I'm hanging out in my underwear in a hotel room in a city of 12 million people that, before today, I didn't know existed.

"Didn't the Chinese invent the lampshade?" Mitch muses.

When we talk about knowledge, I'm the kind of person who tends towards the intimate. I did a week-long bike ride across Wyoming because covering that distance in a car would be too fast. I wanted to see everything, know that state, at a rate of 13 mph. And that was just Wyoming.

I think there's something to be said for doing the same things or visiting the same places over and over until they're in your blood. For knowing someone for 20 plus years. For reading the same book every three years or so, to get to know it better. To see how the experience changes as you change.

When I left college, I said good bye to the local Shell station where we would make late-night beer runs. In Chicago, I marked the last run to the Broadway Dunkin Donuts with a heavy heart. These are not exciting places, but you go there enough and they start to mean something.

Data from Star Trek TNG described friendship as simply getting used to someone, but I digress.

To supplement this habit towards the ultra-familiar, I tend towards science fiction. I imagine running away to the moon or envision what would happen if gravity reversed, like, right now. (Us indoor people would get massive head injuries.) I make up stuff in order for things to seem new or interesting. (Today, for one day only, plants can talk!)

But it's weird because even though there's globalization and the age of exploration has been left to cave  divers and astronauts, the world is full of the unfamiliar and even, flat out, unknown.

The 12 million people who live here know that Guangzhou exists (as do tons more, obviously). I didn't though. I have no stereotypes to assign it, no monuments to connect it to. Carmen Sandiego didn't come here, after all. And that's pretty cool.


Saw my friend get married on the 5th of July. I really like her husband; I was pleased she chose him for the particular occasion. The wedding was beautiful, the vows handwritten, and my friend was lovely. I wanted to write about it, in particular, because I heard an anectdote that I liked a lot.

My friend had dated some fringe-y guys. She has an edge that can attract that kind of thing. The last guy who was trying to date her invited her on a snowboarding trip under the guise of "group" snowboarding trip. When he rolled up and said that nobody else could make it, she went with him anyway. When they got to the slope, she hopped out, grabbed her board, and took off saying, "See you at lunch!"

"That's just the kind of person she is." Said the teller of this anecdote.

When she met her now-husband and they started going on dates, she was a little concerned. "He's kind of vanilla," she complained. Then she leaned in.

"But it's really good vanilla."