Talking Trash, Singing Songs, and Working Harder Than Us

MANY OF US, both local and international, go all out on Saturday nights. But who among us is hardcore enough to party on Sunday, in the daytime? That’s something these folks have been doing, almost as an established tradition, for years. OK, to be fair, they didn’t go all out the previous night. But many … More Talking Trash, Singing Songs, and Working Harder Than Us

Day 21: Young, Adventurous and (looking to be) Trendy

A China-based Japanese arranges with an Australia-based Southeast Asian to host a Hong Konger and his two Chinese comrades at a Korean restaurant. The waiters and waitresses are a mix of Chinese and Korean (but mostly Korean). The Japanese, Southeast Asian and Hong Konger are friends or acquaintances; but the Japanese and the Southeast Asian … More Day 21: Young, Adventurous and (looking to be) Trendy

Beijing Backpacking, Day 18: Art, Freedom vs. Identity?

YESTERDAY I EXPLORED how much music is a universal language in the bars of Guloudajie. As with music anywhere, music challenges my perceptions. But there is no perception about China that has challenged me so far as much as its art scene. I’m referring, of course, to Beijing’s fabled art district, known colloquially as ‘798’, … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 18: Art, Freedom vs. Identity?

Beijing Backpacking, Day 6: A Western Way of Delivering Local Food

ISN’T IT STRANGE how the moniker ‘fast food’ almost gives every element of the business model a mandatory association with McDonald’s? We were recommended to a local joint for a quick bite while we were in the southwestern fringe of the city and were told to expect some local cuisine served from China’s western regions. … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 6: A Western Way of Delivering Local Food

Beijing Backpacking, Day 4: When ‘Off The Beaten Track’ Is Actually The Middle Of Everything

BEING WITH A local is always one of the best experiences you’ll have as a traveller. It also allows you to stop thinking for a while and just go along with the flow, as regardless of where s/he takes you, you’ll at least perceive that you’re going somewhere truly locals-only. They could probably take you … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 4: When ‘Off The Beaten Track’ Is Actually The Middle Of Everything

Beijing Backpacking, Day 1: It’s The Allure, We’re The Oddity

Dare I say, at risk of sounding standoffish, that I have never truly ‘felt’ culture shock? I get so excited about travel that I don’t notice it. Ironically though, culture shock hit me on my first day here – ironically as it is the first time I had gone to a place I had studied … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 1: It’s The Allure, We’re The Oddity

How to live the national pastime when “the show must go on”

IT’S BEEN A rough week in the world news. Conflict, death, and violence in every corner. And amidst this, the turmoil forced a little bit of history to be made. While violence in Baltimore has virtually shut down the entire city, Major League Baseball almost never delays its season – in recent times only delaying it in … More How to live the national pastime when “the show must go on”