Sunday, November 30, 2008

Insiders Look At...

...The Internet In China

This is a special post for my Geek friends living outside China. Firefox has a plug-in (China Channel) so that you can experience using the internet behind the Great (Fire)Wall of China without leaving the comfort of your own home….It’s a great way to save you a lot of money on plane tickets!

It will slow down your browsing and even makes some web sites inaccessible for no discernible reason. After installation, getting to experience Web surfing the way the Chinese do isn't hard at all. Users have three ways to activate China Channel: via the China Channel toolbar, a navigation bar button that you must drag and drop onto the bar to get access to, and a status bar button. The buttons function by opening a menu, from which you choose to switch from None to the China Channel. Much like the IE Tab extension, the page will then render as if your IP address is inside China.
The toolbar is interesting for a slightly different workflow that results in a Web page that informs you of your IP address and its country of origin. Choose the China Channel from the drop down, and then hit the big red Go button. With China Channel activated, the page will declare that the plug-in has been activated. Switch back to None and refresh the page, and it changes to reflect your proxy server-free surfing experience.

The tool makes a point of just how severe Internet censorship is in China, going beyond government hot-topic issue like T1bet and T1ann@men Squ@are to that of Wikipedia or even my Blog*, which as you know has highly sensitive material (where to shop, where to eat, who is the town best hairdresser…). Sensitive material seems to be permanently blocked; the 30,000 employees of the Great Firewall appear to apply their censorship in a more arbitrary manner for less topical web sites.

* Wikipedia and my Blog are not censored as I’m writing this but might be in a few hours minutes!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Tried And Tested For You...

...The Chinese Hairdresser

A couple of months ago I tried the local hairdresser. No, I didn’t go for a haircut, they wouldn’t know what to do with my kind of hair. I started slow with a wash, dry and brush: at 30-50 RMB (€3-5 or $5-7) for all that one would be foolish to restrain oneself!!!

First I needed to choose my hairdresser; so I pointed to the guy, as instructed by Violaine the expert in hair, who is the best at unruly hair. But she didn’t warn me about the special way of washing your hair they have here. So I had to go back to have an opportunity to take a picture.

Not one of my best picture!

And just like in the magazine makeover session, the before and after shot:

worthy of Vogue?

The length I go to write those posts is unbelievable.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Day To...

...Give Thanks

This year Thanksgiving would be a lot like 2006, Jeff is having (hopefully) turkey on his flight back from France. No Grandma’s turkey for us like last year!

No this is not a picture of me in a bikini!

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

On a side note:
And we thought shopping in China was dangerous…

Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death
The throng of Wal-Mart shoppers had been building all night, filling sidewalks and stretching across a vast parking lot at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. At 3:30 a.m., the Nassau County police had to be called in for crowd control, and an officer with a bullhorn pleaded for order. […] By 4:55, with no police officers in sight, the crowd of more than 2,000 had become a rabble, and could be held back no longer. Fists banged and shoulders pressed on the sliding-glass double doors, which bowed in with the weight of the assault. Six to 10 workers inside tried to push back, but it was hopeless. Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him. Others who had stood alongside Mr. Damour trying to hold the doors were also hurled back and run over, witnesses said. […] he had been fatally injured, the police said,[…] and he was pronounced dead an hour later […] Four other people, including a 28-year-old woman who was described as eight months pregnant, were treated at the hospital for minor injuries.[…] Some shoppers who had seen the stampede said they were shocked. One of them said the crowd had acted like “savages.” Shoppers behaved badly even as the store was being cleared. “When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, ‘I’ve been on line since yesterday morning”. “They kept shopping.” […] Ugly shopping scenes, a few involving injuries, have become commonplace during the bargain-hunting ritual known as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. […] Witnesses said the crowd outside Wal-Mart began gathering at 9 p.m. on Thursday. The night was not bitterly cold, and the early mood was relaxed. By the early morning hours, the throngs had grown, and officers of the Fifth Precinct of the Nassau County Police Department, who patrol Valley Stream, were out in force, checking on crowds at the mall.

This gives a new meaning to Black Friday. The Friday after America’s Thanksgiving marks what is traditionally the busiest retail day of the year, kicking off the Christmas shopping season.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Confucius Temple...

...Checked Of The List!

