China Day 51: 陕西, 华山
In a country as populous as China, finding open space to breathe and stretch one’s legs is a rare treat. When the air is smog-free and the view in all directions is nothing but misty mountains and sun-soaked clouds, there’s really nothing that could be said to adequately describe the experience of just standing over what seems like the edge of the world.
Beijing Day 22: 前门 and 王府井
1. Ate everything
2. Got stalked by a crazy man who slowly pedaled after us on his bike for half a block while repeating a salacious verse
3. Watched Alice step in poop
4. Wandered aimlessly around high end malls, soaking up the free air conditioning
5. Spent precious millimeters of personal space playing Dragon Fly on the subway at rush hour
Beijing Day 11: 森林公园
So my impression of China this visit has been unexpectantly positive. It’s been the result of not only living more or less on my own but also speaking to medical professionals and social workers about issues currently facing the country.
For once, I’m seeking my own facts on the state of a society about which I’d previously only been informed through hearsay and speculations and international media analysis. It’s a difference of consciously analyzing social infrastructure rather than passively experiencing.
On a semi-related note, I’ve found the more human interest stories I work on as a journalist, the more I’m truly convinced that my documentary adviser was right when he told my class “There’s no such thing as ‘bad guys.’”
There’s a lot to complain about in China but at least the people are complaining. And they’re taking social change into their own hands and thinking with open minds, or rather those who know better are trying to educate the rest.
Change is happening. It’s slow in the making but it’s inevitable.
Beijing Day Seven: 潘家园
1. Wandered around a flea market broken-hearted
2. Ate my feelings
3. A guy around my age or older called me “big sister” in an attempt to sell something. Should I kill myself?
Beijing Day Six
1. Conducted a second round of interviews with mental health patients at a community clinic
2. Wandered around a neighborhood slated for demolition within the next three years
3. Purchased and consumed miscellaneous street food
4. Attempted to fondle a variety of dogs, then remembered rabies has a 100 percent mortality rate
Beijing Day Five: 三里屯
So Beijing gives me a lot of hope for the future of China. Unlike Shanghai, which is mainly a city of crooks, Beijingers are civilized. There’s no public spitting, blatant littering or rampant pick-pocketing. People will apologize if they accidentally bump into you. Subway passengers will allow others to disembark prior to squeezing onto the train. So what if there’s so much pollution you can stare directly at the sun without feeling a thing? At least the elderly don’t encourage their grandbabies to poop in the street.
Nevertheless, northerners have a painfully stunted cuisine compared to that of Shanghai. Yet compared to the US there’s really no comparison at all, and frankly there’s just no way around the simple fact that life is pretty good right now.
Beijing Day One: 南锣鼓巷
1. Wandered around some historical back alley neighborhoods sipping watermelon juice
2. Watched Alice get run over by a bike
3. Located cats
4. Succumbed to jetlag
My name is Riley and I’m from Honolulu. Me and my girlfriend went to the same high school, but I go to school in Chicago and she goes to school in New York. We’ve been together 5 months total, but we’ve only spent 2 weeks together in person. It sucks horribly.
As if this wasn’t difficult enough, she’s interning in NYC. I’m spending most of my money to come up to NYC to visit her for a few days, it’s going to be the only time I get to see her until the winter.
The problem is that she’s staying in an all women’s dorm and I didn’t have enough money to book a hotel for the entire time I’m in New York… So we’re going to try sneak me into her dorm in a suitcase. Nobody believes that I can/will actually do this so I’d love it if you could take a picture of the attempt, at least to prove that it actually happened.
I can confirm the mission was successful, though the security guard did seem a little perplexed that a small girl was dragging a 150 lb suitcase through the lobby, six inches at a time.
Meghan White + bluegrass + bubbles
More macro of ugly fuchsia flowers, courtesy of my mother’s garden.
View in high-res please.