I wrote the book on China.

Well, one of them, anyway. And only a foreword at that! But the pictures aren’t too bad either 🙂

This is why I left WordPress >_<; The book preview won’t embed, so to check out my book you’ll have to click here. (It’s worth it!)

Happy previewing~

P.S. Looking for my new stuff? Visit me at *fruitpunch.

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Inspiration: Editions de Paris

Editions de Paris is a series of books on Parisian interiors by a Japanese publisher. I found them tucked away on a bookshelf at Sonospace bookstore in Qingdao. Before I left China I made to sure to buy as many of them as I could afford – they’re usually 28USD, but I got them for 35RMB each (that’s about 5USD, fyi). The perspective is quirky and charming and the homes, offices and people featured are effortlessly chic – so effortless that I don’t even need to read the Chinese text, of which every fiftieth character is legible to me (this…man…home…that). If you want a little more info, read up on the series over at apartementtherapy.

Oh, my Lady Gaga!

For the past three months in a row I’ve gotten over 1,000 pageviews a month! I think this is exciting, even though I probably get about as many pageviews as the Obama’s dog’s blog divided by five, and I heard that’s ghost written anyway. (The Obama’s dog does not really have a blog.)[That I know of]. Anyway, it’s important to keep in mind that a pageview isn’t a visitor, it’s just one view of one page – so all of these “views” could be coming from one person. (Thanks Mom!)

Somehow I wasn’t included on CollegeScholarships.org’s list of the best 150 travel blogs for students (which I found here which I heard about from this ladyfriend of mine Oh my god the internet!), which included a bunch of blogs with tips on saving money and traveling smart. You mean you want me to save for a trip like a poor person and not charge the whole thing to my AmEx and pay the bills using monopoly money? You mean you want travel advice on planning for things instead of listening to the magic pony who comes to you in your dream and tells you which destinations are in Sparkle Motion? You don’t even have a magic pony? How do you expect to get anywhere? A unicorn? Don’t be ridiculous.

So I’m not gonna win any awards for being the world’s most insightful/competent traveler (but maybe the most egregiously incapable?) This blog is really more of my story and I truly appreciate those of you who come back for more (12 subscribers!) and I just wanted to say that. And also to say, tell your friends about me! I’m on Twitter and Facebook and this thing and Tumblr. But also also, if you know anyone who’s going to China or wants to read about my time there, go to the bottom of the page and click on the month of December in the “Travel Memories” menu to start from the beginning. Check it out! I did.

Three’s Not a Crowd, It’s a Posse

Agh! A post all the way from Shanghai. So delayed! Well anyway, this post is about me meeting up with two Asian bastions of bossness, Aron and Dennis from Lookbook. As soon as I knew I was going to be in the city I sent Aron a message in the hopes we could meet up for a coffee and talk about why he’s the coolest person I’ve never met (well, until I did meet him…er, would be meeting him…?) It turns out Dennis is his cousin and so the three of us met up to walk around the city and talk for a bit about style, China, and being chronically single. (I was the chronically single one. They were the ones who didn’t understand. I don’t know if explaining, “Ok, you know Tina Fey? Right, now you know the character she plays mocking herself, Liz Lemon? Yeah, there’s a starting point” would’ve helped…no 30 Rock in China.) Anyway, the first place they took me was this leather goods store that I’d actually stopped in the day before, Yamado. Yamado had some great stuff that I really wanted, but couldn’t afford. One bag in particular reminded me of this Prada number and made me all lustful inside. They had some other great travel accesories like camera cases and wallets…but I held off (Florence was right around the corner!) Aron and Dennis and I talked some more about what they do (Aron = student, Dennis = Interior designer…if I remember correctly?) and we probably talked about other style stuff but now I’m all emotional because I forget what. I wanted this to be like when Garance Dore interviews some gorgeous Parisian girl who’s like “I have all of Ali McGraw’s wardrobe from Love Story for some reason and I’m best friends with everyone sexy ever,” but instead, ha! It’s really not. I’m gonna go talk to some butter about this.

Waiting in Line to See The Grand Buddha, Chengdu

I have a few pictures from waiting in line for the giant buddha (since that was almost six hours of my life) so I figured I’d devote a short post to some scenes from what can best be described as an “artless clusterf*@#”.

the line was more of a mass of people who weren't super concerned about you not dying

isn't this just so sweet?

but also, lady gaga was in line with us, so that was cool.

then we rounded the corner and saw this second part of the line...

The Pandas, Chengdu

There’s also adorable video to be uploaded in the near future…stay tuned!

panderz!!!

swinging one direction...

...then the other

you can see the panda's eye...I didn't even know panda's had eyes...

vampire pandas!

The World Expo 2010

my entry ticket!

the Russian pavilion...

Poland...

this was one of several funny poses children struck...

oh, Hillary...

the UK's really did seem like it was coming at you...

the Italian pavilion was pretty...

the Latvian one...

...and this sign in the bathroom, to show you how it's done.

The Expo I sort of treated like a giant sculpture garden because the lines were alllll about four hours long. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but still. I ended up seeing Chile, the Netherlands, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark and the US. Our pavilion was sort of like being eaten alive by everything that’s wrong with the world. It consisted of three videos, the first one of which featured employees from the various corporate sponsors talking about why they liked children and what children can do for the future and investing in them blah blah blah and also remember to invest in McDonalds and crude oil because they paid for this video. Then there was another video and then I died. But I didn’t have to wait in line to see it because if you had your passport on you you could cut the queue to your home country, so no harm done. Denmark’s was awesome and now I wanna live in Copenhagen and just bike everywhere and recycle. Chile’s pavilion had empanadas and red wine for me when I was really hungry so I also wouldn’t mind living there, although I should learn some real things about the country first…

The City Wall, Xian

My friend informed me via Facebook that I should write about something I did like on my trip around China, so here it is. This is the city wall around Xi’an, an ancient structure that you can bike around. Because its ancient its also super bumpy I found, which was fun (not) for my ass.

Some sort of mock ceremony I watched from on high...

I met a German guy who’d toured around India while biking and we chatted a bit about being in China and what was worth seeing, etc. I warned him about taking a tour to see the Terracotta warriors and he informed me he was studying for some sort of computer astro science gobbledygook that made me cry on the inside. But he was nice!

After the ride I decided it would behoove me to simply walk back along the wall to the train station, because the train station was right down the north side of the wall and wasn’t that so convenient! And then I realized how effing long the wall is when you’re not riding a bike on it and also that there is NO WAY DOWN unless you’re at one of the four main gates which are REALLY FAR APART. I spent an hour walking on the wall and still hadn’t reached the second gate (yeah, right?) and so I ventured down to a blocked off exit and desperately motioned towards a random passerby to please find someone who could let me out. He motioned me towards him and asked to take a picture with me. Great. Then we took another picture because he didn’t like the first one I guess. Awesome. Finally a cleaning lady came down the stairs and was gracious enough to unlock the gate so I could escape. Hallelujah. FYI; you can’t get off the Xi’an city wall at any place you see a staircase, because those entrances are all blocked off so no one who hasn’t paid can get on. FYI.