“As clichéd as it sounds, my idea of a perfect afternoon is people watching and writing at a sidewalk café in Paris. I’ve traveled to 25 countries sampling everything from the exotic to the banal — yet nothing quite thrills and humbles like an overcast Parisian sky where I’m aimlessly café hopping. It promotes the ennui and the gratitude in equal measure.
Being in Beijing, where I’m currently teaching, the café culture is geared understandably towards foreigners, as the Chinese are largely tea drinkers, though even this is slowly changing. Thus, I’ve learned that if I truly want to observe life among the locals – and as an expat, I do because isn’t this why we chase travel in the faraway – I need to abandon my default café lounging and take to the rambling alleys, what we call “hutongs” here, where the real shit happens: the grandma basking in the sun with her precious grandbaby, the bike mechanic slaving away at his makeshift repair stand, the couple setting up their family dumpling shop at the crack of dawn…
I discovered a love of Instagram back in 2011 because there was always so much to visually note and capture on the streets of Beijing, and for that, I’ll always be grateful to China. I consider myself first and foremost a social scientist, then a dabbling writer, then an amateur mobile street photographer, and lately, a sketcher of all that I find interesting. The point is to observe and share; the method is irrelevant…”
– Weda // @theshortestfuse #theshortestfuse100DaysofSketching
006/100 of #100DaysofConfessions Instagram Project