Got Hot Pot?


Hot Pot is especially popular in China during the winter months.

China Bride Blog

Tsingtao Beer Tsingtao Beer

The other day I was reading something called a “book.” While reading this book, I stumbled across an interesting factoid. (All I have time for anymore-just the factoids, ma’am.) The author was of the opinion that Peking Man was the first hominid to use fire. We know this because we have his left molar in a box somewhere.

Which got me to thinking. If there is a Peking Man, shouldn’t there also be a Peking Woman? I wonder what kind of recipes she has to share? I’m pretty sure Peking Man was too busy at the hunting and gathering office to actually cook.

So I got a copy of the Chinese Telephone Book and started looking. It took a long time as you can well imagine. I did find a listing for Peking Tom, but the number was disconnected.

I searched and searched. But alas, could not find…

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Facebook is so “last decade!”


Smartphone Seniors
Smartphone Seniors

300 Million People Use WeChat To Text With Strangers, But Most Americans Probably Haven’t Heard Of It

WeChat is a multipurpose messaging app made by Chinese Internet portal company Tencent. The app’s popularity is soaring overseas. WeChat launched in October 2010 and had about 5 million users by May 2011. By January 2013, it had exploded to 300 million users, according to Tech In Asia.

The app has a startling array of features. Users can make video calls and hold live chats with friends, host group chats, scan for strangers to talk to nearby, and so much more. Rumors have been circulating that the app could gain a new shopping feature in the future too, which could be a huge potential revenue generator for Tencent. (more)

 

Thar Be Mermaids!


Untitled Screenplay
Untitled Screenplay

Last week I handed in the first draft of my screenplay to Gold Valley Films. It’s a musical animation feature with pirates, mermaids, ogres and a cast of talking creatures. It will be released in Chinese theaters in the spring of 2015. That’s all I can tell you at this point. Stay tuned for more…

Benjamin Franklin, Time Traveler


 

That probably isn’t Ben Franklin in the video, but it makes for a great headline for my post. On the other hand, it could be him. I’ve heard rumors of his, uh, cross-dressing. Anyway, as a screenwriter I claim first dibs on the movie title.

I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately. As luck would have it, I stumbled upon a wonderful movie last night called About Time. If you are growing weary of big-budget, story-less blockbusters of late, this little movie is a delightful change of pace.

Even before last night’s movie, however, I was pondering the curious nature of time. For example, wouldn’t it be great if time were like a roll of toilet paper? You could pull off exactly what you need and then roll back the rest for future use. Guess where I came up with that idea.

They say that “time and tide wait for no man.” And while this may be true, at least tide gets a chance to retrace it’s path. Now wouldn’t it be cool if we could do that? While we are on the subject of water, there are actually a lot of time and water metaphors. Here’s a good one:

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.”

Marcus Aurelius

By the way, did you know the world’s largest river once flowed in the opposite direction? Nice segue, huh? My point is that if something can alter the direction of the mighty Amazon, perhaps the inexorability of time is, well, exorable.

Of course, far greater minds have grappled, and are still grappling with the theoretical possibility of time travel. And, just to make things interesting, there are those that argue that time may not exist at all!

I am starting to get a headache, so I think I will end pretty much as I began by talking about movies. If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise. When I first started to watch it I almost turned it off. I thought the story was headed in a stupid direction. I was wrong.

Bean Dip by Another Name


Hummus? Yummus!

China Bride Blog

Hummus? Yummus! Hummus? Yummus!

It’s usually not a good sign to walk into a restaurant during the noon hour and find it deserted, with nary a customer, waiter or hostess in sight. I would have turned tail and left, except I’d promised to meet my Chinese student and her new boyfriend for lunch.

She had specifically chosen this Turkish restaurant in the heart of Guangzhou (Canton) because it was rumored to have one of the most mouth-watering Mediterranean menus on the metropolitan map. Since I had my choice of tables and a few minutes to kill, I began a quest for the best seat in the house.

I knew I’d probably found the most comfortable booth when I accidentally disturbed two waitresses snoozing soundly on the red tuck and roll benches. Startled to see a customer, they jumped up, wiped the sleep from their eyes and offered me a menu.

“Where is…

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How to Find a Chinese Bride


China Bride Blog

She's Out of My League She’s Out of My League

Dear China Bride Blog,

I just finished watching a movie called She’s Out of  My League. In the movie a guy who is a 5 or a 6 gets the girl who is a 10. Do you think this is possible? I consider myself to be a 5, but if I shower and stuff I could probably be a 6.5 or possibly a 7. The problem is I always go for 10’s. What’s your advice?

Loveless in Lake Wobegon

Dear Loveless,

Dude, it’s a movie! However, you might want to read the following article…

How to Find a Chinese Bride

Step 1
Be serious. Chinese women do not like players either. Their culture is intensely marriage and family oriented.

Step 2
Be stable. You don’t have to be rich (although it helps), but most Chinese women want to know if you own a house…

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A Canton Christmas


 Ho, Ho, Ho!
Ho, Ho, Ho!

I usually order a tall brewed coffee at my neighborhood Starbucks. It’s the cheapest drink on the menu. Today, in honor of the holiday season, I’ve ordered a nutmeg latte. While I wait for my beverage, I hum along with the Muzak. “Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” Although it never snows in Guangzhou, I could just as easily be standing in line in downtown Seattle.

Coffee and Christmas have come to China in a big way. My nutmeg latte, incidentally, costs 32 RMB which is about $5.25 at current exchange rates. Make that coffee, Christmas and capitalism. In my neighborhood alone I can choose from a half dozen coffee shops. And Christmas decorations – don’t get me started! I have a snapshot of workers erecting a Merry Christmas sign above the entry to our local mall. It’s dated October 25th, six days before Halloween and exactly two whole months before Christmas. Of course, Christmas is not a government holiday so there is no time off from work. But that does not seem to impede the commercial possibilities.

For me, Christmas is about traditions – family, friends, food and festivities- and, of course, there is the religious tradition as well. The first four traditions can be found in abundance during Chinese Spring Festival, which falls on January 31st, 2014. Religious tradition can also be found in China, although in lesser amounts.

My first year in China (2004) I attended a Chinese Catholic mass with a colleague on a cold Christmas Eve. We were in Jiangxi Province at the time; in a city that had a rather scarce supply of lao wai (foreigners). Our plan was to slip quietly into the back row, listen for a while and then slip out as quietly as we came in. That was our plan.

Our plan changed dramatically, however, when the priest glanced up from his text and noticed two odd strangers sitting in the back. He instantly ordered two chairs be brought down front. You would have thought we were two of the three Magi as we sheepishly walked down the center aisle. The congregation stood up and began to applaud – so much for slipping out quietly!