Strange Days

So I woke up this morning rather late for me. 7:15 am. I rolled around in bed for a while debating what I should do. The sun was shinning in my window. I reached over to my desk and grabbed “A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah. It’s a book that I picked up a while back and just didn’t begin.

Well I started on page one. Next thing I knew, it was 1:30 pm, the book was finished and I was in disbelief and amazement at what he went through. It is basically a biography of Ishmael’s life as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. He is about the same age as me and when I think that while I was hopping curbs on my BMX, he was strung out of cocaine and killing people, it makes my head hurt.

Also, tonight I was walking home from the park and happened upon a funny scene. A man who had obviously had too many beers was exiting a bar. He looked agitated. He grabbed a chair that was outside a restaurant, lifted it over his head and threw it into the window of he restaurant. Surprisingly the window didn’t break. Due to what I think was Chinese quality control deficiency, the CHAIR broke into about 50 pieces as it hit the window. An old lady of about 60 years of age came out and started to shove the man who looked to be about 40. I thought about intervening but what could I really do but get deported or something along those lines. Things settled and I left.

Urban Explorer

What happens when you have free time and google earth? You find cool, bizarre places that are near your house.

Enter Tiandu City. An entire city that was recently built entirely in a French Colonial style, complete with an Eiffel tower replica. I spent the day there today taking pictures and had a strange feeling. Here I was, in a town that was way out of the ordinary. Add to the fact that since it is very new, most of the building are empty. This leads to a lack of people milling about. It is effectively a ghost town.

Somedays I feel like I am in a movie. Walkng around with my iPod gives me the soundtrack, people all seem like extras. It is a little surreal to think that I have lived in China for nine months. I’ve been thinking about what I want to do next year. The more I think about it, the more I think that China is still going to be my residence. Just trying to decide on Shanghai or Hong Kong.


I had a dream once that I was sitting in Saskatoon and just decided on a whim to fly to Japan for the weekend. No notice to anyone. No hotels booked. Just went to the airport and got on a plane. Sometimes I feel like my time in China is much the same way. No real planning went on before hand. I just decided one day that I was heading to China. Bam, here I am.

With under 4 months left, I am sitting wondering “What next?” Only time will tell…

This post is for Lan in Cali. I am glad that I have helped you think about your little city in a new way. I might be in your area in June. We should try and find hot pot…

Bright Light City

Students at DD Dragon school take part in the halloween activity of bobbing for apples on Halloween. [Vance Lester for City and Countryside News]

So the city has just finished installing new red light cameras on the revamped street outside of my apartment. First off, the new road is now six lanes wide, turning to ten lanes at the intersections. The cameras have these massive flashes installed that I think pump out 150 ws @ 100asa at least. Since they are new, they go off about every ten minutes. Most drivers here don’t obey the lights. End of story. Add to this, there was a GIANT jumbo-tron installed OUTSIDE at the sports complex. The new light standards. The neon on every building. All of this equals that I am getting enough light to shoot at 125th/f2.8 @ 800asa. This city is bright.

Not much new. China is China. It is winter. It is 20’C still. It is raining. Boo.