Steve's China Blog

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Some local news

Not much has been going on since the last vacation, except a lot of work so I thought I would post about some local news items. This story is about how much Chengdu people love to play Mahjong...

Chengdu's nonstop majiang: Man dies, game goes uninterrupted

Chengdu residents are known for their love of majiang--and a recent video shows just how far this passion extends.

In the video, an elderly man has just fallen to the ground, and while onlookers crowd around and call emergency personnel to the scene, at the next table over, a group of majiang players are devotedly playing their game, not once looking up at the commotion around them.

What can I say... life is cheap here. Not sure of all the reasons that it is, but maybe I'll devote an entire post to that some day. Here's another article I saw the other day...

Chengdu To Encourage International Dining Enterprises

Chengdu will also launch a batch of major projects for building a gourmet city, including creating local leading dining enterprises, cultivating five dining enterprises with sales of CNY500 million, and developing five dining enterprises into multinational firms.

In addition, Chengdu will focus more on attracting investments and will introduce five well-know multinational dining enterprises, including Burger King, Long John Silver's, and Hardee's...

Not really gourmet, but it will be interesting to see if these places do well in Chengdu. Rumor has it that one of the five places will be a Romano's Macaroni Grill restaurant. That'll be nice!

Friday, July 02, 2010

3 Days in Hong Kong

When we arrived in Hong Kong it was cloudy, rainy, and very warm and the weather didn't change the entire time we were there. We stayed at the Royal Park Hotel in Kowloon, which is north of Hong Kong Island. Jay and I had talked about going to Victoria's Peak or taking a boat ride around Victoria Harbor, but since the weather was so bad we never got around to doing any of those things.

A rainbow over Hong Kong

Most of the time was spent relaxing, eating, shopping, and generally enjoying being some place civilized. The relaxing and eating was easy since the hotel was so nice and they had some decent restaurants, and there are also lots of great places to eat in Hong Kong. We had dim sum, seafood, salads, steaks, etc... I think we both gained some weight here.

Downtown Hong Kong

We also visited a lot of shopping places. In fact, our hotel was right in the middle of a big shopping center called New Town Mall. The first place we went shopping though was at the Pacific Place Mall on Hong Kong island. Pacific Place is one of the most upscale places to shop in Hong Kong. They had one store called Chinese Arts & Crafts there that had a lot of Chinese jewelry and carvings made from jade, amber, crystal, and ivory. They were all very beautiful and very expensive. We spent a lot of time here looking at everything they had since everything was so nice to look at.

Cool looking buildings downtown

The next day we went wandering around Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui, and ended up at Harbor City which is a huge shopping mall. The only thing annoying about these areas are these guys from nearby tailor shops who come up to you on the street trying to sell you a suit. One time we were standing outside Harbor City having a cigarette and one of them came up to Jay and tried to sell him a suit. Having failed at that he tried to sell Jay a Rolex copy. Then some hashish. Jay was laughing at the guy the whole time! It was funny.

Some shops along Causeway Bay

A cruise liner parked at Harbor City

Another funny thing is that in the evenings all the TV's are tuned to the World Cup. This was the same as on the mainland. No offense to anyone who actually likes soccer, but I think it's one of the most boring games around. We did have a few laughs poking fun at the fake injury acting of the players, but that got old quickly. Luckily they only have the World Cup every 4 years.

Saturday was our last day in Hong Kong. We went to the airport at around lunch time and bugged the nice folks at Air Canada until they gave Jay an aisle seat, and then we had lunch. I saw Jay off on his flight back to the US in the afternoon, and then I finished up some shopping at the airport before catching my flight back to Chengdu in the evening.