Monday, December 31, 2007

I Want My Mommy

It is New Years Eve and I am h.ella sick. I have the flu and right now a pretty mild fever. When I woke up this morning it was much worse. Right now, I am waiting for my friend and roommate to leave so I can go back to sleep. They are so loud.

Anyway, I have seen a couple of cool things since my friend arrived. I saw Tiananmen square again. They had all these Japanese flags flying. I thought it was weird because the Chinese hate the Japanese. I am so high off of Nyquil right now. I don't think I will be able to finish this post. I don't know what I was going to say. Let me take a nap real quick. Ok, thats what I was going to say. I saw Maozedong's body again. I am no necrophiliac, but I am pretty sure that the body is fake. It looks so waxy. It has to be fake. After going to see the great Mao. We went to Zhongshan park. Zhongshan park was Irish stalker friend's idea. And it sucked. Especially, because it is cold as hell outside right now. I think I got wind burn. It is so cold right now, it is not even funny. I think that was how I started to get sick and not to mention everyone one around me right now is sick.

I think what sent my body in to a downward spiral was going to the 798 yesterday. The 798 is the contemporary art district. It has a lot of cool new age Chinese art. Some of the art is really good, but it is very dark and gloomy. You can see through the art that China's development is considered a dark time. Well, I they are finally leaving so I can go to sleep. So I am going to sleep.

Highlight of the Day: Having someone make me soup.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What The Hell Is Boxing Day?

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I don't understand why everyone attacks me and my family has no loyalty. They are supposed be back me up when outsiders are being mean to me. They are traitors. And my roommate is daughter of beelzebub. Thinking back it explains why she didn't want to hear any Christmas music and hates Christmas, the heathen.

And on a complete different note, fois gras is probably one of the worse things I have ever tested in my life. And I have eaten so pretty gross shit here in China. I am pretty sure I have eaten pig ass and frog butt, and that didn't taste nearly as bad as this.

Boxing Day is an interesting Holiday. I don't know what it is really, but it is interesting. I asked my friends from the UK, what the origins were, but they had no idea. But from what I have gathered it is a day of eating leftovers and clean your place after you throw a Christmas party. And there was tons of shit to clean up after the party. Maybe there will be pictures to come of the mess. Damn it, I can't believe I erased the tape. Anyway. Today and yesterday and Christmas Day were pretty shit in terms of pollution, I keep using shit, I need to expand my vocabulary. I would say they ranked in the top ten polluted days since I have been here. It has gotten so bad. You can't even see 20 meters in front of you. I don't get how the athletes train her. I feel like I am going to get lung cancer every time I go outside on these days.

I have a friend coming tomorrow. Actually I have a friend coming about every three months from now on. I haven't seen this friend or hung out with her in years. This should be interesting. She is going to be her for three weeks. I don't know how that is going to work. It should be pretty interesting though. Well now, I am rambling on stupid points, to me more than I normally ramble. I think I might end killing my roommate. I don't understand why everyone wants to fuck with me. I am that fuckable. I just don't get it. It just seems like people come around me and everyone turns into a fucking comedian, it becomes kick 马渡 in the ding ding day or something. Fucking Clowns. Nobody is helping me.

Highlight of the Day: Doing nothing all day but watch movies and make brownies that none of my stupid European friends will get to eat.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas in the O.G. Chinatown

I can't believe what I just did. I was going to have this blog be a complete video of what happened during Christmas, but I accidentally erased all the video. It was good. It had all the food. Everyone was saying Merry Christmas to their friends and family. There was dancing, drinking and just flat out merriment. Hopefully, I can get more pictures and videos from other people. My camcorder is to hard to use I have decided. So, I am not messing with it anymore. But the food was good overall. You know a party is good when I drunk Scandinavian ends up on your couch for the night. Well today is Boxing Day. So maybe I can make a Boxing Day Video.

In an almost completely different note, the food I made was pretty good. about 30% of the people liked it. And thats good enough for me. And I count me, myself, and I in that 30%, so when you think there was about 15 people at the party, that is a pretty good percentage. The corn bread I made, I don't think anyone liked it but me, but they just don't appreciate the beauty of American food. They don't have the right American palate, well everyone except Ehren, but he is part American so that makes sense. Also, even though I got must protest from the maker of the cake for over frosting it. The cake that we made turned out great. There was only three pieces left. Hopefully later today I can get pictures from people of yesterday. I am sure I will have some stuff for Boxing Day. But I have decided that hosting a party is much too much work. There is way too much cleaning involved and much to my disappointment my Aiyi didn't come today, so I had to clean all that shit up with my roommate. This post is to be continued.... LOST

Monday, December 24, 2007

Bah Humbug II!

I am so sick of looking at ugly people. I have decided that I will invent something to solve this problem. I am going to attach a stick to my chest and put a mirror on the end of it, so I don't have to look at ugly people anymore, I can just stare at perfection all day.

So the second half of my day has been much better than the first. But I would suggest not watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas with French people. They ask to me questions. They want to know why his heart is two sizes to small and why he wants to steal Christmas. Its like just watch it is a cartoon, stop thinking about it so much.

But so far my Christmas gifts have been good. It has turned out to be a better day. I used my oven for the first time and over cooked so chicken. It is really hard to use an oven when the temperature is in celsius, I suggest being there when someone picks out the oven you are going to use. Damn it, I have to cook tomorrow, I need to figure out the temperatures by then. I will just bring the computer in the kitchen with me I guess.

Highlight of the Day: Getting scarfs for Christmas.

Bah Humbug!

Sometimes I walk and every 15 feet I feel like I need to rub myself in a tub of Purell and/or take a shower in hot hot water. Sometimes you have these days where you look at with so much disgust and loathing, thinking thoughts of malice and violence. Not understand the cultural differences and not willing to understand them, allowing your ignorance to overwhelm all other emotions and completely absorb your rational sensibilities. It comes in a flood, a tidal wave, no a tsunami of Katrinaesque magnitude and destruction. The cultural shock is so enveloping that looking at people is hard, all you think is abhorrent criticisms and base sentiments. But something keeps me here. I don't know what it is. I don't know if it is the warm hearted people I have meet, who are kind and so friendly, or if it is the food, with it is greasy goodness. Something keeps me here and wanting to come back.

I am probably feeling this way because it is Christmas Eve and I haven't made plans yet to steal the presents of the kids of Whoville. Maybe tonight will be better. We will see what happens after work. I am trying to get all the Christmas trees.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Mind Gave Up On Me

My friend who I think is in the Mongolian CIA and I made plans to get drunk on yesterday, and in the process I discovered the black out recipe. The recipe for black out is very simple. The ingredients you need are two beers, two shots of Bacardi 151, two shots of Grey Goose, and one shot of tequila. Make sure two consume all of these alcohols in 30 minutes, and after consumption wait 45 minutes and you will have achieved success, a completely forgotten night.

But make sure to do this with quality friends, because some friends are iniquitous and will leave you at the bar and the next day they will make up stories of things that you didn't do because you don't remember or they will laugh at you for doing stupid stuff. Man, I need to get some new friends. These current ones are so odious.

