April 10th, 2009

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[travel] Beijing day 2

Today was day 2 in Beijing. I slept nine hours last night (three more than usual) and have mostly caught up up with my jet lag. Still, I made it down to the eccentric breakfast buffet at 6:30 am, when the buffet opened. Had breakfast with Dad, then Mom showed up, then the_child. Afterwards I sorted through bloggy goodness and got ready for the day.

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Originally published at jlake.com.

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[photos] A little bit about the hutongs of Beijing

I've mentioned hutongs several times. In fact, we're going to tour one today. They're urban villages, essentially, a very classic Chinese way of living in which a small community is completely enclosed by a larger city. Part of the appeal for me of hutongs is how they seem to draw one it. Hidden in plain sight, as it were. There's a world-within-a-world character to them which fascinates.

Many of Beijing's hutongs have been lost to urban renewal, but in the past few years the Chinese government has come to recognize them as important parts of urban history. Now they are being preserved, or at least no longer being eradicated.

Given that Flickr is cooperating marginally this morning, I've managed to Collapse )


Originally published at jlake.com.

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[links] Link salad gets its hutong on

Libel laws distort publishing — An interesting piece on a well-known legal quirk in the UK. One of the more insane pieces of British law, in my uninformed opinion. (Snurched from Scrivener's Error.)

Nanogenerators! — Cool tech.

Closing the data gapCentauri Dreams on obsolete data. Nice essay.
The dark side of Dubai — (Thanks to danjite.)

?otD: Hutong the lights out?




4/11/2009
Body movement: urban walking all day
This morning's weigh-in: n/a (traveling)
Currently reading: The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade by Herman Melville; The Solitudes by John Crowley


Originally published at jlake.com.

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[travel] Beijing day 3 is about to get rolling

Getting a (deliberately) slower start today. We are leaving in about an hour to go to a children's art exhibit, visit a hutong, attend an acrobatics show, and I'm not sure what else, frankly, before we board the night train for Xi'an. With luck our hotel in Xi'an will have a more solid connection to Flickr. I've already taken over 1,000 photos, and I need to inflict them on you people at some point.

Due to being on a train tonight, and unknown Internet status in Xi'an, updates may be irregular for a while.

(And yes, garyomaha and kevinstandlee, I'll get train photos as much as possible. Already got some yesterday, of a high speed excursion train approaching Badaling.)

Originally published at jlake.com.

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[travel] Miscellaneous China notes

When you change Traveler's Checks into renminbi, they go to a lot of trouble with the serial numbers. So this morning I took down some cash. Guess what, they go to a lot of trouble with the serial numbers. A mix of ones, fives and twenties, a lot of serial numbers. Cripes.

And last night at dinner, I am pleased to report that I avoided the goose bowel. Which was listed on the menu with a helpful photographic hint.

Mmm.

Originally published at jlake.com.