Old Version
Essay

Personally, I find watching an eclipse an extremely uplifting experience. And let’s face it, 2020 could not get much worse (we hope). Disease, floods, murder hornets - everything being made out of cake on the internet. The natural world apparently has it in for us, although I don’t blame it. The cake thing is unnatural though

Being a vegetarian in China has been a special challenge, because people here seek a middle way and avoid extremes. Therefore, if I ordered fried green beans and said I didn’t want any meat, it would more often than not come out full of little bits of pork. I would point to them, and my server would shrug and respond, “It’s only a little bit.”

Regardless of whether they last a lifetime, like the mom-and-pop snack shops and street food stalls passed down from generation to generation, or whether their moment is fleeting, these local businesses really are the heart of Shanghai. They’re the hubs that foster tight-knit communities in a hardened city center

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Our passports then visit a young guy in dark blue uniform reading “SWAT,” who barks sleepily to get our luggage. Eventually we follow our passports and another SWAT dude on a short journey out of the building, to a large room with three desks, with, you guessed right - more forms!

Then right after the extended May Day holiday, suddenly it was all back to work. The drills and jackhammers started that morning. Pent-up renovation demand burst like a dam. I have never really understood why when one buys a new apartment in China the whole thing is ripped apart - the flooring, all the fixtures, even the cement under the floor is drilled up

Wherever you are in the world, you hear the anecdotal reports of people’s visa woes. Friends had recounted all kinds of tales about the teachers lured over to schools with promises of sponsorship only to be left on tourist visas, bosses who tried to hold on to employee passports, and people who’d unknowingly overstayed. But I wasn’t teaching, my company was legit, and this wasn’t my first rodeo