Apparently there are videos from this night and pictures that are bad. But because no one will tell me the real story of what happened. So stay tuned. And maybe I can write more once my friends actually tell me the real story of what went on, because the current story is too unbelievable for me to share it. There is no way I could have done the things that they said I did. I just don't even think I have that physical ability to do some of that stuff. I mean it is just not possible. And I just don't think I act that crazy when I am black out. Right?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Introduction of My Motley Crew

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My favorite part of the video is Kirk in the background picking his teeth. Oh, the things people do when they don't know they are being caught on tape. For someone who is a monomaniac, it is surprising how diverse my group of friends are and even though they are all diverse they all manage to unite to fight under a common goal of making fun of the Americans. Normally, Kip takes the brunt of the takes, kind of like a shield, and I like to think of myself as the sword, that uses my amazingly quick and brilliant wit to cut team Europe in half. But now he is gone (Damn it, Kip. You are flippin' everything up), and Team America is reduced to one. I feel like 2pac right now, Me Against the World. I don't know if you can tell from the video, but Kip is just trying to give a little friendly speech and then Team Europe goes on the attack, hatin' on my boy.


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See what I have to deal with, and they sing all the time. I don't know who told them they were Destiny's Child. I am pretty sure they don't know what harmonization is. I hope they don't find this blog or they will kill me. At least they won't be able to view it in China.

Yesterday, I went to Purple Haze Bistro, not to be confused with Purple Haze. Every Wednesday, they have live Jazz. So we decide to go there for my friend's birthday. The live jazz was really good. It was a trio: base guitar, drums, electric piano. I will definitely go back, even though the food was not that good. The atmosphere and the ambiance was great, much better than the original Purple Haze. Of the Thai places I have been to so far, actually this includes my whole life, my favorite is the Pink Loft. It is actually my favorite restaurant in Beijing. I have not had anything better yet, not even close to topping the Pink Loft. Every time I got there (a whole three times, the food is always good. As far as Purple Haze, the portions are small, it is expensive, the atmosphere is not that great and well I have no and, but its just not worth going to. I think if you want to have a good time out, Purple Haze Bistro is a good look, but if you want to have good food and pretty big portions, Pink Loft is the place. The House wine we had at Purple Haze Bistro last night was really good, it was a Chilean Chardonnay. Muy Bueno. I was surprised how good it was, considering it was a house wine. But I guess my wine palate is not that sophisticated, so I don't really know what I am talking about.

And for those of you who were wondering, the food I cooked turned out great. The sauce was a little on the gravy side (too much floor), but it was still good. I like my sauces a little thick. But I have food, as long as you add cheese to anything, it will taste good (well almost anything, not my mom's liver, nothing would make the leather of a shoe taste good). I had more to say but I am too distracted with gchat. Claire and Dul have taken away too much of attention for this blog, I guess they need my superior intellect to help them plan dinner and drinks tomorrow. I don't know why plans are so hard to make.

Highlight of the Day: Hearing these little kids sing Christmas songs, I am pretty sure they were not Chinese nationals because their pronunciation was way too good. Not way too good, just too good for them to be native Chinese kids. But I guess they could have been, because they did look Asian and Asians in China generally mean native Chinese people, but that is just a gross generalization.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

La Blog Tre Randific

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This a video of a new instrument I created, the musical candle (this is the first video I am adding just to see how it works). This is from the day, the girl thought I was gay. Speaking of which, my Aiyi (maid in Chinese) was hanging up one of my pink shirts and while she was doing it she was like is this your girlfriend's or yours. I was like what? Nah, thats mine homie, watch your mouth before you get cut from the team.

Last night was my friend Kip's last night in Beijing for two months. This is going to be a sad and difficult time for me. One, Kip is my only American friend in the group that I hang out with the most. The rest are basically from western Europe or western Europe related countries like French Islands and Australia. He is the only one who has my back when I get attacked by the fascist European friends. And two, he is one of two guys that are actually in the group of people I hang out with. Damn it Kip, why are you leaving me? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

Change the subject, because I am very sad about it and need to think of happier things. I am going to take my first crack at cooking a meal for myself. I need to practice before I have my Christmas party, because at my Christmas party everyone has to bring a dish they created themselves. I am thinking there is going to be a lot of burnt food. But hopefully with a little practice I can come up with something before the big day. After buying all the groceries for cooking the meal the other day, I realized that cooking in China is significantly more expensive than going out to eat. Cooking involves buying so much shit, pots, pans, plates, cups, glasses, and that doesn't even include the food and shit that goes into the actual meal. Financially speaking, cooking in China is stupid. You lose your time value of money and the opportunity cost that is sunk into the whole operating is pointless. There is little revalue created and the margins of cooking for yourself are value thin after subtracting the cost from the earnings. With a risk premium of .05 and a beta of .23 and and a risk free rate of .01, I have estimated the NPV and IRR at just above negative values, so cooking in China makes about as much sense as Amaranth trying to corner the nat gas market (what fucking idiots, right?). But anyway, I am about to make that food my bitch. Like a Zen Buddhist I have already cooked it in my mind, and that is pretty much the same thing.

Highlight of the Day: Today's highlight of the day you might not think is a highlight, but I think it is interesting. I finally figured out why Chinese people have their special smell. And its because its not normal for them to shower everyday, so that makes a lot of sense. And it also explains why Anyir doesn't like to shower.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Office Xmas Party

The office Xmas party was really fun. One of my colleagues husband got really drunk and kept making these stupid jokes and trying to speak to everyone in English, even though his English is bad and he was speaking to Chinese people.

The place we went to was very ballerific, it was at a very upscale resort, that featured hot springs, swimming pool, golf course, and you could rent your own mini mansion. The company rented a mini mansion that was really nice, and I definitely took full advantage of the swimming pool and hot springs. I think I stayed too long in the hot spring because I almost fainted. But it was still nice. This blog is going to be half ass, because I don't feel like writing, but I also don't want to forget what happened. The dinner we had was really good featured a lot of wine, which was the cause of my colleague's husband getting drunk. I got to do a little translation what was fun and weird at the same time because I was translating from English to Chinese and from Chinese to English. The food at the dinner was really good, but I didn't get to eat too much of it, because I have la duzi again. I don't think it will be as bad as last time, at least it doesn't feel that way. I didn't get back from the party until today. There were interesting games played at the party too. Like kids having to figure out who their mom was while being blindfolded and husbands having to find their wives (I think if I had played I would have been really bad, good thing I am not married). Well its bed time, I think I am still a bit tired and maybe a little hung over from the party.

Highlight of the Day: Seeing my boss drunk and getting a Canon camcorder as a present (movies will come as soon as I figure out how to use it, so maybe August 2008).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gotta Brush Those Haters Off

I swear the French girls I know are the biggest haters I know (that's saying a lot because my mom's sole person in life is to hate on people), these girls are so hateful its amazing. It's like man, do you just wake up in the morning drinking haterade or take classes in hatin', hatin' 101 (nah, probably take more advance classes like Hatin' Theory 411).

Recently, every time I have been seeing them I have either worn a pink or purple shirt (The picture is an example of one of the amazing pink shirts I wore), the first time it was because I wanted to, the rest of the times it was because I wanted to see what they would say, and each time their hate grew and grew, kind of like a balloon, but filled with odium and malice. And every time I wear one they make so hater comment. And I know I look good, shit. And its only the French girls who have been hating, not any guys or any girls from other countries, because they all said I looked good, and they are right. But its okay, I just brush the hater comments off and move forward amicably.

