Posts tagged text.
For those of you that don’t know, I’m on a cross country trek in China with my family. We’ve gone from Beijing to Urumqi, and honestly, it’s been an adventure of a life time, and so eye opening. I’ve been on a 33 hour train ride and got to see and interact with so many different cultures. It’s been incredible. Stories and pictures forthcoming, hopefully.
Three best anecdotes of the day: : Me: Dad, you never call mom by her actual name. It’s always 亲爱的(roughly translates to “dearest” or “most beloved” or like, “bæ”). Dad: Well, I call her Sarah sometimes. Me: Sometimes she doesn’t respond to that. Dad: But it means princess. 女婿 standards, set. : Me: Oh wow, look. They have that stuff that grows in front of houses here that you mow, like…it’s green carpet, and…it’s a nice green carpet. Shumei: You mean grass. You need English. It’s a nice lawn. Would you like some ice. : Man walks by with a shirt that says “Good good study, day day up.” Five minutes later, I finally realize it’s not just a nonsensical English shirt, it’s the direct, word for word translation of Mao’s famous “好好学习，天天向上” which means, “Study well, improve daily”. I have never wanted a shirt more in my life.
- A: Just pretend you're lesbian for a second and describe her body.
- Me: ...I don't know how to say tittays in chinese.
- A: Well, you're useless.
sometimes i read through old text posts and i wish i could reach back in time and slap myself.
Yo, a shout out to all the boys out there who are fucking beautiful when you wake up and speak a little incoherently in your second/third language like goddamn son, your momma did good, goddamn I’ve never seen white sheets look so good.
I cut myself last night in a drugged up stupor. I need someone to protect me from myself.
So today we went rafting and this was the guy rowing my boat. So this edit was made.
He does Harvard heavyweight crew and was so happy to be in the water again after not rowing for the summer. He’s from Florida and it started raining while we were there.
i was in
all i wanted to do
was hold your
I’m sorry for all the text posts, but I think it’s time for a brief thoughspew, for both myself and for all of you.
China is a radically different place, even in a big city like Beijing. To be honest, I thought every single big city was the same, and in a way, it is. The bustle, the hustle, the people, and the dirt. It’s beautiful and glorious and in a way, the only place I’ll ever be happy. But Beijing in so different from any other place in America solely because there are people here living in cycles and conditions that break my heart.
The dating culture here is one of the saddest things I’ve ever witnessed. I went out exploring a bit on my own yesterday, and it was a bit of a doozy realizing I was basically the only person alone in this big shopping mall because all the girls had their boyfriends along or shopping with their girlfriends. The girls here also are a different story. Made up like dolls, skin and bones, each of them, make up to kill, and shoes that make them tower. They hold on to their boyfriends for dear life, and the boyfriends, poor fools, are utterly uninterested and uninteresting, and completely enamoured with their phones, looking at their girl only to pull out a wallet. I wasn’t sure what bothered me about the couples at first until I saw a couple that clearly did not fit in. In comparison, they were frumpy, and not as glitzy and glamourous, but the difference was that they were actually interacting. They were actually talking and laughing, not a phone in site, no shopping bags. Just chatting about what to make for dinner and whining a bit about how tiring their days were. But this is one couple, one couple that I saw out of hundreds. And that made me sad.
The other thing is the destructive cycle of poverty that exists in the city, as it does in most cities, but in Beijing, it is most pronounced as you see the lush life with thousand dollar items being bought on the cas, and a beggar with no arms or legs, with a little kid running around them dirty as the street, without really any hope of getting an education. That’s normal to see, that’s something that I’ll always see on the streets, and it really rips my heart open. Because education and mobility is the answer to poverty, but there’s nothing really in place to make sure either happen. Sometimes humanity rips me open.
Exploring the city alone in fun, but to be quite honest, I’ve loved going to different places with A. Because in Beijing, foreigners are a sight to see. Especially the dark. well built ones. I can’t really explain the phenomenon of girls asking to take a picture with him. It’s almost like walking around with a small time celebrity.
- R: I was talking to this Aussie and he said that the three things one has to see are 1) his lover naked 2) the Great Wall and 3) the David. Together we've done all three.
- Me: I need to go to Florence and you need to come to China so we can go three for three. What did he consider those three?
- R: Things to take your breath away.
Let me tell you something. It’s not some fucking walk in the park. I think I sweated like 2L of water and my lungs felt like they were going to explode. But goddamn the view was amazing.
I think that if you fall in love with someone, you take them to a place like that and see if they appreciate and feel the awesomeness of the world, because it really tells you a lot about a person, if they can still fall in love with beautiful things after some tedious hard ass work.
