Bolt at the Bird’s Nest

A video posted by Johanna (@picsbyjojo) on Aug 23, 2015 at 6:25am PDT Beijing is hosting the World Athletics Championships now, a major international event that China for some reason is not hyping. Still, all evening sessions have already sold out, so luckily I bought tickets for Boyfriend and me three months ago. That is […]

At the top of the Rough Ridge Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Home, Sweet Home

There’s nothing like returning home again after a long spell overseas. The excitement of seeing family and friends again. The joy of being able to do the things you used to do. And mostly, the ease of it all. Things aren’t constantly threatening to break down. Dust takes much longer to accumulate. Everything is literally […]

Fake Harbin

Harbin is quite an unusual city. For starters, its name in Chinese is three characters, deriving from a Manchu word. And its history as a Russian base has left an indelible European imprint on the city. But other than the unusual architecture and the local’s apparent love for ice cream popsicles, it really did seem […]

Harbin from the Songhua River (???)

Harbin

Boyfriend and I went to Harbin, way up in the far reaches of northeastern China, for the Dragon Boat Festival long weekend. The city of 10 million is known for its bitterly cold winters (-40 degrees!), during which it holds an ice sculpture festival with giant icy monuments dotting the city. For those brave enough […]

Angkor Wat at sunrise.

Recent travels

After spending a total of two days last year in countries I’d never been to before, I’m happy to say that I’ve been traveling a lot more this year. So far I’ve knocked out three more countries — and it’s only May June! Here’s a round-up of my adventures in Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia:

Lizzy the lizard

This gecko scared the bejeezus out of me yesterday morning, darting across our bedroom floor right as I came out of the bathroom. Because who expects to see a gecko in Beijing? I hope I didn’t bring it back with me from Bali. Or Thailand! Anyway, Lizzy was caught (in that dirty takeway container, sorry) […]

Beijing bans indoor smoking

Finally, a ban I can get on board with! People are no longer allowed to smoke in indoor public spaces — restaurants, malls, office buildings, etc. etc. etc. I’ve heard that “indoor” means anything covered by a roof. But wait! Isn’t indoor smoking already banned? Well, it was, but then it was unbanned. But wait! […]

Pandas

Man, pandas. Is there any other creature in this world that is so bad at life? First, they let people destroy their homes. Then, they give zero fucks about repopulating their species (except for this guy). Now, it turns out they haven’t even bothered to learn, after 2 million years, to digest the very food […]