Wednesday, April 30, 2008

100 days

...And Counting!

China began counting down 100 days to the Beijing Olympics today as the torch arrived back on Chinese soil. The city has spent $2.1 billion to cover the cost of running the Games (not including $34-$40 billion on improved infrastructure.)

Also wanted to note that 3 days ago on April 27th, the torch had a stop in Pyongyang, North Korea, free of any anti-Chinese protest!

You too can try to carry the torch and avoid protesters! Click here

Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring Cleaning...

...Before The Olympics

It’s a sad day… we are in mourning. In preparation for the Olympics, Beijing has been doing some spring cleaning and one of the cleaning up has targeted the DVDs stores (pirated DVDs that is…. But is there any other kind in China?!). So yesterday we were walking near a market (aka temple of “knock-off”) and saw that a DVD shop we went to from time to time was still open. As we ventured inside and after a few minutes of trying to locate foreign films, the clerk approached and asked us if we wanted DVDs…. We were then taken to a back room full of the precious treasure to which we have been accustomed. We felt a little naughty: It felt like going to the “adult section” room at you local DVD rental (not that I would know of course!).

The store we were going to regularly had a notice a few days ago “Thank you for your support. For some reasons, we are closing” : that’s pretty explicit!

Jacky Chang is against piracy!

The funny part is that I took this picture in front of Xiushui - 秀水 (Silk Market or "Temple of Knock-off"!)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Where Is It Already...

...T1bet or Nep@l?

I found this at the beginning of the month but didn’t have time to post it. Thank god Americans take the situation in T1bet, I mean Nepal seriously!

CNN doesn't know where Switzerland is, so I guess you cannot expect President Bush's National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley to know where T1bet is, can you?

"President Bush's National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley appeared on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos and repeatedly confused Nepal and T1bet. Discussing how Bush has "no reason not to go" to this summer's Olympic games in Beijing and how boycotting them would be wrong, Hadley discussed the outcry over T1bet and the US response, only he kept saying Nepal.
"If countries are really concerned about Nepal, we shouldn't have this sort of non-issue of opening ceremonies or not. They should do the hard work of quiet diplomacy to urge the Chinese government -- in their interest -- to take advantage of this opportunity to do something," Hadley said.
He went on, "The way to deal with the issue of Nepal is not by some -- a statement that you're not going to the opening ceremonies and say, therefore, I checked the Nepal box."
And it didn't end there. "What he's doing on Nepal is what we think the international community ought to be doing, which is approaching the Chinese privately through diplomatic channels and sending a very firm message of concern for human rights, a concern for what's happening in Nepal, urging the Chinese government to understand that it is in their interest to reach out to representatives of the D@l@i L@m@, and to show, while the whole world is watching China, that they are determined to treat their citizens with dignity and respect. There is an opportunity here."

Nepal, which shares a border with T1bet and which is an independent constitutional monarchy, has about 29 million people, is 10% Buddhist and is not the home of the D@l@i L@m@.
Video of the horrendous gaffe.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Some Still Show...

...The Frenchies Some Support

Unless they are trying to scare the customers!!


Sunday, April 20, 2008



This time it’s Chloe’s turn and she’s turning (lucky number) 8.
We had a Photo Scavenger Hunt party with 23 kids! Lots of fun but I’m sure happy it’s over!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Not Good To Be French...


No comments:

Well in fact I have a comment!
The taxi is apparently from Qingdao in Shandong province. Incidentally when I looked up the Chinese sign in a dictionary to see if I could get a hint of where the taxi was from, this is what I found “鲁 (lu3): 1) stupid; dull 2) rash; rough; rude” How ironic!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Smoking banned...

...In Day Care Centers!
...But Not In Restaurants Anymore.

Sometime you take things for granted… such as no smoking in day care centers, well not in China!

China toughens smoking ban in schools before Games
“China has further tightened smoking restrictions -- targeting schools and day care centres -- as it extends a crackdown linked to its pledge to hold a smoke-free Olympics. Last month, Beijing formally pledged to restrict smoking in most public venues in the city, including government offices and public transport, beginning on May 1.
In a separate move reported on Wednesday, China ordered primary schools, secondary schools and day care centres across the country to prohibit even designated smoking zones, an effort to promote 'non-smoking campuses' ahead of the Games. […] In October, China banned smoking in taxis”

Restaurants exempt from smoking ban
”Beijing restaurants, bars and Internet cafes have been exempted from a proposed smoking ban at public venues in response to concerns expressed by business owners.
The venues will only be asked to separate smoking and non-smoking areas from May 1 as part of the new regulation. It was reported on March 29 that a strict smoking ban from May 1 would expand to bars, restaurants and Internet cafes. But the amended rule means only government offices, schools, museums; hospitals and sports venues will be designated smoke-free areas.

And in case you want some restaurants owners to get busted for letting their costumers smoke in the non-smoking area, here’s the phone number: 12320!. The fine will be 5,000¥ for the restaurant owner. Smokers can also be fine 10¥

China is the world's largest cigarette producer, and Chinese are the world's most enthusiastic smokers, with a growing market of about 320 million smokers making it a magnet for multinationals and a focus of international health concern.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Big Step...


Chloe made it in the sister publication of “That’s Beijing” magazine (I swear I don’t work for them, even if I talk about it quite often!), “That’s Beijing Kids”, as the name implies, is geared towards families living in Beijing with kids.

The photo shoot took place a little over a month ago in a park next to where we live. However the clothes were not in the same league than the last time. We are talking Dolce and Gabbana, Dior, Marc Jacobs… with prices to match!

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Some pictures even made it to the photographer's website: check it out here

Sunday, April 13, 2008


...But Why?

