Saturday, January 31, 2009

Encore What?

...Angkor Wat

Picture to come!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Doing Our Part...

...For The Economy

We are just back from Cambodia and we thought we had avoided all the fireworks and fire crackers noise here in China for the Lunar New Year. From what I heard the outcome this year was not as impressive as the previous year and especially compared to 2007 (being the 2nd year when fireworks were allowed within the city limits after a 12-year ban). However it all came to an end tonight when thousands of fireworks were sent into the Beijing sky to celebrate the birth of the Chinese God of Wealth on this 5th day into the Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year).

When in Rome China do as the Romans Chinese…so we also did our part and kept the God of Wealth (Chinese or not) on our side.

Anything to help

Thursday, January 29, 2009

60th, 50th, 30th, 20th, 10th...


While 2008 was full of challenges (snow storm in January, train crash in April, earthquake in May, flood in June and tainted milk in September) and let’s not forget the Beijing Olympics, 2009 will be a year of anniversaries for China. Not sure they will celebrate all of them but I’m sure there will be a lot of activity nonetheless.

Better safe than sorry...
I didn't want to take the risk of having the Blog blocked again (hence the text in the image)!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I decided to give you more in-depth knowledge of China and the Chinese New Year since it will most probably be my last post about it.

Here is a few of the traditions during the Chinese New Year:

The Chinese New Year celebrations are marked by visits to kin, relatives and friends, a practice known as "new-year visits" (拜年 – Bai4 Nian2). New clothing is usually worn to signify a new year. The color red is liberally used in all decorations. Red packets (红包 Hong Bao) are given to juniors and children by the married and elders.

Days before the New Year
On the days before the New Year celebration Chinese families give their home a thorough cleaning. It is believed the cleaning sweeps away the bad luck of the preceding year and makes their homes ready for good luck. Brooms and dust pans are put away on the first day so that luck cannot be swept away. Some people give their homes, doors and window-panes a new coat of red paint. Homes are often decorated with paper cutouts of Chinese auspicious phrases and couplets. Purchasing new clothing, shoes and receiving a hair-cut also symbolize a fresh start.
The biggest event of any Chinese New Year's Eve is the dinner every family will have. A dish consisting of fish will appear on the tables of Chinese families. It is for display for the New Year's Eve dinner. This meal is comparable to Christmas dinner in the West. In northern China, it is customary to make dumplings (饺子 – Jiao Zi) after dinner and have it around midnight. Dumplings symbolize wealth because their shape is like a Chinese tael. By contrast, in the South, it is customary to make a new year cake (年糕 – Nian Gao) after dinner and send pieces of it as gifts to relatives and friends in the coming days of the new year.

First day of the New Year
Most importantly, the first day of Chinese New Year is a time when families visit the oldest and most senior members of their extended family, usually their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents.
Members of the family who are married also give red packets containing cash to junior members of the family, mostly children and teenagers.
While fireworks and firecrackers are traditionally very popular

Second day of the New Year
The second day of the Chinese New Year is for married daughters to visit their birth parents. Traditionally, daughters who have been married may not have the opportunity to visit their birth families frequently.
They are extra kind to dogs and feed them well as it is believed that the second day is the birthday of all dogs.

Third and fourth days of the New Year
The third and fourth day of the Chinese New Year are generally accepted as inappropriate days to visit relatives and friends due to the following schools of thought. People may subscribe to one or both thoughts.
1) It is known as "chì kǒu" (赤口), meaning that it is easy to get into arguments. It is suggested that the cause could be the fried food and visiting during the first two days of the New Year celebration.
2) Families who had an immediate kin deceased in the past 3 years will not go house-visiting as a form of respect to the dead. The third day of the New Year is allocated to grave-visiting instead. Some people conclude it is inauspicious to do any house visiting at all.
Fifth day of the new year
In northern China, people eat dumplings (饺子 Jiao3 Zi) on the morning of Po Wu (破五). This is also the birthday of the Chinese god of wealth.

Seventh day of the New Year
The seventh day, traditionally known as Ren Ri 人日 is the common man's birthday, the day when everyone grows one year older.

