Date registered: May 10, 2009
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Thanks, really glad you liked it! Definitely find a time to go; you won't be disappointed!
oops, @frank, not invisible. lost track of who was posting what! :P
@invisible: no, tingkerbell's right about the politeness thing. my (east asian, chinese citizen) husband was really, really uncomfortable staying in my mom's house in the US and having to say, 'please' and 'thank you' all the time, clean up after himself all the time, and make the hostess comfortable. he said, 'it's just not like a real family'.
in the east asian way of thinking, you don't need to be polite to people close to you. you just do what you want and everyone generally accepts it. and hosts/hostesses do everything they can to make the guest comfortable (not that westerners, don't, hear me out), even to the point of giving up their own bedrooms, changing their entire schedules, etc. (case in point, i came home from a weekend away to find my husband's cousin, wife and 2-yo (the latter two i'd never met) living in my living room, sleeping on the floor because our flat's tiny, leaving random things around the house in what, to me, was utter disarray, especially the kitchen and loo, and they'd also rearranged the living room furniture! they stayed for a month and if i'd asked them a simple question like, 'how long are you staying?' it would've caused WWIII. i just had to suck it up. ah, the price of love! )
then when my husband watched people in the states greeting each other with big (american) hugs and squeals of excitement and endless useless small talk (how ARE you?! i haven't seen you in SO LONG!! etc.), he said it was, 'really fake' and shook his head.
as for politeness to strangers, i think in the east asian way of thinking, it seems odd to make so much effort for someone who's essentially unimportant to you, and is only really necessary when you want to increase your 'guanxi' and get some personal benefit. think about it, the time that i usually see people in chengdu being extra polite is when they're doing business. ordinary communication between strangers (on the bus, on the street, in a supermarket) is simply functional without a lot of pleases and thank yous.
@tingkerbell: great post! there is definitely too much whingeing on the part of laowais in china (myself included) and we often need a reality check. no matter the trials and tribulations i endure here, it never gets boring and that's an essential part of what keeps me here.
fair enough. intersexed then.
but transgender is definitely not the right choice. my point is 'transgender' implies the child may be thinking about his/her own sexuality, which may be true, but at such a young age, it's my hope that people are sensitive enough so that there's no pressure to make it a major issue in his/her current development. not to mention the fact that it's really nobody's business, and at such a young age, it's probably a violation of her/his rights to even ask.
when i studied sociolinguistics, i remember reading a study of thai mothers who were using male forms of speech with their sons in order to ensure their sons learnt to use them regularly. they got so used to the habit, that they would use male forms of speech amongst themselves, even if their sons weren't part of the conversation, but not with men or outsiders. interesting to say the least! :)
@amazon (and ramses): how easy it is to be a hater on the internet!
i'd still say all the best stuff i, personally, have comes from home. but it's useful to know where to go to get stuff in town if you need to. as for taste, to each his/her own!
@jane v: 9 times out of 10, i'd say the brands i mentioned are only worth buying if they're having a sale.
Last I checked, the No. 1 hospital doesn't have an MRI machine and I was told I had to go to Huaxi. It was fine, I didn't have to wait that long to do the procedure, which is painless, by the way, you just lie there, and I was able to get the results in the next day or two, if I remember correctly. There are a number of similar, rather high-tech procedures that are only available at Huaxi, which is a shame, because I prefer No. 1 too. Anyway, back to MRIs, I did have a friend do one whose assistant was so clueless, she ran into the room during the procedure to tell her something while she was holding her laptop—which flew into the machine and was completely wiped out, not to mention injuring my friend in the process. Even when I went, they weren't clear on removing all piercings, etc. so whatever you do, make sure that you have no metal fillings and remove every last speck of metal from your person before you go in, because they won't just tell you. Which is beyond me because those machines cost a fortune!
If you think you might be interested in teaching with the British Collaborative Programmes at Chengdu University of Technology, please email dianeDOTflickATsucduteduDOTorg. I can give you more details via email, or you can find our recruiting classified elsewhere on this site.
Welcome to the 'Du.
