”What’s your job?”, we ask several people who are smoking at the end of the train wagon. Each of them answers by pulling out their smartphone and pointing towards a component. We’re in Guangdong province, where a good chunk of the world’s electronic devices are made. You can move across China in a few hours with high-speed […]

Wohoo, we extended our visas for another month. We’re going back to China. We were anxious, because in Bucharest we had spent dozens of hours on the sidewalk behind the embassy, as if they were giving meat away. But in Hong Kong they outsourced bureaucracy to a private firm, which makes money only if they obtain the visa […]

Club Tropicana

So, are you more of a Karl-Heinz Riedle or a Karl-Heinz Rummenigge?, I get asked by an English lawyer who’s lived in Hong Kong since he was 20. He coaches the amateur football club Tropicana FC and they’re letting me play today in their match against a club called Spartans. Tropicana FC, whose players are […]

I’m at the 18th floor of a skyscraper that is tilting and shaking. The wind crashes against the windows at 100 km/h. I’m sitting on the windowsill, drinking wine from a cup. What can you do, the typhoon caught me in Hong Kong. We’re here to extend our visas to continue our bike journey through […]

Blue in the Face

China is a paradise for smokers. Not only is smoking cheap and you can do it literally everywhere, China is also the world’s largest grower, manufacturer, and consumer of tobacco. Since there’s a government monopoly, China Tobacco provides over 7% of the Central Government’s annual revenue. Here you don’t find pictures of death and cancer […]

I’d have liked to say that I was shocked by the traffic in China, but after ten years of riding my bike in Bucharest I feel ready for anything. There is no such thing as pedestrian crossings here. There are some white lines on the asphalt here and there, but if you set foot on them, […]

Kleine Nachtmusik

Every half an hour I wake up because my ass hurts. It’s not cut out for this. I shift my position a little in the seat. My four co-travellers shift with me. If I stretch out my left leg, someone has to move his right leg out of the way. If I cross my arms, […]

Hard Sleeper

On all the lights I’ve missed on Henan’s pot-holed country roads we cross the Yangtze river. We fly through the traffic with Wuhan’s bats. The moon’s a foul mandarine. Death sleeps with his mouth open, outstretched on two seats of a commuter bus. In a side street someone plays the piano. My neck hurts from […]

I woke up this morning with a taste of scalded feathers in my mouth. I dreamed of a choir of ducklings that echoed songs in the eggs from which they didn’t manage to escape. Their voices were becoming squeakier as the temperature rose, turning them into a mixture of omelette, steak and genocide. Finally, after a month in […]

I just found out that the train that passes over these poor fellas belongs to the longest stretch of high speed rail in the world and it used to be the fastest conventional train until its limit was reduced. They feared it might jump from the track rail. The train eats up 2300 km in a […]