So… This site is back from the dead.  Sort of.

Because A2 Hosting wouldn’t step in to help when my account was running at 95-100% CPU load (I have no clue why), I couldn’t back up everything.  That means I’ve lost a couple years worth of posts.

I’m resurrecting this blog (missing a few bits)  mostly so I have a  place  to post items for linking elsewhere.

My Little Mule

20140907_131536_resizedOr… 我的少毛驴 (wo de shao mao lu).

Scooters here a  called “little mules”[1].  They’re about 50% of the vehicles on the road (if not more).  The vast majority of them are electric (as mine is), and the cost anywhere from a half a month’s salary to a full month’s salary (or more) for the average factory worker.

I’ve been here three years now, and finally decided that I had enough money saved up that I could afford to get the one I wanted.  And I’m glad I waited.  This “Vespa-style” design is something new, and has become quite popular.  Previously, most of them have been either e-bikes (a bicycle with an electric motor built onto it) or have had a more “pointy” style–like a skinny snowmobile.

This style has very smooth curves and a classic look to it.  It’s much more my style.  And… they had it in what I like to call “Dragonfly Red”–the deep, rich red that I like to use for my websites and other designs.

I have a bicycle, but I think I’ve ridden it 3 times in the past 4 months.  It’s just too hot and humid to be riding a bicycle–especially to work.  When I get there, I’d be soaked in sweat.   With the scooter, I have the freedom to get around without waiting for a bus (which stop running at 6:30pm!) or paying for a taxi.   Freedom!

And, of course, this being China, the very first thing everybody says is “How much?”


[1] On a funny side note:  I have  a Colombian teacher staying here for a couple days, and I said “I have a shao mao lu”… then wondered how to say that in Spanish.  After about 2 seconds, it came to me:   Burrito!

Lost in Suzhou

Today is part of a three-day weekend.  I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to explore new cities and visit friends.  Today I hopped a bus to Suzhou (苏州).  I did something I haven’t done in a while… intentionally get lost. Sometimes the best thing to do in a new city is to just pick a direction and start walking.  Then take whichever turns look iinteresting.  That’s what I did today.  I have no idea where I was, but it was definitely interesting.  I’ll post more pics when I get home.

Evening in the Mountains

This is the weekend of our company trip.  We’re in Anqi, which is basically Wisconsin Dells–if it were the size of Lodi. There’s a “river” (creek) running through the one-street town, and it’s surrounded by mountains covered in bamboo. The locals have managed to rurn those two things into a booming tourist trade. But, in a country where a city of 1.5 million people is considered a “small town”, you enjoy what’s available.   I hadn’t thought much about it until the ride here.  We were pulling into town when everyone started out the windows… “Look!  Cows!”