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In The Art of Travel, 11. Second book, Shanghai by William Denning2 Comments

Coming from Atlanta, I am no stranger to a city and it’s history with war. Roaming the streets of the city, you see historical artifacts everywhere, primarily from the civil war. The war devastated Atlanta, and thus, in it’s rebuilding, has lead to a lot of what makes Atlanta, Atlanta. The weird zoning, the highway structures, even the way the …

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Ancient art in Shanghai made yesterday; Modern art made tomorrow

In The Art of Travel, 10. The Art of Place, Shanghai by Mark3 Comments

Art has an interesting role in China, which I am still exploring. The first book I read for this class, Riding the Iron Rooster, by Paul Theroux, and my current book, Oracle Bones, by Peter Hessler, both touch on the odd relationship this nation has with its antiques. The cultural revolution of the 1970’s sowed the destruction of many of …

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Qiandao Hu (千岛湖)

In The Art of Travel, 9. Troubles, Shanghai by William DenningLeave a Comment

The difficulties of traveling in China aren’t speaking the language, following the roadsigns, or even finding the most exciting spots. The biggest difficulty is the procurement of information. The most and best information lies mostly on travel blogs and expat forums. This, though, adds a sense of adventure to traveling in China. Each trip has a number of game elements …

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How many lifetimes, in bureaucratic hours, does it take to get into China?

In The Art of Travel, 9. Troubles, Shanghai by Mark1 Comment

If there’s one thing I can hardly stand about travel, it’s the bureaucracy. Every country you go to has different regulations and procedures for immigration and it seems to me like every time I go someplace new, it gets a little harder. I recall with envy the easiness of South American bureaucracy. In many countries there is no process to …

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The First Step Will Pull You In!

In The Art of Travel, 8. Bubble, Shanghai by Mark2 Comments

Moving to a country completely alone, a traveler is forced to enter the world they arrive in right away. You’ve got to find a lease, a cell phone plan, a local grocery. It’s during this time that travelers become accustomed to the local language, currency, and transportation networks. However, when a traveler moves to a new country with a group …

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Bordertown

In The Art of Travel, 8. Bubble, Shanghai by William Denning1 Comment

This weekend, I was eating dinner at Bordertown, one of two good Mexican restaurants in Shanghai. What we love most is the guacamole which we describe as ‘good for China’. The phrase has become commonplace when describing Western food in the city. Sometimes, it’s excellent, even for the states. You’ve never had a burger unless you’ve gone to Beef and …

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The Dog

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Shanghai by William Denning1 Comment

Every once in a while, you’ll come across a piece of work—a book, a painting, maybe even a map or a piece of music—that will suddenly make sense of a cacophony around you that you didn’t even know was there. It brings into focus an unknown static, files away and categorizes thoughts of an environment undecipherable. Jack Livings’ short story …

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Theroux’s China

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Shanghai by Mark1 Comment

In the past when I have returned home after a months-long trip, friends and family have always asked: “What’s the craziest thing that happened?” I’m always caught off guard by this. It forced me to consider whether nothing interesting had really happened, or perhaps I was just a bad storyteller. As I read Riding the Iron Rooster, by Paul Theroux, …

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Homecoming

In The Art of Travel, 5. The Spirit of Place, Shanghai by William Denning1 Comment

On Chinese New Years Eve, families gather together and eat 年夜饭. In China, the new year is Thanksgiving and Christmas combined into one. It’s holiday where, even in a country so busy and fast-paced, everything shuts down. Streets are desolate with dark windows and clear walkways. The cities funnel out into the country side. A mass homecoming. An exodus. I …

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Surveillance

In The Art of Travel, 4. Politics, Shanghai by William Denning1 Comment

With the technology in Shanghai everything is simply easier. Leaving the house becomes irrelevant with the popularization of super apps, such as WeChat. WeChat has everything you could possibly need in terms of life in China. It streamlines all of the processes which can be streamlined. Payment, food delivery, even dating. Using it makes me weary of returning to the …