Ninth day of the New Year
The ninth day of the New Year is a day for Chinese to offer prayers to the Jade Emperor of Heaven (天公) in the Taoist Pantheon. The ninth day is traditionally the birthday of the Jade Emperor.

Fifteenth day of the New Year
The fifteenth day of the New Year is celebrated as Yuan2 Xiao1 Jie2 (元宵节). Rice dumpling汤圆- Tang1 Yuan2), a sweet glutinous rice ball brewed in a soup, is eaten this day. Candles are lit outside houses as a way to guide wayward spirits home. This day is celebrated as the Lantern Festival, and families walk the street carrying lighted lanterns.
This day often marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.

Text edited from Wikipedia entry

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Niu Year...

...The CHINESE New Year

Like the previous years I could have wished you 新年快乐 (Xin Nian Kuai Le) or the more local 过年好 (Guo Nian Hao) but this year it seems like everybody is wishing the New Year with a play on word. Niu which means Ox, happens to sound like New!!

Chinese New Year (or 春节 Chun2 Jie2 -Spring Festival as it is known here) is on January 26th this year. We are saying good bye to the year of the rat and welcome the year of the Ox (and this until February 14th 2010). So if you were born in 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913 or even 1901 this is your special year or 本命年 (Ben Ming Nian)

The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. This powerful sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint.

Ox people need peace and quiet to work through their ideas, and when they have set their mind on something it is hard for them to be convinced otherwise. An Ox person has a very logical mind and is extremely systematic in whatever they do, even without imagination. These people speak little but are extremely intelligent. When necessary, they are articulate and eloquent.

People born under the influence of the Ox are kind, caring souls, logical, positive, filled with common sense and with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Security is their main preoccupation in life, and they are prepared to toil long and hard in order to provide a warm, comfortable and stable nest for themselves and their families. Strong-minded, stubborn, individualistic, the majority are highly intelligent individuals who don't take kindly to being told what to do.

The Ox works hard, patiently, and methodically, with original intelligence and reflective thought. These people enjoy helping others. Behind this tenacious, laboring, and self-sacrificing exterior lies an active mind.
The Ox is not extravagant, and the thought of living off credit cards or being in debt makes them nervous. The possibility of taking a serious risk could cause the Ox sleepless nights.

Ox people are truthful and sincere, and the idea of wheeling and dealing in a competitive world is distasteful to them. They are rarely driven by the prospect of financial gain. These people are always welcome because of their honesty and patience. They have many friends, who appreciate the fact that the Ox people are wary of new trends, although every now and then they can be encouraged to try something new.

It is important to remember that the Ox people are sociable and relaxed when they feel secure, but occasionally a dark cloud looms over such people and they engage all the trials of the whole world and seek solutions for them.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's Complicated...

...Or Is It?

My life isn’t complicated compared to the other members of this family.

I realized this once more when I was filling out those little immigration cards (for the entire family might I add!) on our last flight (twice in a matter of fact: once to get in Thailand for our stopover and another time before we arrived in Cambodia). SO, as I was saying, with me my details are simple: Place of Birth: France, Nationality: French. The only complicated bit is that I have to remember not to forget to write my official first name first (Isabelle then Celine and not the other way around –but that's a long story that has no place here!), then my maiden name and finally my married name. Otherwise they get all confused at the immigration desk when the names don't exactly match. (We officially keep both names in France; even if on the day-to-day basis we can choose to use only our married name).

But the purpose of this post was how complicated the details of the other members of this family were. You see with my kids and husband not only do I have to remember in which country they were born (different for each of them) but also which passport they are traveling with (technically it could be up to 3 for Chloe). It's also difficult for my husband since the transcript of his birth place for the French passport was not well done (it's complicated too!!). I have to double check each time to make sure I write it the right way…

The good thing about having all these different passports (at least for them!) is that you'll always have one that allows you to go to some countries without a visa. And no it's not the US one. The French one comes handy most of the time, especially in South America… It might have been the reason why Jeffrey decided to apply for one (!). It does make the traveling and working in Europe far more easy too.

