February 1, 2020

The union


Something I learnt early on in my life was never to trust people who promise to do good to our” people” by doing bad to them people”.

January 18, 2020

A nest of spies and such

The Rex was where the journalists, the spies and such people used to meet during the war years. Now lovers find happiness outside.

Another new place that brings nostalgia is the new premises of Brodard bakery. Suddenly you are transported to the 1970s.

January 2, 2020

A return to Shanghai

I am back in Shanghai after 16 years. And back in Mainland China after 10 years.

I didn’t get a chance to spend a lot of time out and about, but I managed to go to a bookshop to see what people are reading. I felt that the selection was tamer compared to what I used to see in bookstores about a decade back. The only trouble with coming back to China is that now I realise how much I missed China after defecting to Taiwan. Suddenly, I am borrowing library books on China, I am subscribing to China-related podcasts. I want to go back to the West (Sichuan) and the North East.

The bug these days is that the visa is around 100 USD and it is an only single entry. They are also far stricter about where you stay overnight - no more adventures.

I sometimes think that places have a certain time where they kind of exist in a twilight zone - you can steal a little bit of chaos and there is some optimism that the things will keep tending towards less rigidity. I think in China that time was the late 1990s and 2000s. Surely, China is more affluent now and I have no doubt, most people have a higher quality of life. It is just that the selfish me wishes for China from that time. It was my China.

China Travels
December 24, 2019

Bladerunnersque Hanoi

The Lotte logo illuminates the heavy air. One joy of being a vampire is the sight that you can only see very late at night.

Hanoi Pollution

Hanoi Pollution

Travel Vietnam Hanoi
December 14, 2019

Bangladesh in Hanoi

Bangladesh in Hanoi Walking along a narrow alley in Hanoi’s Japanese town, I spotted this art featuring the map of Bangladesh. Turns out a new curry place has opened up.

Bangladesh in Hanoi

No Japanese area is complete without a curry house.

Travel Vietnam Food
November 23, 2019

A new book shop

Nice to see a new bookshop in the city. Versus other Asian cities where bookshops are shutting down. People have interesting encounters with other people or places or circumstances. They write these in books encouraging us to try new things. Books (and the ideas within them) are the nutrients that a society needs in order to grow.

Saigon Books