The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

Posts from the “China” Category


Posted on November 2, 2011

I like this photo because if someone hasn’t been keeping up with the development and history of chinese river raft motors, this photo could have easily been taken in the seventies. Yes. I went to the seventies. So. Much. Polyester. Swayambhunath, Nepal. 1963. The year Yugoslavia is declared a socialist republic, Lamborghini is founded, JFK is shot, full-scale Beatlemania hits the US, and who can forget the Great Train Robbery of ’63. What a year. USSR in 1957, i.e. the last place anyone wanted to be. Khrushchev rules, but not really. Everyone knows the KGB has eyes everywhere. The nation comes first; Gagarin is a hero, his comrade Komarov is forced to take Gagarin’s place in a faulty spaceship and plunges to his death…

Photo Sharing

Posted on August 12, 2011

OK I AM SUPER LAME OK?? This photo only begins to communicate why I can go on a ridiculously – no – unhealthily long tangent about how peeing in Mongolia is the greatest thing ever. In fact, as soon as I begin to rattle off the list, I’ve been known to clear a room. Too bad I can’t take a hint. So peeing in Mongolia is better than driving on an empty highway at night. It’s better than the smell of wood burning in winter. Better than morning tea or coffee. Better than when you check out an item and the price that appears is cheaper than the retail price. Better than reading the last page of a book really slowly because you don’t…

The End.

Posted on August 7, 2011

The End. Nothing quite describes the feeling of a good thing ending. For me, at least. The words just never materialize. Our last precious moments in Kathmandu have been spent trudging around Thamel, soaking in every stimulus Nepal’s streets have to offer, most of which is mud and tiger balm salesmen. I resolved to get a sleeve of henna done, and I asked around as to where I could make this happen. An eager, helpful man led me to a tattoo parlour even though the last thing I would do is draw salty tears from my mother’s beautiful eyes by getting inked in the third world, or any world for that matter.  We also met up with our friends from Colorado and Australia, at…

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…


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…


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…