The Revenge of the Sludge

In my last post about a week ago, I lamented the flooding of my bathroom floor via the in-floor drain present in many a Chinese (and Asian) bathroom. Well, I’m not one to sit around and whine about a problem for long, so I decided to take action. Initially, that meant contacting the school help…

The Creature from the Black Lagoon

Has thus arisen from my bathroom drain. Plumbing in my apartment is perfunctory, to say the least, and it’s certainly nothing fancy. But since the entire bathroom used to be a giant shower, there is a straight pipe drain in the center of the floor, with a slightly raised door stoop to prevent water from…

Cruising the Hood

Primroses in bloom along Lantian Lu Alright, that’s a bit much for Jinqiao, but that is the neighborhood around here. I’ll own up to shame of not really going out much in this particular area. I think I had walked around the general block of school (Mingyue/Huangyang Lu), Hongfeng Lu (restaurant row, one street over from…

It’s 2 AM… – Philippines – Day 10

Early morning Jeepney 2:45 AM For the first morning in a week, I didn’t wake up to the sound of roosters in the yard. No, it was the jarring jingle of a ring coming from the hotel phone. Gargh. It was too early. Too early. Fortunately, I had laid out all of my clothes for…

Chocolate & Manila – Philippines – Day 9

The quiet after a fiesta On our final morning in Palawan, I snagged an early breakfast with the other two travelers and took the tricycle with them to the tiny island airport. Thus began my adventure. First of all, the other four people with me had tickets to fly out in the morning; my ticket…

Hakuna Matata – Philippines – Day 8

Early morning on the beach. Friday morning marked our last few hours in El Nido. I woke up in the utter darkness of a room without a window and fumbled around for my things so I could take a quick, cold shower – basically, in the dark. I scrambled into the shower – there were…

The International Man of Mystery – Philippines – Day 6

It was another early morning between the street fiesta and the roosters. Our scrawny friend outside the window was quite persistent in his crowing, despite numerous death threats uttered against him by the backpackers in the room. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up in a stew pot the next day. I had to…

Finding Nemo Meets Castaway – Philippines – Day 5

“Oopah Gangnam style…” “Ayyyyeeeee sexy lady…” “Oppp, oppp, oppp, oppp, oppp, oppah Gangnam style…” Our friendly next-door, all-town fiesta banged away all night until 4 AM. And, as soon as the music stopped, the roosters started. First, it was the scraggly, underfed monster outside our window, the one that sounded like it was being strangled…

The Little Mermaids – Philippines – Day 3

It was an early pick-up the next morning. Good thing the roosters were ready at 4 AM. I didn’t have to ask for a wake-up call. Island hopping day. Now that sounded adventurous! With an entire van load shoved full of people, we were ready for a boat ride to paradise. First, we had to…