The pink shirts are kind of a draw back at the same time, even though I look damn good; I am attracting the French hate gang and I have had too incidents happen to me that are not funny. The first incident happened the night of the pictures and the other happened tonight and I wasn't even wearing a pink shirt, which is the most fucked up part about it, but the girl did she me wear a pink shirt before. Anyway the first thing that happened is the spanish girl in the far right of the picture asked my friend in the middle of the picture if me and my friend if we are gay. I was like WTF, why the hell would she think that. Are you flippin' kidding me. I am like the manliest man guy around. And the second incident happened tonight. I think I need to grow a beard or some shit. Because you know how you ask someone a question, and you expect them to give you an answer that is going to go with you train of thought or give you confirmation on something. Well, I saw this French girl today at dinner, mind you I am not wearing a pick shirt, I am wearing my Marlin's shirt, anyway, and I ask her do I look gay. And with out think twice or flinching she says yes. I was devastated, I was about to cry. When she said that, all I wanted was a hug. She just shattered my hopes and dreams. I lost all faith in man kind with that comment. All faith. Later, after I got back my composure and sucked back the tears, I was like why. And she said because you have pretty eyes, I was like WTF. I almost pulled out every single one of these damn eyelashes. They curse me. Damn these things. I hate them, they have only brought my pain and suffering. Fucking stupid eyelashes. Its all my fathers fault. Damn it. And then she was like you are cute. I was like WTF. So, I have decided that my face needs to get more scares. I am going to just get in bar fights with random Chinese people, and let them punch me in the face and win. Apparently, I need to turn up my manitude a few notches, maybe more like several notches. All I am going to finish with is this is the biggest bull shit of all bull shits.

Highlight of The Day: Knowing that I am a Man, I'm a Man damn it. I'm a Man.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stalking People I Guess Is Cool In the Irish Ghetto

I have realized that "information wants to be free," but I would have never thought that the sui generis works of my blog would attract stalkers. I mean I guess the cool thing to do in Northern Ireland is too stalk people, like the old mzungus in Africa. I mean the girl who is stalking me is from the UK, so I guess she wants me to be her Nubian Mandingo warrior. Its real flippin' funny to put pictures up on facebook of people( it was a tough time in my life, I was sick, I was suffering from consecotaleophobia, and my food was being velocious rate), it is mother flippin' hilarious. Bravo stalker, bravo, you found my blog, bravo.

Today, I noticed two things. The first thing I noticed, on my way to work, is that the street I walk on to work is slowly turning back to the way it was original, the dog shit is starting to pull up everywhere again and it is getting really dirty. People no longer throw their cigarette butts in the ash trays and dust and dirty is starting to consume the street. The street cleaning car no longer comes by with its melodic ice cream song melodies. And the second thing I noticed today is that I really hate the dogs in China. Every time I see one I want to kick it, like pow, gooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal. I think that there is some rule that Chinese dogs have to be smaller than a bread box and have to be the ugliest things that you have ever seen. They look like furry gremlins. Actually they might be uglier, they are disgusting looking little things. One day, I am going to lose it and just pow, right through some trees.

Highlight of the Day: Having the dry cleaners deliver my clothes to my apartment, ballin'!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The First Snow Fall

I am pretty much 100-0% sure that I have dyslexia, although I have never been tested, I think this blog is a good indication of the problem I deal with. Or maybe I just can't read good. I haven't decided yet.

Anyway, today, it snowed for the first time. It was pretty nice seeing the the snow fall from the sky and instantly turn black as it hit the ground. I thought about catching some snow flakes in mouth, then instantly changing my mind realizing that these snow flakes are most like flammable (its it way from the clouds passing through all the coal particles and what every other particles that fills the lovely Chinese sky of Beijing). It was great seeing snow but the sky looked crazy. When I left for work this morning. It seemed like it was like 2pm. And at 2pm, the sun was like fuck it, I am going home I can't shine throw though the smog and all the clouds. It looked like night time at 2pm. I was like Jam! And the sun was like MF Jam!!!

New topic. But I really don't have much to write about so, hmmmm. Oh this weekend was pretty fun, and knowing French people finally paid off. I hosted a get together if you will and had the French people come over and make crepes. I love those really thin pancakes, I wish I could crawl into one right now and eat my way out from the inside. They made the ones with the cheese and ham and they made the ones with nutella and bananas. Oh, nutella is so amazing, I wish I had a tub of it right now, I would just bath in it, and start licking myself like a cat. Nutella is so good, it would probably be the greatest French invention ever, if it was created by the Italians, but instead, all they have is the French kiss, well good in its own right, it's not as good as nutella. Damn nutella is amazing.

And the day before, that we went to Alpha, which had the potential to be amazing, except for one small set back. On Fridays, Alpha has '80s night, which is really phone and reminds of the many parties I went to at Middlebury, with almost the same crowd of people, except every now and then you have a few 40-50 year olds in their dancing in suits and sweaters, which makes no since because it is hot as hell in that club. Back to the point.... and the point was Alpha has a good '80s night. Except for this time. It was good except they played very little '80s music and of the '80s songs they kept playing they kept repeating them. The would have better classified as '90s night with a couple of '80s songs. All I know is when I go to '80s night I am trying to hear Jesse's girl or anything by Bryan Adams.

Doesn't Audrey look so cute in her little Christmas outfit. She makes a spectabulous Christmas Tree. I don't think I have seen anything more beautiful. I can't wait until Santa comes to put presents underneath. The only thing, I can't figure out is how he is going to come give me my presents without a chimney.

Highlight of the Day: The highlight of the days not seeing a Chinese person spit in my general direction, actually not seeing a Chinese person spit at all. Also seeing the Christmas decorations in my apartment complex for the first time. They are pretty amazing and I will send you a picture of it as soon as someone sends me a camera or emails a picture of it.

Friday, December 07, 2007

My Walk Home Is Surprisingly Quiet After 11:32pm

I have to start with another disclaimer after my lawyers advice. This blog may cause an increase in stupidity and illiteracy in the right or left eye.

I have decided to add a new feature of to this blog, the highlight of the day. It will be at the end of every blog, when ever I remember to add it.

Today, my colleague had a big dinner. She recently, got married and by recently I mean Tuesday. But to get married her in China all you have to do is go to the court and register. It's kind of weird how you have to do it though. It is like the old days, like in the time of Jesus. You have to go back to the place where you were born to register to get married. I wonder what happens if you your husband was born in a different place, like you were born in Harbin and he was born in Shenzhen. If you don't know where they are on the map google it. Anyway, thats not what I wanted to talk about. At the dinner, she had sea urchin. I was very very reluctant to try it, especially because in the past I have had problems with eating weird things in China, like dog for instance. But that shit was bangin'. It was so good, the only problem was the texture, it felt like how it looks, slimy and gross, but the taste was delectable. Even though, I am having weird stomach rumblings right now, and probably will next try it again, it was an enjoyable experience. The best part of the meal, was definitely, definitely the shark fin soup. I think it is a most have, when you go to China. Way better than Beijing Kaoya.

But before the dinner, I had an interest chat with my colleague who just got married and another lady in the office. They told me how when they were young they had to take politic classes, in like elementary school. I think the things they studied where very interest. Well, I should say thing because they only told me about one thing they learn. But they learned that capitalist countries, like the United States, everyone was poor and hungry, while socialist countries, everyone had a roof over there head and things to eat. Its funny to hear that, because everything I read it was the exact opposite. But maybe I don't understand history that well. They even said that they had picture of people looking destitute and dejected. The most interesting thing they told me is that they never felt poor, because when they looked around everyone was in the same situation. Even though, they only had one pair of clothes to wear, they still never felt poor. It amazing how much China has changed and how rich people are everyone, so you know what being poor looks like up close. Maybe capitalism is not so great, but I will take it any day, so I can be like get a way from me bum, and get a job.

