03
Dec 10

在波特兰

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感恩节我还是没把五十寸的大彩电搬回来。和小赵夜袭波特兰的百思买,惊觉革命队伍早已见首不见尾,我的大彩电也就这样烟消云散了。入室围观良久,最终小赵手提迷你摄影机,我肩挑披头士唱片,于天色微明时分转战outlet。

直到从购物中心出来,我们才找回些人傻钱多喜洋洋的派头,大包小包直奔旅馆,午觉睡得四仰八叉。三点半打着哈欠逛出街去,微雨过后的波特兰市中心富有新鲜的光泽,那广场,那轻轨,那餐馆,怎么看怎么高尚。小赵喋喋抱怨着加州的土气,一头扎进了路边闪闪发亮的百货店。百货店再次令我们产生免税就像不要钱的幻觉。在这种淳朴的幻觉的指引下,小赵跟我又频频开张,直到卖鞋大妈各个笑逐颜开才罢休。

凯旋途中恰逢圣诞树点灯仪式,广场上欢锣喜鼓,波特兰人民分列街道两旁翘首企盼。我们也站了片刻,一面听身边几个小姑娘向我们热情介绍,一面圣诞歌曲从广场朝四周扑散开去。可没等到亮灯,小赵同学便以体力不支为由拽我回了旅馆。两天后惊闻当天点灯时分波特兰警方成功制止一起广场爆炸恐怖案件,小赵不无得意地说,怎么样,我又救你一命。

而当天我们什么也不知道,马不停蹄奔赴餐馆,生蚝入肚时我们聊到了三毛和许知远。冒雨前去观看午夜场《灵异事件二》,监控系统直直记录着看不见的恶魔飞檐走壁,人们尖叫发狂,逐个崩溃。回到旅馆,我们的车一圈又一圈地找车位,城市灯影稀疏,街边雕塑在微雨中静默无言。

第二天步行游波特兰,长得像约翰列侬的导游滔滔不绝,颇得小赵欢心。路过雕像、戏院、公园和车站,导游谈起这里的历史,这里的啤酒和城市规划,这里的滑板专行道和骑警,以及八分之一自行车上下班的人口。他说我们可不是美国,我们是波特兰人民共和国。看那路牌,我们的共和国离长城5510英里。

下午行程渐渐平淡,去鲍威尔书店却走反了方向,见前方熙熙攘攘直以为是传说中的周六集市,冲进去才发现原是慈济中心,只好小心绕过遍地行囊,轻声对兴高采烈的流浪汉们说借过,借过。待真正行至鲍威尔,书店竟横跨两个街区。在与读书渐行渐远的生活里,还是有些感动。傍晚我们离开温暖的书店,离开了波特兰。美好的城市总会勾起我们的探索欲。小赵决定回加州参加一个自助游看看硅谷还有没有希望,我也计划狠狠发掘西雅图。毕竟它们都是多美好的城市。

25
Dec 09

在东京 (Letters to Niwako)

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Day -1: 横滨

I’m done with the talk! I’m free now. Actually the conference is not bad with an amazing visual art exhibition, an animation festival, and lots of galleries. Pretty fun to watch. And it finally makes me feel I’m doing something pleasant (to the eye at least).

So I decided to treat myself after tonight’s animation festival and went to a family restaurant. I ordered this fancy ice-cream (kind of Japanese style with sweet red beans, the 芦荟 stuff and the sticky rice stuff. It costs me 500 yen, but yummy.

I’m heading to Sugamo tomorrow afternoon. Still don’t have a detailed plan of what to do yet. Figured I’ll just walk around Sugamo and do some trip planning tomorrow.

Hope you are done with your stuff too. Looks like CU is still freaking cold 🙂

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Day 1: 浅草・上野・皇居・巢鸭

After a very rushed planning (or no planning) I was out on my way checking out THE TOKYO CITY today. I started from 淺草, and continued to Ueno Park and National Tokyo Museum. Then a walk in the gardens of Imperial Palace. By 4:30pm I was back in that 地藏通商店街 just outside of my hotel, hunting for good dessert and food.

