I live in Shanghai. Over twenty million other people live here too. We live on top of each other, under each other, around each other, and we all share a city-space crammed with traffic, breathtaking color, quick tempers, night and day construction noise, and the persistent and palpable feeling that here, anything is possible. Except for free press, but that’s a different story for another day.


This is the hazy view from my kitchen window. It’s not always this grey.


This is my bike. If it’s possible to love an inanimate object, I love this bike.

Crazy, right? Well, should you step from out there to in here, inside my apartment, the crazy doesn’t end. Inside this small apartment, we’ve got four lives being lived at full volume and full speed. It’s nuts. Good nuts, most days, and joyful. But other days, I feel a giddy kind of relief when I’m able to leave the inside crazy for the outside crazy. I get on my bike and I go somewhere to write, or not write, depending.

Sometimes I forget that I’m a writer. I never forget that I have a short fuse or that I’m a lousy cook, or that I’m a mother with an obligation to keep my short fuse unlit, but even with a book under contract, I forget that I’m a writer. It’s when I’m on my bike, fighting for a spot in the river of people going about their own lives in this city that can make you sweat with panic just by stepping outside, that I remember all of myself, and despite the moped exhaust in my face, I breathe more deeply.

Being a writer is always a push-me-pull-you, isn’t it? I guess life in general is a push-me-pull-you. Which can drive anyone just a little bit crazy. Good crazy, most of the time.

Join the crazy.

Ride your bike today.

I did, and this is what I saw: http://youtu.be/2O6spAhhaOc