Author Archives: James O'Brien

About James O'Brien

Born: Lismore / Widjabul Wia-Bal - Bundjalung Live : Sydney / Gadigal - Eora Also : Brisbane, Bourke, Renmark, Wagga, Perth Pronouns : He/him/his.

Five minutes

Continuing my habit of occasionally popping up on ABC Local Radio, I was interviewed recently for a one-hour program that was broadcast on New Year’s Day. Focussing on blogging and other ways the internet allows us to communicate, I was asked for some comments about my experience of the blocking of facebook in Vietnam.

You can hear the interview here:

The program’s website is available here

Categories: travel | Leave a comment

Lazy days

Qingdao is famed for its beaches, amongst other things (eg. German architecture and Tsingtao beer), and they’re quite nice as beaches go. Wandering down to the city centre for a look yesterday morning there were people going for a dip in the ocean, kids playing with sand, and a lively beach volleyball game with half the middle-aged players dressed only in speedos. A typical beach scene. The sun was shining, but did I mention it was barely above zero degrees? These folk really love their beaches!

The last few days have continued the relaxation theme, though not entirely by choice. We went to a Boxing Day house party in the east of the city with a bunch of foreign English teachers (mostly British, American, Australian) – great night. Since then Welm has been working much of the time, and we’ve both been fighting minor colds which has sapped all energy. Fortunately I’ve been introduced to the superb US drama series The Wire on dvd so I’m sorted. Today is cold and wet, I’ve tried to head out for a wander but really all I’m up for is a long day on the couch. Hopefully we’ll both be back on our game soon…

Qingdao is a great place to eat, too. Welm lives right in the centre of a thriving restaurant/bar/shopping district about 10kms east of the town centre, and in my opinion it’s the nicest part of town by quite a way. Over the last few days we’ve had quality Sichuanese and Japanese meals, the aforementioned Best Pizza in The World, and last night some truly superb Italian at a tiny bistro just around the corner. If the Japanese chef decided to set up shop in Sydney he’d instantly get two hats I reckon, but I think he’s happy plying his trade in his six-table micro-restaurant here. Still on the menu over the coming days is Korean hot pot, western food at The Diner and probably more Chinese if we can possibly fit it in. Lazy days indeed 🙂

Categories: china | Leave a comment

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