Archive for August, 2008:

My $1.47 Haircut

I just got my first haircut in China, for the outrageous price of 10 RMB ($1.47 US)! It was at the sketchiest back alley barber shop in Beijing, a two-seater about the size of a walk-in closet — and I was pleasantly surprised by the service. The woman working there spoke no English, but I […]

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Mao Merchandised

They sure love Chairman Mao in China. Not only is there a statue of him in every city, his face on every single one of their RMB bills (except for the worthless ones; those are reserved for the ethnic minorities)… but he also makes an appearance on t-shirts, watches, buttons, playing cards, figurines, handbags, hats, […]

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Longest Night Market Ever

China’s got the most diverse array of food in the world, and the Donghuamen Night Market in the heart of Beijing is the largest street food market I’ve ever seen. It took me 12 minutes to walk from one end to the other! Here you can find treats here like fried scorpions, snakes, ostrich heads […]

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The Olympic Theme Song: “Beijing Welcomes You”

Beijing’s got a soundtrack right now, and boy is it catchy! The Olympics may have the most upbeat, cheesy and sickeningly happy collection of songs ever recorded. And everywhere you go in Beijing right now, you’ll hear them, played ad-infinitum. Every store, every train station, every TV station, and every cell phone ring tone…it’s inescapable. […]

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Defeating censorship one piece of tape at a time

The other day, I read an interesting article on TechDirt — Covering Up Any Brand In Beijing That Hasn’t Paid To Sponsor The Olympics. Turns out that the “Olympic logo police workers are tasked with vigilantly going around all facilities and putting masking tape over the logos for any product where the company is not […]

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Empty Seats at the Olympics

The official line from the Olympic organizers is that all Olympic tickets are SOLD OUT, but that certainly doesn’t mean every seat is filled. Here is the row of seats behind me at the BMX Cycling event I attended today: The number of empty seats is painful, especially when the demand is so strong. I […]

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Working the Olympics Ticket Scalpers

I arrived in Beijing at the Olympics on Sunday, exactly one week before the end of the games, with no tickets, and not much of a clue on how to get them. But it didn’t take more than a few minutes on the streets to figure out where to buy tickets — albeit at ridiculously […]

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Delicious Happiness

Interesting fact about the world’s most popular soft drink… Coca-Cola is pronounced ‘ke kou ke le’ in Chinese, which coincidentally translates into “Delicious Happiness.” Where it came from: In the 1920s, Coke created the four Chinese characters that, when combined, approximated the English sound of “Coca-Cola.” As the official Mandarin-language Coca-Cola logo gained visibility, local […]

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Hong Kong has the most beautiful skyline in the world

Hong Kong’s skyline is world-famous, and for good reason. It’s one of the tallest, it’s colorful and unique, and it’s got tons of amazing vantage points (these photos were taken from the boardwalk across the bay in Tsim Tsa Shui, Kowloon). And every night at 8PM, there is a light show where the buildings come […]

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Sinister Chicken

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