I’m starting a “to-do-before-we-leave” list and a couple of days ago I decided to tackle the task of visiting one of the few main temple I haven’t seen yet

First of all some background check:
Who is 孔夫子 Kong3Fu1Zi3 which literally mean Master Kong? His actual name was 孔丘, Kong3 Qiu1. He was born on September 28, 551 BC and died in 479 BC. He was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese thought and life. His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. Confucius' thoughts have been developed into a system of philosophy known as Confucianism (儒家). It was introduced to Europe by the Jesuit Matteo Ricci, who was the first to Latinize the name as "Confucius."

Read last year in the China Daily:
Family Tree Of Confucius Has One And A Half Million Members
Women will be listed on the family tree of ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius for the first time in a radically updated version set to mushroom to 1.5 million members. [..] "We have to adapt to the times. Men and women are equal now," said Kong Dehong, a Confucius descendant in charge of updating the family tree, as saying.[…] The new family tree, the fifth such version (The last revision was completed in the 1930s, when the tree had 600,000 members.) will be edited and printed in 2009, on the 2,560th anniversary of the birth of Confucius.
The philosophy has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years often attributed to a moral void in Chinese society created by the nation's rush into capitalism.
The family tree is regarded as the world's biggest as it records more than 80 generations of the Confucius family.

Now the temple:
The Temple of Confucius in Beijing (Kong Miao) was initially built in 1302 and additions were made during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It covers a total area of 22,000 square meters (5.4 acres). It is the second largest temple constructed for Confucius, ranking second only to the Temple of Confucius in QuFu, ShanDong Province, the hometown of Confucius.

Today, the temple is a haven of tranquility with ancient cypress and juniper trees (one of the cypress trees is over 700 years old), halls, pavilions and stone steles.

Confucius was deeply concerned with how to cultivate good character, and then on the interaction of people in society. He felt it was important to lead by example and this influenced his interest in education, for which ethical development was the main goal.
Referring to his own way of learning, Confucius said "To hear much, select what is good and follow it" and "Study without thought is labor lost; thought without study is dangerous".

Inside the temple one can see 198 stone tablets positioned on each side of the first courtyard, containing 51,624 names of scholars who had reached the rank of JinShi during the Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. A JinShi is a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations. Candidates for the exam had to undergo the rigorous procedure of being locked up in a small cubicle for 3 days while taking the examination, many of whom reportedly went mad or committed suicide during the experience.

There are also 14 stone stele pavilions of the Ming and Qing dynasties that detail precious historical information from ancient China.

In the adjoining Imperial College are 189 steles on which are chiseled the '13 classics'. This great work was achieved by just one main, Jiang Heng, a senior scholar at the time of emperor KangXi. It took him 12 years to complete cutting the 630,000 characters.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Because You Can Never Be Too Cautious...

...Melamine Update

Read in Time magazine:

The melamine-tainted milk products that sickened thousands of babies in China have turned up in an unlikely consumer product: Chinese-made chocolate and strawberry-flavored body spreads sold in British sex shop. Tainted “I love you” sets contained between 126 and 259 mg per kg of the chemical (more than 50 times the safe amount), according to Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA). This is a first,” the FSA noted on its website

You've been warned!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Smart Way To...

...Sell A Smart?

China totally outdid Japan on this vending machine!!

Red is not my favorite color...but will do with it!

After popping a 1-RMB coin we were expecting a smart car (that would have been the best deal ever we would have gotten in China!) but we only received a branded cube containing information of the new models.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And On the 7th Day...

...She Rested

Nothing to say today but wanted to make a first on this Blog: 7 posts in 7 days. It hasn’t been seen on this Blog since… ever.

I’m exhausted, I’m taking a couple of days off … will be back soon

NB: Violaine, this will give you time to catch up on old posts

By the way…
Today is the third Thursday of November (I’m sure you are so happy to know that) so it’s the release of Beaujolais Nouveau.

A votre Santé, Tchin-Thcin, Cheers, Gambei!

