Tag Archives: Resident Alien

The undefeated gangster squirrel and other first world problems

I hate a tree. No one is more surprised than I am. Trees are green and wonderful. I love trees! Except for this tree. I hate this tree. The tree I hate is a big Douglas fir, about 100 feet … Continue reading

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Escape from the cavern of the credit Morlocks

Note: Originally published on Medium. There are two kinds of people in America: those with good credit, and Morlocks who live below ground and emerge at night to steal your children. Returning to the US after my years abroad I … Continue reading

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Reverse Culture Shock and Other Myths

Early last year I moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area after seventeen years in Asia. The number one thing people here asked me about that was, “What do you think of the Niners this year?” because, when push … Continue reading

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I’m leaving China and it doesn’t mean a thing

It started with the oven. In Singapore in 2001 I bought a used Sharp R-8H50(B)T Rotisserie combination microwave and convection oven from my buddy, Tuck Wai, for S$200. Say what you will about the Sharp Corporation, which is struggling, but … Continue reading

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The Devil’s Air Conditioner and Other Tales of Woe

Sometimes life in Beijing is like one of those Japanese game shows where they see how much torture people are willing to endure for surprisingly mediocre prizes. Picture the following and you’ve more or less got it: “Mr. Ishihara, for … Continue reading

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In defense of the fuzz

For many years I lived in Singapore, which is right on the equator and has roughly two seasons: slightly more rainy, and slightly less rainy. Otherwise, it was pretty much hot and humid throughout, which always used to freak me … Continue reading

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Holiday special: An advanced socialist dessert culture

In my years here, I have participated in passionate and heated debates on virtually all aspects of Chinese politics and society. What is the true nature of the government? Can the Chinese educational system produce creativity? Is the country rising … Continue reading

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