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Beijing Notebook



- Random Observations Noted in Beijing China -



Last Build Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2017 13:07:19 +0000

 



The Beijinger online

Sat, 27 Apr 2013 14:35:00 +0000

We all know that The Beijinger, the popular monthly magazine, has a website which is a great source for information and a comprehensive directory. But beside that website, they also blog actual news. And further more, you can read their monthly issues online (via issuu)! Now out: MAY 2013 issue (click left) I read the article "Taxing Times" on page 88 about the new annual test that taxi drivers have to take now. It's a measure by authorities to improve the city's cab service. Another change is that passengers apparently have to...

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About this blog and closure with China

Mon, 04 Mar 2013 06:54:00 +0000

It is almost five years since we have left Beijing. Here in Thailand, where we live now, sometimes, I come across people who also have lived in Beijing. Then we have our subject: "How did you like Beijing?", "When have you been there?", "Where did you stay, and how long?". And we compare life here in Bangkok with life there in Beijing. And we speak of Beijing in high tones. How we liked riding our bicycles around town. That we all studied Mandarin. And how interesting life in China was. Then we laugh about some funny episodes. How fast everything developed...

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Ai Weiwei alive and kicking

Fri, 23 Nov 2012 09:48:00 +0000

What seems another fun, harmless, and maybe not even very artistic Gangnam style copy by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, together with a group of friends, is a way to keep him going. It looks like he enjoyed the crazy dancing. And of course, Ai Weiwei wouldn't be Ai Weiwei if the video would not transport a message. The Chinese title, "grass mud horse", sounds like a swearword and showing off in handcuffs is to criticise Chinese censorship. No surprise, that his video has been taken down from Chinese websites. Some commentators joke, it was because of the lousy dancing....

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CCTV Tower: Ready to move in - Who would have thought it will take so long?

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 17:08:00 +0000

Beijing CCTV Tower out of a taxi cab in February 2012 The CCTV Tower, now, one of the most famous landmarks in Beijing was proudly presented to the world during the Olympics in 2008. From the outside, the building seems finished - since over for years. But who would have thought, that only now, in these days, the CCTV employees are gradually moving from their old office in a communist building to the new avant-garde headquarters?! The construction of this futuristic monument, started in Beijing back in 2004. For the speed of China,...

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Sanyuanli Fresh Market

Fri, 06 Apr 2012 04:00:00 +0000

 my favorite market stall at Sanyuanli no 101It is one of the best fresh markets in Beijing - quality and cleanness wise. From the main street - you will see a big sign in roman letters "Sanyuanli" over the entrance. The market stretches in one long corridor. It starts with the fruit section. Then some stalls selling tea on the left. Chinese tea at the market On the right you can buy some yummy fresh pastry and bread, Chinese style. It smells so good! Further on, you will find some shops selling can food, special spices and sauces in bottles, and then small...

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A Rap Song for Beijing

Wed, 04 Apr 2012 16:13:00 +0000

Jason Chu, a hip-hop artist from the US, had been living in Beijing for the last two years. He had been working, learning, and taking in the language and culture. Now, Jason is returning home and his latest rap song is a farewell letter to Beijing. I am glad he sent me an email to share his video, saying the following: "... As many expats know, leaving this country brings with it a mixture of emotions - everything from relief to a bittersweet sense of loss. As I reflect on this departure, I’ve been writing songs that talk about life here: both “the expat experience” and the...

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How to become a legal Alien in China

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 03:22:00 +0000

When you travel by air to China, the flight attendent will hand out immigrartion forms that you need to fill in and hand over at immigration. If you turn the form, you will find the small print on the back of the departure card. Authorities ask you to register with the police shortly after arrival:  "Aliens wishing to lodge at the home of a Chinese resident, at a foreign institution in China or at the home of an Alien in China shall register temporary accommodation." Beijing Police Station You won't believe, it took us three attempts. The first day, we went to the...

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Winter in Beijing

Fri, 17 Feb 2012 03:22:00 +0000

market sales womanArriving on a winter day in Beijing, you either see a thick yellowish grey sky and the air smells strange - or a striking blue sky with a very bright sun. What you won't see is anything green. The trees are bold, not a single leave, and no grass on the ground, just earthy sand. Like in the dessert, that is not far from Beijing. There is seldom snow in Beijing winters. Close to the dessert there is seldom rainfall after all. When I arrived at Beijing airport, as soon as I have left the plane, I could smell Beijing air - the bad one, that you have on these...

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Going back to Beijing

Mon, 06 Feb 2012 15:34:00 +0000

Green T House Living I am looking forward to my trip to Beijing! Very much. Although it is much more complicated to get a VISA then a year ago. China seems much more careful with visitors. If you plan to visit China, check out the regulations for your country in advance to have enough time to prepare all the documents. When you stay at a private home, no matter Chinese or Alien, you will need their passport copies, residence permit and an invitation letter. And maybe, I say maybe, as I am not sure, I had to provide further documents because I did not like to be a "housewife" by...