Every year, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau are shipped worldwide in preparation for the 12:01 AM release on the third Thursday of each November. Some say by the time that day is over, nearly half of the region's total annual production will be distributed and drunk around the world.
Over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. Banners proclaim the good news: Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! "The New Beaujolais has arrived!" One of the most frivolous and animated rituals in the wine world has begun.
By the time it is over, over 65 million bottles, nearly half of the region's total annual production, will be distributed and drunk around the world. It has become a worldwide race to be the first to serve to this new wine of the harvest. In doing so, it has been carried by motorcycle, balloon, truck, helicopter, Concorde jet, elephant, runners and rickshaws to get it to its final destination. It is amazing to realize that just weeks before this wine was a cluster of grapes in a growers vineyard. But by an expeditious harvest, a rapid fermentation, and a speedy bottling, all is ready at the midnight hour. By French law, Beaujolais Nouveau is to be released no earlier than the third Thursday of November.
Beaujolais Nouveau began as a local phenomenon in the local bars, cafes, and bistros of Beaujolais and Lyons. Each fall the new Beaujolais would arrive with much fanfare. In pitchers filled from the growers barrels, wine was drunk by an eager population. It was wine made fast to drink while the better Beaujolais was taking a more leisurely course. Eventually, the government stepped into regulate the sale of all this quickly transported, free-flowing wine.
On a more technical note, the wine is strictly speaking, more properly termed Beaujolais Primeur. By French and European rules, a wine released during the period between its harvest and a date in the following spring, is termed primeur. A wine released during the period between its own and the following years harvest, is termed nouveau. Well, enough of that!
It is a triumph of marketing and promotion, mostly due to the efforts of Georges Duboeuf. The largest negociant in the region, he is a tireless promoter of Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau. More than a fifth of his annual production, about 4 million bottles, is Beaujolais Nouveau. All in all, in the last 45 years, sales have risen from around a million bottles to more than 70 million bottles.
Apart from the fanfare, what makes Beaujolais Nouveau so popular? And especially in the U.S. where consumption of red wine is less than 30%? Simply put, Beaujolais Nouveau is as about as close to white wine as a red wine can get. Due to the way it is made -the must is pressed early after only three days- the phenolic compounds, in particular the astringent tannins, normally found in red wines, isn't there, leaving an easy to drink, fruity wine. This, coupled with the fact that it tastes best when chilled, makes for a festive wine to be gulped rather than sipped, enjoyed in high spirits rather than critiqued. As a side note, it makes a great transitional wine for anyone wanting to move from white to red wines.
Finally, the race from grape to glass may be silly, but half the fun is knowing that on the same night, in homes, cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and bistros around the world, the same celebration is taking place. It hasn't the pedigree to be a classic wine, but it is always good. Any other opinion you may regard as boorish and uninformed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


...You Mean 999

How do you know your kids are in a British school?

When they come back home singing:

One One One is wrong
So is Two Two Two
Three Three Three and Four Four Four and Five Five Five won’t do!
The number that you need to get the proper line,
For Fire, Police and Ambulance is Nine Nine Nine

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


...Water Cube

Since Jeffrey and Chloe* had never been to the Water Cube (unlike me!) we decided Saturday that the waterscape concert titled “Dream of the Water Cube” was the perfect opportunity for them to finally be able to go to the Olympic swimming pool. The concert is part of a four-month-long musical performance comprising classical music and fountain performance using sound effects and lighting techniques.

The Water Cube and the Bird's Nest

Water show at the Water cube!

* Jeremy had to stay at home due to a height restriction policy on the show(!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

No More Faking...

...In Singing

China outlaws lip-synching after Olympics row

China is to ban singers from miming to songs following the row over a nine-year-old girl lip-synching during the Olympic opening ceremony.
The Ministry of Culture wants to outlaw the widespread practice during live performances, as well as clamping down on musicians who pretend to play their instruments during shows.
The ban comes three months after many Chinese were outraged to discover that one of the stars of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics had been miming rather than singing during the spectacular show.
There was an outpouring of anger following the revelation that child star Lin Miaoke had been miming when she sang 'Ode To The Motherland' during the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.
The cute nine-year-old's performance captured the hearts of the Chinese, until organisers of the ceremony admitted she had been lip-synching.
Another girl had sung the popular song, but had been judged not pretty enough to represent China in front of the world. Officials justified the decision as being in the "national interest". […]
Those who are caught miming twice will have their performing licenses revoked, according to proposed new legislation.

