In April I went to the Spark Decompression. It was great, but in fact was was a practice run in leading up to last month’s amazing Turtle Burn!
This is the official regional Burning Man event for Taiwan, located on a campsite in the mountains of Yilan and featuring an array of activities including drag shows and fire-dancing. And a muppet serving waffles.
Please enjoy this video I made about my experiences, and for more information please check out: turtleburn.com
Next up, at the Urban Nomad music festival in Taipei. a fellow wore this T-shirt and was kind enough to let me photography him. It wasn’t one of those silly T-shirts that people wear without knowing what it means, he was fully into the message. And an important peaceful message it is these days, seriously.
This is a sponsored post. I was recently contacted by the Financial Times concerning “The End of the Chinese Miracle”, and have been invited to share the following video and give some of my commentary. Definitely a must-watch for all China observers:
China is certainly changing. And according to the Financial Times, the economic growth will not last forever. Specifically, due to the cheap labor of migrants winding down in recent years. I am not an economics expert myself, but the doubling of wages and repercussions globally do seem troubling. An interesting analysis.
The interview with a migrant worker who has decided to return to his hometown is key. Hundreds of millions may follow suit (the numbers are staggering), and the dependence of the world on ‘made in China’ products is going to have to change. There is also the phenomenon of of Vietnamese coming to work illegally in China explored. While India may be the next big thing, in the meantime the world is going to have to get used to new status quos.
Not mentioned in the video however, is the widely-believed analysis that the crackdown of Xi Jinping’s government is all about keeping China stable — and under the party’s control — as the economic downturn inevitably moves along… Not to mention the explosion of housing prices in major Chinese cites, which I have witnessed firsthand.
I don’t usually get into politics and economics on this blog, it’s mostly been about just my own experiences, yet I always welcome discussions with those smarter than myself. I do try to be optimistic, and the truth is no one can completely predict the future accurately.
Last weekend, I was honored to have been invited to the Letters From China bilingual poetry event in Guangzhou courtesy of GZ-based poet Aaron Styza. It was at Yi-Gather, one of my favorite places in the city, and the turnout and conversation were excellent. I, of course, read from my novel South China Morning Blues.
Unfortunately, it was one of the coldest nights of the year and the place doesn’t have heating! This happens when living in the tropical southern regions; all year you’re sweating and you never know what week is going to be actually cold… and you are not at all prepared for it. Seriously, even though it doesn’t get below freezing (and I did grow up in a place with four seasons), the combination of humidity and winds makes for some very harsh conditions.
The next day, something magical happened that made the weather more than worth it! It actually SNOWED. It was about two or three degrees Celsius and by some miracle small pellets of frozen water (maybe technically hail, but looked enough like snow) softly fell to the ground and immediately melted. Brief and ephemeral, we couldn’t believe our eyes. Not that it was a polar vortex like elsewhere, but in the context of this tropical environment it was amazing. Sadly, wasn’t really photographable.
I heard it’s the first time the weather had been this low in the region in some fifty-sixty years. And, a month ago was the warmest year’s winter ever. Not going to get into climate change or anything, just sayin these temperature extremes are interesting.
Anyway, here is an Instagram picture followed by Youtube video concerning the event:
[Yes I know I do not look good nor sound good but the self is an eternal process and I shall work on it]
Always nervous to do these sorts of things, it’s even worse to record and hear myself. Do I really sound like that? Well, I did my best and that’s all that can be done; seems to work out most of the time.