The trio by an ancient water urn used to fight fires, Forbidden City.

Veronica amazed at a overstocked market, Sichuan province.

Strange pastry and coffee at our questionable, but pleasant hotel, in Shanghai.

Smart dressed, nervous ladies on a street in Xintiandi, Shanghai.

Dad taking a picture in a Shikumen house museum, Shanghai.

Handsome Ariel in a cafe near the old drum tower, Beijing.

Mountain temple at Emei, Sichuan

North Korean restaurant karaoke madness at the DPRK Embassy. Lots of glaring, brusqueness and static ceremony.

Dad at the Simatai section of the Great Wall.

Smiling through crushing crowds.

Kitty at Grandma's Kitchen, a great lil' restaurant and guesthouse in Beijing.


I've been busy. Veronica and my father visited me recently, with a few days overlapping. Both were memorable and packed with sightseeing. Let's review:

Vero and I went to Sichuan and ate incredibly good food, lesuirely climbed a sacred Buddhist mountain, breathed in factory pollution in and around Chengdu and I struggled with the thickest accented Mandarin in the country. We saw a very traditional Tibetan neighborhood in Chengdu and had several moments of being stared at in random villages. The most wonderful moment was on Emei shan, a beautiful Buddhist mountain with several ancient temples scattered throughout the area. We spend the night in a haunting nunnery with traditionally dressed incredibly friendly nuns, the strong smell of incense and loud droning bells.

When my father came and I bid Veronica fairwell, the two of us went to Shanghai. It was a far more upscale trip, so our bathroom had a tub and I wasn't drinking packets of Nescafe out of enamel cups anymore. Lots of incredibly fancy pastry breakfasts, shopping, museums, obsure temples, strolling and long conversations. He bought a lot of antiques from a seller with a charming kind of English, who proclaimed him to be "big customer." Generous dad even bought me nice new clothes. Shanghai is a great city to wander, and we saw lots of decaying old art deco buildings, some seemingly abandoned and ghostly. Pretty.


And so, goodbye Veronica