Lin Miaoke (left) who lip-synched at the opening ceremony over the voice of Yang Peiyi (right) who was considered unsuited to the lead role because of her buck teeth. Photo: GETTY/AFP4

The Olympic lip synching incident was a major loss of face for Beijing. Cracking down is a way to regain some of their respect.

This reminds me of the “wardrobe malfunction” from Janet Jackson during the Super Bowl in 2004. Since then live shows in the States are broadcast with a standard seven-second delay to safeguard viewers from any obscenities.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Epitome Of...


I was generally unmotivated today and since Jeremy didn’t get to go to the Water Cube Show last night because of a height restriction (post to come) I treated him to a McDonalds lunch today (bad mother I know but once every 3-6 months I wouldn’t call child protection services!). Anyhow thanks to my bad parenting I can write this post because I found that McDonalds in Beijing just started a delivery service (apparently it already existed in Shanghai). So if you are tired of going to McDonalds or even going to the drive-thru, if you leave in Beijing you can call and your Big Mac will be safely delivered to you by a nice gentleman wearing a nice (and heavy?) “Mac” Backpack and riding his “Mac” Electric bike.

If only I knew how to say “Please, bring me a big Mac, with fries and a coke*” in Chinese!

McDonalds Delivery

After a quick search it seems pretty common in Asia (Philippes, India, Singapore, Indonesia, China) all have the service. London and Canada also tried it about 15 years ago but it was short lived.

* 请给我一个巨无霸,一个数条也一个可口可乐 (Qing Gei Wo Yi Ge JuWuBa, Yi Ge ShuTiao Ye Yi Ge KeKouKeLe)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's Getting Cold...

...In Here

Sure some people know that winter in Beijing has begun because the municipality utility authority starts providing heat (check previous post here & here) but I, personally, have another way to know the start of the seasons (spring & summer) and winter for me starts when I see this:

1 yuan for 3 jins (€0.10 for 1.5 kg – for €1 you’ll get 15 kilos!)

Chinese family usually buy their 葱 (Cong – leeks) and 白菜 (BaiCai – Chinese cabbage) for the winter and stack them on their balcony where they will dry out a little bit but the inside will keep fresh.

Going home and letting them dry

Friday, November 14, 2008



Last year around this time a friend and I were at a jewelry store and we noticed this woman with a lot of loose stones (precious and semi-precious) that she was having mounted in various settings. She mentioned that there had been a Gems Exhibition the previous week in Beijing and that’s where she had bought hers. We took note and promised ourselves we would go the following year. Well the time has come and that’s where we ended up yesterday:

The expert at work

*that’s “I love” in French which rhymes with ‘gems’ (just making sure everyone gets the pun!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back For More 'Lympics...

...Say OUI To The WII'lympics

After the Olympics in August, the Paralympics in September and even the Mind Sports -some kind of Olympics for the Brain! (no I didn’t know either, BTW France came 4th and the USA placed 13th and last!) in October, I felt that some ’lympics (as Jeremy calls them) were missing in November so yesterday on the auspicious date of 11/11 at the auspicious hour of 10:10am the WII’lympics took place in my living room (which is coincidentally in Beijing, China too!)

My beautiful invitation!

The pictures of the event are not as flattering as the ones from the other ’lympics. But we sure had fun!

The girls trying out Sky Slalom and Sky Jumping

Monday, November 10, 2008

License Plates...


It’s been a month since the latest government implementation of no-car days (a revised restriction of the ban during the Olympics). For the restriction that was first introduced on October 11th if the last number of your license plate was 1 or 6 you couldn’t drive on Mondays, with a license plate ending with a 2 or 7 you couldn’t use your car on Tuesdays and so on through Friday. Weekends are exempt. Starting today and until December 7th, the banned license plate are been shifted by one day: i.e 1 and 6 cannot drive on Tuesdays (instead of Monday), 2 and 7 on Wednesday (instead of Tuesday), etc…

But one interesting thing I read a couple weeks ago is that Beijing car sales (which account for about a tenth of the national tally) have increased by 30% this month. One of the reasons is that there is a rumor that Beijing’s city government could limit new vehicle registrations to 100,000 units a year; about a third of the city’s average annual vehicle sales.

So far, the only city in China which rations vehicle ownership is Shanghai, a.k.a. Gridlock-City. In Shanghai, each month 5,000 to 6,000 license plates are auctioned off. Shanghai plates are fetching higher prices than small cars. According to the official news agency Xinhua, the average price of a Shanghai plate is 47,711 yuan ($6253) while Chery’s QQ subcompact, one of China’s Top Ten sellers, goes for 39,800 yuan.