After dinner, I went to my friend Cou Cou's house to watch a movie called The Time, it was awful, except for the one part where they are in prison, that is the best part of the movie. And something else awful happened, for some reason I mad a culture reference (I forget why) to Mr. Rogers, and my socialist French friend was like who is that. I was like he was a guy on t.v. who taught kids, and she was like a teacher on t.v. teaching, that's stupid. I was like what (I was thinking, Bitch, how dare you disrespect Mr. Rogers. That Shit Ain't Funny, Mr Rogers is an educational Genius.), and then I was like okay what about Sesame Street and I was like it was puppets that taught kids. And she is like that stupid, why would they teach kids on t.v., blah blah blah stupid stupid stupid. I was thinking bitch nah, bitch nah, you can't disrespect Sesame Street; say something else about S Street, say something else, I dare you. I am about to go Cookie Monster on that ass like you are a chocolate chip and I got a fresh glass of milk. But instead, I just calmly left.

But I hold much adulation for my new socialist friend. Especially, because she bought me the The Professional after I told her I liked it the other day.

Highlight of the Day:Upon coming home, at the entrance of my building there is a glass door where the guard normally stands, either inside or outside. I image the job is really boring, especially at night. But my thoughts, were confirmed when I witnessed the guard staring at himself in the mirror in a pugilist stance. It was a good while before he noticed me and rushed to open the door.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The 100th Post, Whoa!!!!

China's rapid growth is fast, hard hitting, and unprecedented, kind of like ones first bout with the NINjA. This new growth has caused an increase boom in the amount of cars and the amount of flights that people are buying and taking (really is booming from beef to iphones, and I am pretty sure you can purchase everything from beef to iphones on its black market as well, which is very convenient.Especially, since unlike the US the black market is semi-legal or at least there is very little crack down on it and also unlike the US, I know where to go to get stuff off the Chinese black market, I guess it is more like a grey market or maybe a charcoal). But because all this growth is sudden and people are mostly newly rich and/or moving out of poverty into the middle class, for lack of a better word, they don't know WTF they are doing.

With an increase in the amount of cars on the rode their has been an increase in the amount of drivers, according to my Chinese colleague, most Chinese drivers had only experience with a car for 10 years or less, this includes riding in the car. When you think about this, it is no wonder this is a country full of crazy drivers. From my understand on traffic law, the only one that matters is red lights, all else can be ignored at will. I don't think I have ever seen a police car pull someone over, even when the car come to think of it ran a red light right in front of him. So maybe the red light rule only applies sometimes. I have not been to a lot of countries, but I am going to make this statement, China has the most reckless drivers I have ever seen. The only rule of the road is don't hit another car and even though another car might hit you, it may be your fault. Even if all you did was slow down, for lets say traffic. Seeing how crazy traffic is, has given me apprehensions about getting a bike. That and it is freezing right now, and they steal bikes like its diamonds around here.

The growing numbers has made flying in China very interesting to. In the old days the normal way to travel around China was to take the train. It was cheap, slow, and reliable. Now with the increase of wealth, the plane is the new train. But some of the habits with taking the train have not changed. According to the same colleague, Chinese people are used to bring lots of luggage on board trains. This mentality has continued for the plane. People bring copious amounts of luggage on board the plane with them. To the point that if you are not quick to board the plane you will not be able to put your stuff in the over head bins and you might now have leg room under your seat either.

And this rush brings me to the thing I hate most in China. I hate it in the US, but I hate it even more in China. FUCKING LINES!!! Lines are the worst thing in China. I have no idea why Chinese people, I hate generalizations (while I actually enjoy them a lot), cannot comprehend the concept of a line. You just stand right behind the person in front of you and wait. Simple right. NO, Chinese people have to push to get to the front and will walk right up to the front of the line like there is people already waiting with utter disregard for the whole line system. I can't really get it.

So how to take advantage of the line system in China.

As the saying goes, "when in China cut the WTFing line." The trick is simple, walk right up to the front and push your way through. If someone says something to you, just say "Dong Bu Ting." And you will be fine. They will just be like stupid foreigner, but you will be in the front. Actually if you run into any problems where you are doing something that you know you shouldn't be, just say "Dong Bu Ting." 100% of the time it works 37.9% of the time.

When pushing it is best not to use as much force as possible, because you don't actually want to knock the old people down (remember that old women are your biggest adversaries), you just want them to let you in, move faster, or get out of your way. They probably will not do the latter. So this is the trick use your fingers and poke them in the ribs (a pen works best, well actually a knife does, but you don't want to kill people, the government might not be okay with that. But you have diplomatic immunity feel free to use a knife). Aim for right under the arm in between the ribs if you use your finger, if you are using a pen then aim for the bone, it will hurt the most. This will temporarily stunt the Chinese person in front of you or cause them to move out of your way allowing you to move up in the front of the line. Remember one you get to the front of the line, be quick to give your ticket or you might be mauled by a panda.

Revelation 1371

I have realized that when I talk walks and listen to music, I come up with the greatest insights about myself. For example, today I when I was walking to meet some friends for a cheap Chinese dinner, I realized that their is nothing I do really well. I am just really the epitome of mediocracy. I am the type of person that knows a little bit about a lot, instead of being someone who knows a lot about a little. I don't know what is better, but I think I would prefer the latter. Even though, that is a sad realization since there has been at least over a hundred thousand dollars invested in my education up to this point. But this fact and the fact that I like to watch pointless droll on youtube came in handy today.

What happened, and it also informed to the fact that I need a roommate (this occurrence, the number of times I have almost slipped and cracked my head on the floor or some sharp corner while getting out of the shower), is I locked myself out of my apartment again. The first time was okay, because it was during the day on a week day and someone could bring me the key from the office. But today it was at night, and I had to meet someone to get the key to the office. But here is where my vast watching of youtube and my knowledge of worldly things came in handy. Because the secretary locks her desk everyday and I only had a key to the front door, I had to figure out a way to break into her desk. Luckily, I have had to break in to my own house in the states before and in the past couple of months have watched videos on youtube about picking locks (don't ask why), I knew a thing or two about how locks work. Also, I just finished reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon, which was a big help in my B&E. But because I am not that knowledgeable on locks, I was luck in the fact that it was just at the right difficulty level that my little knowledge (even though I had to use every bit I had) took the lock apart in last then 10 minutes. I went Houdini on that bitch. And I was even able to make it to the restaurant on time for some expensive Chinese food, which I thought I was going to have to miss going around the city looking for the secretary's key to the desk.

Other revelations that I had to day:

Beijing is flippin' cold.

I need better gloves.

And things that I learned about Chinese people recently, oh but before the things I learned about Chinese people recently. I saw the best Christmas decoration display, I have ever saw in China. Albeit it was my first, it was still the best. It rivals some of the ones I have seen in Seattle. This fact is even more impressive when you take into account that Chinese people don't celebrate Christmas.

So what I have learned about Chinese people. They refuse to eat cold things in the winter because it gives them la duzi right after, especially cold water. And after a woman gives birth she is not supposed to shower for a month. That is just wild and beyond me. Oh and they are not allowed to drink anything cold right after giving birth.

What else....

I can't remember, well, I can but I want to go to bed so I will write it some other time. TTFN.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Textin'! It's Done w/ the Thumbs

I have a lot to write about now that I am done with the CFA exam, well, I should say that I had a lot to write about. I forgot 90% of the things I wanted to write about. But, I am sure it will come to me in the mild of the night or after my hangover goes completely away. I am at about 85% right now. Since, I can't remember what I wanted to write about I will write about the stuff I read and watched while I was supposed to be studying for the test. Before I go on, my lawyer has informed me that I need to add a disclaimer to this blog: The following content does not in anyway reflect the thoughts or the opinions of 马渡 and thirty percent of the time the content of this blog is original ninety percent of the time.

