Photo: Friendship

A great capture from Hong Kong-based Emilie Pavey who blogs at the well-titled Land of No Cheese blog. See all of her photos here. Read More »

Tribal Warfare: Urban Angst in China’s Supermarkets

While most laowai are probably familiar with the phenomenon of the “ant tribe,” a recent article in The Economist introduced a number of other “tribes” of stressed-out young Chinese struggling to survive in the urban jungle. Perhaps the most unusual is the “crush-crush tribe” (捏捏族), who release their frustrations by hiding in supermarket aisles and … Read More »

Fast Food in China: Beyond the Golden Arches

For many in China, “fast food” means McDonalds and KFC. To the average laowai, a visit to the nearest burger joint (or a phone call to the bicycle delivery man) is a periodic necessity for those craving a reminder of life back home and a break from their usual Chinese diet of rice and noodles. Even many Chinese consider fast food to be a uniquely foreign –- or specifically American –- phenomenon.

But Western fast food restaurants in China have long been outnumbered by native competitors. For decades, these Chinese chains were mostly small-scale operations limited to a particular city or province. But in recent years, a persistent handful have begun to extend their reach across the country and establish themselves as national, or at least regional, brand names. A diverse group, their menus range from American fast food staples to regional Chinese specialties, and some imaginative creations that don’t quite fit any category. Here’s a guide to five popular and fast-growing Chinese chains you’ll likely come across (if you haven’t already) Read More »

Why I Cook — In China

I have a confession to make. For the first four and a half years I lived in China, I did almost no cooking. Sure, I owned all the necessary equipment- I made sure of that. I wanted people to think I cooked, but didn’t really want to actually do it.  Going out to eat seemed … Read More »

Chicken Feet and Eggs

I like to think of myself as an adventurous eater, a game one. I tend to follow a monkey see monkey do policy when it comes to food; if I see someone else eat, and they’re not asphyxiated by disgust moments afterwards, I’ll give it a go. Still, I would be lying to say that … Read More »

Can’t we just call it chuar?

By Barry M I was just leaving a comment on the always refreshingly drinkable Beijing Boyce blog when I saw one of my biggest Chinese Pinyin pet peeves – chuanr. 串儿, for those who’ve been in China for less than an hour, generally means tasty bits on a stick. Chuàn/串 (meaning to string together) + … Read More »

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