China Daily Life Photos Shanghai

A few of my favorite things…

I woke up from a bad dream, and I couldn’t shake the feeling off–not even after riding my rickety pink bicycle out on a beautiful warm morning and drinking a big mug of black coffee at the office. On days like this, being surrounded by people makes me feel all the more solitary. So I quit facebook, tweeted mindlessly, and went for a long run.

I guess this is the hardest thing about living far, far away from home.

But overall, I am very happy where I am. On my way home from acing my Chinese character test, I had a mini conversation (in Mandarin) with a nice man with a cute little dog. Taurin and I went out for sushi, and my uni roll melted in my mouth. Yum!

As always, there is a lot to look forward to. I am almost finished making plans for the upcoming year, and my dear friend Zeolite is coming to visit me here in Shanghai in just weeks. We may be headed on an adventure in Mongolia. I am looking forward to roasted lamb with homemade yogurt and colorful yurts in the desert.

And I’ve been receiving wonderful e-mails from my friends back home, now living all over the world–from D.C./Virginia, Brooklyn, to The Republic of Georgia.

P.S. Don’t you love letters, too? I’d love to hear from you: collectingmaps [at]

Dress and ring from Hong Kong

An impulse buy from a random shop on King Street

Rocking chair necklace from Bangkok, a mug of German chocolate cake, and my lively house plant (thanks to my dear friend Ed who took care of it while I was traveling)

A book of abandoned photos found at a little antique store on Yongjia Lu in Shanghai


If you look carefully, these are photos of photos of photos…


“Only it takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience.” – A quote by Albert Camus


  • Reply
    katrina kay
    February 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    wow, that book of photos is way cool

  • Reply
    P U R P L E - D E E R
    February 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Far away is hard. It really can feel like your in a room full of people…but still isolated. I count my comments to you as love letters my dear. One day…stars will line and we will give each other Eskimo kisses. I'm glad you picked out your favs….That cat mug was just fine one it's own…THEN YOU SAID THERE WAS CAKE INSIDE…yes. 🙂

  • Reply
    Michelle of The Feather Den
    February 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Oh, wow! Photos of photos. it completely fooled me! And that mug is just TOO CUTE I must have it.

  • Reply
    February 24, 2011 at 1:42 am

    I'm getting so excited for upcoming adventures!!!

    Feeling solitary can be hard to shake. Sometimes you just have to go with it and do things alone until it goes away. Don't be gloomy! :] I already can't wait to see you.

  • Reply
    J Dubbs
    February 24, 2011 at 7:36 am

    i'm having major MAJOR culture shock right now…too much flying and lack of routine + stability. 'home' right now is looking quite foreign to me.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2011 at 3:32 am

    awesome finds! i love the boots, the rocking chair necklace and the cat mug. but i especially love those photos you found. you've got a knack for finding treasures!

  • Reply
    Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys
    February 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I know that strange, gloomy, disconnected feeling some days, where the world outside doesn't seem real. Or even when you go out, you don't talk to anyone, and you feel as though you're floating through the scenery. Sometimes all you need is one person to talk to you normally, to remind you that you're there. It can be really hard.

  • Reply
    February 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I love the pictures you post. They're so unique 🙂

  • Reply
    The difficult solitude | Maps and Fragments
    May 14, 2011 at 2:07 am

    […] get into the quiet process of listening to myself and my wants/needs. I journal on my couch, discover old photos I forgot about, or make spontaneous changes to my favorite […]