China | Nothing Beats the Shanghai Skyline

Shanghai had us by our first meal, which was a delectable 6-yuan bowl of noodles served to us in a garage, next to a car. We literally ate next to a car. Upon arrival, my feet were a frightening kind of swollen – the kind of engorgement that causes alarmed looks from passersby. After a fiasco searching for a room, we found a clean and modern hostel where we could recover from... Read More

China | The Greatness of the Wall

After yet another really terrible train ride, we rolled into Beijing before dawn and headed to the Russian district, where my friend Reed is nice enough to house the three of us. He took us to breakfast in his neighborhood and we gaped as he ordered in rapid Chinese that was comprehensible enough to get us soup and what can most easily be termed ‘oil sticks.’ Once he... Read More

China | Longmen Grottoes

Well, yesterday went so flawlessly that the next day couldn’t have possibly followed suit. Indeed, somewhere in between taking out train tickets and handing off train tickets, we were one ticket short. It was so bizarre – like it vanished into thin air. In this way, we lost our fourth travel partner, Luke, as we had to sent him off to Luoyang so he could see the Grottoes... Read More

China | Terracotta, Please

Oh, the train. Why did we choose to take this not-so-rapid beast for several days, when our only comfort was the brief upgrade to sleeper class and fried rape (which, turns out, is soggy veggie stems of some kind)? To see the views of course. While nice they were, this is China after all. The train to Golmud (Geermu) is crowded and long, without any mercy from the poorly padded... Read More