All places are cool. Well Ueno Park seems to be a bit surprise to me. It is actually more depressing than I imagined with homeless people wandering around and a huge gathering of old old people (don’t know what they were doing, looks like a religious gatherings or free food giveaway?). 淺草寺 is very fun to visit. A lot of interesting stuff to see. And the palace is unexpectedly quiet. I never thought there will be such quiet places in Tokyo. Then I wanted to go shopping in Akihabara, but found my legs were sore already, so I hopped on a train back to Sugamo.

You know what, so far my favorite place has been the 地藏通 shopping street in Sugamo! it’s hilarious with so many old ppl. And they even have a couple stores that specialize in red underwears! That is so funny. The temple was visited by so many ppl and looks cool with a wall of lanterns. I had my dinner in a random restaurant on the street, and ended up having a random dish ’cause the only kanji in the menu is “北海道” and “定食”. So I figured it might be a fish bento. Waitress don’t speak a word of English. The dish turned out to be pretty good. It was something like the “pork stuff” except pork is replaced by the fish. Was a nice experience eating in a real Japanese restaurant for Japanese ppl. (I expected it to be cheaper ’cause it’s in Sugamo, but unfortunately not. It still costs me around 700 yen). After that I bought some dessert from random vendors, including those 紫芋 stuff and 盐大福. I even bought some strawberries and 柿 considering I didn’t have real fruit for a couple of days.

Anyway it was just a chillin’ day with sightseeing and wandering around. Tomorrow I plan to throw myself in Harajuku and Shibuya for shopping and sightseeing and probably a couple museums in Harajuku area. If I’m still able to walk by the end of the day I’ll just have a look in those areas at night. After tomorrow I’ll hit Shinjuku for a whole day’s shopping. If that still doesn’t kill me I’ll maybe go to Akihabara for my last afternoon in Tokyo (I’m leaving evening 22nd).

Great experience. And end of my report, day 1. 🙂

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Day 2: 涩谷・原宿・东京塔

So 2nd day was not as fruitful. I went to Harajuku and Shibuya in the hope of seeing teenage gangs in weird costumes. But I was out of luck. I went to the Meiji Shrine nearby, visited a 浮世绘 museum where you had to take off your shoes, some indie record stores, and had a walk in 竹下通. Harajuku was oh so crowded. Being a Chinese I thought I was immune to crazily crowded places, but this time I was still surprised. I have never have seen so many people on a normal sunday afternoon.

Then I went to Shibuya for some random shopping. And it turns out things sold at those dept stores are either crazy in price or crazy in style. I guess I’m too old for Shibuya (BTW I did see a few girls with overly done eyelashes/liners and jawdropping outfits in Shibuya). I just bought a scarf in Muji.

At night I thought I should go out see Tokyo at night (that’s what the city is famous for, isn’t it). So I hopped on the loop train and got off at the station close to Tokyo tower. Turns out it was not as spectacular as I’d expected. So I rambled for a while and went back.

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Day 3: 新宿

The third day was fun again. I went to Shinjuku solely for shopping. And I ended up carrying three huge bags back to the tiny little apartment I was staying at. It was way over my budget, but I think it was worth it (See, how happy a person can be when he completely emerges himself into consumerism). Also got theskincare stuff to satisfy my mom.

Shinjuku looks amazing at night. It’s been a while since the last time I saw neon light flash like crazy. Was nice back in a real city again.

As a side note, today I did find someone that speaks understandable English. It was the Shiseido rep at a pharmacy. She even described to me what the skincare stuff is like and how popular it is in English. Interesting. But today’s English speaking award goes to a waitress in a random restaurant. She asked me “eat in or take out” and then “here is the menu in English” with very little Asian accent! Just as I secretively wowed, she started to talk to her fellow waitress in Chinese…. So she must be a college student doing her part time job I guess. And college students should at least speak some English. And most ppl I interacted with are waitress, front desk staff, random highschool girls and cashiers. And most likely they are not college educated. Does my theory make sense?

Alright, time to pack up (again). Got to get up early tomorrow. The checkout time is at 10am (ahh…). The hotel is nice and cozy, I like it (well except for the early checkout time). Did I mention I’m lovin’ Sugamo too?

