I’m no doctor…but you should probably stop eating cigarette butts

I love reading newspapers in other countries. It’s especially fun when the English language is still somewhat a mystery to the papers’ writers.

Take for example this article:

Thirteen-year-old Chen Junyi has had to deal with an unbearable pain in her stomach since 2000.

That same year, this girl from Huashi Town, an impoverished town in Luoding, South China’s Guangdong Province, began eating cigarette butts. Her appetite for them eventually grew from about a dozen a day to more than 30. She also started eating uncooked rice.

Her body stopped developing, but her belly expanded so that she looked like she was pregnant.

Her frightened parents brought her to the town’s biggest hospital, but doctors could not pinpoint her illness.
Somebody call the Chinese Maury or Jerry Springer.

Actually, the article ends quite…

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Hong Kong to Chicago – 14 hours

Layover in Chicago – 12 hours

# of times I dozed yesterday as I fought off sleep until evening – 21, including 4 times during my haircut. (Yep, I got one.)

I’ll be posting some homecoming posts either later today or tomorrow. Until then, an essay I wrote about Home awaits you below the cut. I wrote it 3 years ago – it has some typos and flow issues, but seeing how we’re so close, I’ll let you read it anyhow.

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Heading Home

I spent today in Hong Kong snapping photos of glass towers and trying to find the longest escalator in the world. Tomorrow I fly home.

But fear not, the quest is far from over. Now the processing and research begins. I hope to be able to start discussing the apparel industry more in depth: the problems, what is being done, what we can do about them, etc.

I’ve only been able to share a little about my exploits with the factories and the workers and what I think about it all. I felt like I couldn’t post too often about the workers because it could hurt my chances of getting into factories. I do think the posts that I wrote on the workers and factories accurately…

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If you thought this was a vacation…

It wasn’t. I worked my tail off.

The old laptop I brought on this trip has a grand total of 714 Kb left on the hard drive. That means it has room for about half of one photo.

Some more stats…

I’ve taken some 3,000 pics.

Written 2 Mb worth of notes (trust me that’s a lot).

Posted over 22,000 words on this here blog in the last 3 months.

Recorded over 12 hours of audio….

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An Overdue Shoutout

Three months in Asia and it’s about time I give a shout out to a very important someone…

To My Constitution: You Rock!

She (yep, My Constitution is female) handled long plane flights, Bengali food, Khmer cuisine, and Chinese spice without even the slightest “irregularity.”

Let’s hope this post isn’t premature. I still have a 14-hour plane flight tomorrow and I ate shrimp tonight.

Below the cut I’ve posted a column I wrote about when she wasn’t so regular.

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“Hooked” on Ice Cream

It’s 11 o’clock and I need some ice cream.

My hotel is across the street from a McDonald’s. I can lookout my window and see the glowing vanilla cone that marks the ice cream window. That’s right, there is an ice cream window.

All that’s between me and a vanilla cone of comfort is a bridge crossing the street, a few hundred feet, and four hookers.

They must have all attended the same “hooking” night class because their pitches are all exactly the same, “Massage? Sex? Two hundred Yuan.” (200 Yuan = $30)

Receiving propositions like this in places like Guangzhou and in cities all around the world is nothing new to me, but I’ve never received so many to and from an ice cream fix.

Four propositions on…

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When it comes to this contest you are all a bunch of losers.

Except for Kyle.

What does he win???? A personal visit from me. That’s right, in the next month or two I will hop on a plane and visit Kyle in Galveston, Texas.

Yeah, yeah, he’s my brother. But if you would have won, I would have visited you, honest.

Bet you wish you’d have entered now….

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My Whafro

WhafroMy hair is about two weeks from being a full-blown whafro (whiteman’s afro).

Should I let it grow?

In a few days I will be home and you can bet that Annie probably has the clippers ready to cut the wild out of my Touron mop. It wouldn’t surprise me if the entire hair cutting station, complete with wood chair and sheet to catch the blonde curls, is staged.

Should I let her cut it?

Personally, I don’t care about the appearance of my hair. But I am always a little hesitant to let Annie cut it.

I have my reasons…

Bloody Ear

Note: If Annie doesn’t post a comment sufficiently stating why I should let her cut my hair, I’m not getting it…

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When being an American Sucks

People always want to talk politics and when they talk about the policies of the American government they use the pronoun “You.”

Today I made the mistake of getting in a political conversation with a Canadian and a Brit. I normally avoid stuff like this. But there were a few beers involved.

Of course they were mitching and boaning about the USA’s foreign policy. I chimed in with a couple of points.

If you are a country and there is bad stuff happening to you where do you turn to? That’s right, the USA. If the USA tries to help you, people will question its underlying motives. If they don’t, you’ll be pissed and so will everyone else who thinks you are getting a raw deal. The USA is damned if they do and damned if they don’t. (Note: None of this applies to Iraq. There is not enough alcohol on Earth to get me talking about Iraq with anyone.)

That’s it. That was my point.

The Canadian told me that this line of thinking from me scared him. That he wouldn’t expect to here such things from a young liberal.

To back up my point, I mentioned Bangladesh. The people of Bangladesh have very bad feelings towards American policy, although not towards Americans (they treated me great). They think that in Washington someone is sitting around and thinking about how the USA can exploit Bangladesh. Personally, I would be surprised if anyone in Washington sits around and thinks about Bangladesh much.

Their comeback for this is that Bangladesh has natural gas that the USA is interested in. I don’t know anything about this so I bring up another example, Kosovo.

The Canadian and Brit are 35 years my senior, which I have to respect. They’ve been a lot of places and seen a lot of things. I’m sure they have some valid points. But they don’t have much of an answer for Kosovo.

I wrote a column on Kosovo a few years back and it pretty much sums up my stance on the USA’s no-win situation when it comes to foreign policy. It’s about as political as you’ll ever see me get…unless I’ve a got a beer or three in me.

You can read it below the cut.

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