Miiiiii- chaaaaa!

I am meeting a German visiting professor of architecture at Tsinghua University. We are chatting a bit about Beijing: – Ah, ok. So, you’ve just arrived. And, do you experience culture shock? – Not really, to be honest I feel everywhere at home. That’s the way I am. I experience a serious language barrier shock, though. This really feels weird. Hardly anybody speaks English here. … Continue reading Miiiiii- chaaaaa!


What is needed to significantly decrease traffic congestion in the centre of Beijing? Trump visiting China with its motorcade. Posts including such sarcastic remarks were obviously delated by the censorship, according to Free Weibo.  The bitter truth is that catas-traffic starts again once the choreographed political visit ends. Millions of cars clog the capital every day. The government is racking its brain over the problem: relieving … Continue reading Catas-traffic

Caution. Mr. Xi is watching you!

The very first thing I saw after a sleepless 8-hour flight from Moscow to Beijing was a weird mix of interdictions, ‘good advice’ and warnings, hanging on the toilet’s door:   My first reaction was: OK, good to know. Then I noticed this: That’s a pity. There is no better thing in the world than hanging around, standing or sitting and watching people who are … Continue reading Caution. Mr. Xi is watching you!

On bicheros, damaged face & epiphany (1)

When my last workaway employer was warning me of bicheros (Peruvian guys who have sex with foreign women for money) I was just laughing: Seriously? So, you have to pay for it? It was much less funny when I met one of them face-to-face… But I will start from the beginning: All my new friends left Cusco already while I was still ‘stuck’ there, waiting for … Continue reading On bicheros, damaged face & epiphany (1)

OM-denken en VER-zetten

Even van (men)taal switchen. Want ik ben terug. Terug van waar ik vluchtte. Waar ik bijna een derde van mijn leven heb doorgebracht. Awel, min of meer, uiteraard. De cirkel is niet helemaal rond. Lage Landen, dat blijft nog wel hetzelfde. Vochtig klimaat, fietsen, kanalen, wind, vloeken, zweet op mijn rug na een ochtendrit, regen op mijn gezicht. Dat is allemaal terug. Dus het is … Continue reading OM-denken en VER-zetten

À la recherche des glaciers perdus

I fell in love with those snowy picks the very first time I saw them. Far and simply impressive, proud, unreachable and mystical. Every time I got closer to them they took my breath away. Also, literally: I could barely breathe while I was staring at them, freezing because of the cold wind. When you’re at 5000m. it already becomes difficult. The oxygen’s partial pressure … Continue reading À la recherche des glaciers perdus