Monthly Archives: September 2012

Inflatable Recreation: A Government Policy

Let’s do this: I’ll tell you what I saw outside my bedroom window this morning, and you tell me what facility you think my apartment overlooks. Ready? Here goes: a large blue plastic tarp (probably fifty feet long and twenty wide) divided up into three lanes by some kind of colored tape; three rows of large metal rings (ten in… (more…)

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By Comparison, Tianjin is. . .Well, Hard to Describe

Some of you may be wondering: what has made you approach Tianjin with such a “meh” perspective? By way of explaining this, and also adding some pictures to my blog, which is currently photographically barren, I would like to submit the following: This is a view of the village of Saints, where Marie’s parents live, an hour and a half… (more…)

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A Gallery of Absolutes

Contrary to the prevailing opinion of modern, post-modern, and whatever is post-that academics, there are absolutes. I know that term is becoming difficult to deal with, especially if you’ve spent any time considering the ramifications of the Higgs-Boson particle (“It exists! Er. . .well, it KIND of exists. That is, it’s in and out of existence so fast we can’t… (more…)

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Dueling Police Stories, Part Two: “When China Should Hate You, But Doesn’t”

Then there’s me. I had the same situation–I needed to get my residence permit–only I knew about it further in advance. Oh, there was still some hating going on, what with my university forgetting my visa paperwork entirely, prompting a series of frantic phone calls from me ten days before I was due to return to China, but I knew… (more…)

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Dueling Police Stories, Part One: “When China Hates You With the Burning Heat of a Thousand Suns”

There are days when China likes you, and there are days when China hates you, and there really isn’t any way to predict when one or the other will happen. It’s not like in a regular relationship, where a negative response typically follows some form of stupidity or inconsideration. Were the local police to refuse to issue my residence permit… (more…)

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Tianjin’s Annoying. . .and Also Awesome. Good to Be Back

It’s been quite some time since I posted anything here, so it’s entirely possible no one’s reading any more. That happens, and I don’t blame anyone. In my defense, my last month in China was spent defending a master’s thesis, trying to figure out the Byzantine complexities of the Nankai graduate program’s exit strategy, and preparing for a six-week trip… (more…)

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