Hotel Kaga(fornia)

Blaze

Where You Hang Your Hat

One of the great things about my job is all the traveling I get to (have to) do.  I’m in Japan today, which is–I believe–the 13th country I’ve been in. In the past 60 days, I’ve been in 4 countries–China, South Korea, Hong Kong1considered a different country for visa purposes, and Japan.  In a couple
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Blaze

Do you think Pooh prefers menthols? No Comment Needed

Yep. It’s real.   And it’s not uncommon. Click to embiggen

Fried Cheese

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here (or anywhere).  I’m going to try to correct that and get back to a semi-regular posting schedule. So… While I was in Mexico, I stayed at a great hotel that included breakfast with the room.  Not that bullshit “Continental Breakfast” that so many places brag about,
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Calle Rochester, Napoles, Ciudad de Mexico Hola from Mexico

I’ve been in Mexico on business this week, and managed to get a few days to just relax and do nothing.  While I did (unintentionally) get to see a lot of Mexico City (thank you traffic jams and stupid Google Maps), mostly I’ve been hanging around this little neighborhood of Napoles.  The area includes the
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The Epic of Laduzi. Or… How I Spent My Wednesday

I’m normally opposed to these, but in this case I feel it’s warranted: TRIGGER ALERT: Disgusting descriptions of my intestinal functionality ahead. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Dealing with shit is just part and parcel of living in China. And I mean that literally; I’m talking about human feces–namely your own. When ex-pats in China talk
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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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Out & About

Calle Rochester, Napoles, Ciudad de Mexico Hola from Mexico

I’ve been in Mexico on business this week, and managed to get a few days to just relax and do nothing.  While I did (unintentionally) get to see a lot of Mexico City (thank you traffic jams and stupid Google Maps), mostly I’ve been hanging around this little neighborhood of Napoles.  The area includes the
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Umm…Excuse Me?

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

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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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

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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