Great Wall of China (Badaling) / China · 2016   misty Chinese new year  



just a glimpse, stay tuned for more to explore  ·  MilesAstray unfolds in retrospect. I was living these stories full time, now I’m penning them down. Head over to the countries page for the latest places/stories.


a glimpse



glimpse: CRIMSON REMINDER | At daybreak, a freezing breeze cut through the January-air and left no doubt about its reign over the cubical grid-heart of Beijing. Even the sun seemed a little helpless when it rose slowly like a pallid disk whose warmth offered but the frailest shelter. But there was something the cold couldn’t oppress or conceal – a tale of warm blood spilled – and as the far star climbed towards the zenith, it flooded the flags at Tiananmen Square like an unwavering crimson reminder.


glimpse: WINTRY SUNDIAL | On this wintry morning in February the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing brimmed over with visitors; by the thousands they kept pouring in, cherishing the Chinese New Year in a place of vast cultural significance. Amid the myriad people buzzing around this sundial sat quietly as it had for centuries and just waited for its righteous moment in the rising sun.

glimpse: BLUE SKY | Drained of its natural blue, the sky over Beijing hasn’t looked like itself for years. The notorious smog is a pale witness to the world’s largest carbon emissions. Long established factories for the world, China’s metropolises hardly get to catch their breath; the less so now that the hungry domestic middleclass is just getting comfortable at the consumerist table. It’s fair enough – the West has feasted for ages, all the while belching out CO2; let India, Brazil and China have their turn! But alas, doctor’s orders are a green diet. For everybody. Right now. And, foregoing its turn at pollution, China has become one of the front runners in role modeling for renewable energy: phasing out coal mines, challenging individuals and corporations by implementing strict regulations, and blowing away the smog with more wind energy than any other country.

glimpse: 4714 MONKEY | And just like the drizzle, a passenger of the February mist, the people kept pouring in by the busloads until the Great Wall was flooded. They all had come to usher in the New Year – 4714, year of the monkey – but they had come in peace, elbowless and hasteless, moving together in collective harmony like one enormous serpentine organism.

There was the mysticism of an old empire, sometimes out in the open, sometimes tucked away in the little side streets of the capital.


Beijing / China · 2016

Everything seemed well organized and structured, but if you looked close enough you could find little, beautiful, random messes everywhere.


Beijing / China · 2016







places / stories

Beijing / 72h

yet to be written

stay tuned

Great Wall of China (Badaling) / Solidarity over Stampede

yet to be written

stay tuned




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in North(east) Asia