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo

Friday, January 23, 2009

Leaving -20°C (-5°F) in Beijing...

...For +38°C (100°F) in Siem Reap

Weather forecast in Cambodia seems more clement

Last year we left snowy Beijing (most snow in 50+ years) for Thailand. This year, we are leaving really cold Beijing for Cambodia. We won’t be in China for the (Chinese) New Year and its amazing fireworks like in 2007.

So like each time we are going on a trip, I like to give you a visual!:

Right there in the middle

If you want to know if it’s a left or right country* click here and to see how they write* click here

BTW…it’s a right-side driving country and they write like this:
Kingdom of Cambodia (Kampuchea) - Preăh Réachéanachâkr Kâmpŭchea

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Censored In Chinese...

...But Not In English

President Obama's inauguration speech was censored on Chinese TV. There’s a video on YouTube (around 0.16s) showing how after the translator said “communism” in Chinese, the audio faded out. CCTV then showed an anchor asking an analyst, clearly caught off guard, about the economic challenges that President Obama faces.

U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration speech has a little twist in translations available on some Chinese websites where his references to communism and dissent have been cut.

"Recall that earlier generations faced down communism and fascism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions," Obama said in his 18-minute inauguration address on Tuesday.
"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

In the translations available on top Chinese portals Sina, Sohu, the word "communism" is omitted and the paragraph on dissent was gone.

The full speech appeared on the website of Phoenix TV, a Hong Kong-based station that is branding its website as a source for news, and in English on the China Daily state newspaper website.

When asked about the censorship, one television official tried to downplay the cutaway as a normal break in programming while an editor with the China Daily newspaper's Web site said staff who censored online versions of the speech likely did so because they were "duty-bound to protect the country's interests." (?!)

And to end this note… here’s the front page of Xiamen Economic Daily

So subtle

The headline reads: "White House, Dark Horse" (白宫黑马).

The headline puns on new president's last name and race: the last syllable of the Chinese transliteration of Obama is "马" which means horse, and the "black" obviously refers to his skin color.

"黑马" ("literally black horse") means the same as the English expression "dark horse". It may be coincidence, but the "dark horse" headline is quite telling about the general response of the Chinese public to Obama's seemingly surprising ascendancy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

From ISB*

...To NBA

Well if my kids don’t end up in the 2020 or 2024 US administration (cf yesterday post!) they can always hope for the NBA!!!

Joe Alexander's journey to the NBA is about to reach its destination.
But Joe Alexander's journey to the NBA is unlike that of any of the other 59 players who will be drafted Thursday night.
Alexander grew up in Maryland, which is not exactly a hoops hotbed, but that's not the unusual part. He went to West Virginia University, which hasn't had a first-round pick in 40 years, but that's not the unusual part either. He played there three years, and despite the one-and-done wave we're in the middle of, that's not the unusual part either.
Because when Alexander was 10, his father's job took his family to Beijing, about as far from Maryland as you can get, both literally and figuratively.
Surprisingly, Alexander says that the adjustment wasn't difficult. He attended the (*)International School of Beijing for six years, integrated with other Americans, as well as students from all over the world. And his family lived in an ex-pat community.
"It was just like a community in the States," he says. "There was definitely a degree of separation [from the general Chinese population]."
Still, he grew to love Beijing, the cheap cabs that could take him anywhere in the city, and the food, Kung Pao chicken being his favorite. He met Yao Ming before we did, when the big man was playing for the Shanghai Sharks.
"It was a nice place to grow up," he admits. […]

Joe Alexander

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


...We They Can

There is hope for my kids, the so-called Third Culture Kids (TCK*) or Global Nomads.

