Browsing All Posts published on »August, 2012«

10 strangest foods in China

August 27, 2012


There are lots of strange things to eat in China. Before moving out here, I read Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper by Fuschia Dunlop and, whilst I have no real desire to eat the former, I’ll confess something of an addiction to Sichuan pepper already – a lip-numbing, fragrant pepper that I hadn’t come across […]

Saving face or saving money?

August 20, 2012


Understanding what something’s worth is never as straightforward as it might be.  Yes, there’s supply and demand, but there’s at least three extra dimensions in Beijing.  Distance, Haggling and Face. Distance is a factor everywhere, of course, as convenience always comes at a premium – but when nipping to the shop at the next corner […]

The Dragon Smokes

August 13, 2012


It’s difficult on days like these to work out whether the fugg that has enveloped the whole of Beijing is due to pollution or simply the amount of cigarettes that nearly 1.4 billion people are able to get through in a day. And, believe me, some really do spend all day trying to get through […]

IKEA – with Chinese characteristics

August 6, 2012


Anyone trying to get to grips with modern China could do worse than head to IKEA in Beijing on a Saturday afternoon. Not only do they have one here (actually, they have 10 across a variety of cities with at least 2 more planned in the next couple of years) but, as might be expected […]