29 May 2010


Dear TCG,

How many dialects of Chinese are there? I know theres Mandarin, Cantonese, Min, Hakka, Xiang, Wu, Hui, Gan and Jin. What are the differences between them? and can those who understand one dialect understand others? Like how those who speak American-English can understand British-English and vice-versa?

Kevin B

Would you accept an answer of far too many to list? since each of the above can be subdivided several times and then subdivided again and again.

Effectively they sound different and have slight variations on grammatical structure which would take me a long time to explain here are some piss weak examples:

for example is a posessive word

You say 我blah blah blah 嘅 to denote it is mine this is NOT used in Mandarin at all(probably why everybody ends their sentences in lah in Singapore, HK, Taiwan etc , except taiwanese blokes sound like poofs).

The do they understand each other? Is hit and miss as people are educated to different levels and therefore understand certain things because they have learns and it is hard to ascertain without special experiments which TCG has by accident performed, in HK there is an old peoples' home I sometimes visit (I don't have any relatives there but it is customary to say hello to an old family friend there who is very very old). A general rule is the farther away a dialect and or location is the bigger the difference and difficulty of understanding each other. Hakka and Cantonese live in Southern China along the coast and it is very close I feel anyway. But Shanghainese and Beijing Mandarin are different. Even my Taiwanese girl I have difficulty speaking to her sometimes though she speaks Cantonese too, which makes me life easier.

Anyway she is Hakka, her room mate is Cantonese, while her next door is from Beijing, while another one is from Shanghai all of them are completely illiterate and can't even read or write their own names. But they were youngsters in 1920 so it is hardly a surprise this happened.

Absolutely none of them can understand each other at all, fragments get through, as there are some similarities yet also some differences.

Cantonese people call their grannies = Ah mah
Hakka people call their grannies = Ah poor

Even in various close locales there are variations, Hakka for example I can speak relatively well and understand easily. I go north o the border around Shenzhen where a variation of Hakka is spoken (TVB had a Caucasian woman who spoke Guanzhou Hakka and I was ????? when listening to her speak) and I don't understand. Even though the PRC is attempting to subvert everybody to Mandarin and use simplified characters to promote literacy and understanding they are not making great progress.

My own spoken Chinese everybody thinks is weird as I strip out words mix and match, you don't for example hear me ever say Bah see (bus) or Yeen Saw (insurance) which you can probably tell are borrowed from English words.

I say Gwang gwang Che for bus for example.

However here is some British comedy about Northern Ireland Dialect if you can call it that.

Foxconn hypocrisy?

Dear TCG

Why does Taiwanese run Foxconn make headlines while Chinese run Huawei didn't?
Foxconn :10 suicides and 2 attempted suicides out of a workforce of 300,000 and there are calls for boycotts as quoted by the China daily.

Huawei, a Chinese owned mainland company. Workforce 60,000 in China and worldwide.

"Then on 6 March 2008, a Huawei employee jumped to his death from the third floor of the company cafeteria. He was the sixth Huawei employee to have committed suicide or die in mysterious circumstances in the previous two years."

China labour bulletin, based in Hong Kong.


"Particularly since Zhang Liguo was the sixth Huawei employee to have died of unnatural causes in recent years, and allegedly the 38th to have died of unnatural causes since the company was founded. Is there something about Huawei that leads so many young people to end their lives prematurely?"

Why is Foxconn being singled out for unfair treatment, is it because the owner is a foreigner and that the company has links with a rich overseas company? Is this part of the blame others culture in China?


Dear VJ

The inconsistency of the approach is many fold

#1 Foxconn produces stuff which is incredibly high end and is bought for style conscious hip people, such companies like Apple like to put out an image which shows them in a great whiter than white sort of light. You know the buzz words companies use, ethically sourced goods, environmentally friendly, no use of child labour, no use of slave labour etc.

Apple admitted to using child labour or rather companies which use child labour. Ironically again at Foxconn, did apple terminate its contract with Foxconn? Did it hell!

This aside from all the other buzz words people use I believe HD is the one currently all the rage, they put fucking HD on everything, I believe I even saw it on a printing service recently. Much like Tony Blair the prime minister of the UK till 2007, in 1997 he claimed his government would be whiter than white, it wasn't it was pretty corrupt.

They claim all their ethics and yet it is proven to be untrue. While companies like Huawei have never claimed to be whiter than white. You can't level at them I thought you claimed to be whiter than white?

No we didn't we are a corrupt sweat shop, which kills the argument immediately.

#2 There are some deeper issues too.

#2.1 Foxconn is Taiwanese founded the top tier management is all Taiwanese who have little love or care for their Chinese brothers.

The attack on Foxconn for the recent suicides could be a strategy that CCP is employing in order to allow the CCP to get its fingers in the pie at Foxconn.

Huawei in contrast it has some ties with the Chinese Communist Party. Ren Zhengfei, not perfect ties as he was considered a KMT sympathiser but never the less was stiill able to attain a high support rank in the PLA It doesn't make any sense to attack our own family member who is helping us technologically in the economic wars going on.

#3 A Anecdotal is Huawei is known to pay 3-4 times the amount Foxconn pays.

27 May 2010

Foxconn #16

Fucking hell, there were actually 20+ jumpers of which 12 have died and another 16 jumpers who were convinced not to jump.

