The broken place

I wanted to go to the old village of Hengmian (横沔古镇) in Shanghai Pudong, but couldn’t really find it. Still a nice walk along old buildings, gardening plots, highways, and power lines. These buildings will be gone in a decade, driven out by modernization. I think these places are infinitely more interesting than modern high-rises […]

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Christmas card

A Christmas card addressed to me has arrived at my parent’s home, to go into a box with other envelopes. My mom told me about that box. I’ve never seen it, but I can feel its existence, nine thousand kilometers away. One mourning card and two birth cards are in it too, like a parallel […]

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The Fellowship of the Ring review

Usually, when you read a genre-setting novel, it’s really cliché — such as Dune for sci-fi — because the books that followed all borrowed inspiration from its pages. And The Lord of the Rings does feel similar to other books (or games) I’ve spent time with, such as The Wheel of Time, or even World […]

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Crab shell yellow

So these sesame buns are called 蟹壳黄(Crab shell yellow), not because there’s any crab in it, but because it looks like a crab shell. Plenty of food to try in Xinchangzhen (新场镇), Shanghai Pudong.   The scene: English homework, made years ago (book shows it was published in 1996);

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Elimination in the office

Covid is ripping through China like wildfire. Many colleagues are at home with covid now, although luckily not too sick. Just a few of us left in the office now, the heating has already been turned off. Getting coffee downstairs:

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The first astronaut in space

Here’s a tiny story in Mandarin, about the first astronaut in space (第一个在宇宙中宇航员). From ‘The strange ticking sound‘, based on a scene mentioned in the 2011 movie Another Earth. More about learning Mandarin at GoEast here.

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Opening up

China is letting go of its zero-covid policy. A 24-year-old who works at a school in Suzhou shares: “For over two years the school has forbidden us to go anywhere except absolutely necessary places. Now they advice, not forbid, us to go anywhere. A long pause, and then a big smile: “So I’m going to […]

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All in a bike ride

If there’s ever a post-apocalyptic world, I think it’ll look like the outskirts of Shanghai’s Pudong district. On my ride, I see fishers, goats, highrises, and empty playgrounds. One access road to the river bank is barricaded, another is under construction. Buildings are rusting away or are slowly being taken back by nature. The area […]

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If only hugs and sunshine could be stored in boxes

Fearing potential lockdowns, some areas in Shanghai, as well as the US Embassy, instructed people to stock supplies for at least sixty days. The fear and stress are quite telling of Shanghai in 2022, and I wonder. I can get fruit and vegetables in a tin, but do I meet more with friends now because […]

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