Before I continue, I need you, my viewers, help. I am afraid to report that Audrey is not doing so well. She has been laying in the corner looking kind of bilious. She just stays in her supine position with a languid approach to life. Please, her time seems short. She seems to lost her will to live, I need an answer to bring her back to me, she is my only friend, my only love in these cold dark Beijing nights.

So I read a lot of articles and watched a lot of youtube in the time when I was supposed be studying. It probably contributed to the fact that I didn't pass my test. Well that and probably the fact that I tried to cram three months of knowledge in to a three day intense study session. I mean it worked in college, why not now?, right? Come to think of it, it didn't really work that well in college. And it didn't really work that time I tried to pass the foreign service exam. Hmmm...you would think that I would learn from my mistakes. But apparently, I don't have that a ability.

Anyway, what I read in the journal, my number one source of information for the outside world (outside world meaning primarily the United States and a little of France and Belgium the latter of which will be discussed in the News Years Day issue of this blog), I read an article about Belgium beer. Ironically, it was not until I moved to China that I discovered my love for Belgium beer. Well its not really ironic or semi-ironic, I just wanted to start the sentence with that word. I like the word ironic, is sounds so funny when you say it, ironic, iiiiiiiroooooonic, ironic. Even though that is not the word I used to start the sentence I still like the word ironic, ironic. Ok, back to what I was saying. AH, Hmmmm. Yeah, Belgium beer is delicious, its like Zeus peed in a bottle and said here, enjoy the left overs of our sweet ambrosia. Its that delicious. Where is Chinese beer, which I feel like there is so no such thing as a best Chinese beer, only less worser of the worst. However, some people will say it is Qingdao that holds that category, I personally think yanjing is better. But Belgium beer is damn good. In Middlebury, my favorite beer is Otter Creek White Sail, although the Wit and Brown Ale are damn good as well. But the White Sail was my first semi introduction in to Belgium beer. The White Sail is a Belgium style lager or Belgium style something. All you need to know that its good, try it. You will not not not like it.

The Best Belgium beer is hard to say, but I might have to go with the Tripel Karmeliet, however, the Archel Tripel Blonde, the Leffe Blonde, and another that was good to but I don't remember the name but it probably had blonde and/or tripel in the title. I am realizing now, that I like blond beers. I really want to try the Westvleteren it is supposed to be the king of beers king of beers. But, unfortunately I have not been able to find it yet and going to do a city wide search this weekend and try to hunt it down.

In Beijing there are four for sure places you can get Belgium beer: Morels, the Tree, Beer Mania, and Aria. They are listed in order closest to furthest from my place. The Tree by far has the best selection, followed by Morels, Beer Mania and then Aria. But I think the Aria or the Tree have the best ambiance, but Beer Mania is nice too. The only problem with the Tree is that it is a restaurant but it has a bar too. Actually, Aria has the best ambiance, but the pizza at the Tree is probably the second best in Beijing after Kros Nest. But if you are going to get Belgium beer I recommend going to the Tree just because it has a better selection and the pizza is amazing. Not FlatBread, but how many places are as good as American FlatBread. Also here is the the thing for me though, while the Tree has good food and a good selection, it suffers from a problem that many bars and restaurants suffer. When the waiters pour beers here, they don't know wtf they are doing. I don't want that much head when I get a beer poured. You don't just turn the beer over and poor it. You got to treat it gentle use a little technique, you have to be like that one Tenacious D song. And thats what Aria does best, they actually train all their staff on how to poor a beer, when I saw their perfect technique, I almost cried and gave them a standing ovation. When you take the time to teach your staff to pour a beer, you are a quality establishment. So Aria, I give you applause, bravo sir, bravo. Anyway, Belgium beers are good. Beer is good. Life, well life is Life.

The other thing I watched was youtube. And it reminded me of the fact that I hate texting. I hate it so much. Probably, because I hate my cell phone. And the texting program on it sucks.

But when you are Beijing everybody texts. I think this is how it is done in most foreign countries. The the thing to remember when texting is to remember to keep the thumbs loose and the rest of the fingers on the phone. A many a person has lost or dropped their phone with poor technique. Also remember Bitches Love Smiley Faces.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"On the Decay of the Art of Lying"

I know I am supposed be studying, but having studied all day and made very little progress in the notes that I have been mulling over and also having been a 100% convinced by the practice test and other online test that I have no chance as the saying goes of a tiger eating a rhinoceros chance in hell of passing this test, and not to mention having had something really interesting just happen to me not five minutes ago, I have decided to write this blog.

The thing that is interesting, that now I have timed to contemplate about and on after thought is really not that interesting, is I met (so he claimed, but google has no sign off) one of the owners the most renowned ultimate frisbee brands, its called High Five or Hi Five (not sure on the spelling could be the reason one google has not trace, but maybe you know, and by you I mean Golzer because you are the only person besides myself we currently reads this blog and you are the only person of the two of who would know about ultimate frisbee). From what the guy said they make some type of furry pink hats that are supposed to be popular. Anyway, because he said something about ultimate frisbee I was like yeah my school has really big ultimate culture. I think he might have thought I knew about a lot about it, from the what we talked about later, but ultimate frisbee is like all the other things I don't like (if i am not good at something after 3 minutes of trying I automatically put it on my "that sucks list" and dismiss it and/or ridicule it); we end up talking about how he would drive to Middlebury for some big tournament they have every May or something, and how Middlebury was a big influence over the ultimate fribees culture at a lot of other schools and especially at his school University of Chicago. The whole time I was thinking, really those frisbee kids are so flippin' weird, also streaking when I was trying to study in the Library or pretend to study. I think I am going off top, and I am not certain where the top was headed, someone just gchatted me, hold on let me read what I was writing before. Ah ok, ultimate frisbee kids are weird, thats that.

Oh yes, what else we talked about, the guy informed me why the lights have been off for the past two weeks in my favorite Chinese restaurant behind me apartment building and why I have not been able to eat there. He basically confirmed what I knew deep down in my heart, but I kept trying to deny to myself ever since I saw the lights no come on. They are going to 拆 the building. We I heard him say that, my heart weeped. I finally knew what the worlds smallest violin, playing the worlds saddest song actually sounded like. Apparently they are going to 拆 that building and some other surround ones, those I actually don't like and turn it in to a parking lot for the Olympics and once the Olympics are over in to a Sun City 2. I was damn, that sucks, bring back my flippin' favorite Chinese restaurant. Screw Olympic parking, I need a place with good food that is only two minutes from my house, I don't want to walk the extra 30 seconds to go to a different Chinese restaurant. And plus, I was getting to really like the people there and they were starting to get to the point where they could understand my broken Chinese. Now I have to go to this other place and start all over again. JAM!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Miscalculation

Golze accidental added the wrong site. Like I thought and I am sure you all thought out there as well, here is what was supposed to appear:

cash advance

I have to start studying for a test, but I have many things to write about that have to wait until next week. So stay tuned. However here is a little short something.

I was riding in the elevator the other day and there was this lady that looked like Anyir's mom (as one of her roommates described her mom, middle-aged, Chinese, and fat), her phone starts to ring and I almost bust out laughing really loud. The song that was playing on the phone was Usher Yeah! I was wow, that is a down ass mom. Next she start break dancing in the elevator, it was pretty crazy. Ok, maybe that part is not true, but it would have been amazing if she had.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Audrey, My New Love

Today, I went shopping with my Mongolian friend for a present for another friend for her Birthday, I am pretty sure my Mongolian friend works for the Mongolian CIA. MCIA speaks like 12 languages, has been to mad different countries, has a scar on his face that I think he got from a knife fight in Russia, and is always doing some secret assignment of the government. I might have blown his cover, so if I am dead tomorrow you know why. Anyway, While MCIA and where looking for gift ideas, that is when I met her. She was squatting looking extremely ambrosial. After much bargaining with her pimps, I finally bought her for 70RMB. She is beautiful. Her race is Limonium and she comes from the Rutaceae family. Her family is very prestigious, especially in India.

