AtW Podcast, Episode 20: Paddy Robertson

My guest for today is Paddy Robertson. He and I met on his first night in Beijing, about a year and a half ago. At the time, he was just beginning to study Chinese, and now he speaks the language far better than most foreigners, even among those who have been here for much longer than him. How has Paddy managed to learn Chinese so quickly? One big reason is that he works for Smart Air, which sells affordable air purifiers. His co-workers are Chinese, so he gets to practice the language on a daily basis.

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Beijing's Lantern Festival Fireworks

The New Year fireworks in China make the largest Fourth of July displays in the US look like child's play. And rather than just one or two nights, the festivities continue for over two weeks. The fifteenth day of the new year marks the Lantern Festival. Supposedly this is a traditional holiday where people carried red lanterns to temples, symbolically letting go of their past selves. But this year in Beijing, all I saw were fireworks. Lots of them, spread all over the city. The rumbles and explosions echoed off of buildings for six hours straight. Here's a short video to give you an idea of what it was like:

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Catching Cricket Fever

I had never watched a cricket game, and seeing that it's Australia's national sport, I figured I should take in a match while I was here. Craig, being a big fan, was happy to oblige. I met him and his friend Cain outside of the famous Melbourne Cricket Grounds (MCG) to watch a test match of Australia versus India. It was the second day of the match, and Australia was still batting in the first inning...

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Happy Memories

Back in April, my friend Amy organized a flash mob in Madison, Wisconsin for her birthday. At noon on a warm and sunny Saturday, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams spontaneously blared from an outdoor speaker. The crowd dispersed from the street to make room for a group of boisterous dancers.

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Climbing the Crestone Needle

Over Labor Day weekend, Kim, Gokul and I took a road trip to Colorado to climb the Crestone Needle. This mountain was featured in Fifty Classic Climbs on North America by Steve Roper and Allen Steck. We climbed the Ellingwood Ledges route, which contains several… Read More »

Madison Couch Crash

Madison, WI recently hosted its annual Couch Crash, where we invite members from CouchSurfing.org to come to our city for a weekend of festivities. It was an amazing weekend, with lots of interesting people in attendance and many amazing events to partake in.

Here's a little video I put together which summarizes the weekend:

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Joshua Tree Cribs

On our trip to Joshua Tree National Park, someone in our group borrowed a tent but didn't set it up in their yard beforehand. Only after we were in the park did we discover that the fly was missing, the zippers didn't work, and some of the poles were missing. The temperature was supposed to… Read More »

New Climbing Video

Here's the video I made of the Joshua-Tree trip I took last December. The trip was memorable in many ways. Despite having been to over thirty countries, I had never been to California. It was quite the experience. I also experimented with time-lapse for the first time. I hope you enjoy it!