Welcomenidoskommenvenue!! (hi.)

Imagine a blonde, white, twenty-six year man at six feet three inches tall.  Imagine him standing in Tiananmen Square with the entire population of Beijing surrounding him.  This is me.  Blonde in a sea of black.  With this travelogue you will experience China through my eyes.

I am a recent law school graduate and newly inducted member of the California BAR.  After taking the Bar, two friends and I fled to China rather than face the inevitable and grisly reality of looking for a job during the worst market in eighty years.  Law school grads have honored the Bar trip since time immemorial as an ecstatic celebration of irresponsibility and regression (Bangarang!) for which you max out your Bar loans.  It’s what gets you through the desperate urge to hang yourself with your computer cord under a table in the law library.  All those job rejections can (and will) wait until you get back.

And now I’m back.  Jobless.  Twenty-six and living in my old room at my parents house.  This blog is borne out of equal parts of 1) boredom; 2) desire to digitize my travel accounts for fear of losing them to a flash flood or freak oil fire; and 3) barely acknowledged desperation that someone will find this and turn it into a book and a movie like they did for that Julia Childs girl.

So this is my China Travelogue Photoblog.  My Chravelphlogue.  It’s my virtual battered leather travel journal with photos.  The Chravelphlogue will include day-by-day account of the bizarre things that can only happen to white people traveling through China, accompanied by the best pictures that I took each day.  It is inspired by, and oft transcribed from, the romantic leather-bound folio containing my thoughts and accounts from eighteen countries (alas!  I had visited four other countries before buying this gem of a journal.)

**A note on my actual battered leather journal.  This is the perfect journal to take traveling, so you will forgive if, from time to time, I wax poetic on its virtues.  It has a robust leather cover that is protective yet pliable – it survives the weeks and months crushed and rolled up in my backpack with gusto.  It has clean, unlined, cream-colored pages than allow me to scrawl, doodle, jot, and sketch in all directions.  I say reject the monotony of left-to-right writing!  Turn it upside down!  Draw pictures!  Glue in a postcard!  Re-reading is so much more enjoyable when your pages don’t evoke the unerring structure of a page from the Federal Tax Code.  Finally, the journal has resilient string that binds the sections of paper to the leather spine, withstanding my careless and frequent folding back of the cover.  It is a wonderful  journal.  That’s it up there in the header.  And here it is again:

Beautiful, no?

In the comings days, this Chravelphlogue will confront some of the controversial issues that we were presented with in China, such as:

  • Why are all these men showing their bare bellies to me?
  • Where are the napkins?  Just because chopsticks keep my fingers safe from the food doesn’t similarly protect my face.
  • Why would I want to drink scalding hot tea on a sweltering Summer day?
  • What is this hot tang orange drink that we have to have for breakfast?
  • Why do Chinese people assume all tall, blonde, white guys are from Scandinavia?
  • How many more people are going to ask to take a picture with me?
  • And who, you know, in the world, is creating these t-shirts with excruciating English translations?

Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned.


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