A church in Anhui

My parents never forced us to believe, and if they ever told us stories from the bible I don’t remember it. But we did have to go to church. No devotion was demanded of our minds, it was just our bodies that had to be there. We were all three baptized; my sister, brother and […]

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Tidal wave near the Wengjin Line

This was a pure coincidence but near Haining (海宁) we went to the riverside & saw people waiting. A shushu said the tide is coming in. Ten mins later we saw the Qiantang River colliding with the tide from the East China Sea. Sure there’s a metaphor for life in there somewhere. The 观潮-crowd: And […]

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The old Japanese fortress

Cycled to Tongli and stopped by the ruins of an old bunker/tower. Built by the Japanese during WW2 to have a good look at the rail- and waterway. Inside the bunkers, someone graffitied the words 肾 (kidney) and 根治 (cure) — I’m not sure why, not even sure if it’s metaphorical in meaning or anything […]

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The Great Wall of Shanghai

The Great Wall of Shanghai? Sort of. This is the Huating seawall (华亭海塘) in the Fengxian district of Shanghai. 3.9 kilometers of stones are left — built centuries ago to keep floods and Japanese pirates out. Actually, I’m not sure which stones are original. The history is fuzzy and long; different segments built by different […]

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Mountains & hikes near Shanghai

I have no ambitions to become a travel advisor or anything, but here I’m sharing some of my experiences of mountains (or mere hills) around Shanghai. Also the ones I heard about but did not go to yet. I’ve also added some 古道’s: Ancient (Merchant) Roads. These seem to become more & more popular in […]

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Gaoqiao, unintentionally the best-preserved area of Shanghai

We accidentally stumbled on what might be the area with the most preserved old buildings in Shanghai: Gaoqiao (高桥古镇), in the far north of Pudong. Gaoqiao is pretty unknown and has a pretty unimpressive Dianping page: just over 1000 reviews, and a really badly picked photo on the top. The buildings (perhaps a hundred of […]

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Words waiting to be spoken, in Zhelin

A shushu grabs my bag, tries to stop me: “Where are you from?” I’ve no idea where this is going, but I say I’m from the Netherlands, to which the man replies: “Oh, bordering Germany and Belgium. 40,000 square kilometers.” I admit to him that don’t even know that last part. (Later I google it: […]

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The path we would have never walked

We’re in Anshan Village (安山村), a two hours drive south of Shaoxing (绍兴) in Zhejiang. There’s an old walking path here (安山古道) here that’ll soon be flooded by the placement of a dam — so a colleague advised me to walk it, now there’s still the chance. Like all paths in China with the moniker […]

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Understanding China (or actually; how not to misunderstand it)

In 2017 I decided I wanted to move to China and I started to prepare myself, trying to understand the culture and market. I had nobody to really guide me, so I read books from several categories; Online media on how to do marketing in China. Most of these books were kinda nonsense that didn’t […]

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Dutch dikes along Asian waters

Sometimes, a person does great things abroad and makes history — all while remaining virtually unknown in her or his home country. I guess this happens to some vloggers or gamers now, but my best example would be Henk Sneevliet (马林), who in 1921 guided the formation of the Communist Party of China. Except for […]

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