Beijing State of Mind

Beijing State of Mind: Commie jungle where dreams are made of

There have been a lot of laowai-led China-tribute pastiche music videos circling the interwebs over the last year or so, which is why when "Beijing State of Mind" began buzzing through the tubes about a week ago, I only gave it a raised eyebrow and moved along. My bad.

Filmed by one-time-laowai Mark Griffith, and starring Andrew Dougherty and Princess Fortier, the video is a very well done Beijing-tweaked redux of…

Andrew Hales: Taking people's umbrellas

Stealing umbrellas just for laughs in Chengdu

Youtube celebrity and prankster Andrew Hales, who makes awkwardly funny videos for his channel Losing All Hope Was Freedom (LAHWF), is currently in Chengdu, Sichuan, and messing with the locals.

In his first video from the city, he randomly approaches people and takes their umbrella. Reactions range from confusion to tight-fisted objection to laughter. Watch for yourself:

And for you VPNless folks, Youku ve…

Photo by James M. Turley

China Daily foreigner photographer contest

The China Daily has announced a contest for foreigners interested in spending two weeks travelling around to some of China's best tourist attractions -- all expenses paid.
A FREE trip to China’s top tourist attractions, including Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the picturesque city of Hangzhou and its must-see West Lake! You can also feel the economic pulse in the world-renowned small commodity tr…

Lisa Brackmann -- Hour of the Rat

Lisa Brackmann discusses Hour of the Rat, her latest novel set in China

Brackmann, who has lived in and travelled around China extensively over the past three decades, returns to the country for her latest book, Hour of the Rat. Released this week, the novel takes place about a year after the first book and continues the story of Ellie Cooper (née McEnroe), a tough-n-troubled Iraq War vet living in Beijing who frequently finds herself traipsing around the country running from one mys…

Criminal Check for Foreigners

Beijing rolls out criminal check for foreigners seeking employment in city

The new requirement comes after several recent news reports on foreign teachers sexually abusing their students (see here and here).

The announcement reads:

Per the requirements of the Regulations on the Administration of Employment of Foreigners in China, the Regulations on Foreign Experts’ Applications for Employment Permits, etc., foreigners applying to work in China should submit a certificate of no cri…

French man assaulted in Shanghai. Photo from Shanghaiist.

French expat brutally assaulted by 7 Chinese in Shanghai [Updated]

The incident was captured on video (embedded below) by Shawn Kregan, who happened to be outside the bar eating some chuan'r when the attack took place.

Kregan, who filmed the video at considerable risk, happened to be outside Bar 88 enjoying some kebabs on the street. He noticed a group of Chinese men having some kind of debate amongst themselves, and "we were wondering what was going on," he says.

20 minut…

BJC - The Creamcast

Beijing Cream in your ear with The Creamcast

Popular Beijing-based blog Beijing Cream has just released the inaugural episode of The Creamcast, a weekly podcast hosted by John Artman and The Good Doctor.

The podcast's first guest is long-time China expat Frank Yu, founder of Chinese start-up Kwestr. The format is very much unstructured and conversational, and will remind most of a typical night out with a group of foreigners shooting the shit about living in…

Nicholas Platt

Video: China 1972 — Nicholas Platt’s Home Movies

I caught a link to this video in Bill Bishop's excellent Sinocism newsletter today. The video was published back in 2010 by the Asia Society, and shows Nicholas Platt giving a voice over description of several minutes of home movies he shot in 1972 Beijing, just after the US and China resumed diplomatic relations.

It's interesting that while a lot has certainly changed in Beijing over the last 40 years, a lot …

Quest For the Holy Flat

The Quest for the Holy Flat

How I ventured into the depths of the low-cost real-estate market of Beijing. And survived.
"Keyi nong yi nong."

"It can be fixed a bit." So said the real-estate agent, as she finally managed to pull the front door open — in the little courtyard, the dead leaves had accumulated into a blanket of near-geological proportions. A moment of silence followed, as I stared speechlessly ahead of me.

It was described in…

Taxes - Bang-Head Here

Paying Taxes in China – Reprised

I’m trying to be a good citizen or resident or businesswoman or whatever you want to call me.

I figure I use the things that tax money buys. I use the roads and the street lights at night. I use the parks and the heavily subsidized public transportation.

So I figure it's only right that I ought to pay taxes.

Since avoiding paying taxes remains significantly easier than the act of actually paying taxes, I pre…