I am so excited to have her be a new edition to my apartment. I finally have someone to talk to and spend my nights with. Her name is Audrey.

While I was walking around today looking for gifts with my MCIA friend, I spoke with some Chinese plant sellers and they tried to tell me that lemons are limes before they turn yellow. I was like wtf, ah ok, if you say so. But since I know nothing about plants, this could be true. So if anybody can verify this information for me, I would appreciate that.

And this year, I thought I would use an aluminum pole instead of a Christmas tree. But I think that I will just use Audry instead, prop her up in a corner and put lights and presents under her.

Now it is time to head to the bar and if someone could give me information on how to raise a lemon tree, I would appreciate that too.

FooooooooooooD

So far my weekend has been pretty eventful, even though it is ten o'clock right now on a Saturday and I am writing a blog. But besides that it has been pretty good. I hopefully I will stop being a piss ant and go out and do something but the forecast isn't looking so good.

Anyway I have come to the realization that 90% of the time when I go out with friends it is either to go to the bar or got eat, hence the picture. But, since I have been in Beijing I have come to appreciate food so much more. I have only had Korean BBQ once before Friday and that first time was like a month ago. So I don't know much about it. However, I do know this. I LIKE. They have this chicken kebab thing at the restaurant we went to, it is like.... Hmmm, I don't know what it is like but it was good. Definitely worth going back just to eat that.

The place I came back from just now is Grandma's Kitchen, not to be confused with the Grandma's Kitchen in Hangzhou. This Grandma's Kitchen is American food and it was delicious, it was like being back home. While Steak & Eggs is good (except on Thanksgiving, never eat at Steak & Eggs on Thanksgiving), I think that Grandma's Kitchen is much better, which is reflected in its higher price. Even though, I did not eat breakfast at Grandma's, someone else did, ant the food quality look much better than Steak & Eggs. But you don't have to take my word for it, take a trip out here and try for yourself.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Day Before Yesterday

On Wednesday, I went to the Bookworm to hear poetry from a relatively well known poet named Paddy Bushe. He read many of his poems, but the poem that jumped out at me the most was from his book The Ghost Man, the poem is titled "We come..." It jumped out at me because it reminded me of something my co-work told me about my maid, it made me sad think for her situation. Apparently, she has a child that lives in Sichuan where she is from, that is only ten years old. When I heard that I was like wtf. Why does she live him their by himself? Why doesn't she bring him with her? And she simple said she can't afford it. And apparently her husband is here in Beijing too. So the child lives with some family and doesn't get to see his parents. Probing more, I came to find out this is the plight of many kids that live in the countryside in China. Their parents live them in the countryside, so they can find work and hopefully send back money. While, I am sad that she has been forced to abandon her kid, my selfish side is quite happy that I have a maid that can come twice a week for fifty dollars a month.

Anyway, walking down the road to work that I have talked about in too many post. I have realized this may be the cleanest road in China now. The change from when I first got her is amazing. The road is so clean, that the people use the ash trays on top of the garbage cans they installed. I was shocked when I saw that. And what shocked me even more, was the fact there was no spit on the side walk. I don't know how they accomplished this, especially because it has not rained recently. But I was amazed when I realized it.

Oh and yesterday, I finally figured out what the guards are pretending to guard. Apparently there is so international boxing event going on in Workers Gymnasium. But, that doesn't explain the army present there. So I think it is a front. I still think that is where they keep the aliens.

Happy Ungrateful Day

In a way, it is ironic that we celebrate thanks on Thanksgiving. When at the time, the original settlers were thankful to the native Indians, but how quickly they forgot their gratitude towards them and the act of survival of the fittest became law. I guess we all suffer from lapse of gratefulness and the animal instincts that we think lay dormant ends up ruling our lives more than we think. But this post is not about that. What is it about you ask, well, it is about nothing like all the rest of my post. So sit back and get ready for the tale of my first China Tryptophan Day.

Like all my mornings, my day started with me regretting the time I choose to go to sleep the night before and me hating that bitch Time, who decided not to heed my request to make a few hours seem like eight. After cursing Time, I checked my email and gchatted with Cooper about the latest happenings around the world. Being bored with whatever he was talking about and having an intense odium growing with in over his recent fortune of going to Miami beach for the winter and of hearing his luck of getting the Yacht account, head to the shower.

In the shower, I soak my body in warm water to soften the skin and hair. I start first by washing my hair with Head & Shoulders. Warm water is better for washing your hair because it does not scold it and allows for better and fullier body. Head & Shoulders is a good choice in shampoo because it reduces the dandruff that many hear suffer from. Next, I move to the body. I turn up the hot water to allow more steam in the shower to open the pores. And apply exactly five squirts of the new Dove body wash, I have recently purchased, to my new abrasive loofah. Dove is the best body wash for cleaning and exfoliating. The abrasive sponge helps to prevent pimples and smooth the skin. Next I apply, an apricot face scrub to clean my face and reduce the lines of age.

After I get out of the shower, I grab my 100% cotton towel and brush my teeth, applying the right amount of Crest toothpaste on an Oral B toothbrush. While brushing my teeth I remind myself over and over, "I'm resourceful, I'm creative, I'm young, unscrupulous, highly motivated, highly skilled. In essence what I'm saying is that society cannot afford to lose me. I'm an asset."

Next I get dressed. Putting on a trousers from boxers and wife beater from Hanes, trousers by Izod, a shirt and sweater by the GAP, socks by Jockey, and shoes from Florsheim. On my way out the door I have a jacket by The Northface and a hat by Element.

Arriving at work barely on time. I start my regular routine of reading market information, answering emails and making calls. The only other American in the office, who is Chinese with American citizenship decides to take everyone out for Thanksgiving. We end up at FeiTeng Yuxiang a Sichuan restaurant. At lunch we have the 水煮鱼 and 馋嘴蛙, along with other dishes. Overall the food was good and worth the trip, even though it was far from Thanksgiving food. It was still good, but left me with an unsettled stomach.

Arriving back to work, my day went on as normal, but that bitch Time, made it seem like it was lasting forever. She never slows down the shit I want slowed down. At 6pm, I packed my things and headed home. By the time, I got home, I still had some time to KILL before I head to Steak and Eggs for our 8pm reservations. So, I began reading more of "One Hundred Years of Solitude." At 7pm, I began to get dressed, putting on jeans by ecko, a shirt by GAP, a sweater by J. Crew, and shoes by Rock Port. After getting dressed I head for the subway.

I arrive at the restaurant by 8pm and as usual my friends arrive late. It seems that the French do not know how to use clocks. But it was okay that they arrived late, because the idiots at restaurant did not change my reservations to 8pm like I asked and had it scheduled for 8:30pm, which was probably the first sign that this night was going to bed, along with the shit load of people waiting for a table in the doorway. As I looked at the human mass in the doorway, the only thing I could think was I hope that we get a good table. As 9pm passed and we still did not have a table, I began to get impatient and pressure the maitre d' to no avail. After an additional fifteen minutes we were finally seated in a back corner of the restaurant at what seemed a halfway decent table. So my anxiety was alleviated somewhat, but the demon inside me was becoming listless with burning rabidity
. It took another 20 minutes before a water would even look at us, let alone talk to us. Another 5 minutes for him to take our orders for drinks and salads. After another 10 minutes of no response from him or another person and having watched him serve other tables that arrived after us. The demon prevailed and began to unleash his wrath on any waiter or waitress he say, startling all the customers with in ear shot of the bluster it exuded (People who know me well, have not seen me get angry often and yell at people, so this explains how pissed I was). Finally, after bringing the bawls of hell in the restaurant and besieging to see the manager. The service improved 150%. We finally got our drinks and silverware and our salads by 10pm. And after letting loose the demon on the manager we got a free bottle of wine as well. The food ended up being mediocre at best and the pie had much room for improvement. However, the bottle of wine was good. It was a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, sweat with a little hint of pear or maybe apple.

