China, pt. 5: Friends and Hospitality

Despite a lot of distaste for Chinese politics and the state of the environment, I have to point out that the people are very hospitable and friendly, even if sometimes it comes across as creepy to someone with a Western background. It’s not hard to make friends if you’re able to communicate at all, and Read more about China, pt. 5: Friends and Hospitality[…]

China, pt. 4: Good food, bad food, spicy food, dog food

In Nanchang, southern-style food is the most popular, meaning spicy and salty foods made with lots of chili oil and lajiao (spicy peppers). I cannot emphasize enough that nearly everything is made with oil. Fried foods are in no short supply, and even fresh veggies come swimming in oil. Prepare to have your butt melted Read more about China, pt. 4: Good food, bad food, spicy food, dog food[…]

China, pt. 3: Education and Environment

The sound of chanting voices would often float up into my flat through the living room window. Below, groups of students would be there, standing in circles, chanting the same words over and over again. Sometimes while walking on the street to class or out for lunch, students would be alone, walking back and forth, Read more about China, pt. 3: Education and Environment[…]

China, Pt. 2: Politics, Racism, and Being Gay

To understand anything about China, you have to know a little bit about its history. China occupies one of the longest continuously inhabited spaces on the planet, and currently has a population of nearly 1.4 billion. China was governed under dynastic systems until the turn of the 20th century, and it was only in 1949 Read more about China, Pt. 2: Politics, Racism, and Being Gay[…]

China, Pt. 1: Accommodations

**Disclaimer** If you love China and are easily angered by dissenting opinions, you may not want to read any further. You have been warned.  First, let me preface all of this by saying that an entire country is not defined by one city; neither is China mono-cultural, monolingual, or anything close to a cohesive unit, despite Read more about China, Pt. 1: Accommodations[…]

You can sleep when you’re dead (you wish)

Early in the morning on May 28, 2015, I woke up to get to Madrid Barajas airport for a terrible, ridiculous, no-good, very bad plane-hopping marathon.  Here’s just a little bit of background on the trouble I went through to figure this trip out:  Back in January, I found a super cheap ticket from Spain Read more about You can sleep when you’re dead (you wish)[…]