Monthly Archives: January 2018

the most important word of the 20th century

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Watched a clip from a Chinese news segment today. An anchorwoman talked about an election where “Comrade Xi Jinping” had got all the votes. Interesting, especially when you consider that most inhabitants of China have never actually seen a voting ballot. And yet “democracy” is one of the explicitly stated “Core Values of Socialism” that […]


forgotten V

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Remember how I shared an obscure hip hop album with you two days earlier? Well, here’s another one, and it’s possibly even more obscure: Cool V – “Boom Shakka”. This one is from Florida, and it’s part of the Miami Bass wave that was championed in the late 1980s by The 2 Live Crew. This means it’s […]


build the light

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Teacher Xie’s ashes were laid to rest today. His grave is close to his ancestral home, on a green hill overlooking a green valley: Chinese tradition has it that this is a good place for a grave. The headstone is interesting, though. I had forgotten about a story Teacher Xie once told me, so I […]


recommended cast

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Just because something is popular doesn’t mean that it’s good. Or bad. It just means that a lot of people somehow seem to like it. Strange to think, though, of the many good things that are out there, forever buried because they are not popular. They exist. We just don’t hear about them. For example, […]


sad spring

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I don’t like the word grief very much. It sounds rather formal to me, like a tradition that has been handed down to us, something that we have to act out, not like a real emotion. Also, I think that every time we say things like “good grief” it takes away from its meaning. I […]


how the calabash stopped being green

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I started counting days on November 9th 2007, when I first set foot out of my door in Beijing and started walking towards my home in Bad Nenndorf. One thousand days have passed since then. Well, actually, it’s been more than that, but I chose to only count the days that I spent involved with […]


Brexitesque

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Remember that Twitter poll I started three days earlier? I was asking the internet to decide on a cover for the new edition of my coffee table book “China zu Fuß”. And the internet did decide: Or rather: it’s basically a non-decision. What does fifty-two vs. forty-eight mean? It reminded me of the Brexit vote. […]


hot and clear

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Felt like I was being watched today. Stop looking, goddamnit! I’d say, but since I’d be saying it to nobody in particular, there would never be a response. And so I went about my day. Drank some fanta, drank some tea, destroyed a plate of fried potatoes. Closed the last page of a book I […]


Walk well, Teacher Xie

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This is Teacher Xie (谢老师, Xie Jianguang, 谢建光, The Biggest Fool Under The Sun, 天下第一疯) in a video from five years ago: At that point, he had been walking through China for thirty years. He walked until today, when he found his final resting place. I cut his page from my book so I could […]


the cover poll

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We decided to publish a revamped, extended edition of my coffee table book “China zu Fuß”. New photos, a new chapter about the last leg of my walk through China in 2010 and 2012, and an all new layout! We couldn’t decide on a cover, though: In the end I made a poll on Twitter. […]


the creepy joke

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Made it to season three of “Friends”, and I still don’t like it. But it’s interesting to see how much society has changed over the last two decades. There is one episode in the first season where they’re playing poker. Joey throws down his cards, saying: “I fold like a cheap hooker who got hit […]


Comfugly

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There are many things to be said about walking, and many of them have been said by others. Though not by me. Walking belongs to us like our ability to speak or manipulate things with our hands. Our ancestors used their feet to get around, and when they did, most of the time they were […]


can I smash them?

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I’m not supposed to move around too much, but I can still go to the grocery store and stuff like that. So today I went and picked up some pizza and some mixed nuts, and while I was there I looked at the candy section for a long time: Have you ever had this feeling […]


old books better than new friends

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I like to listen to podcasts or watch TV while I’m working on my photos. Recently I have picked up the 90s classic sitcom “Friends”, which I had never watched before because I had always considered it to be annoying. Well, judging from the first season, I wasn’t wrong. There were exactly two strong moments […]


blue to white

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Time to go back to the north and wait. My shoes would be sent to me together with the new inlays. I was supposed to rest anyway, though I wasn’t sure for exactly how long. Until the pain went away? When I left the house, the sky was blue: When the train started moving, there […]


take me back

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Went back to pick up the new inlays today: They weren’t ready, though. Or rather, my new inlays were ready, but we discovered some problem with my shoes (I had recently replaced both my pairs of hiking shoes with new ones). So we decided that they needed some work with this mechanical device: Later in […]


I’ll never be sorry

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Monday. Time to get rid of my old inlays and exchange them for a new pair: But first, some more measurements needed to be taken: The inlays themselves were handmade, but the process of determining their ideal shape seemed to be quite sophisticated: I was going to go back the next day and pick up […]


I want the fairy tale

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Played some Scrabble: Had to find out that I wasn’t very good at it. I preferred Uno. Munich was cold and grey, and there were a lot less love locks here than in some of the more touristy places in China: Later that night, I got together with a buddy, and we decided to order […]


Orwell was wrong (and I win at Uno)

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Played Uno with a friend and his son today. The little guy was five. We played for a long time, and I apparently won most of our games: I have no idea how I did it. All I can say is that I have great respect for the little guy because he took most of […]


third opinion

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Today I went to yet another orthopaedic clinic. This time it was in the outskirts of Munich: The doctor (Munich) looked at the files from my x-ray (Hamburg) and my MRI (Hannover) and said there was indeed a minor problem with some of the joints in my right foot, but it was small, no big […]