The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me. --Ayn Rand


All the fish died

Housewarming Party. January 25, 2008

Shanghai 30s

Drink list:
The bund--absolut vanilla, white tea, honey
Chino Latino--ginger, tequila, cointreau, red chili pepper, garnished with ginger salt

live piano player and signer




I long ago accepted that Chinese people, being surrounded by an environment of constant change, ugliness and pollution, have some strange ideas about the world, fashion, politics, science, truth, etc. A Chinese person could say to me, “It is healthy to smoke rather than brush your teeth,” and I wouldn’t be that surprised.

But, today, during a meeting with Everbright Bank, sandwiched between a discussion of who can drink the most and what tea should women drink to keep their youthful color, my manager commented, "Isn't it every girl's dream to open a bar?" I looked around the room at the other women to see their reactions. Apparently, it is the dream of all women.

Back in the US, if a girl said she owned a bar a few thoughts would fly through my mind. Namely, what an ambitious woman, she could be a whore, I wonder how much she can drink, I bet she's a lot of fun to go out with, she could be a bitch.

Then again, maybe I think that about all women. Hrm.


Love in Beijing

I am in love with my apartment so much it pains me to leave it for long periods of time, such as going to work.

191 square meters.
3 bedrooms.
2 baths.
27th floor.
private elevator.
panoramic views of Beijing to the North and South.
astutely decorated by a contemporary Chinese art curator, with the help of his young red-headed sidekick.

Pictures shortly

I go alone.

"I would have moved to Paris."

MM and I had short discussion about our former relationship this afternoon. If you exclude the time we decided to stop dating after my summer break, it was the first time we ever discussed our relationship, and I found it difficult. I always treasured the fact that our relationship was simple. After the Summer I was going back to college, and after that I was leaving the US. Our relationship wasn't strained by that.

Apparently that was because MM “was never a good boyfriend to [me].” I was very surprised when he told me this—our short relationship was one of my favorites. Since I am not a very emotional person, maybe his distance made me like him more. We could have conversations and go eat without the urgency or necessity you find in relationships with emotional people. “You don’t want to eat dinner with me? So you don’t want to see me?!”

The conversation ended without a complete explanation on either side, but it has driven me to collect my thoughts.

With him, I would have never broken up if I knew he could follow me. But, I know he is not the type to do that. I have difficulty explaining for my reasons, other than that I have always planned to be in a location. That added to my disbelief in a soul mate—I think I would be perfectly happy spending my life with a small percentage of the population—means that I would love it if I found someone to come with me around the world, but no matter how much I love someone, they will not stand in my way of achieving a goal.

MM is the type--like everyone I ever dated in the US--that is rooted to home. Car payments, cell phone bills, pets, apartments, family--an entire web of obligations and connections like strings of lead holding them in place. They are either unwilling to struggle away from the web, or unwilling to sever it and have to reconstruct. For the same reason, few people I know from the US are willing to visit me here. "China is so FAR! It's so EXPENSIVE to visit. You want me to put my life on HOLD to visit you in China?"

This type never understood my desire—my plan.

Then there are those that are willing. These people have the mindset, “Yes, I can.” This confidence is mainly related to experience. Those who have traveled and lived abroad—started life anew in another country—are usually the people with this confidence. Only after I went traveling by bus through the villages of China in the Summer of 2005 did I come to this realization. Now I am a markedly different person. I know that if I left everything and got on a plane to Moscow (or Brazil or Cambodia or...) I would be able to survive.

I once asked JT, during the period when I was trying to seduce him, if he would ever consider moving permanently to another country. He responded without thinking, "In a second." Then, I pursued JT fiercely. I was never successful, but I had a chance. There was a chance I could get him to go with me around the world. There was a potential for a long term relationship where we could share all our experiences.

MM never quite understood why I liked JT. I still don’t believe I have captured quite the correct idea. Even those who know they can go anywhere may again become content with their sedentary lives, or have no desire to travel.

I will find my ideal home, settle there, and use that as a hub to see the world. I am not sure of my next stop, but I know it will be a major city farther West than China. This has always been the plan for my life. I told MM my next stop may be Paris, and his response was he would have considered moving with me there.

I doubt he actually would have, but it is a nice thought.