i had a little boat

I was adrift awaiting the kind of enlightenment that comes from a temporary immersion in another place I dodged traffic learnt to read a few more characters and wondered if I could fit in somehow in a place like this. »

the new year

Somewhere in between the apartments full of people watching the CCTV new year’s eve broadcast, it all starts – explosions echoing through the streets all night, coloured flashes reflecting off apartment buildings. Two days later, exactly as I noticed the silence and suggested to my wife that maybe they’d already run out of firecrackers, one exploded in an alley nearby. The streets are a pulpy mass of discarded red casings and canisters – 15 tonnes of rubbish in one area, according to the news. »

beijing (北京)

In this town…: You can actually walk on many of the pavements (strangely, they’re not all used for bike storage and outdoor shops like in other cities I’ve been to). You can get an “automatic guide” for the Forbidden City in Esperanto (so the sign suggests). Pizza Hut appears to be some odd, TGIF-style “family restaurant” that sells all sorts of western food, not just pizza. The taxi drivers are very polite and very helpful (suggesting good places to eat as you kill time on the expressway coming into town from the airport, finding the number for and ringing up the China Aviation Museum 40 miles out of town to find out how to get there). »

next time

it’s not time, yet but a sudden lethargy overtook me yesterday evening as i started to think about the passing of time and what i should be doing with it all i have to do at the moment is what i’m told but after a week of it i’m feeling a little overcome. »

nanjing (南京)

i’m in a dingy net cafe at the end of the street. piles of cigarettes on the floor around a couple of chairs (since cleaned up, I must add), grimy desks and a bunch of kids playing games while the two of us type. a few security cameras sit across the room, near the ceiling, with the power supplies hanging in the air. bandwidth out of this cafe (or this country? »