Author Archive > fiona

mr. wu of tongzhou: farmer, robot creator

This is an old YouTube video that I’ve been wanting to blog for a while.  Over in Tongzhou, there is a farmer who makes robots despite a lack of any formal training. He loves making robots, but his wife is not so fond of them, especially after Mr. Wu burned down the house.  On the [...]

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The World At Your Fingertips

The setting of the highly recommended Jia Zhangke film The World 世界, World Park brings the world’s greatest monuments in miniature straight to residents without ever having to leave China. As even obtaining a passport is an excercise in bureaucracy, never mind trying to get tourist visas, it’s easy to see why World Park would [...]

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“none holds for me the abiding charm that is peking”

I have just discovered the Travel Film Archive, a collection of travel footage from 1900 to 1970 available on YouTube. If you’re a fan of old newsreels, you’ll probably love this.  Complete with serious voiceovers and the slightly patronizing tone of the man on the spot to those funny foreigners, they capture a time when [...]

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the cutest cafe in beijing

Beijing doesn’t lack for cute cafes, but Miao Cafe is easily the cutest cafe in the city.  In fact it is one of the cutest cafes I have been to anywhere in the world.  As its name suggests, Miao Cafe is cat-themed.  Located on a quiet street behind the Yashow Market in Sanlitun, it’s worlds [...]

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a room with a view

A follow-up to this post, this delightful little room is upstairs over at Sugar Jar 白糖罐, an indie record store in the 798 / Dashanzi area. As you can see from the photo, the ground floor comprises the record store itself, with an excellent selection of the local indie rockists. Although it’s uncertain if the [...]

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the beekeeper of 定福庄

About 100 meters from the west gate at my university is a man selling honey.  This doesn’t seem particularly remarkable, but in fact, he is a beekeeper, raising the bees in his own backyard apiary nearby. There are different varieties of honey, depending on the flowers that the bees fed on, and he had date [...]

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quirkyBeijing reads

· Jackie Chan has a blog. · A woman’s morning routine vs. a man’s morning routine, from ChinaSMACK. It’s a cute set of illustrations that is all too true! · Where is the Manchu? A mystery at the Forbidden City, from Jottings from the Granite Studio. · This has nothing to do with anything, but [...]

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China via Fodor’s, circa 1979

Now that the Olympics are over, and we in Beijing have nothing to talk about, it’s worth taking a look at how China was perceived through American eyes back in the day. Recently, I was given a copy of Fodor’s People’s Republic of China, published in 1979. Written by John Summerfield, “a long-time resident of [...]

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how Beijing is different during the Olympics

1. There’s no street food. This bothers me the most since I’m always hungry before and after work, and even though my commute only takes half an hour, I need to eat something on my way to the subway. The informal vendors who used to hang out by the Dawanglu subway station are no longer [...]

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two chinese characters teach you how to say 加油!

While I was doing research for this post for CNReviews, I came across this rather funny video on how to say 加油, which is what all the cool kids say when they are cheering at the Olympics–and anywhere else that people need a little bit of encouragement.   For instance, I live opposite an elementary [...]

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