Of course, for some people it was a piece of cake, but then again they work out on the daily. #built.
Beijing’s nightlife is also great. But now I’m so dead and tomorrow morning, I’m going to wake up feeling like I got hit by a Mack truck.
You all have no idea how hard it is to express oneself in a different language when wanting to use English colloquialisms and ONLY using another language.
A and I are at this summer program where we can only speak in Chinese, and it goes something like
Me: That female dog really wants some water.
A: Wait….bitches be cray, the thirst is real OH. HAHAHAHAHAHA.
Me: He’s like…okay, so you have a plant, and you have the leaves and the flowers and the roots. I’m talking about the verb version of the tall long straight thing that isn’t any of what I just mentioned.
A: The…the….stalking gotcha! Damn, we need to actually be pretty good at English to do all this.
A: This weekend we’re about to get…when you go the the bathroom and you’re there for a really long time/face.
Me: Hold up…shitfaced YES I AGREE.
A: So I was talking to this girl this other day, and she was kind of cute.
Me: Is she a stupid garden tool?
A: ….stupid hoe OH. Um…I don’t know if she was interested.
Me: She wants the…
A: D. We’re getting good at this.
And so on and so forth.
I’m in Beijing.
I’ll be here for the next three months. It’s kind of crazy and surreal, because it’s the first place I’ve been that’s really home for me, but in a way completely foreign. It also happens to be the first place I’m at that actually doesn’t feel like Americana or another big city. This city is a creature all of its own, it has its own identity and it’s not giving that up at all.
I have to say, the 18 hour flight was brutal. I still love flying, and I still love airports and things like that, but really being in an enclosed space like that was just annoying, and getting off the plane and not being able to shower was just disgruntling. Truthfully, I was freaking out a bit about the not being able to shower thing, it was stressing me out unnecessarily. And when I finally did, it was cold as balls.
I’m sitting in an internet cafe. it’s a cute little place and hallelujah for Harvard VPN; I can still access Facebook and Tumblr and all that jazz. But it’s an internet cafe that’s probably struggling a little bit. The vibe is certainly different from all the rest of the city that I’ve been in. Everything is clean, nothing is rushed, the service is very polite, and you can tell it’s trying to usher in a new age of cafes and lounges in Beijing. but it’s a little ridiculous, I just paid so much for a simple drink (drinks? YASSSSS LOW LEGAL DRINKING AGE) but for the WiFi? Worth it. It’s the generation gap happening. I can feel it so strongly, and it’s a funny little thing to observe here in the big city.
There’s nothing like a new place to make you get used to stretching your wings out. I’m dead tired, there was a layer of dust on every thing back home, but it’s mostly cleared out, and I’m beat from exploring the city. Where I live feels like a dirty bazaar, it’s very New York meets flea market meets Taste of Chicago, all day, every day. There’s so much going on all the time, and so much to see. But you’re very alone in a big city, and I think there’s a bit of an explorer in everyone. It’s terrifying though, I feel really, really alone and it’s silly, but without internet at home, it’s a total disconnect from everyone I know. A bit scary.
The people here a bit rude, but it’s all a part of the culture, and really something to get used to. The campus is beautiful. It’s just massive and extends and extends, and all the mixed couples make me happy. People write their numbers on trees though, it’s a little weird.
I also kind of feel like I’m never going to be hydrated enough, because I’m scared to drink the tap water, so I just keep buying bottle water and not drinking enough of it.
Cleaning out your childhood home really teaches you so much, and i think the one thing that I took home from today that I really, really loved was just that I know my parents are the man and woman they are, and see them work together, and interact together, and stuff like that, and they really get along well, it’s a well worn relationship that fits the both of them. And it’s really cool knowing the people they are now. But as I was flipping through photo albums, I realized that I was looking at two almost completely different people. These two young people in the pictures were the people that they had fallen in love with, who inevitably changed over time, but they changed together, and what’s more is that they stayed in love with each other. I just loved the pictures because you could see the love, you could see the way that they were captured were through the eyes of someone who loved them. And it was so beautiful. But that freaks me out at the same time because…Facebook will be our children’s photo albums.
Also my mom pretty much hung out with the boys exclusively, holla.
The Asian American Club from my high school holds elections every year, and the campaign devices are amazing. The current historian put out a design challenge that I thought was incredibly clever as a campaign device; design the quote “Oh the places that you’ll go” using only typography and limited vector images. I thought I’d take it as a design exercise and see what I came up with.