China Travel Writing + Media


Phenomenology of Tone

Laundry Day in China South City


One of the best genres of YouTube videos is "X Animal is returned to its home in the wild after rescue and rehabilitation." They open the door to the cage, or take the leash off, and the animal runs into the forest, or rolls around in the dirt and grass. Usually never giving the humans a second thought. This is followed closely by number two which is "Human returns to wild to say hello to animal it rescued and returned to wild X years ago." And number three "Doctor activates baby's cochlear implant."

My possessions have started unraveling themselves into their basic building blocks and raw materials. Buttons, leather, silicon, aluminum, plastic, rubber, buckles, the little things on the end of shoelaces, shoelaces. In a moment I will open the door to my hotel room and they will be free to return to their home, and I will have to build a new life for myself using only my Non-China made possessions that I will keep under my control. I don't like it, but that's life.

I am more intelligent than my bag and my underwear, at least in the ways that count for control, and they have to do what I say. As far as I can tell, that would be my Chrome Industries backpack, made in USA and my Duluth Trading Company underwear, which is made in Thailand. Can't tell where my Lululemon shirt was made but it seems to be looking out the window with some familiarity. Maybe the textile was sourced here and it was sewn together in the USA and it is confused about its identity.


Badminton Valhalla

There is a lot of unoccupied space in this shopping mall that is probably the size of 16 domed NFL Stadiums, so they decided to let Badminton Valhalla take up residence. When a badminton player dies, they go here to battle it out for eternity. When the day comes that they find tenants for this wing of the mall, they will have to move on to a stadium made of clouds in the sky, or the inside of a super dense prism.

Conveniently, only two badminton players have ever died.


Day 'N' Nite




This is a store of cross training supplies, and sort of Marin County / San Diego Suburbs "I'm on a hike today but I'm also training for a triathlon and I have done two 13.1's" gear. Windbreakers, shoes, high performance fanny packs.

I met a man named Brian who is the international sales rep for a massage chair company. I asked him if the Nike store across the hall was real, or copy. He said "copy" - but there didn't seem to be much of a distinction for him. I told him that this Playboy store was funny to me, it's the logo and brand for a magazine from the USA and now it is all over athletic gear that has nothing to do with them, being sold out in the open in a huge, established mall. He said "Yes, if I like the magazine, and want a shoe with the logo on it, I can buy it." Very matter of fact, like duh, I'm expressing my affinity for Playboy Magazine with arch support, quick lace systems, and fuel belts.

Looking at it like the music industry in the USA, China is still in the Napster phase of intellectual property. Will they ever get to iTunes phase? Where it's hard to use, offensively confusing, but legal?

Maybe it will be image recognition software that runs on the CCTV network here. Depending on the area, when you drive or walk around, there can be CCTV cameras and flash photos happening of your face and / or your license plate. In the case of your license plate, you are charged for being in an area or a parking lot, in the case of the flash face photo, you presumably are simply tracked and logged. What if this system could recognize brands? So you are charged based on how cool and desireable you look? It takes a photo of you and detects a Playboy branded Apres-Triathlon shoe. You are now charged per minute based on how cool Playboy is, and how much traffic is in that area, and how cool they are. You are micro-licensing the Playboy brand to increase your status by association. Otherwise come up with your own brand.


My Feelings Journal


One by One Salt


Welcome to One by One Salt. I'm sorry, I'm too busy to talk to you, and I'm booked for at least the next 3 weeks on this order of soft pretzels. Try back then. Please close the door on the way out, the rain is very dangerous.




Real-Time Visual translations work not only to perfectly translate signage and menus, but also the spiritual plane. The truck on the left is very accepting of energy, and there was previously a window washer that fell from this office building 😔.




The translation algorithm sometimes has brief bouts of self awareness, and it chooses to use these moments to hurl generative Shakespearean insults at me - in an attempt to make me see that pointing the input for translation out the window at 100 km/hr is "uncouth"


En Train Err Landscape Painting




Sample Room


Detail Makes Perfect