A Postcard from Erenhot

Two small dogs are attacking a homeless man, while I’m nursing my lingering fever with sidewalk kebabs and a bottle of Yanjing beer. One of them bites at his ankle, and he hobbles away, cursing while diners beside me laugh, and the wind picks up again. I shield my face from the sand.

This is Erenhot, or Erlian (二连), Erlianhaote (二连浩特), Eriyen, or Ereen… a town on the Chinese/Mongolian border with too many names. Every passerby stares at me, and every child shouts “Hello” as I pass. One stranger steals a photo of me with his cellphone. Someone else asks me to pose. “And with my friend, also?” Continue reading “A Postcard from Erenhot”

Those Creepy Japanese Videos, Finally Explained

If you’ve been wondering about the creepy Japanese videos I’ve been posting — videos of girls staring blankly at the camera for a minute, then uttering a single short phrase — I’m finally ready to offer an explanation.
Continue reading “Those Creepy Japanese Videos, Finally Explained”