El Nido – Palawan

10479089_10153113665743378_8377401322917634357_n

Spanish for ‘the nest’, El Nido is the gateway to Palawan island in the Philippines.

Spending a few weeks here we hopped to different parts via ferry. Keeping a hammock ready proved useful, not only for using them on the 2-3 hour rides but especially when during the evenings we had views like this… Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , | Comments Off on El Nido – Palawan

Red Town Sculpture Park

7218ad01-c13b-401c-a5dd-65137d8066ff_postRed Town Sculpture Park is a hidden piece of green in the urban jungle that is Shanghai. Surrounding the park was once an old dusty and abandoned steel factory, it’s now host to some creative artwork that’s always changing. Outside, the park has random sculptures scattered about the lawn. The sculptures are eclectic, from a massive head of Einstein, a Mercedes car made out of red bricks, a giant mechanical bull statue, a bunch of massive legs painted in different country’s flags sloping down a hill.

Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Comments Off on Red Town Sculpture Park

Language Moments

My first year teaching English in Shanghai seems so long ago. The chaos of 40 kids early in the morning screaming and running around ready to bash each other’s heads in was a huge test of patience for me. I wasn’t assigned a Chinese teacher assistant so I was on my own. After one class was done I had 3 more! 160 students this early, definitely requires coffee. After the semester progressed so did the behavior and we all were happy campers.

Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Language Moments

Shanghai Street Life

totems-by-alain-delorme-9

Shanghai would be the worst place for a zombie apocalypse outbreak…or the best place for a zombie.

I’ve recently been playing a game almost every other day now for about a month. I sit on the second floor of a coffee shop, look out the window and can people watch from above. The game is “count as many people you can see glued to their phones”. Within less than 5 minutes you’ll easily be able to reach 50 . 75% of people have their heads down almost yearning to be inside their phones. These are today’s real zombies. That Cell Phone Lane for Texting Pedestrians Is in a Chinese Theme Park. Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Shanghai Street Life

Serenity in Myanmar

bagan-school

Myanmar is an untouched country, for now. It’s like taking a step into a time machine going back 50 years or more. From the hospitality in Mandalay to the sunsets in Bagan, the indigenous people of Inle Lake and the onset of modernity in Yangon, it’s a beautiful place with beautiful people.

 

 

Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Serenity in Myanmar

Yunnan 云南

boats-and-mountain-dali

Traveling to Yunnan can be difficult as a foreigner especially because of the language barrier. I guess that’s why it took my parents almost 3 years to come visit me! Attempting to be a tour guide was an experience. From the miscommunication about losing pre-booked train tickets (I’m looking at you, Ctrip!) to having my Dad getting lost for over an hour in a neon-lit psychedelic cave outside Kunming to haggling with the locals and getting turned around numerous times. But that’s the fun part about traveling. Not going directly from A to B and not having everything work out smoothly, as planned. Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Yunnan 云南

A Little Bit of Miscommunication

shutterstock_97351409

I’m reminded of this one time I was in a small town called Moganshan outside of Hangzhou. I went with the family of a little girl named Cici that I had been tutoring my first year in Shanghai. We took a road trip with their family friends which seemed like an eternity given the fact that both Cici’s “sisters”, Tina and Annie, both sitting on my left and right, decided to throw up and cry, sobbing tears into my pant leg. After we finally arrived and crawling out of the car looking like I just pissed myself we gathered hot plates, coal, lighter fluid and a cooler filled with meat, vegetables, and beer.

Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on A Little Bit of Miscommunication

Sh*t My Students Say

cicipunchI tutored a little 1st-grade Chinese girl for a year in Shanghai. She went to a nice bilingual school and I helped her with her homework in the evenings.

One night, her homework was to learn the words “something” and “nothing”. Pretty advanced for a 1st grader I thought to myself. Oh well! After spending some time describing a water bottle, an orange, pencil, etc.:

Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Kingdom of Cambodia

siem-reap-boy

Cambodia. It may be a harsh country with a still-recent raw past, but it’s filled with some of the most amazing people, rich history, delicious food, beautiful sunsets, and a lively nightlife. It’s a country still trying to find its way. In all my visits there, I always fall more in love with the place and can’t recommend it enough to everyone I meet. It always surprises.

Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Kingdom of Cambodia

Việt Nam – Pt. 1

Bui Vien

I’ve been to Vietnam many times. Each visit has been a special and unique experience. From the food to the coffee, the various landscapes, and places to visit and see, the friendly locals. I’m always trying to figure out a way to get back as soon as possible.

From the balcony of my hostel along Bui Vien Street, I can see a kudzu of scattered rectangular towers wedged together. Box buildings of various bright and light hues of blue, green, yellow, pink and red. Metal water tanks of all shapes and sizes, collecting rust. Hundreds of black power lines jumbled together in massive webs intertwined and meeting on the tops of poles at the intersections. Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Việt Nam – Pt. 1