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Share A Wet Time in Xiamen
2014-6-7 10:00
Big celebration today - after injuring my knee four weeks ago, despite big rain during the night, today I climbed up the nearby mountain to the badminton terrace where the locals drink tea and do all manner of nice things early in the morning. Knee performed well and despite the wet surfaces, I had a nice hit without throwing myself all around the place. But after about 20 minutes, the rain started, the "serious players" group withdrew under their little tent, or in the case of our group, on to ...
3143 views|0 comments
Share IN CHINA'S GOLDEN TRIANGLE
2014-6-2 08:22
IN CHINA'S GOLDEN TRIANGLE
For the three-day Duan Wu holiday I went to the final part of the golden triangle of South China (not that other one near Burma) that I hadn't visited. I live in Xiamen and have visited Quanzhou and Zhangzhou already (but somehow the golden triangle includes a fourth angle - Jinmen (or Kinmen in the Wade-Giles system) also called Quemoy around the world. Since the decline of hostilities across the Taiwan Strait, rapid progress in exchanges between the traditional culture of this "triangle" have ...
2451 views|3 comments Popularity 2
Share SHOCKING CHANGES IN CHINA!
2014-5-11 12:40
When friends asked why I was going to China in the early nineties, I said that I wanted to see the Yangtse River before the Three Gorges Dam changed it forever. It was a kind of symbol of the end of a dreamy view of the orient that had been in my mind since childhood. It conveniently overlooked the cost of millions of lives in getting to that point in time. The divide was between my cute view of China and the nineties realities - between the pandas, the qipao dolls, the dragons and the Qing-styl ...
3474 views|7 comments Popularity 7
Share DO YOU KNOW SOME STRANGE CHINESE REMEDIES?
2014-5-4 09:50
I've had great experiences with acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herbs over the years and continue to use them when I need to so long as a TCM doctor prescribed them. But one thing that always intrigued me was that everyone in China seemed to have opinions or folk remedies (similar ones, so clearly well known) about hot and cold, times of the year such as "spring rain" which include doing or eating certain things, such as green bean soup or chrysanthemum tea - the list is long. If Chinese peopl ...
1933 views|3 comments Popularity 3
Share TO HELP OR NOT TO HELP ON THE STREET?
2014-5-3 11:12
I actually fudged a bit in my reply about how I'm spending May holiday. I'm spending it on my couch. On May 1, it rained steadily in Xiamen and I went to a first-ever crafts market in a developing "new-old" neighbourhood near where I live. I slipped on a wet concrete down-ramp, landed on my side, and felt my knee ligament sprain. Nobody came to help me up or see if I was okay. I rolled myself over towards a wall and pulled myself up and leaned on the wall feeling frightened and a bit shocked. I ...
1832 views|6 comments Popularity 6
Share CHANGE PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN CHINA
2014-4-26 11:51
CHANGE PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN CHINA
I want to add my voice to the calls for China to change holiday arrangements for the general population. The golden weeks were perfect for marking culturally important days, ensuring workers got reasonable numbers of holidays and promoting a national spirit .... BUT .... after the coming of the cars and private travel (synonymous with the growth of the middle class and access to money for travel) the traditionally favoured destinations like Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Sanya, Wuxi, Yangshuo, Guil ...
2622 views|8 comments Popularity 5
Share THE BADMINTON CROWD
2014-4-20 10:28
On Saturday and Sunday mornings I climb up about 400 steps to a lovely stone terrace on a mountainside overlooking the sea and play badminton with the mainly retired people who go there most mornings to drink tea, have a hit and enjoy the early hours. If ever anyone wanted to see how idyllic Chinese society can be, this is the place. Because the path is crooked as it climbs, I pass various expressions of local culture set in a park of blossoming bauhinias, old established trees of many kinds, pl ...
1137 views|5 comments Popularity 4
Share AM I AN EGG YET? MONOCULTURAL CHINA
2014-4-12 12:10
In China and beyond, a person might be regarded as a banana or an egg - yellow on the outside but white on the inside (Chinese appearance, western values), or white on the outside but yellow on the inside (western appearance, Chinese values). For a Chinese person to be labelled as a banana is insulting, like being a traitor to one's culture as Chineseness is based largely on external appearance. It's really tough on ABCs (American Born Chinese) as everyone expects them to be able to speak Chines ...
1570 views|4 comments Popularity 2
Share TRAINS, PLANES and CHANGING TIMES
2014-3-29 20:24
In the nineties, trains were king. They went everywhere, ran on time and ranged from being merely stressful to utterly terrifying to get on. First you had to get a ticket and that alone was monumental. If you didn't have Chinese friends to help you out, you faced an arduous queue and the very real possibility of there being 'none left'. Sp many danwei had bought blocks of tickets for their members that the motley public didn't have many left to get. They could be sold out ...
995 views|2 comments Popularity 3
Share AFTER SALES SERVICE ... OR NOT
2014-3-15 18:46
I bought a really great Phillips vacuum cleaner a couple of years ago from a major electrics shop you can find all over China. There's nothing wrong with it, yet, but I soon realised that eventually the filters would wear out and need replacing, so I thought I'd better get some before the model was outdated and hard to find. I went back to the shop, only to find they were totally uninterested in helping me to do this. I asked them what their view of after-sales service actually was a ...
6737 views|6 comments Popularity 3
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  • IN CHINA'S GOLDEN TRIANGLE 2014-6-7 08:15

    laoren1234: I heard Kinmen is famous for its liquor, Kinmen Gaoliang. Did you have a chance to try it?
    Yes, laoren, but I tried it long ago and found it's not my favourite. There were giant bottles here and there marking the site of factories of the famous gaoliang from Jinmen. Many people carried it home with them.

  • IN CHINA'S GOLDEN TRIANGLE 2014-6-4 08:45

    Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted your blog.

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