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EXPERIENCE

It turned out the actual secret place was a cabin situated right next to the main path, with flashy Christmas lights attached to every square centimeter. This was the place where all the heads of Zhejiang Province came every Saturday to sing karaoke, she said.

There was the place which was being rebuilt and only had three walls, the outside wall at that time replaced with a gaping hole. “It’ll be ready in a week,” the agent lied, “If you want this place you better decide today because it’ll be gone otherwise.”

At one event I had to provide a photo in advance so facial recognition cameras would automatically swing open the gates upon my arrival. But when I got there I was told they didn’t work with foreign faces

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I complained to the security guards about the expanding waste dump – in between going round and trying to pick up discarded plastic and glass, scared my dogs would tread on it. But they are too busy recycling

Perhaps he fed my ego, a powerful wild dog with a powerful wild man. Fear. Respect. A house people dare not enter. I called him Cupcake, thinking it would make me seem more sympathetic in case of a lawsuit

The hardest part is that we suddenly have to stop wearing flattering, bulky winter clothes. For people who have spent months in a freezing metropolis in which something called an “oil stick” is an acceptable breakfast option and grilled lamb fat on a skewer is a popular dinner, this can lead to some insecurity