On July 19th 2012 Tao Lin posted (and has since deleted) a tweet that said
“can someone email me all 2169 my tweets as text in word file with the dates, i’ll mail u $30 of shit from my room email@example.com”
I jumped at the opportunity to be a tao lin intern for a little so I spent 10 minutes scrolling to the bottom of tao lin’s twitter profile, highlighted all of his tweets and pasted them into a word document and sent them to tao. When I did this I was in China. Tao replied soon after and said that I was the first person to send him the file and then he asked for my address. I gave him my parents address to send the 30 dollars worth of shit. When I got home from China a month or so later there was a package from tao waiting at my parents house. The package included a shit load of bumper stickers that said like, “I support the war on America by bath salts”, a copy of Megan Boyle’s book and a packet of paper titled “Deleted from April 10 Taiwan Things” Because his upcoming book is titled taipei I figured these were edits (removals) he made, even before he had the name of the book nailed down. I scanned a couple pages and I am posting them here if anyone is interested in these ‘leaked’ pages. I have more pages if anyone is interested in reading more. You can ask me to scan more and I’ll scan more.
I intended to blog a lot about being in China but that hasn’t really happened. There are probably some reasons behind that. Foremost I came to China to work so the majority of my days have followed this schedule:
Put on cloths and brush teeth
Walk 15 minutes to City University of Hong Kong
Sit at my desk and look at stuff online (things that had happened in the US while I was asleep)
Try to do work stuff (write, Matlab coding, reading, emails)
Go to lunch with co-workers
Continue online/work things until 5:30
Go to the gym (on some days)
Go to dinner
Go back to work and do online/work stuff
Go home and either read, write emails to my girlfriend, talk to friends who are just arriving at work in the morning on gmail.
In short I haven’t really been doing anything interesting. I’ve spent a lot of time sitting in front of my computer. I’ve been semi-productive. Hopefully I’ll have a journal paper ready to submit for publication, I’ve written a song on the guitar, I’ve found a girlfriend, I’ve learned a lot of stuff and made some new Chinese friends. But most of this trip has been un-extraordinary.
Un-extraordinary is a bad word to use here. Traveling outside the path that marks your daily routine is bound to surprise you in some way. The air might smell different, the people may act different, you might see some geological structures that look beautiful or odd or make you think weird anthropomorphic things in your head. Just going somewhere can be extraordinary in itself.
When I first arrived in China/Hong Kong, just going to the store felt like an adventure. I don’t know the language so there was some anxiety about how I would buy things or interact with people. I had to open a bank account for my checks from work to get direct deposited into, I had to go to the grocery store and buy things, and I had to use the MTR (metro) to go places. These are all mundane things that would never pass for exciting in your hometown. But when you’re in China it just feels different, for some reason. Some other things that are different about China:
The air quality really does suck. You can actually see the smog hanging around the streets on bad days and you wonder how much sooner you’re going to die because of it.
People aren’t that smart. There’s a stereotype that Asians are really smart. That maybe be so in certain circumstances. The way we measure intelligence is by IQ and ability in mathematics/standardized testing stuff. Yes Asians appear smart by these standards but the problem is that we don’t put enough value on creativity. China has a huge manufacturing base. They also counterfeit the shit out of stuff. This is because they are great at imitating. They work moderately hard and can learn well, but they don’t really come up with shit. I mean fucking Canada has more Nobel laureates than china. China isn’t a place for design or R&D, they just manufacture shit, and over charge white people for cab rides because they don’t know better. A lot of people in China are actually extremely greedy with poor morals. I think communism has stunted creative and moral growth. I wouldn’t really go that far with Hong Kong. I think they are more legit.
In most places you don’t have to take your trey up after your finished eating. Like in food courts, people just leave all their trash and treys on the table and they have workers that come around and pick up after every body. I think this translates somewhat to how people treat the environment, they just throw trash everywhere, it’s disgusting.
People are really thin, and if you aren’t as thin as them they will call you fat. Actually they are very direct in general about how they think about things. It’s actually kinda refreshing to hear so much honesty. I almost wish people in the US were more direct about how they felt instead of sugar coating everything.
It’s really not as communist as you think. I think when it comes to social freedoms yes, I mean they won’t let you get on facebook for Christ sakes (you can in Hong Kong tho) Most of this stuff is about mainland China, I think Hong Kong is legit, just to reiterate. But the government censorship is pretty fucking ridiculous. However, as far as business, I’d say it’s quite capitalist, even to the point where government interferes less often than the US with regards to regulation on trade and environment. This almost leaves more freedom for the business man, but also invites corruption and pollution. But it’s not like how you picture traditional communism where everybody shares everything.