On this day of changes in the States, I remember reading an article a few weeks ago about how Barack Obama, himself a TCK, (Father from Kenya, Mother from Kansas, grew up in Indonesia) has packed his staff with “Third Culture Kids”

John Quincy Adams lived in France, and young Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited Europe often enough to master French and German, but Barack Obama is the first modern American president to have spent some of his formative years outside the United States. It is a trait he shares with several appointees to the new administration: White House advisor Valerie Jarrett was a child in Tehran and London, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was raised in east Africa, India, Thailand, China and Japan as the son of a Ford Foundation executive, and National Security Advisor James L. Jones was raised in Paris. (Also, Bill Richardson, tipped as Secretary of Commerce, grew up in Mexico City.)
Of course they can...

Third Culture Kids usually have:

  • An expanded worldview: because they have experienced, first hand, that not everyone in the world speaks, thinks, acts or feels alike
  • An enriched, three-dimensional knowledge of other cultures: sometimes even making it hard for them to really know their own.
  • Adaptability: they learned when they were children how to be and act in very different circumstances – school rooms, neighborhoods, homes.
  • Good observational skills: because they have spent some time at the sidelines, watching as outsiders

I wanted to finish this post with this quote: A reporter once asked former-Communist Premier of China Zhou Enlai what he thought was the impact of the 1789 French Revolution, to which he replied: “It is too soon to tell.

* TCK refers to someone who [as a child] has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture". The term was coined buy sociologist Ruth Hill Useem in the 1960s.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I See London, I See France...

...I See CCTV Underpants

Chinese and its many homophones can be source of great amusement.

The new CCTV building has been nicknamed the “Big Underpants” building because of its shape (see self explanatory picture below!) but it is also a pun on the word hemorrhoids. Zhichuang (智窗) means “Knowledge Window” while Zhichuang (痔疮) means “Hemorrhoids” (if you don’t see characters on your browser… trust me it’s just a question of different characters sounding the same!). And the main reason for the naming Zhichuang:

  1. CCTV is the national TV broadcaster, an important window for broadcasting information and knowledge to the entire country and the world.
  2. The central part of the new building's polygon shape gives it the appearance of a giant window
  3. The whole building looks like the legs and buttocks of a person who is squatting, and the name Zhichuang is also a homophone for zhichuang or hemorrhoids.

CCTV office has said that the final name has not yet been confirmed but some of the names Beijing considered are:

  • Harmonious Gate (和谐之门)
  • Happy Geometry (幸福几何)
  • Peak of the Ages (时代尖峰)
  • New Angle (新视角)
  • TV Magic Cube or TV Rubik's Cube (TV魔方)
  • Future Window (未来之窗)
  • Great Gate of Luck (幸运大门)
  • Pattern Space (样式空间, untranslatable pun in Chinese for CCTV)
  • 3D Window (多维窗).

Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas has said of the work that the “square circle expresses a kind of unity of the production process, the thought it expresses encourages connections and opposes isolation” (?!)

“Great Underpants” is my personal favorite!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cheap Or...

...Not Cheap

Most of the time we are enjoying our time in China even though sometime the cultural differences are overwhelming, for the most part life in Beijing is pleasant mostly due to the cheap cost of daily life (apart from the western type grocery shopping – the kids have got to have their Nutella!!). I’ve already talked several times about our lunches in nice western restaurants (and I’m not even talking about nice but cheap Chinese restaurants) for a fraction of the price that we would pay back in Europe or even the endless possibility of having handmade outfits (and I’m not going to even mention the endless copycat at the local markets!). So it was with a surprise that I read a couple of days ago “Beijing more expensive than Hong Kong for Expat?”

Beijing has for the first time become more expensive than Hong Kong for foreigners as a result of surging inflation on the mainland and appreciation of the yuan.
Rising costs pushed Beijing up to 31st place from 101st a year ago and Shanghai to 35th place from 106th, according to the survey by London-based ECA International, which advises companies globally on international assignments. […]
Hong Kong fell in the rankings to 97th spot in the latest survey, which compares a basket of 125 consumer goods and services commonly purchased by expatriates in more than 370 locations worldwide.
Volatile exchange rates stemming from the global financial crisis also mean London and Seoul are no longer among the top 10 most expensive locations for expatriates.
Meanwhile, Japanese cities have returned to upper end of the league table.[…]
Angola's capital Luanda remains the costliest place for foreigners. That is mainly because certain items and brands typically required by expatriates are not readily available and therefore very expensive.
Moscow has replaced Oslo as Europe's most costly location while a strong yen has made Tokyo the second-most expensive city in the world, up from 13th position a year ago.[…]
Such sharp currency swings create a challenge for companies remunerating expat packages, most of which are based on an expat's home currency, says ECA. […]
The survey does not cover the cost of accommodation, school fees or car purchases, which ECA says are usually compensated for separately in expatriate packages. […]
While a handful of African cities featured in the top 20, Africa is also home to the cheapest location for foreigners, Maseru in Lesotho.