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Happy New Year of the DRAGON !

Mon, 23 Jan 2012 07:54:00 +0000

Happy New Year of the Dragon !Happy Chinese New Year !orxīn nián kuài lè ! (Happy New Year in mandarin)orgōng xǐ fā cái (congratulations and be prosperous)   The Dragon is the most powerful sign of the Chinese zodiac. So I wish this will be a very happy, lucky, healthy, successful and prosperous year for all of us! Actually the Year of the Dragon starts today. Today, January 23rd 2012 is the first day of the New Dragon Year! This photo was taken over Chinese New Year weekend in Bangkok, near Chinatown (for more pics see my Bangkok blog). And I am so excited. I am...

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Beijing Air is not healthy and where to get regular updates about Beijing Air Quality

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 16:20:00 +0000

I used to check the government website for air quality here. It provides daily the Air Pollution Index (API) and corresponding grade for about 85 Chinese cities. But when you live in Beijing you would be interested in getting this information updated more regularly throughout the day. Especially, if you want to go for outdoor activities, you better check the air quality as the air is really bad in winter. Today early afternoon, the API was over 400! Now, 11pm it is down to 107. You can find the information via www.bjair.info actual information and...

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Be an artist and add to the installation of Mo Yi at the Opposite House

Tue, 22 Nov 2011 16:42:00 +0000

During these cold winter days in Beijing, you might come along the streets of Sanlitun. And when the icy wind makes you shiver, stop by The Opposite House - the boutique hotel with the green glass front - for a hot tea or a tasty lunch - and for some fun creativity. The Opposite House is hosting an installation of Mo Yi (see press release below) and is inviting guests to interact. Get your eyes photographed and think about issues related to sight. Write it around your photo in your language and let it be part of the growing...

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Hong Kong: Handbags by Bez & Oho

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:27:00 +0000

Bez & Oho online Boutique The internet is a great place to discover new things - and that's why we all love it! Today I found Bez & Oho in Hong Kong via Nicely Made in China. And you do not need to be in Hong Kong to see their colourful handbags made of receycled rice bags. They sell online. The founder and owner, Annalisa Ryle arrived in Hong Kong 13 years ago via the volunteer route working with the St. Stephen’s Society – in fact her office is still on the charity’s premises in Hong Kong. 5 years ago she founded Bez & Oho (after the biblical characters Bezalel...

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Shanghai: HGTV needs Relocation Expert

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 10:59:00 +0000

Dear Readers, After my last post about HGTV calling for casting here is another urgent request from the HGTV production team. For the HGTV show going to be produced in Shanghai they need a local relocation expert who is fluent in English. More details: "... The role for this person will be to accompany our host, Chi-Lan Lieu to different locations around the city and introduce her to the culture, the lifestyle and the real estate market (buying and renting) as well as three sets of homeowners/renters that we will be profiling in the episode. He/she...

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Shanghai: HGTV Home and Garden Television Casting Call

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 07:56:00 +0000

Dear Expats living in Shanghai, a few days ago, I found in my mailbox a message from a producer of Home and Garden Television (HGTV) who came across my blog. They are going to film a new show for HGTV in Shanghai! The producers want to know if any of my readers or friends in Shanghai might be interested in applying to be on the show. As it is a very popular U.S. TV show, they call for American Expats living in Shanghai. The shooting will be after the golden week holiday in the week of October 10, 2011. HGTV press release Here the details from the...

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Beijing Blames Foreigners for Its Fears of Unrest | China Digital Times (CDT)

Mon, 09 May 2011 15:30:00 +0000

Beijing Blames Foreigners for Its Fears of Unrest China Digital Times (CDT) Ai Weiwei and others are still detained. Even in Hong Kong two were arrested for spreading Ai Weiwei graffitis downtown yesterday. CDT reports about foreign embassies under pressure, culture forums, school programs and more needed to be cancelled. Some years ago, I attended a speech about Feng Shui at the Beijing China Culture Club. They told us that it is not well seen by the government to talk about that subjet. Just to give you an idea, what kind of culture programs might already be considered to...

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Free Ai Weiwei !

Sun, 24 Apr 2011 18:52:00 +0000

Artist Ai Weiwei in the ruins of his demolished studio in Shanghai in January 2011 (via Getty Images) Ai Weiwei (or Ai Wei Wei), probably the most internationally known Chinese artist who often criticises the Chinese Communist Party for many good reasons, is still detained in Beijing by police since April 3rd.  Ai Weiwei's international popularity allowed him - so far - to express outspoken social critics without being arrested. However, according to himself, he was dangerously beaten up by Chinese police while protesting in Sichuan after the 2008 earthquake where...