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Day 4: 上野・巢鸭

I was wondering where to go. And out of the blue I was taking a stroll in Ueno Zoo. Surprise surprise. 🙂 It was fun! I haven’t been to a zoo for like 20 years. It brought me sweet sweet memories. I love the unexpected ending to my trip in Japan.

Then I went back to Sugamo to pick up my luggage. I had one last visit to that 地藏通 shopping street. I saw smiling buddhas, burning incense, travelling monks, and so many grandmas pass by. All of a sudden nostalgia was in the air. I thought of all the young girls with heavy makeups talking and laughing in Shibuya. One day they’ll end up in 地藏通 saying their prayers to Buddha, shopping for a lucky red underwear. It’s only time.

03
Dec 09

十二月

我花钱 | | Shouts (8)

是邮箱里丰收的季节。我妈的护肤品已于今晨率先抵达。

连续几晚占用了自己毫不宝贵的干活时间,我研究来研究去,最终决定买一个比较便宜的耳放。同志们参见下图。亮晶晶的工作图可以参见这里(盗链他人的图片我很羞愧,ack一下,一切权利归 barbutti)。左边拉风无比的就是这电子管和晶体管的混合放大器,Little Dot I+。右边性感无比的就是AKG K701耳机,俺已经有了。




俺目前最想要的除了放大器,还有一对草泥马(再次盗链,懒得ack了)。

最后两礼拜,尽管是死猪,不怕,开水,烫,但总得再坚持一下。

04
Oct 08

第20305873959512次去芝加哥

剩下的, 这些人 | | Shouts (3)

我有时幻想芝加哥城里住了十个柴桦,他们分别住在沿河的套房里,住在湖边的高楼,住在酒吧区,餐馆区或者博物馆旁边。每当我不老实的时候就跑去芝加哥,随便找一个柴桦吃饭聊天,晚上看完演出就住在他的宿舍里呼呼大睡到天亮。

而事实总是残酷,不仅只有一个柴桦住在芝加哥,而且根本不在高尚的“酒吧区,餐馆区或者博物馆旁边”。从千禧公园坐metra 南下,越坐越荒凉就到了。55街车站的墙面布满了讲述黑人血泪史的涂鸦,柴桦同学就站在墙边朝我打招呼。我们又是一年不见啦,时间过得超快的。

柴桦同学刚从国内度假归来,为了迎接像我这样的贵客还特别打扫了他的新居——据说住着大量亚非拉人民的大楼里一间studio。他的studio非常贴合该单词的中文翻译——工作室,布置极简,一桌一床一书架,电冰箱当床头柜,几乎再无他物,很酷。这就是科学大家的气质啊,我嫉妒。

在接下来的几天里,柴桦同学请我吃饭跟我聊天帮我开公寓大门把床让给我睡。我就这么厚着脸皮肆无忌惮地打扰了他三天,天不亮就要跑出去,晚上玩很晚才回来,还吃掉了他珍藏的唯新肉脯和楼外楼牛肉。老爸坚持让我好好感谢一下柴桦同学,我想不出怎么谢。我的朋友不多但都是最好最牛逼的,我一直为他们感到骄傲。

至于我自己,去芝加哥是为了换护照,顺便也看了两场演出。换护照很顺利,顺利到剩下大量时间去附近买衣服。演出还行,也有些抱怨,以后再说。其他就是去唐人街吃饭。还见识了芝大附近的破落街区,这是芝加哥的反面,令人沮丧。再其他,就是花了很多钱在路费上,包括两次打出租车和忘带通票被迫另买地铁卡。再再其他,回来那天偷瞄了一眼湖边的晨景,很美。

没了。回来以后如梦初醒,我原来堆积了那么多事情没做。第一次开会就出现了我和导师共抓狂的华丽场景。只能老实呆在办公室里干活打瞌睡,我的生活就是这样的,它怎么也没法出现激动人心的时刻。



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…the storm is finally over, the sky wild and exhausted. We went up to the observatory and the gods were with us. They gave us the most beautiful rainbow i've ever seen. I closed my eyes and cried.