The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

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Bhaktapur

Posted on July 27, 2011

We wandered around Bhaktapur today. A man approached me and asked if I was married. I said yes. I eagerly waited for him to ask to whom, at which point I would promptly respond with “Josh Groban” and walk away. Instead, his next question was whether I had any money. I wanted to be witty and answer his inquiry with: “I keep my rupees in my other fanny pack”, but being a smart-ass hasn’t got me far in the past, so I just answered with a simple “no” and waddled over to the comrades. Next time someone asks me about my relationship status, I’ll reveal my true sentiments about marriage by screaming: “NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and running away, arms flailing.

Guangzhou –> Seoul –> Kathmandu

Posted on July 25, 2011

I GOT THE WINDOW SEAT. It was the best flight I’ve ever had, with nothing but food, music, movies, and pleasant people. I got no sleep, of course, because in the words of the great 30 Rock: “I don’t sleep on planes because I don’t want to get incepted.” Leaving China was hard. Tears were shed. Group singing occured. I haven’t experienced a goodbye that difficult or dramatic since Ben & Jerry’s made the grave error of discontinuing their “Festivus” flavor. My time with Korean Airlines was nothing but lovely and I now maintain that the Incheon Airport has the best bathrooms in Asia and the best 7 am bowl of kimchi. On board, they served hot pizza as a snack and frequently refilled my…

Guilin

Posted on July 20, 2011

My favorite part about summer is the cicadas’ whistle, and they’re so numerous and so loud in Guilin that I’m sure if someone shook one tree with enough vigor, they would unload kilos and kilos of cicadas on the unsuspecting Chinese who use the city’s beautiful parks for tai chi and outdoor jazzercise, and chaos would surely ensue. The sheer volume of the whistle wouldn’t help because even at a safe distance, you can’t really hear yourself think. My favorite part of Guilin has been walking through its various parks and riverside paths with the cicadas looming overhead. They remind me that it’s summer and I have nothing better to do than to do anything I want. I wanted to take night shots of the city, then go for street food and…

Chengdu

Posted on July 18, 2011

He asked me if I wanted to hear a story. I said I needed a story right about then. He began with the Roosevelt era, specifically with a wondrous, vigorous, and nostalgia-inducing topic sentence: “It was 1943 and I thought I was dead….” I stood there, trying to make out his broken english. The parts I couldn’t capture I managed to substitute with my own imaginary account, making the story part mine and part his. This photo is my pride and joy.

Chinese Food

Posted on July 17, 2011

has convinced me to move to China. Years ago, when Squeaky Robot was being taught table manners, she never would have imagined that one day she would be free of futile social norms that clouded the dining experience, given the choice to eat her food in whatever fashion she so pleases, and be faced with the complete reversal of stupid Western eating practices, only to be replaced with slurping, drinking from the bowl, and shoveling food into your mouth like your house is on fire but you can’t leave just yet because those dumplings are just too good and they’re better when the dough has just the right amount of crisp and an air of conflagration to it. Fresh from a winter in South America, I was…

Xi’an

Posted on July 15, 2011

Xi’an is a city of fire. I’m incessantly smothered by it at every step, whether it’s heat rising from the city streets, chicken buses and porsches alike showering me with smoky exhaust and carbon monoxide, or the sun’s rays so conveniently hitting mirrors that deflect that energy on my poor skin. Xi’an’s architecture is the magnifying glass and we’re the ants. Fires burn in the city’s monasteries and temples, which isn’t helped but only exasperated by thousands of units of incense that share the flame and are then left to burn. I visit the street market in the Muslim quarter everyday for dinner. Here, I’m burned by over-gassed flames escaping their ovens or makeshift containers, standing too close out of gluttony to grills that are preparing my squid and lamb…

Huashan

Posted on July 13, 2011

About two years ago,  I was procrastinating on the internet when I stumbled upon this. It left an impression, to say the least, and I enthusiastically shared the link with friends. The conversation topic always transformed into an exchange of dares and an instant separation of the adventure-seeking and the I-would-rather-keep-my-feet-on-the-ground people. “Would you do it?” would be retaliated with “Fuck yes, I would”, “Fuck no, I would not”,  and everything in between. Then there are always the people who say they’d do something, but actually faced with a 2000 m cliff beneath their feet becomes a daunting reality, and they’re soon to switch teams. Turns out, I’m not the former. The link was misleading in that this cliffside trail does not lead to a tea house. The trail leads to a…

Little Likeng

Posted on July 11, 2011

Likeng makes me snap-happy like a Columbian drug cartel is trigger-happy.

The moment that changes a fishing session.

My future abode where I’ll be sitting riverside, eating noodle soup and fried chicken, blasting Carlos Gardel, like a boss of course.

Better to be busy than bored.

Allow me to clear up the hazy message this photo communicates with an illuminating caption: This man is wearing yellow sandals.

I ate their brother for dinner.


This gambling ring is a 24/7 operation.

Tracking down the elderly in alleyways seems to be my specialty.

To sit and to draw: the world’s most underrated activity.

When an internal and external lack of water threatens your well-being, find moving water and dip your legs in, pants and all.

Blake finally got the chance to do his laundry.

An easy life isn’t always a good one. In fact, it never is.


Summertime in China. To quote Misha, who periodically quotes this Dan Black lyric: “If life is life and dreams are dreams, I’m floating somewhere in between.”