The night ended with me bring people back my socialist friend and another French friend for more conversation and debate, which the socialist didn't have enough of at dinner, when I say enough I mean debate. I official announce that I am not going to get in anymore debates with people. I am just going to let people think what they think whether racist, wrong, or right.

When making Thanksgiving plans in China.
DO NOT GO TO STEAK AND EGGS. First the service is bad at this time and they don't know how to do planning and lets also mention the food is not good. Any other time the food is good at Steak and Eggs, but at Turkey Day, it is not worth it. When someone stagers reservations 30 minutes apart with 5 groups in the same time slots for a small restaurant, you know there is something wrong.

It would be move better to go to a hotel or even more upscale restaurant and get good food, even if the price is higher. Do not get food by Steak and Eggs low price on Thanksgiving.

Another tip, when being screwed over by the service at a restaurant, it is smart to have the river Styx flow in the place, it will help you get a river of wine flowing down your gullet.



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

So That's Why The French Are Lazy

I had another conversation with my socialist French friend and a very lovely dinner that she made. I was quite impressed. But anyway, she explained to me more why French people do the things they do and their long history striking and socialism and among other things. And on my walk back home, it occur to me the main difference between the US way of thinking and the French way of thinking (I confirmed this with my socialist friend and she agreed, even though she gave me a longer reason on why).

To me the big difference between the French and Americans is that Americans believe in the Idea that their is "No such thing as a free lunch." That you have to work hard for everything you get, and by only working hard you can be successful and get what you want and that the governments role in their success should be very limited. Hence, we don't like to pay high taxes or like a lot of government intervention in our lives and our markets. While the French on the other hand believe that it is the governments job to help them. That by being a French citizens they are entitled to help from the government in many aspects of their life. In essence, it is the governments job to help support them. Hence, the wonderful health care system and the many strikes when the government wants to take away benefits that enhance their life.

On a totally different subject. I was walking home today, and I was walking behind this guy and he farted so loud (Like Anyir did in front of her roommate's boyfriend). And I started to laugh and he just looked at me crazy.

And on another note, I think I blogged about this before or a similar situation. But recently to colleagues of mine have told me that I look like two famous black people. One is Isaiah Washington and the other is Brian McKnight. I hate to break it to people, but I look nothing like either one of them. One, I am not that dark and two, I am much more handsome.

When confronted with a ridiculous situation in China, like someone saying you look someone you don't. The best approach is the "smile and nod technique." To do this one adds a smile to their face and then nods. It is simple and very effective. Another technique that you can uses is the "laugh in face technique." To do this one laughs in the face of the person who made the ridiculous comment and optional can add a comment like "Oh, that is ridiculous" or "What are you talking about" or "If I look like that then you look like Jackie Chan." Remember all comments are optional and both techniques produce the same result.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Voila!!!

I finally figured out why they repaved the rode I walk down to work near Workers Gymnasium, tore up the dog park, and had soldiers do drills there. Well I didn't completely figure it out, but I figured out something. I figured out this much, they turned the dog park into a parking lot, for what I am guessing is car use. They also have the guards who were doing the drills guarding an entrance they constructed that has metal detectors and police tape and police around it. There are also people who go in and out with badges. So since, the Olympics are coming up, I am guessing that is where they have moved the aliens that they have captured. There was really no point in writing this other than I could not think of anything else to write about.

Sichuan Food in Beijing

Sichuan food in Beijing is not as good as Sichuan food in Sichuan, but there are still some really good restaurants around Beijing. Many foreigners are of the opinion that Chuan Ban is the best Sichuan restaurant. While, if you speak to Chinese people they will tell you that Feitang Yuxiang is the best, I have also heard good things about Ma La You Huo, but I have never been there. Ma La You Huo, is supposed to be even more in the Sichuan cooking style. But since I have only been to the big two and many smaller ones,I will only speak of those. Chuan Ban is good, but I don't know it is better than Feitang Yuxiang, but then again I didn't try their 水煮鱼(shui zhu yu), which is the real test of a Sichuan restaurant. A Sichuan restaurant is only as good as there 水煮鱼. Well, Chuan Ban's other food was good, it was not better than Chuan Ban's other food. If you go to Feitang Yuxiang, you must try the 水煮牛蛙, it is delicious. I will not tell you what it means, but it is spicy heaven.

When eating 水煮鱼. You must bite down carefully on the fish. If you are not careful, you will choke and probably die, because Chinese people don't know CPR or the Heimlich maneuver.

Also, when eating 水煮鱼, consider your beverage options careful. Many people will go with soda to combat against the spiciness of this beast. However, soda is not the best defense against this foe. Soda often makes the burning sensation in your mouth more intense. The best bet is water. But since water is normally boiling hot when served, it s not a very good option, unless you are impervious to third degree burns. The best option is actually beer, because it soothes and numbs at the same time. But this option is quit dangerous as well. Because the 水煮鱼 is delicious and irresistible, which means that you will consume it in mass quantities. The only draw back to the mass consumption means that the beer will flow down your throat like the golden rivers of the Mekong (whatever that means). And one will find themselves quite drunk and possible red in the face. So consider your options carefully. Oh yeah, there is also fruit juice option as well, but there was no downside to those options so I didn't write about them.

As you are eating the 水煮鱼, your lips and tongue may be come numb. Don't panic and scream, "they are trying to kill me they are trying to kill me." One, must Chinese people don't understand English and won't understand. Two, it is normal. It is the naturally toxins from the mercury in the fish you are eating. It will only cause slight blindness for a few days.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Patrick Bateman Is A Personal Hero of MIne

I have almost finished reading American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, I have only thirty pages to go, but I think it is a literary masterpiece. It has given me inspiration to write more blogs and has helped me to come to the conclusion that I want to use that as format for writing my blogs, well that format and I have also decide to I want to use the format that Max Brooks use in The Zombie Survival Guide, another brilliant work of art. For more information see future blogs.

Last weekend I decided that I wanted to learn how to play the harmonica, so on an impulse I went to a music store and bought one for $5. Damn, the Nyquil is strong, maybe I should eat something before I pass out. But this could end up being like many of my other impulse that have failed, like getting CFA certification, learning Spanish, and my half-assed attempt at joining the Army or even like my new decision to write in a new literary format. I had more to write in this blog but I can't remember now. Damn this Nyquil is good. I feel like I should start chasing the purple dragon..."Catch me, Catch me."

Two Things I Still Don't Understand about China

While I make it sound like there is only two things that I don't understand about China, in reality, I think there only maybe to things I truly understand about China (China's has a lot of people and Chinese food taste good, even though the latter is not something to understand).