The food is not that good. I always shit liquid for weeks after I go to mainland china and eat. I don’t know why. But stuff like pork stomach, heart, chicken feet, turtle, is all regular food here. I have not once seen general tso’s chicken. Stuff you eat in the US is not Chinese food, and be glad that it isn’t. Dim Sum food (traditional hong kong) is pretty good, there are a lot of dumplings and things that are good.
The water is shitty. I thought it was just mexico that has shitty water that will make you puke if you drink it. Turns out China’s like that too, and probably a lot of places outside the US. Nobody really drinks facet water unless you have been immune to it. But what you’ll find if you come to china is that you will never be able to have ice water. People either drink their water hot or room temperature and that’s because before serving water they always boil it to kill bacteria. That’s another reason why hot tea is so common. Hopefully there isn’t a problem with heavy metals because then I’d be fucked and my brain would be full of lead.
Hong Kong has a New York sort of feel to it and it’s actually a cool place to come. All those anxieties I had about not speaking the language went away for Hong Kong because most people speak English here. People dress really well and in style. I think people have a better style of dress than they do in most places in the US. I get the feeling that a lot of Hong Kong locals have the same sort of reservations about mainland china that I described above.
I have lost whatever kind of structure I was trying to go for, for this document so it’s becoming almost stream of consciousness rambling. I have done some cool stuff besides just go to work. And I don’t hate Chinese people or their culture. I would encourage anyone to come visit. There are a lot of good people in both Hong Kong and china and I was making some brash generalizations.
I spent a week in Beijing and saw the great wall, the forbidden palace, and the summer palace. I also played one of my songs on the guitar at a bar in Beijing and everyone clapped for me which felt nice.
I went to Guilin and Yangshuo which, if you go to China, I would suggest you visit and stay in those places. I liked there more than anywhere in China so far. The scenery is spectacular. Lots of mountains and rivers and the local people seem pretty cool. The economies of those places are pretty heavily supported by tourism so they are relatively accommodating.
I’ve been to Shenzhen a couple times. It is right across the border from Hong Kong. It is a kinda new city and has a lot of factories and prostitutes. I got my hair cut there and went to a wal-mart and a buffet.
I went to Taipei, Taiwan to visit a university. I was on the University Campus the whole time there so I don’t really have much to say about it.
In Hong Kong is where I have stayed most of the time. I have gone out to some of the bars here. They are really cool, there are a lot of white people (US, UK, Austria, and Canada some too) in the bar districts here. The beers are expensive. I’m getting tired of writing so I’m just writing stuff really fast so I can go to bed. I went to this Giant Buddah statue on Lantau Isand on Hong Kong which is really amazing and scenic. I hear there are good hiking trails around here but I haven’t really gone.
Cyberspace :) Thanks for the question Tumblrbot
“There was a movie made about it,” he said before taking a long swig from a pint of Carlsberg. A thunderstorm was moving beautifully into the harbor sending people scurrying about in Brownian paths anticipating the need for shelter. I was 5 beers deep and embraced the small droplets of water that began to grace my cheek. The alcohol was making me feel undaunted and bold.
“If that’s the kinda thing you’re into you can defiantly find it there” Then he made a motion towards the waitress who brought us our check. I had drank twice as much as him so the bill wasn’t split evenly. As I pulled out my wallet I said something about how drinks were much less expensive here than they are on Hong Kong Island. He shook his head agreeingly and admitted to having spent the equivalent of 100 USD there in the past. ”That’s why I don’t go out there anymore” he said.
We left the money on the table and moved at a pace between walking and jogging to the MTR. We had gotten along well. He was the first non-Asian I had interacted with since I came to Hong Kong. It’s rare to find someone who has heard of “Protest the Hero” let alone an actual fan. Finding someone who shared an interest in an independent Canadian post-progressive hardcore band, in China was a real surprise and delight. We discussed music and video games; we had both played Skyrim but he was a lot further along than I was. It just felt good to talk to someone who shared the same since of culture and identity.
We both got off at the same stop but went in separate directions after we paid the subway fee and exited the turnstiles. He said to give him a call again the next time I wanted to grab a beer. I said yeah defiantly.
I went up the escalator to the ground floor which lead directly into a mall in the more ritzy part of Hong Kong. I found a coffee shop and bought a tall house to sip while I contemplated my next move.
