When one lives overseas, one expects problems, especially with the big things like visas, banking, taxes, insurance. You know, the Big, Important Shit that makes life annoying even when one isn’t overseas. And they are. The horror stories about opening bank accounts in China are endless. However, because problems are expected, nobody’s particularly surprised when informed about… Continue reading 014 Do You Want Congee With That?
When last we left off, I was two hours into my quest to pay my electric bill. Yes, I know, it sounds ridiculous, but it really is this difficult to get shit done in China. The biggest stumbling block in my way was Alipay, because the person who had my phone number previously, had bound that… Continue reading 013 Sometimes You Just Can’t Win
Everything in China is complicated. Even simple things. For instance, for the entire first half of March, internet access was… variable. You see, China’s two big important political bodies, the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, both had their Big Meetings earlier this month. This meant that VPNs around China went… Continue reading 012 It’s Only US$4.50, Please Just Take My Money
When I visited Italy for the first time in 2012, I planned my trip around three cities in northern Italy: Venice, Florence, and Milan, because I only had 10 days to see everything I wanted to see. While in Florence, I had the option of making a day trip out to the Tuscan countryside, and… Continue reading 011 Siena: A Taste of Tuscany
Apologies for the long hiatus, but you see, I made a terrible mistake: I moved to China exactly one week before Chinese New Year. The Logistics of Chinese New Year in Shenzhen Chinese New Year is like Christmas on crack. In most Western countries the last two weeks of the year are basically a wash.… Continue reading 010 Why Moving During Chinese New Year is a Bad Idea
The First Wrong Imagine you are about to make a major international move, and are on T-minus one day before The Flight. You are about to move out of your current apartment (which you have to do by noon), run errands and drive up to San Francisco before rush hour traffic hits, because you have to… Continue reading 009 Two Wrongs, and One Massive Right
This past Friday, I went to San Francisco to turn in my application for my China visa. On the drive home, I listened to a podcast where Rob Scott talked about how people view the world through invisible lenses. The analogy he made is that these lenses are like the pieces of glass in a pair… Continue reading 008 The Many Lenses of Travel