(Great) Deal or No Deal?

Need to choose carefully for our next assignment. Don’t want to end up in Luanda, Angola (most expensive place to live) instead of Maseru, Lesotho (Cheapest location)… On a second thought, don’t think I want to go to either of those locations!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Holiday Season...

...Is Back Upon Us

Many Chinese people who have left their hometowns to work in other places in China must “return home” to visit their families and celebrate the holiday together. This happens every year and most people travel by taking the train. Train tickets can only be sold and purchased a maximum of 10 days before the desired departure date and there are only a limited amount of tickets available. Also there are no return-tickets and tickets must be bought in the city of departure (talk about a weird system!!). This is one reason why many people must line up and wait many long hours (or days) so they can buy a train ticket to go home for Spring Festival, which is January 25 this year. Here are some pictures of the lines and people waiting to buy train tickets.

Is it me or is it crowded ?

After waiting for hours (or days) you are so happy you have a ticket in your hand and now you cannot wait to make the (long) journey home in a very, very busy train:

I cannot find my reserved seat

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Half a Decade

...Not Quite Half a Dozen Yet

My baby is a “whole hand” old!

No picture, please

Monday, January 12, 2009

Deep Down, Beijing Really...

...Wants To Be Paris!

These red bicycles seem to be popping out at every corner of the streets… I haven’t seen anyone ride any of them yet. I didn’t find anything anywhere that can explain this sudden explosion of bikes and I didn’t get a chance to ask around either. Well maybe we can find out when our next guests are coming… Andrea, Adam do you want to ride a bike in Beijing?

Velib' in red

In another part of Beijing, I drove past this new hotel (well it opened for the Olympics) and noticed that the building had a Parisian (Haussmann) kind of feel.

Grand Paris Pekin

The Legendale Hotel Beijing has 390 luxury rooms including 81 suites, 79 opulent serviced apartments and 126 private residential apartments. Inspired by the palatial architecture of Southern Europe, the hotel’s exterior is filled with neo-classical style. The multiple-domed roof is topped with decorative turrets is reminiscent of an elegant 19th century building in downtown Paris. The breathtaking hotel lobby features a 17-story atrium. Gilded staircases wind skywards, creating a theatre-like ambiance, with elaborate balconies at each level. Mirroring the loftiness of the entrance, the elegant design of the guestrooms and suites are amongst the most elegance in Beijing. With stylish decorations and high ceilings, the hotel rooms feature an abundance of natural light and generous floor space. Imported from Europe, antique furniture and decorations are featured throughout the hotel to create a truly opulent and neo-classical ambiance. Fabrics are rich in texture and color, creating an elegant and instantly-tactile experience. (

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thank Goodness

...For DVDs

Two years ago I wrote a post on movies that made it to the Chinese movie theaters.
After some digging around I found the list of the 44 foreign films that were released in Beijing’s cinemas in 2008.

Only one French film made the cut (“Asterix and the Olympics”) and surprisingly 5 German movies (didn’t know that they had such a following in China!)

