Author Archives: polifinario4

About polifinario4

Just a blog for random adventures, thoughts and incidental pieces of writings and pictures. You'll notice I love running, being outdoors, knitting and spinning, and that my job has something to do with China.

Zoinks!* I’m going native! Send help!

*Trying to remain family friendly, but this is an unsettling discovery that elicited a somewhat stronger term, I admit.

I think after more than four years in the US, I’m starting to go native, despite my best attempts to not be contaminated.

I just loaded my nachos…

Homemade loaded nachos. Improv dinner

And boy… was it tasty…


Here be dragons! Hic sunt dracones*

*Dat is wat de Nederlandstalige Wikipedia als titeltje geeft voor de Engelse uitdrukking. “Hier bevinden zich draken”


Why do Chinese dragons always look surprised? They’re awesome creatures, at the top of the (spiritual) food chain in many ways, not much can harm them, so what could possibly surprise them? Keep an eye out for them in Chinese art, Continue reading

Five years on WorPress? | Vijf jaar op WordPress?

Whaaaat? and all I have to show for is 62 posts? That’s about 1 per month on average. Happy blogiversary! (No, not an April Fool! Although the first published post took a couple of months to appear.)

Wablief? En er zijn maar 62 berichtjes in totaal? Dat is net iets meer dan eentje per maand. Dat kan beter! Gelukkig blog-verjaardag (Nee, geen aprilvis! Maar het duurde dan nog enkele maanden voor het eerste bericht verscheen.)


This dragon is as surprised as you that it’s been five years! Courtesy of Met Museum

Of course the blog goes dormant intermittently, when work takes over. But in retrospect, most of the “lack of time” is self-created, courtesy of the (inevitable?) curse of our times: FaceBook. Continue reading

Knitting, darning and a productive conference | Breien, stoppen en een conferentie met tastbaar resultaat

It was time again for the annual conference of the Association of Asian Studies, and this time Washington DC was the place to be. I am fortunate enough to live within driving distance, so I went down to catch up with friends and colleagues. I had a very productive conference!  Continue reading

A host of angels with coloured wings and the one and only Mystic Lamb | Een schare engelen met kleurrijke vleugels en het enige echte Lam Gods

Rol naar beneden voor Nederlands

When I’m on winter break in Belgium, I like to catch up on some local culture in addition to the usual Christmas and new year festivities (always involving exquisite company over equally exquisite food and beverages). For me, that certainly includes anything from the Flemish Primitives that’s on show, Continue reading

Between the Covers, 2016 | Van kaft tot kaft, 2016

chinese primary sources from zhonghua shuju

The Green Wall of Standard Histories, and other primary sources

It’s that time of year again. Or rather, I am slightly behind the times: it has been that time of the past year again, when people make lists of everything related to 2016.

Continuing my habit from 2015, I tracked all the books I read cover-to-cover and finished during 2016 (some were started much earlier). I am happy to report that the total number has gone up! There are twelve books that can be classified as fiction, and some real classics in my list. Continue reading

New job, new hobby, new me | Nieuwe baan, nieuwe hobby, nieuwe ik

Voor Nederlands, gelieve verder naar beneden te rollen!

It’s been quiet on the blog, I know. This final semester at Princeton has been extremely demanding in different ways. Jobhunting and teaching are the most obvious ones, but there was also some travel (for fun and for work) and then the simple need every now and then to hide under a rock and listen to lots of good music to keep me human. Continue reading

Between the covers in 2015| Van kaft tot kaft in 2015

It’s a funny thing you hear a lot of academics say these days, especially in Humanities: “But who still reads books cover to cover?” We tend to read chapters, or just the Introduction, or hunt down the small piece of information we need, but indeed: we rarely sit down and just read the entire thing. Continue reading

Just ten moments- Een tiental momenten

Gelieve verder door te rollen naar beneden voor de Nederlandstalige versie.

Just ten of those many moments when I really really miss you, dad-

When I come back from another once-in-a-lifetime concert with the Berlin Phil- and I realize we never compared notes on Beethoven. (We were of course in complete agreement on the fine playing of the Berliners, live and recorded.) Continue reading