Saturday, April 14, 2012


Right now I'm sitting outside a Starbucks like I often do.  The reason I come here is because 1) I work at this particular store so I don't usually pay for drinks, and 2) it is within walking distance of home.  I was at home cleaning out my room and the garage, looking for things to sell or donate.  The idea of minimizing what I own is very appealing; it's always been somewhat a romantic fascination of mine but something I've never done well with.  But...

Yesterday I sold one of my guitars.  Now I only have five guitars.  Upon exchanging the guitar for money with the guy I didn't feel anything like I've felt in the past when parting with possession I value.  This time I just felt a slight exhilaration knowing my physical presence here is that much smaller; I owned that much less shit.  One more thing I never have to think about.  I hope to repeat this feeling multiple times and to promote that I have put all but one of my guitars online, as well as a bunch of camera equipment.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

a peaceful reminder

This morning I woke up feeling incredibly rested.  I went to the bathroom and then walked back in my room with a calm presence over me, somewhat hyper-aware, admiring the way the carpet felt on my feet.  Kind of in a surreal state where random thoughts just pop in your head, like "I'm so thankful my feet and legs work."  I laughed to myself and looked at the clock to see what time it was.

It was fucking 2 a.m.  At this point I really started acting like a grandpa and I started chuckling.  Immediately I thought of the last time this sort of phenomenon occurred, I was alternating between staring at the ceiling and peeking out the blinds in a serviced apartment in Shanghai, the first night/morning after I arrived.  My travel partner was asleep but I was already seething with the desire to get out and explore this crazy new place, filthy with lights, filthy with people and filthy with general uncleanliness....

Friday, March 16, 2012

au revoir

Though this blog, in name and content, is mostly about my experiences getting to and being in China, the impetus for the blog was generally about leaving America.  It seems to be I am in the same state again, where getting out of this country or maybe just being somewhere totally new, has become a top priority in my life.

So exigent is this desire that at times I can't sit still and I feel a burn in my skin at the thought of being here, of feeling like I am doing nothing "beyond existing".  It sounds pretty dramatic.

I frequently miss China, though I try not to dwell on decisions I felt I had to make.  There is no way I could idealize China, but maybe a different lifestyle that it harbored for me.  Sometimes there was comfort in the constant chaos often mirroring my mental state but in the end too many situations all across the external and my internal world propelled me to leave in a frantic state.

Whatever, shit doesn't matter now.  Anyway, I am planning a looser trip to Southeast Asia with my adopted twin brother Andrew.  I will probably keep writing on this site due to the fact that I have started way too many other random blogs already and nihao-brian seems most suitable for travel.

The Cure is playing right now in this Starbucks.  I think of a gigantic unfamiliar world.  Can't wait to leave.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

tiny reflections

Here is an interesting article about a young man's time teaching in China:  It's funny how similar I feel to many of the things he said.

I feel some relief to see certain similar opinions, possibly making me feel like less of an asshole.  I also just finished reading a book titled The Chinese Mind, which my mother recommended.  Personally I didn't like the book and thought it was somewhat chaotically organized, repetitive and unnecessarily oversimplified...specifically concerning American culture compared to Chinese culture. This book did however, make me feel like I should try to be more understanding of certain Chinese behavior patterns.  And, I am still practicing and wanting to understand some things that don't make sense to me, though they seem fundamentally disgusting.  Clearly I've got more work to do....  And to be equally harsh, part of the reason I wanted to leave America in the first place was because I feel many attitudes and behaviors here are fundamentally disgusting.  I will work on becoming more and more open-minded and accepting.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the article on middlekingdomlife.  I try not to think too much about what has passed, but I sometimes find myself wishing I was more tolerant and accepting of my situation in China, and that some things beyond my control that influenced me had never occurred.  I am thankful for my experience in China and I would like to visit and hang out in China again, probably not under circumstances of employment though.

Monday, December 26, 2011

merry christmas

In America, today is the holiday that people tend to get together and give shit to each other; there is and a general feeling of warmth and goodwill between people.  I am currently listening to James Taylor and thinking about the calmness and the feelings this season used to mean to me.  But right now I'm alone and so far away from all my previous associations with Christmas.  None of this is because I'm in China--in fact, I'm no longer in China.