Monthly Archives: June 2013

Vipassana Mysteries: Honking

Now seems like the perfect time to write this. I got an early start (7:30ish) to avoid the heat and am already most of the way from Pak Bong to Nong Khiaw. I’m not sure how close I am, since … Continue reading

Posted in "Spirituality" | Tagged , | 8 Comments


The Chinese immigration building: kind of airport-esque, with shiny marble floors, metal detectors, desks and guard rails, passport scanners, staff with ironed clothes and nametags. Never before had I seen a machine that scanned my passport and printed out an … Continue reading

Posted in Laos, Southeast Asia | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

China Tries Various Strategies to Prevent Me from Leaving

A few days ago, I woke up on the concrete floor in the back room of the restaurant where I had had a late lunch. The owner had been kind enough to grant me permission to take a nap, and … Continue reading

Posted in Characters and Friends, China, The Road, Yunnan | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Everything looks awesome when it’s about to rain

It’s bipolar season in south Yunnan. Sometimes the skies are bright, the clouds are thin and sparse, and the sun cooks all of my mangoes so thoroughly that I have to eat them practically half-rotten. At other times, everything up … Continue reading

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F.U.S. Files: Riverside Landfill

I rode up and down the 350km of the Nujiang valley without seeing any significant trash-related infrastructure. In places where land is scarce and every inch has to be used for living space or agriculture, it appears that people have … Continue reading

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Yunnan Food, Part 3 of 3.

Nine months in China and I’m still not sick of the food. Here’s why: Just a few of these little dried peppers make even something as simple as this cabbage super-delicious. Every once in a while, when I’ve had a … Continue reading

Posted in China, The Food, Yunnan | Tagged | 3 Comments

A Glaring Omission

I included the following mural under my May Statistics post under the category of Most Kickass Street Art, or something like that. Then I forgot to translate it. Here it is again, crisp, visceral, moving, and true. Zhe bing bu … Continue reading

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You’re a Grand Old Flag

Do your best to squish the following into the appropriate melody: You’re a shabby old flag, you’re a tattered old flag, forever in one piece I pray you stay. You’re the emblem of some things I love like thrift, DIY, … Continue reading

Posted in "Spirituality", Characters and Friends | Tagged | 3 Comments

The Longest Week

Having made it as far north as I was legally permitted to go (and even a little further), I turned around and headed right back down the way I came. For 350km. Then for another 450. Less than an hour … Continue reading

Posted in China, The Road, Yunnan | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

May Statistics

I really dropped the ball on posting statistics over the last couple months! Whoops. Here’re all the numbers you’ve been praying I wouldn’t bother telling you about. The point of inflicting this list upon you is to demonstrate that a) … Continue reading

Posted in China, Costs, The Road, Yunnan | Tagged , , | 4 Comments