off. Make it too difficult or abstract, and the same happens. It’s on the middle ground that […]

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Is posting memes on Facebook marketing?

Marketing theory comes down to how you think marketing works. Imagine 全家FamilyMart would open up a 5-star restaurant in downtown Shanghai. Candles on the table, waiters suited up, silver cutlery. And FamilyMart would serve their microwave meals, touting their high-quality taste. It’d be fun, they’d invite 网红wanghong to magazines, and they’d get some serious PR. […]

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One year later

A year ago, Shanghai was on lockdown. Everything closed except a few supermarkets with empty shelves. The humid cold seeped into our bones, along with the fear of the unknown virus. All the stories are surfacing now. A friend who lived in the Yangpu district had the first corona case in Yangpu reported in their […]

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