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You’re Fatter Than My Mom

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Boarding our Thai Airways flight in the morning, I had some little jitters about my next destination. Every person I have spoke with who has been to China has just said how hard it is to travel there, that no one speaks English, the food is bad, it’s hot, it’s polluted, it’s overwhelming etc. No other destination that I’ve been to so far has instilled this sense of anxiety in me, and no other have I been given such dire warnings about the state of travel. As I boarded my Thai Airways flight in Bangkok and settled into my very nice economy seat (with plenty of leg room, ahem, United), I felt an urge to flee back to Southeast Asia. That feeling didn’t leave me for the first entire day I spent in Beijing, but it quickly subsided and has left me breathless, a combination of the smog, the throngs of people, and the unbelievable “newness” of a country. [read on]