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Blaze

New Digs

In January I started a new job.  In Kunshan.  Up until this week, I was commuting an hour to an hour and a half (each way) from Taicang.  Moving in China is different than moving in the US (or EU, from what I hear).  In the US, we work everything out at least a month
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Blaze

Showroom That’s a Tent?

I don’t think I’ve talked much about my new job.  Maybe I should remedy that. After my last consulting contract ended, I had a month of no work.  Kinda scary being in a  foreign country with no job.  But… I had a nice paycheck from my consulting gig, so I wasn’t hurting.   Through some
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file5141235069102 Tan Xiao Shi Da

贪小失大 “Greedy little, lose big”  Or as we say in English:  “Penny wise, pound foolish” I had a very “Chinese” experience yesterday.  It was a “forest for the trees” incident, and typical of what you’ll run into here.  None of it was malicious–quite the opposite, most of the people involved were trying to be helpful.
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Cover Update

So… yeah… I haven’t been posting here much lately.  It’s been a bit hectic and I just haven’t had the impetus to post anything.  Too many irons in the fire right now, and I’ve had to let some things drop while I focus on the ones that really matter most. So a little update for
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river Riverside Apartment!

Except…  It wasn’t one yesterday. It’s been raining constantly for the past couple days.  Not hard, but constantly.  Apparently,  there’s been enough rain throughout the area that the canals couldn’t handle it, and overflowed their banks last night.  I woke up this morning to see that I had a lovely((he said sarcastically)) riverside view. If
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bags So Many Bags

There’s been a lot said about pollution in China.  The major concerns are about the industrial pollution–and that’s absolutely justified. There are, however, small things.  One of the things that annoys me is the number of bags.  The picture above is from a coffee shop.  I bought 3 little custard tarts and a cup of
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Out & About

IMG_20150331_1317321 Umm…Excuse Me?

I understand the need for security measures, but this seems a bit excessive.

shangping Level Up!

Y’all might not think much of it, but I just did something rather amazing. I went, by myself, to a hole-in-the-wall furniture store, described and ordered a table to be built for my kitchen, bought a desk for my “office”, and arranged for them to be delivered next week. Why is this amazing? I did
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Bike-1 Consolation Prizes

While my plans for the holiday have been scuttled, I did spend part of an afternoon in Shanghai, in an area I don’t normally go to.   I’ve been there once before, but I was just following along with someone else, and had no idea where I was or how we got there. Now that I’ve
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Tips for Travelers

TfT: China

Broken traffic light defaults to “go”. Food is shared. The chopsticks they eat with are also used to take “public food”. This can be quite disconcerting to a Westerner. Money is very important, and very public. When you rent an apartment, buy a scooter, or purchase something of value, expect the very first thing they
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Tips for Travelers

I’m adding a new category to the blog:  Tips for Travelers.  Hopefully I can get others to contribute to this section. There are a lot of little tidbits of information that aren’t really worth a full post and explanation. They’re just small facts and insights.   I (and hopefully others) will be posting these in
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Commentary

WTC-perscentrum geopend door Walter Cronkite *25 oktober 1985 And That’s the Way It Was

For the past 3.5 years, I have been in an interesting situation. I reside in a country which heavily censors and controls the news media. And I have access to the unrestrained media from back home. I can not express how difficult and painful it is for me to say this, but… I’m beginning to
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Credit: Penywise @ MorgueFile Teaching in China Part 3: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Getting a job is the hard part, right? Quitting is easy–just pack up your stuff and leave. Right? If that’s what you think, apparently you haven’t been paying attention. This is China. If you’re leaving China, yes, it is that easy. I know several people who have done it (some without telling their employer until
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Credit: Hotblack @ MorgueFile Teaching in China Part 2: That Ain’t What it Says

Congrats! You got the job! You read through the contract, negotiated out any “red flags”, and signed on the dotted line. Now you’re somewhere over the North Pole on a red-eye to Shanghai, confident in the knowledge that you know what’s in store for you. Umm… sorry. Chances are you’re in for a few big–and
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