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Japan Nuclear Situation: Due to westwinds no danger for China (update)

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 04:52:00 +0000

A hypothetical "radiation cloud", from either Fukushima Daiichi or Onagawa, will most likely  be diverted to the East due to typical westerly winds. Source of photo and read more about it at http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/46984/japan-nuclear-incident.asp ----------------update: But on the other hand: winds can change. Look at this video, that shows an animation of the radioactive cloud over Europe and parts of Asia after the nuclear accident in Chernobyl (Tschernobyl) in April and May 1986. Very sad! For now, the accident in Japan is rated 5 on the INES...

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Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/BeijingNotebookblog/~5/qg_bvRai3ns/japan-nuclear-incident.asp




Jasmine Revolution in Beijing ?! - no way !

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 09:17:00 +0000

When my mother, living in Europe, called me yesterday and told me that there are demonstrations in Beijing and other cities going on, starting the so called "Jasmine Revolution", I had to question her Western media sources. Of course I read about some calls for protest rallies on Sundays, but also that nobody came - or those who came were arrested (which I do oppose of course). Not sure what the Western Media is hoping for. Democracy in China or a higher circulation ? Chinese are definitely not going to rally because they neither want nor need a revolution. Chinese...

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Still Winter in Beijing

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 09:16:00 +0000

IMG_4248 f Originally uploaded by Liping Yang What a beautiful picture by Liping Yang ! He took it on February 16, 2011 at the Summer Palace in Beijing. It must be still very cold when the lake is frozen. And although winters are cold, snow is seldom in Bejing. So, it's an event for kids when there is snow and even enough to make a snowman ! However, skiing is possible during winter - with a few fun slopes, but with artifical snow only. (But now, as you can see, with some additional real snow!) * copyright Beijing Notebook *

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Modern Chinese Furniture: Seat for T. by JinR

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 16:24:00 +0000

We found them ! Remember, that my girlfriends and I had lunch at the Green T. House Living in Shunyi, outside Beijing last October and we saw these awesome red acrylic horseshoe shape Chinese chairs (see my post) and wondered ever since if they would be for sale? My friend Yvalie, beside other talents, she is a very talented web surfer, found them at the Green T. House online shop and at an US online shop here. Quan Chair red acrylic (as seen at Green T. House Living)   Interior of the Green T. House in Sanlitun, Beijing The above acrylic chair is also available...

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Happy New Year of the Rabbit !

Wed, 02 Feb 2011 07:48:00 +0000

If you have forgotten someone in the West to wish a Happy New Year in December or January, now, it's the right time to grab a nice red greeting card and send your best wishes for a Happy New Year of the Rabbit. Chinese do not celebrate the arrival of the New Year in just one night. It is a week long celebration. Traditionally, in the last days Chinese would have been cleaning and decluttering their homes to let new energy flow. They would get a hair cut, to get rid of the "old". Especially kids are sent to the hairdresser these days. Today, is the merit...

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Happy New Year from Harbin

Sat, 08 Jan 2011 08:17:00 +0000

Happy New Year ! and  thank you! to all Beijing Notebook readers, returning visitors, subscribed friends, friendly commenter, linked sites and sponsors for supporting this blog in many ways. The above photo (via Reuters) shows fireworks over stunning ice sculptures in Harbin, northeast China during the 27th famous Ice and Snow Festival's official opening on January 5th, 2011. The festivals starts every year in December and lasts until the end of February. It is extremely cold during this period in Harbin, it gets easily - 20 to - 30...

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Red Acrylic Chinese Chairs

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 13:33:00 +0000

These traditional Chinese horseshoe shaped chairs are not of red lacquered wood. They are acrylic chairs ! They look super cool in the stylish "Green T. House Living" in Shunyi, Beijing. My stay in Beijing was fantastic, I still have not figured out where to start. So I am posting two pics my friend took during our lunch at the Green T. House living. She would like to know where to get these acrylic chairs. Anyone can help? photo source:  N.U.* copyright Beijing Notebook *

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Active Expat Ladies in Beijing - or Selfmade Entrepreneurs

Sun, 14 Nov 2010 04:59:00 +0000

click to enlarge I admire these active expat ladies ! Another bazar is coming up, this time on Wednesday, November 17 at East Lake Villas! In Sanlitun, Beijing, my old home! - And look at the flyer they made ! It is send out via email and probably hangs out at expat compounds, condos and supermarkets. I love their "label" names : Shanghai Trio, Mandarine Coco, Tang' Roulou ... - and the money they have to pay for their bazar stand goes to charity. What a clever concept. The products you can buy at these kind of bazaars that go round in the community are...

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