Finding Food.

I used to think markets were a bourgeois gimmick, destined to adults in their forties with proper wages. Plus, dragging your caddie there chills your toes in the winter. Only a few years ago did I start going, listening to the advice of my experienced neighbor who enjoys a good culinary life without spending too…

The mechanics of smog.

Fall drags on with a late summer sweetness in Ningbo, until, in a matter of days, the winds arrive and they drop the temperature by ten degrees Celsius. October proved remarkable in its… misdoings. We failed in getting our oven repaired after the manufacturer failed to deliver the new parts twice. I painfully yielded to…

About shopping.

Till I was nine years old, it was generally my grandmother who brought us new clothes if she’d come to visit. Every time that big pile of pinkness arrived I gasped in wonder at the sudden quantity of newness. Shopping remained a very abstract concept my little mind couldn’t get the hang of. Then my…

My own Rocky Chinese Picture Show.

The legend goes that sometimes your boss screws you over and runs away with the money. Not common, but not unheard of either. Legend materialized for us. Twice. With two different bosses. It all began when our old manager flew away with all the school assets and the car last April. The bastard abandoned his…

About your razor.

I remember thinking for the first time, when I was around ten: “Now I’m mature enough to shave my legs!” I happily proceeded, then even more enthusiastically did one arm, before remembering my mother’s warning that the hair would grow back thicker deeper (thanks for the correction!) and stronger than before and that I’d just…

Les réparations en Chine.

Mon grand-père veut toujours tout faire lui-même. Il veut couper son bois de chauffage, faire ses travaux dans la maison (en résultent des marches de 30 centimètres d’altitude), distiller son cidre et réparer tout ce qui est mécaniquement et électroniquement approchable. Que n’ai-je prié pour qu’il débarque sur son cheval blanc pour réparer le four…

Recycling seniors

I sipped an americano as the remnants of typhoon Merenti passed by. Through the steaming window I saw this man well into his seventies carrying a dozen polystyrene boxes, all hanging from the two ends of a stick hoisted on his shoulders. He was leaning forward and walking slowly. My cozy armchair lost some of…