Chinese are the best at driving

Related news:
Since early last month (10/06), Beijing readopted a program allowing car owners to have personalized license plates.

A Beijing resident became the city's luckiest car owner when he secured the plate reading "NV8888" at 8:30 a.m. Monday after queuing for three days with his family at a car registration center of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau. He was followed by another Beijinger, Du Fei, who got "NA9999." Many Chinese have demonstrated their fervor over lucky numbers as usual, picking as many eights, sixes or nines as possible in their license plates.

Beijing introduced the "pick-your-own" license plates for the first time in 2002. The system lasted for only 10 days. About 23,000 plates were issued before it was suspended amid complaints over picks that were rude and crude, including "USA 911", "UFO," "SEX 001", "FBI 007" and "TMD" - representing the first letters in a common Chinese swear word.

The Beijing Traffic Management Bureau says such picks won't be possible under the new system, which limits car owner’s freedom to only four digits and one English letter.

The first two slots in the seven-digit plates are set with the Chinese character for Beijing, followed by "N" for automobiles in the eight urban districts, or "Y" for those registered in the outer districts and counties.

Rumors that Beijing was going to introduce a cap on car registration or sales have been quashed with an announcement on Wednesday (Nov. 19) that the city government would do no such thing. Despite the director of Beijing's Transport Department, Liu Xiaoming revealing that the government was seriously considering putting a limit on the number of vehicle registrations at a recent high-level transport conference, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform (BMCDR) unequivocally announced at a press conference on Wednesday that no such measures would be introduced. The deputy head and spokesman of the commission justified the decision not to impose a limit on the grounds of a need to maintain the long-term development of the country's auto industry and sustain general economic growth

In related news, despite the recent fall in global oil prices, gas prices in Beijing are not going down. China will take advantage of the slump in prices to introduce a new tax on petrol and do away with subsidies.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

We Are King Of The World...

...I Mean On Top Of Beijing!

Today we decided to see how the rich (and famous?) live and have a little taste of it.

We started small and went on to visit the bar at the newly opened Park Hyatt hotel… we’ll have to wait to spend a night in a room (let’s dream) or set our eyes in one of the apartment (penthouse, maybe?) for rent.

Arriving in style (I wish!) and taking a rest from singing

Park Hyatt Beijing (a 5-star luxury hotel) is part of the prestigious Beijing Yintai Center in the heart of Beijing’s Central Business District (that’s opposite of the China World Trade Centre and the new CCTV tower –the one that look like a big doughnut or Z-shaped) and is the tallest skyscraper in Beijing (250 meter or 820 foot tall). The square-fronted tower, designed by John Portman & Associates is topped with a glowing scarlet beacon after nightfall. The hotel comprises 237 rooms (between the 37th and 49th floors) –one day maybe!, 216 luxury apartments (7th to 33rd floors) –daydreaming! and there are also 21 penthouses (35th-36th and 50th to 58th floors) –if I win the lottery, I’ll come back!. The 66th floor is home to the highest restaurant in Beijing, the China Grill and on the 65th floor is where we had our cocktail at the Bar Lounge with a 360-degree view over the city.

View from the top

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just Like "Time" Predicted...

...The USA Has A New President

With all the last two days excitement (Melbourne cup and James Bond) I almost forgot to tell you who won the big prize in the USA election! So in case I’m your only source of information and just like “Time” magazine said a couple months ago …. Obama is the winner. Youhoo!!!

And the winner is...

I had planned to go and take a picture of the newspaper “board” down the street just like for the French election 18 months ago but after wandering around my neighborhood on my bike I realized that they had vanished, probably in the big town clean up for the Olympics. Maybe if I had gone far and beyond my (chic) neighborhood I would have found one!

And just to let you know one of president-elected Obama’s half brother*,Mark Ndesandjo lives in Shenzen, China, teaches piano at an orphanage and runs an Internet company, World Nexus, that helps Chinese companies export to the US.

* Barack Obama Sr fathered 7 sons and 1 daughter by 4 different women!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day Has Finally...


