What did you pay for me, Dad?

We enter Weishi, about 700 Kilometers south of Beijing, on a huge boulevard. After riding through pitch dark country roads strewn with potholes we now have six lanes illuminated by chandelier-like street lights just for us. For two kilometers almost no car passes, just a few electro scooters and tricycles, the vroom of trucks overloaded […]

Somewhere through the brick labyrinth of a Chinese village, on a small street untouched yet by pavers that lay asphalt faster than we can sweep, a man who’s shucking corn waves at us, inviting us in his home, and my heart bursts with joy. It might not seem like a big deal to have someone inviting you […]

Mr. Hasselhoff, tear down this wall!

Maybe this is the most romantic shot I made during this trip so far ? Or maybe the lyrics “don’t tell me there’s no dignity in this world/ don’t tell me there is nobody you want to hold” blaring out of this clothing shop’s loudspeakers in Niutunzhen just seemed kind of symbolic to me because […]

How we crashed a funeral and got busted by the police

“We pushed our luck too hard this time”, says Vlad as we’re rolling behind the police. “I knew it.” The blue and red flashing lights on their old Volkswagen reverberate in the dust, the night, the small brick houses of Baozhuangcun. We were the talk of the town. Maybe not everybody liked that. Us walking […]

Fireworks everywhere

We get a flat tire on the highway and we stop to patch it up, when PEW PEW BOOOM, someone is shooting from behind the trees! First instinct – let’s hide; second instinct – let’s explore. Is it a shooting range? No, it’s a funeral procession. People with gloomy faces and white ribbons wrapped around their arms are carrying […]

We are travelling through China like we’re in a computer game in which the characters we meet have the same reactions  all the time.  They point their fingers at us and laugh, they shout “Halou”, they ask us what country are we from, they take a selfie with us and then they leave. We are like some […]

The Chinese villageshowed itself to us like an inside-out prison. The pathways look like corridors enclosed by tall walls that stretch to the end of the village. The houses are these fortresses glued to one another, with inner courtyards. The gates are kept locked, and when they do open you can’t see a thing, because beyond them there’s another wall, a frontispiece […]

We see the Sun

We’re driving past the flashing skyline of another million-mile city, directly into the brown fields that blur into the endless smog. Everything here feels like a photo that was accidentally double-exposed. You might think for a moment that you’re alone on the road through harvested cornfields, but here they are, as if from nowhere, farmers […]

Today we saw the sun. So it was that I was walking down a paved road in the middle of a field with lots of Chinese who were planting coal. They stop whenever I pass by, they pull out their smartphones and take pictures of me. At some point, everything around gets a copperish hue. People’s skin mirrors the color […]

The Chinese are the sweetest people I’ve met until now, but it seems that taxi drivers are from a different species. One night we missed the last subway at 11 pm and, along with some other people who were late, we got into a beef similar to what was happening in Romania in the ‘90s, when they would […]