Hunan Looking Glass

I follow many finely written travel and living abroad blogs. This is my favorite.

The Squeaky Robot

A young man lifts my broken bicycle into his tiny red truck. The day is ending and he is heading towards town now, and he picks me up nonchalantly like all his other deliveries. The industrious little engine begins to buzz and cough, the wheels roll forward, and the man smiles.


You walk into a train station, let’s say in Changsha, and beyond the large words ‘Ticketing Hall’ above the entrance doors, there is no English written or spoken. You are met with a long hangar filled with a thousand echoes. The back wall is covered with an electronic timetable showing arrays of fire red Chinese characters, a code you can’t access. You think you’re a little smart and you’ve got a piece of paper with your destination written in Mandarin, as well as the words ‘tomorrow’ and maybe ‘please.’ You clutch this piece of paper with fierce conviction. You…

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2 thoughts on “Hunan Looking Glass

    1. How very sweet of you. However, my blog is often peppered with wonderful posts that I’ve shared from the work of others. This particular piece is drawn from Squeaky Robot, a beautiful account of immersion and travel.

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