Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Having wasted three hours of my day reading his essays, I urge you to do the same, and visit Maciej Cegłowski's weblog: idle words. He's just a guy- "a painter and a computer guy"- who happens to be a great writer, and happens to be in Beijing. Many thanks to Stork (whom you may just know as Storkus Maximus, or, if you are his mother, Aaron) for pointing me towards this web-gem.

He writes about all manner of topics, but China has been the recent trend, as that's where he is. His essays manage side-splitting hilarity, truly perceptive insight, and occasional poignancy. It should give you a taste of what this blog would be like, if I were a better writer.

Try out The Day That Nothing Happened, a fantastically clear and incisive look at the woes of China's working class. Hong Kong is a great and hilarious picture of that city, and I Spy is a ridiculous and characteristically Chinese account of some shenanigans right in my neighborhood. Frankly, I wish I had written these essays.
Poor lion.

As for my own life, I was walking through Beida campus today, on my way back to my dorm, when a teenage chef- clad in the appropriate white garb- shot out the back door of some dining hall kitchen, and ran like the dickens up the road, apron waving behind him. He was followed, seconds later, by an identical-looking being, wielding some weapon- maybe a spatula, maybe a chicken head- and chased around the corner. It was all good fun and jocularity- but just the sort of absurdity that the western-conditioned mind forgets to expect in China. The image of Chinese is of a hard-working, quiet, well-behaved people, and though this is often true, the opposite is true, too. These Chinese people- sometimes they'll catch you by surprise.


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