A Murakami-esque Day: Banalities & Absurdities in Beijing

by Sarah Menkedick

"Memory is like fiction; or else it's fiction that's like memory."

- Haruki Murakami, "The Last Lawn of the Afternoon," The Elephant Vanishes 

It was on the day of empty restaurants that I realized my life had begun to blur with the literature of Haruki Murakami. The whole day felt like slipping through the city as a ghost.  My husband and I boarded the subway at the odd hour of 10 a.m., when commuters had already hustled to work and the streets were populated mostly by shuffling elderly people with grocery bags.  We went to Xidan, Beijing's financial center, in sea...

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