Celine (Dion that is, not me!) was supposed to perform at the Workers’ Stadium and I had prepared the following post. But the concert has now been postponed canceled and conflicting claims are emerging, adding intrigue and mystery to the whole thing.

“Chinese media outlets are insisting that the singer chose to cancel the date due to illness. Yet the Western media is painting a completely different picture, saying that the problem stems from claims that organizers did not get the proper paper work in to perform at Beijing’s Workers Stadium. Emma Ticketmaster is saying Dion had postponed the concert at the 64,000-seat Workers Stadium due to concern that Beijing’s sandstorms could affect her recovery from a recent throat infection.”

So here is my pre-written post!

Celine... But Why?

Well because

  • it’s in China;
  • it’s in Beijing,
  • it’s at the Workers’ Stadium*,
  • and I wanted to show my appreciation because she made my life so much easier in the States once she became famous there… all of a sudden they knew how to spell my name: no more “Saline”, “Sailing” or whatever ingenious way they try to spell it!
  • Last but not least wouldn't it be fun to hear million thousand of Chinese sing…’and my hearrrrrrrrrrt will go ooooooonnnnnnnnn)

* it’s just next door to our apartment complex…we can see our building from the Workers Stadium. While navigating the web I found this site and you can see our building in one of the pictures (6th picture).

My hair looks like that when I skip the blow-drying!

And to round up this post, here’s a quiz that appeared in one of the magazine:

What reason did Celine Dion give for “postponing” her Beijing show?

  1. Sandstorms
  2. A passionate encounter with Richard Gere in the mid '80s
  3. A sore throat
  4. No indoor venue was available
  5. She wanted to go to Xi'an instead

I really hesitate between 2 and 5.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Crazy Day In Beijing...

...Crazy Girls in China

It was officially programmed for the 08.04.08 ;) but because it was supposed to rain we postponed it until today.

Here’s the program (courtesy of myself!)

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Pictures of the event to come sometime in the near(ish) future!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's A Case Of:

He They Say... She We Say

…or how the current events are being portrayed in the local press. Apparently there’re only been minor problems according to the local newspaper and since CNN is almost automatically blanked out as soon as T1b3t (and/or TWN) are mentioned we could really be in the unknown, thankfully for Anonymouse.

Warm reception in cold London
"LONDON: Olympic fever yesterday gripped snowy London - host of the 2012 Summer Games - on the latest leg of the torch relay's global odyssey.
Despite the bad weather, the flame received a particularly warm welcome from crowds in the city, which is celebrating the centenary of the hosting of the 1908 Games.[…] Torch relay spokesman Qu Yingpu added: "Despite the snow, I am delighted to see so many people coming to welcome the sacred flame, and although there were some disruptions on the way, I want to say that this is not the place to voice anyone's political view."
British police foiled an attempt by a person to grab the torch and immediately took him away. He was among the 25 who tried to disrupt the torch relay and were detained for public order offences, police said.
Police commander Jo Kaye said there had been a "small number of criminal attempts to disrupt the safety, security and safe passage of the torch". But they were no deterrent to thousands of Londoners, and a large number of Chinese working or studying here, who packed the streets and cheered the torch on its way around the city.”

French passion greets torch in Paris
“PARIS: The run toward Beijing 2008 continued yesterday - the seventh day into the torch relay - with the Paris leg starting from Eiffel Tower in the hometown of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics.
Tens of thousands of Parisians swarmed the streets while many waved and cheered, like their ancestors did in 1894 when foot races with torches were organized during an international congress for the restoration of the Olympic movement.[…]
Qu Yingpu, spokesman for the torch relay, said that the event started smoothly in Paris but encountered protests by Tibetan separatists during the process. Due to safety concerns and to safeguard the dignity of the torch, the relay team had to change the relay pattern and put the torch in a bus three times to complete the process smoothly, he said.”

16 more stops until the torch goes back to mainland China (it will stop in Hong Kong and Macau just before continuing its trip through 113 cities in China)

Still running...

UPDATE: In a twist of faith it turned out that the t1bet@n flags we’ve seen around the world were made in China!!

“Police in southern China have discovered a factory manufacturing Free Tibet flags, media reports say. The factory in Guangdong had been completing overseas orders for the flag of the t1bet@n government-in-exile. Workers said they thought they were just making colourful flags and did not realise their meaning. But then some of them saw TV images of protesters holding the emblem and they alerted the authorities, according to Hong Kong's Ming Pao newspaper.”

Made in China!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Qing Ming Jie

...Tomb Sweeping Day or Clear Brightness

Qing1ming2jie2 (清明节) meaning Clear and Bright Festival, is a traditional Chinese festival on the 15th day from the Spring Equinox (one of the few traditional Chinese holidays that follows the solar calendar), usually occurring April 5. Every leap year, Qing Ming is on April 4. Prior to 2008, the holiday was not official in the People's Republic of China since the Communist Party of China classified it as superstition. It is officially celebrated as a public holiday for the first time this year.

For the Chinese, it is a day to remember and honor their ancestors at grave sites. Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer food, tea, wine, chopsticks, (joss) paper accessories. Chinese believed that the spirits of deceased ancestors looked after the family. Sacrifices of food and spirit money could keep them happy, and the family would prosper through good harvests and more children.

Burning spirit money to keep the spirits happy

Thursday, April 3, 2008

How Did They Know..

...It's My Big Day?

If you’ve been reading this Blog for a while you know that today is my birthday (here & here) so Happy Birthday to Me: that’s what the sign says for all of you non sinophone (Happy Birthday, Celine)!
And since I know you click on the link, you know that I’m turning 28 and not what the sign is mistakenly trying to tell you!!!

Lunch at “Pré Lenôtre” with Jeff and at “Brasserie Pinot” with the girls

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