Hey msinglynx, I feel your pain. It's easy to get in a rut wherever you are; that's half the reason I ended up in China in the first place! Just so you know, I write 'Basi de Hen' for the magazine, and so I'm naturally inclined to be excited about little things. But I kind of feel like, writing the column, it's my job to find something at least once a month that isn't same old, same old, and that's what keeps me feeling the Chengdu love.
I would recommend Chengdu's parks, temples, cafes, galleries, museums, and daytrips outside the city as a great place to start to shake things up a bit. Recently I've discovered the Chengdu Art Museum near Kuanzhai Xiangzi; a little courtyard tea garden with adjoining galleries that feature an ever-changing roster of traditional and modern Chinese art. I've been loving their stuff lately, and I'm not the kind of person who often goes to galleries and I certainly can't afford to buy art. I've also recently discovered the Submarine Cafe across from Holly's Hostel. It's another place with a great courtyard garden, perfect for the sunny weather lately. Some of my friends have told me about 'Mr. X' a weird place in the Music Park where you get locked in a room for an hour and have to follow clues to get out, so I definitely want to try that as I've never been anyplace like it before. And a few weeks ago I went to a bath house, which is an awesome China experience to have; don't know if you've tried it or not. I also like the less popular temples like Daci Si or Qingyang Gong, to wander around in. Everything's blooming right now, so try not to miss it! Excited about the newly opened Cakey Butta in Tongzilin too, so I can get my sugar fix. :D
Aside from that, if I may say so, life is about finding where you can be useful and feel needed, so you could try one of the hundreds of volunteer opportunities in town as well. For me, I have a family, teach, and write for the magazine, amongst other things, so all of that keeps me pretty fulfilled. It wasn't so easy when I was single, I'll admit!
Go through the listings on this and other sites, and choose a new place/event to go to at least once a week. I do that every three or four months, I'd say, just to see if there's something I'm missing. You can also just try walking in a new part of the city. I find the coolest stuff that way. Learning something new is never a bad idea, either.
Or you could just read 'Basi de Hen' every month. ;)
I'm curious, did you just start this today or yesterday? I was in Ms. Bamboo Sunday evening and didn't see anything resembling a sandwich on the menu. I also love a good sandwich and would like to try what you've got on offer if they're readily available.
My friend was just there last week, so I'd guess that the owners are just on holiday. Loads of foreign laobans have been away recently: Mike from Mike's Pizza, Soojin and Daniel from Kaffestugan, the ladies at Cakey Butta...it's just that time of year. Not a lot of point in staying open if most customers are away and you want a break yourself.
If the metal door is down and locked, I'd take that as a good sign because that street gets enough foot traffic that if KDK were out of business, I'd expect to see it getting gutted and fitted to become another 'silly little cake shop' or something. Strange that there's no notice though.
On a completely different note: you obviously enjoy writing about food and do a good job of it. Would you be interested in making it a regular thing? We (Chengdoo Magazine) haven't had a restaurant reviewer in ages—not for lack of interest, just lack of a regular contributor. PM me if you're up to the challenge.
THE ICE IN THE ICED COFFEE IS MADE WITH...COFFEE!!! i have died and gone to coffee heaven...when i was there yesterday, one of the owners noticed me happily crunching away on the iced coffee balls (NOT cubes! perfect spheres of coffee goodness!) and brought me a tiny ramekin of honey and a spoon and said, "you know, if you eat them with a spoonful of honey, it's a treat". yummy yummy yummy yummy...have been a fan for ages, but didn't know about the ice. they really leave nothing to chance. pure class. long live kaffe stugan!!! 百分之五百巴适的很!!!
Those are actually two numbers, a mobile and a landline. The mobile is 13880758271 and the landline is 86663023.
But as far as I can tell, Le Sud is closed, probably for good. I called a few weeks ago and was told that they were closed and "would start renovating soon", but it's hard to tell if that's actually true or if Julien's just packing it in. It's a shame because when he was there, Le Sud was really, really great!
I think the downfall of Le Sud came from an injury that required Julien to be away for an extended period of time, during which the local staff were unable to provide the same level of quality. Around that time is when I started to hear and personally experience problems with consistency and I guess it's been downhill since then as they struggled to get their customer base back.
But if they are indeed renovating, then I would run back to them with open arms!