零零七, LingLingQi, 007, James Bond …. whatever you want to call it, the latest extravaganza “Quantun of Solace” is being released in Cinemas throughout China today November 5, that’s a full 9 days before the USA (and 5 days after France –which with the UK and Sweden was where the film has been released first… yoohoo!!!). I’m guessing that by doing an early release they will try to beat the pirated versions of the movie invading the market before it’s in the theaters like for Casino Royale.

With Jeff we’ve decided NOT to wait until the weekend and the release of the DVD in Beijing (!) but splurge on a 70 rmb (that’s 7€ or $10) movie theater ticket (almost forgot what a movie theater looked like). Do you know how many movies we could have watched with that kind of money…. 140rbm get you almost 15 DVDs down here but that was money well spent.

We were expecting Chinese people talking all the way through the movie (which everyone knows is OK here because they have the subtitles in Chinese so they don’t need to listen!) like some of our friends tried to warn us but with only less than 10 of us in a huge movie theater we didn’t get this problem.

The one thing we weren’t expecting is the subtitles in Chinese when James was speaking in French or Spanish (good thing we can understand!) and we were a little lost as in which country James was since the name were in Chinese too… (we’ll have to way and watch the DVD to find out!)

We’ll still try to find a copy (probably just around the corner of the movie theater) so we can watch it again at home!!

My 2day's 2Js, James and Jeffrey

The ticket to prove we DID go to the movie!

Update: We found a copy not the following week end but a few days later on the 14th of November for a whopping 8RMB (yes that’s €0.80 or about $1!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Let's Go To Melbourne

...Well At Least The Melbourne Cup!

The Australians surely know how to party. The last time we partied with them was for the Great Wall Ball back in May, this time is the Melbourne Cup. All I knew about it was that I needed a hat and that there were some drinks involved, or and some horse racing too.

The Girls and the Horse!

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major annual thoroughbred horse race. Billed as The race that stops a nation, it is for three-year-olds and over, and covers a distance of 3,200 metres. It is generally regarded as the most prestigious "two-mile" handicap in the world. The event is held on the first Tuesday in November by the Victoria Racing Club, on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.

The event is one of the most popular spectator events in Australia, with sometimes over 110,000 people, some dressed in traditional formal raceday wear and others in all manner of exotic and amusing costumes, attending the race.
“Fashions On The Field” is a major focus of the day, with substantial prizes awarded for the best-dressed male and female racegoers. The requirement for elegant hats, and more recently the alternative of a fascinator, almost single-handedly keeps Melbourne's milliners in business.

In 2000 it was estimated that 80 percent of the adult Australian population placed a bet on the race that year. In New Zealand the Melbourne Cup is the country's single biggest betting event, with carnival race-days held at several of the country's top tracks showing the cup live on big screens

Where is Waldo?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Little Bit Of...


My photograph teacher had a solo exhibition opening today in one of the art district of Beijing.

We like to wander around the now internationally acclaimed 798 art district, but thanks to Lukas’ exhibit we’ve being introduced to a new lesser known art area.

I’ve already talked about 798 Art District in another post. Located in Dashanzi area, 798 was once home to the electronic industries, housing building constructed with help from the old Soviet Unions and designed but the former East Germany experts. What began with a cluster of young artists who set up camp in the abandoned workshop of a military electronics complex (Factory 798) on the fringes of the city has become the biggest arts area in China and earned great international acclaim in a spam of just two years.

Another new contemporary art district in northeast Beijing is the Caochangdi area, close to 798. It is a district that hosts national and international artists, arts organizations, galleries and design studios.

Jiuchang Art Complex, or Brewery Factory International Art Community is a newly rising art area in Beijing. It has developed since 2005 from the Chaoyang Brewery Factory, built in 1975. Though it's all one factory, Jiuchang comprises a number of small brick buildings. On the inside, it's pipe-free and freshly painted. Large outdoor sculptures line the main road, alongside an artificial lake

Songzhuang Art Community, a serene artists' village to the east of Beijing, Tongzhou District, is starting to being noticed. The community houses up-and-coming artists who live and work in rustic studios. The Songzhuang Art Community was established in 2003 in Songzhuang painter village of Beijing.

Lukas’ Junsui じゅんすい Secrets on Display II (玄色的秘密) is at Shi Tang Alternative Space at JiuChang (Liquor Factory).