  • Jan: The Pursuit of Happyness; My Blueberry Nights;
  • Feb: Becoming Jane
  • Mar: Atonement; Salir Pitando (Spanish) ; The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep; Le Grand Chef (Shishen Zhengba 食神争霸) (Korean); National Treasure: Book of Secrets; 10,000 BC; Golden Compass
  • Apr: The Children of Huang Shi (Huang Shi de Haizi 黄石的孩子); Taken; The Forbidden Kingdom (Gongfu Zhiwang 功夫之王); Spiderwick Chronicle; Iron Man
  • May: D-War (Korean); Vinci (Polish 2004); Fast Track: No Limits (German); Fool's Gold; 27 Dresses
  • Jun: Kungfu Panda; The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian; Fast Track: No Limits (German)
  • Jul: Hancock; Butterfly on a Wheel (危情24小时 Weiqing 24 xiaoshi); Step Up 2 the Streets
  • Aug: Speed Racer; The Incredible Hulk
  • Sep: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor; Flood (UK); Mee-Shee: The Water Giant (深湖巨兽 Shenhu Jushou) (Canada); The Challenge (终极挑战 Zhongji Tiaozhan) (German – 2005); Asterix and the Olympics (France)
  • Oct: Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D; Hui Buh: The Castle Ghost (呆呆精灵 Daidai Jingling) (Germany); Wanted; Autobahnraser (Germany –2004); Waiting in Beijing (JV)
  • Nov: 007: Quantum of Solace; Babylon AD; Hell Boy 2: The Golden Army
  • Dec: Next; Bolt; Joulutarina (Finland)

Thankfully we have an almost endless selection of DVDs

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wei Er Kang Mu

...You Mean "Welcome"?

Last month the shop owners of Lady Street or Nu Ren Jie (One of Beijing’s famous shopping area for clothes, shoes and also famous for its flower market -no ladies for sale!-) were given a pamphlet with 18 common English phrases, written in Chinese characters to sound like the expressions. Hence the “喂儿 康目” or “Wei Er Kang Mu” supposedly sounding like “Welcome”.

The pamphlet, handed out to shop owners earlier this week, is the latest move by the local authorities to promote English usage in the area to boost business during tough economic times - and made even more pressing with the opening of the new US embassy complex last month, vendors said.
Employees of the 700-odd shops in Lady Street will have to pass an exam on the English phrases in three months if they want to continue working in the area,.
There will also be an hour of English broadcasts on speakers in the market at 9 am every morning and oral English lessons for employees in the near future..

But it seems that customers were driven away by the efforts made by the shopkeepers. While some of them are optimistic about the latest campaign others worried about their future because they know few Chinese characters except their name, let alone English.

I can speak bad English really good

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I Had An Epiphany*

...I Mean It's The Epiphany

Even in China, and thanks to the French Bakery “Comptoirs de France”, we can pass French traditions to our kids!

Epiphany (greek for for "to manifest" or "to show"), is a Christian feast day which celebrates the revelation of God in Human form in the person of Jesus Christ. Epiphany falls on January 6.

In France, on Epiphany people eat the “galette des Rois” (a king of King Cake). Tradition holds that the cake is “to draw the kings” to the Epiphany. A figurine/trinket (usually a porcelain figurine of a king) or a bean is hidden in the cake and the person who finds the trinket “la fève” (literally the broad bean) in their slice becomes king for the day and will have to offer the next cake. A paper crown is included with the cake to crown the "king" who finds the fève in their piece of cake. To ensure a random distribution of the cake shares, it is traditional for the youngest person to place themselves under the table and name the recipient of the share which is indicated by the person in charge of handing out the pieces of cake.
flaky puff pastry layers with a dense center of frangipane

* Epiphany: the sudden realization or comprehension of the essence or meaning of something.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


...Maybe Not

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"
Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832)

Down the street from our apartment complex a branch of a sandwich restaurant/cafe Panino Giusto finally opened after months of anticipation –will it or will it not open before the Olympics? (It did not).

But the reason for this post is not as much as the opening (no matter how thrilled we are) but the surprise on our return from the States when we found in our mailbox a menu from a place we thought we knew. But upon better inspection we realized that this café was not the one we thought but another one just down the original one:

Friday, January 2, 2009

Should I Stay or...

...Should I Go?

To start the New Year with some humor here’s a picture taken last year that made me go back and check if I was indeed where I thought I was:

And I use

Found in the FEMALE side of the public toilet in a newly opened mall in Beijing