The first thing I don't understand, I guess I will find out next year. The first thing is how is China going to reduce its pollution before the Olympics. I have only been back in China since August 19, 2007. But man, I have seen so pretty awfully polluted days since I have been here. And apparently I missed the worst of it. In the past three weeks, every Monday I have traveled for business to a new place. In this order I traveled to Dalian, Sanya, and Tianjin, also in that order the pollution I saw ranked from good to worse. Dalian was not that polluted when I went, although it seemed kind of dirty. Sanya, which is supposed to be the Hawaii of China was clean, but the sky was filled with smog. When you looked out to the sea, all you could see was smogged covered islands. It wasn't like being in Key West and looking out and the sea/ocean seems to go for forever and drop off the earth. And Tianjin, how do I explain going to Tianjin? I wish I need how to write then, I would use some power analogy or metaphor to convey what I saw. But it was like driving through the fog on the meadows of a scare movie. You could only see maybe 300 meters in front of you and the smog just surrounded you. It was like the movie The Fog. Seriously it was ridiculous. I am very eager to see, what transpires in 8/8/08.

The second thing I do not understand is why China, does not have more colleges and universities or at least more technical schools. One of social dilemma face the Chinese population, that relates to China having a lot of people, is the pressure that high school kids have in high school, preparing for their college entrance exams. The pressure that these students face is completely different than the pressure high school kids in US have on performing well on the SAT, especially since the SATs are not the only fact US colleges consider. But in China, the only thing that matters is doing well on the college entrance exam, high school for a Chinese high schooler is all about this one test. The only study for this on test. It seems the only information that matters is the information that is going to be on this test. So many skills that Americans value, many Chinese students don't have. Like creative writing skills. (An aside, having take Nyquil just now and not being able to control the heat in my apartment, which currently is set on HELL. I am finding it increasingly difficult to finish this blog). I realize that it is not simple just to create more universities, even though the Communist party has all the power and pretty much does as it please. I don't understand why they don't just start more schools. Will more schools have an adverse effect on the economy or the unemployment rate, shit, I don't know. But I wish I could figure out why this has not been considered or someone could tell why this is not a workable option.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Arguing with the French Is Like Arguing with A Donkey's Ass

In China, I have met a lot of people from many diverse backgrounds and different cultures. It is really easy to met other expats here. The expat community in general is very friendly and very welcoming. Most of my friends here are from different countries, and needless to say I get a lot of shit for being an American. Most of its funny and we end up making funny of each other for our stereotypes. But this one French girl, everytime I see her, she gets in an argument with me about how the US sucks and France is so much better. Gosh the French suck. Nah, I really like my French friends, and actually enjoy listening to her perspective.

Anyway tonight we got in to a big argument about socialism vs. capitalism. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I like to argue or that arguments like to fall in my lap. So in China, I have decided that I don't want to get in debates with people anymore. However, tonight I could not help myself, the girl was just so ridiculous, socialism sucks. When someone tells me that the work week should be only 24 hours and the current French 35 hour work week is too much. I am just like damn. French people are so lazy. No wonder your economy has so much problems. I mean yeah your health care system is better, and I guess poor people are better off in your country, but man socialism is so inefficient. But what I realized is that her arguments where more about enjoying your life and having just enough, and mine where about having the best and getting everything you want. I guess competition and excellence is just to ingrained in my brain, and laziness and handouts are ingrained in hers.

But I guess in the end if she gets sick she doesn't have to pay anything, and my uninsured ass will be dead in a corner.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I get why Anyir pees in cups

I don't know if it is a Chinese thing to do this, but I was on a flight to Hainan. Supposedly the Hawaii of Chinese. I have never been to Hawaii and I didn't see much of Hainan, so I don't really know. Back to my orginial train of thought, this family had this kid on the plane with the split pants that many Chinese babies wear. And of course he was not wearing a diaper, so I thought it is going to be fun if the is baby poops all over this mom or pees all over her. So the flight is chugging a long or doing whatever airplanes do. And all of sudden the baby has to go to the bathroom. I am like oh no. But the mom whips out a cup and has the baby pee in it. I am like man, weird and gross. Why didn't you just take him to the bathroom, I am thinking in my head. So when the baby is done peeing in the cup, the put the cup with the pee in an airsick bag. I am like ok cool, I guess. Atleast it is going to spill ever where in case there is turbulence. And I start to unbuckle my belt to let them out to throw the urine away. But they don't get up and for the rest of the flight, all I smell is baby pee. It was pretty bad, I think he had asparagus or something.

But enough of that, below are pictures of me kicking so other foreigners butts in a bobbing for apples contest at Hooters and be just basking in my glory on Halloween.




















































After Much Debate....

After much debate and a lot of personal reflections and many fan request and the approval of Clark Smith (the best blogger the world has known), I have decide to start this blog back up. The only thing I can promise about these new blog post is like in the past they will continue to have the same grammar mistakes and spelling errors of my previous blogs. Having a college degree doesn't mean you know the English language any better, which is kind of unfortunate. Also, the content of this blog will be different. A lot less funny more serious, more of a social and political commentary of how society has changed with the new economy. Absolute no more jokes. A new serious me has emerged. Well let's get start on the real content. See the following paragraphs below for more information:

So the last time I was in China for a significant period of time was in 2005 as a college student. And maybe because I have a job and in two years you gain more experience and perspective, your views change, but I don't think this is it. I think it is that China has just changed a lot. After two months or so of being here I have seen so much change just in that short time spend.

First the things that have changed in since 2005. In short, everything. There is so much more money flying around Beijing since the last time I have been here. Before when I was here, you rarely saw a BMW or Mercedes. Now, I see them all the time. Maybe it is because I live in a richer part of town now, and not in the ghetto near the zoo. But money is everywhere. I have seen Porsches, Ferraris, Bentleys and many other high end cars. I know you are thinking so what. Well, when you consider that there is something like a 200% import tax on luxury cars and that the average income in China is like $2000 a year. It is pretty crazy too see.

And that is not the only other change, there are new buildings everywhere. Cranes and half finished buildings line the streets where ever you go. Places that I often went to when I was a student, have completely changed. For example, the bar area that we went to all the time doesn't even exist. But that is not really a surprise because they were destroying it when we were their in 2005. Also, the market penetration of many US companies is astounding. One of my favorite places to go to get food and shop for little things is 7-11 (7-11 has the best breakfast food. Like these one buns, oh so good. If you come that is the first thing I will give you). I don't think I saw one 7-11, when I was here in 2005, but now they are on every corner. And while Starbucks was here when I was here last time, its present is beginning to look like that of Seattle. Even Hooters, has open up a franchise her, which is surprisingly kind of fun, even though the girls for a lack of a better word don't have hooters. But that traditional communist China that you have read about in the history books is no longer, well at least in the big cities and coastal cities. It is being westernized at a rapid past.

Now secondly, the changes I have just seen in two months. Because the changes I have seen in the two months are so many. I will only talk about the changes I have seen on my short walk to work. On my route to work is down one street, that takes 15 mins to walk. The changes are numerous: I have witnessed the street be completely repaved twice, I have seen at least two from what I could tell popular restaurants be demolished (maybe they are doing renovation), I have seen a popular gross park, where people brought their little dogs to play be torn up and replaced with a stone square (they love their stone squares here). The dog park was one of my favorite things to watch coming and going from work. People looked so happy playing with their little dogs, even China has some of the ugliest dogs I have ever seen and you had to watch out for shit everywhere. It was enjoyable to watch their happiness and them beating their dogs when they didn't listen. But now the park is stone and blocked off and being used for military drills. While it is not dogs being beat, it is still kind of amusing to watch. But back to the changes., the are fast and they hit hard. I read in the Wall Street Journal that compared to Malawi the changes that happen in China occur every seven hours. While, its not actually this quick it certainly seems like it.

Well, I am out of things to say for now. But be assured there is more to come.