Random Thoughts

Random thoughts. Thoughts that are random. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just stuff that doesn’t fit other places.

How to Talk to People Who Don’t Speak English Good

As the world grows smaller, it’s more important than ever to learn how to talk with people who don’t speak English as a first language. My fellow Americans, I have some disappointing truth to share with you. Not everyone in the world speaks English as their first language. I know, I know, it’s shameful and …

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You Can’t Drink the Water in China

You can't drink the water in China - onaroadtonowhere.com

There’s water everywhere, but in China, it isn’t safe to drink. It rained all day yesterday. Even though I had an umbrella with me, my shoes are still soggy from trudging through a downpour. This isn’t even the rainy season. Sometimes it rains non-stop for two weeks straight. Everyone’s walls have water damage and sometimes …

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Five Chinese Movies That Aren’t Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Chinese movies have existed pretty much since the beginning of cinema, starting with rickety black and white footage of downtown Shanghai. The country has a rich artistic heritage that goes back a century. But, all anyone ever wants to talk about is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Or Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. Jackie Chan and …

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Loneliness, Holidays and Living Overseas

Sometimes living overseas can be very lonely. This loneliness is worse during the holidays. This is a blog post about that.

The Most Annoying Things About Living in China

Today I’m writing a list of the most annoying things about living in China. Generally, I’ve tried to keep this blog mostly positive. It’s pretty easy to read plenty of negative things about China these days. It’s harder to find people saying genuinely nice things. Culture shock can make the most optimistic of us turn …

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You should be way more upset about Trump’s WeChat and TikTok ban

Trump’s WeChat and TikTok ban is dumb. It’s the latest of many dumb things done by a dumb president. As an American, I can freely say that online. If my fellow Americans continue their collective shoulder-shrug about Trump’s WeChat and TikTok ban, I might not be able to for much longer.

How to Survive a Self-Quarantine

Spending two weeks at home will surely teach you how to survive a self-quarantine. In the end, it wasn’t so bad, really. In the end, I was surprised at how quickly those two weeks went by. Now, the coronavirus is spreading around the world. Here in Shanghai, things are slowly but surely getting better. New …

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The Coronavirus: We’re Surviving the Quarantine

When I first heard about the Coronavirus, I said a hearty “meh”. Every year it seems like there’s some new horrible virus to be terrified of, and every year the new horrible virus fails to effect my life in any way whatsoever. It’s like the story about the boy who cried wolf. You know, he …

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First Time Scuba Diving, Try Not To Drown!

My first-time scuba diving, my stomach churned like a typhoon. I sat on the edge of the boat breathing in and out slowly, trying to hold back the tsunami of vomit that was building up in the bottom of my gut. Why the hell had I turned down that seasickness medication? Trying to be macho, …

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China Nice

a carved chinese dragon in a yellow wall

Many years ago I used to work in the meat department of a grocery store. I’d stand behind a counter for eight hours a day serving free-range beef and organic skinless boneless chicken breasts to Minneapolis, Minnesota’s more well off customers. I’m not particularly into meat or serving customers, but it was a job and …

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