One of my co-works said she knew a guy who was from New Jersey and thought that I might like hanging out with another American. I hope it wasn’t because my face was perpetually giving off an “I need to be around white people” look. But I agreed to be set up on the platonic blind date. We spoke on the phone and agreed to meet at exit B1 of the Tsim Sha Tsui stop.
I was running about 10 minutes late and texted him to let him know to wait for me. Time had gotten away from me while I was skyping with my girlfriend. I finally arrived at Tsim Sha Tsui and followed the signs to the B1 exit. I walked up the stairs to the street level and immediately spotted a white guy about my age who appeared to be in a state of ‘waiting’. I walked up to him and we exchanged polite introductions and then started walking towards the bar on the harbor. I apologized for being late and he said it was okay and then told me that while he was waiting, an Indian guy on the corner kept trying to sell him hash.
If you go to exit B1 at the Tsim Sha Tsui stop, walk up to street level, take a left and proceed to walk, an Indian or Middle Eastern guy will come up to you and ask you if you’d like to buy something. First they will ask you if you want to buy a suit or a watch. If you don’t act totally uninterested and walk away as fast as you can they will move on through a list of different things that they can sell you. At some point, if you continue to reject their advances they will say “do you need anything? I can get you anything.”
New Jersey said as far as drugs were concerned they could get you coke or hash, but they would really get you anything within reason. You could say something like, “I need a room” or “I need a prostitute” or “I need a hello kitty backpack” and these guys would find it and sell it to you.
As we walked down Nathan Rd we passed the Chungking Mansions which Jersey described as a hub for drug trafficking in Hong Kong. It’s a place that houses a lot of expatiates, predominantly from South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.
The movie was Chungking Express
I sat in the coffee shop with the thought that had been injected in my brain. It became nourished by alcohol and a sense of adventure and a longing to feel high. I sat in the coffee shop sipping on my tall black house coffee daring myself to go back to the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui and to strike up a conversation with one of the black market vendors peddling outside of the Chungking Mansions
This poem is called “Numerically Differentiate Real and Imaginary Impedance data from Electochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Tests on a Lithium Ion Battery in order to Find the Local Minimum and Maximums For Extracting and Fitting Parameters to An Equivalent Circuit Model With A Constant Phase Element”
M = importdata(‘F:\Battery_Testing\Test in PHMC\Seeded fault\EIS\Less Binder\10cycle_100%soc-lfp-eis-l2.txt’, ’ ‘, 19);
Data = M.data;
frequency = Data(:,2);
realim = Data(:,3);
imagim = Data(:,4);
difimpedance = diff(realim)./diff(imagim);
secdifimpedance = diff(difimpedance);
p = size(difimpedance);
p = p(1);
for x = 2:p
dlinflection = difimpedance(x);
z = abs(difimpedance - dlinflection);
p = size(difimpedance);
p = p(1);
for x = 2:p
if and(difimpedance(x-1)>0,and(difimpedance(x)<0,difimpedance(x-1)-difimpedance(x)> 5));
ctinflection = difimpedance(x);
z = abs(difimpedance - ctinflection);
fmax = frequency(dlindice);
R1 = realim(1)
R2 = realim(ctindice)
C = 1/(2*pi*fmax*R2)
G = tf([C*R1*R2 R1+R2],[C*R2 1]);
[remod immod] = nyquist(G);
p = size(remod);
p = p(3);
for x = 1:p
n = 1;
for n = 1:-.001:0
CPEC = cos(pi/2*n)+i*sin(pi/2*n);
p = size(frequency);
p = p(1);
for x = 1:p;
Z(x) = R1+1/(1/R2+C*(frequency(x))^n*CPEC);
realcpe = real(Z)’;
imagcpe = imag(Z)’;
difimpedancecpe = diff(realcpe)./diff(imagcpe);
secdifimpedancecpe = diff(difimpedancecpe);
dlinflectioncpe = max(secdifimpedancecpe);
z = abs(secdifimpedancecpe - dlinflectioncpe);
if imagcpe(dlindicecpe) >= imagim(dlindice);
p = size(realim);
angularfreq = 2*pi*frequency;
diffusion = polyfit(angularfreq(ctindice:p(1)).^(-1/2),-imagim(ctindice:p(1)),1);
diffusionplot = diffusion(1)*angularfreq(ctindice:p(1)).^(-1/2)+diffusion(2);
Zimvsw = diffusion(1)
axis([0 realim(ctindice)+150 imagim(dlindice)-100 0])