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EXPERIENCE

After so many years of unsolicited introductions across China on mountain tops, in ancient temples, ferry dormitories and countless public toilets, a part of my brain could just have decided it’s fine to strike up a conversation anywhere with Chinese people

Unfortunately for me, one of the doctors taking a gander at my nooks and crannies was altogether too excited to be checking me out – I presume that foreigners are not his usual specimens and he was enjoying the break from the monotony

On the first day of the break, my neighborhood looked like something out of a movie, specifically the opening of a post-apocalyptic movie where the scene is set as the camera pans through empty streets of a ghost town lined with blown-out cars and discarded shopping carts

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For the first two days of Spring Festival, I enjoyed watching my own home-based reality TV show, although I quickly became stressed as I realized my dog was howling constantly every night

Every single aspect of life has an extra layer of technology, from paying for a dough twist for breakfast with the WeChat app to passing through facial recognition doors to get back into a university dorm

On my first ever Spring Festival a few years ago, we combined the baijiu and the fireworks to great effect by getting very drunk and going out into the street to blow things up