Posts Tagged ‘Beijing’

Just at the end of holiday do I come to accept such a fact: The price that we have to pay for being luxuriously feasted with first two clear and fine days is that we have to endure the smog the rest of the holiday. But wait a minute, maybe my luck is not that bad.

This National Day holiday, I barely visited anywhere but several nearby scenic spots. I kept learning the news the number of visitors to those famous spots hit record high. The Broken Bridge in Hangzhou has turned into a bridge of visitors; The Great Wall has been renamed as “Wall of Men”.

Those who have planned to drive home are having a hard time, too. The traffic jam is so heavy that the express ways became a huge parking lot (one of the rare resources in most big cities in China,huh?). Someone even humorously suggests those who haven’t got married seek their romance in that spacious”parking lot”–You have plenty of time for achieving your success. A couple had to change their plan to a sightseeing visit to Tianjin due the heavy traffic. They previously planned to drive back to their hometown in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province.

What are travels or tours for? For me, I travel for pleasure, for fun, and for some time with my family. What if it is ruined by mental tensions during the trip or worries about the return tickets?

Oh my! I’d rather stay at home, even though I have to endure those smoggy days.






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Last night I received a message from sina microblog administrator ,informing me one of the comments I made had been deleted due to some sensative wordings in it. To be honest, I made the comment on a news covering a case in Shanxi Province related to house demolition. A man in his early 50s was beaten to death by some men because he had refused to be relocated due to his disagreement with the developer. Meng, selling tofu for years to save money for his son’s wedding house, was a well-behaved peasant. However, he finally turned to antagonism against the developer when he realized they were plotting to occupy his house without getting nothing but a slip of receipt. The man was beaten to death in an extremely barbaric way.

 I chilled at the administrator’s notice. I feel the power of censorship here.  It’s just like an invisible hand behind you, ready to muffle your mouth any time you’ve said sth’improper’.

How pathetic…..

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Just read an interesting piece of news a while ago. The local government of Ningbo,Zhejiang Province, carried out some ‘affordable graves’ for its residents. Each grave will cost no more than rmb7800.

We Chinese are leading a tough life now, and it’s indeed not easy to make a living in here. So, do give a second thought when you choose to die due to your failure to get an ‘affordable apartment’, coz it may be equally costly for you to get an’ affordable grave’!? To be or not to be, it’s not only a question for Hamlet, but all people of the middle or lower classes in China.

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After nearly getting through the most complicated work arrangement ever between the Mid-Aurtumn Day and National Day, we have only one more day to go for a 7-day long holiday.  Any ideas about how to spend this holiday? Maybe you can share your plans with us here. 

Certainly, me first.  To be honest, I don’t have any specific plans for it.  Neither am I planning to go outside Beijing in fear of the avalanche of people and the nerve-wracking traffic-jams.  That doesn’t mean, however, that I will lie lazily in bed these days.  Here are some of my ideas, several options I may have during the time:

1. Go to the suburbs. It’s nice staying at a peasant’s courtyard for one night, enjoying the serenity in the countryside, savoring the original dishes cooked by the host, picking grapes or apples in the orchids, and the like.  It will keep you away for a while from the crowds and hullabaloos in the city.  A home-cooked dish has turned into a rare delicacy, shall we feel sad or happy?

 2. Go to some concerts. I barely have enough time doing this during the workdays, though I love it very much.  So, 7 days are long enough for me to do it.  To my delight, there will be some wonderful concerts then in the National Center for Performing Arts, also known as the Big Egg, and some other venues.  I guess there will be lots of choices at my hand then. 

3. Go to some sightseeing spots. I like The Fragrance Hill, the Summer Palace, and the Olympic Forest Green is just in my vicinity.  I love to go to the Fragrance Hill in the early morning before tourists swarm there.  I love to go to the Summer Palace before the sunset, because I think the place is in its greatest splendor in the setting sun.  

And I also love the greenness in the Olympic Forest Green, where exuberant trees and plants grow everywhere( Of course, also because it is the nearest place I can go, only one or two kilometers from my home).  It’s nice just roaming along the paths among the trees, inhaling the fresh morning air in the woods. Some unknown flowers, seemingly planted at randoms, are still blooming.  The big park seems never that crowded even if people come and go group by group thanks to it vastness. Here your mood will never be spoiled because of too many people.

 A simple plan, right? Do share yours with me.

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This post composed with my cellphone  is also available at http://blog.sina.com.cn/simplyenglish

One day off today. Asian Games Village. Passing by a donation van. Form filled up. Application submitted. Brief checkup done. Blood donated. 400cc. First time ever.

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The other day I read a piece of news online, reporting a famous hard-liquore manufacturer in Shanxi province( Fen Jiu Group, to be exact) held an auction last week for their 20 bottles of liquor, made of part of their treasured stock said to have been brewed for around 60 years ( wow, that was the time when New China was founded!).With a floor price of RMB95,000, the concluded price of the first bottle finally sky-rocketed to 2.03M!Finally, all the 20 bottles had been auctioned with a total amount of nearly RMB35M!

What I could do was a bitter smile. For these past two or three years, China’s real estate market is having a serious fever and most people are waiting for its cool-down, only to see it soaring higher and higher. I am lucky to have bought my apartment in 2004 , just before the housing price was to flare up. Now, its estimated value has reached well over RMB2M, a good buy, eh?

Now, it suddenly comes to me that my apartment is just a little bit worthy of a bottle of liquor?

Ironically, it is the reality in China. The crazy price-hikes in the housing market have forced more and more people away from it, and they find it takes longer and longer for them to make their housing dreams come true. Many of colleagues said they would not consider buying an apartment within the coming one or two years because of the formidable prices.

And, it sounds no good when your apartment is worth a little more than a bottle of liquor.

The manufacturer has advertised their products in a special way, though it seems their stunt was just an opportunity for sensationalism. Because, it is said that the manufacturer has promised to repurchase the auctioned bottles if the buyers don’t want to keep it any more.


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I guess this is the most uncomfortable summer I’ve had in Beijing since I came here. Though I thought I’d been used to the heat, humidity and sultriness, I find they’ve been testing my stamina these days.  It seems that sultry days are much longer this summer and you can in no way get away from being smothered in such muggy weather.  Sweat streaming down your back, you seem to have been steamed in a sauna room and can hardly catch your breath, no matter you like it or not.

With the growing temperature and sultriness, more and more Bangyes can be found in some public venues. The following are some pictures I ‘ve collected online and hope there will be no infringement of  copyrights. 

Bangyes, or bare-breast guys, used to be a typical scene in Beijing, or even all over China.  Then the local governments  made their endeavor to advocate dressing properly in public, and the situation keeps improving. However, due to the seemingly endless sweltering days, the Bangyes have fought their way back.  Besides these pictures, I often see some big-belly buddies walking bare-breast in my neighborhood, without a trace of uneasiness on their face.

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