Seriously this has to stop. and Foxconn seriously needs to be reformed of the CCP go into this company and reform it for them.

More foxconn bullshit

Security guard beat down of employees

Foxconn admits to beating

The company admits no wrong doing at all, blah blah more psychologists (i.e. guards with big beating sticks) to use against employees etc.

Standard News article

26 May 2010

Iphone to die for?

The Iphone is manufactured by a company called foxconn in Shenzhen, recently as of May 26th 9 people have killed themselves all workers at the Shenzhen plant with 40,000 employees.

China has an official suicide rate of 13.9 per 100,000 people nowhere near the Korean suicide rate of 30 per 100,000 people here.

From Reuters

SHENZHEN, China — Foxconn Technology Group showed off a motherboard factory, swimming pool and a hot line center for workers with emotional problems Wednesday as the giant company — maker of iPods and other popular gadgets — tried to repair an image damaged by a spate of employee suicides in China.

Hours later another male employee fell to his death from a building at the company's Shenzhen complex, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The report said Foxconn confirmed the death, but it was not immediately clear if it was suicide.

The company's media shy chairman, Terry Gou, earlier in the day repeatedly apologized for the 10 confirmed suicides this year and told reporters the firm would do everything possible to prevent more deaths. Nets were put on buildings to stop people from jumping, and about 100 mental health counselors were being trained.

Riight you mean HRM staff who will sack any staff who complain?

"We need some time," he said. "But we are confident. We are extremely determined."

Gou said he has been having trouble sleeping at night because of the suicides, the latest one reported Tuesday when a 19-year-old man jumped from a building after working at the plant for about a month. The Foxconn head also said he dreads the sound of his own phone ringing after work hours because he's afraid it will be news of another death.

You fucking lying cunt what you mean is I am scared fucking shitless because I think Apple might get upset at employees dying.

The tour with six busloads of journalists went through the palm tree-lined streets of the sprawling factory complex in the southern city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong. The walled-in industrial park employs 300,000 workers and looks more like a small city with fast-food restaurants, bakeries, Bank of China branches and towering dormitories for workers.

Yeah all with artificially inflated prices and internal currency meaning your workers are kept in eternal servitude to you.

Foxconn was trying to address allegations from labor groups that the workers were killing themselves because of hellish conditions in the factories, which churn out iPhones, Dell computers, Nokia mobile phones and many other big-selling electronics. Critics allege that Foxconn manages its plants with a strict military approach and workers must work too much overtime on assembly lines that move too fast.

If in the UK there TCG has experienced uber fast production lines then in a country with non existent employee rights then how fucking fast does the conveyor move?

Gou didn't take questions about such issues at a news conference, but he insisted the vast majority of workers were happy, and too much attention was being given to the troubled few.

"We want to make every worker have a happy life and work environment here," Gou said in a long, rambling speech that ended abruptly when he said he had to leave for a meeting.

Finding fresh statistics for suicides in China is difficult. The World Health Organization said that in 1999, China's suicide rate for men was 13 per 100,000 people, while the rate for women was 14.8.

Noting the figures, Dr. Hynek Pikhart, senior lecturer in epidemiology and public health at University College London, said, "The (Foxconn) rates are not probably too high or unexpectedly high."

Pikhart added, "I guess one of the reasons why these got the news they did is that maybe these are workplace suicides."

The factories making Apple products weren't part of the tour because Foxconn wanted to protect trade secrets. But the company showed off a plant with workers assembling motherboards for servers. As Gou's entourage walked through the factory, a large group of Foxconn staffers in white polo shirts fanned out and observed workers who talked to reporters.

"We're treated pretty well here," said one worker, who would only give her surname, Chen. "I think the suicides were caused by individual problems."

Soo if you are treated so well why do you hide your identity?

When asked if working conditions might have driven their colleagues to suicide, another worker, who only provided his surname, Zhang, just shrugged and said, "I don't know."

The tour included a large swimming pool near a massive cafeteria, where workers were lunching on rice, cabbage, tofu and beef with red peppers. One worker who was standing near the pool on her lunch break said she had never taken a dip.

"The pool closes too early, at 9 p.m.," said the worker, who only gave her surname, Wu. "I usually get off work at 7:30 or 8 after working overtime, and don't have time to swim."

At a counseling center in a commercial strip with eateries and a book store, a long row of young women in red shirts staffed hot lines.

Professor Stephen Palmer, director of the London Centre for Stress Management, said it was worrying all the suicides had been committed the same way — by jumping off buildings.

"Once a method becomes popular, it becomes more acceptable to other people," he said. "People who read about suicides and hear about it among people they know can be more susceptible to trying to kill themselves. ... It gives them a sort of permission to kill themselves."

He also said it was problematic that many Foxconn staffers were migrant workers. "If you're working very long hours and are away from your family, that is definitely an issue," he said.

There were numerous reports on TVB Television interviewing workers that it is such a great firm to work for and that they are treated absolutely fairly..... Except they wouldn't say that wouldn't they? Open face on the camera you aren't going to call your boss a fucking cunt are you? You'd get fired so quickly and blackballed such staff interviews are pointless.

Some footnotes, truck acts in China are NOT illegal a truck act essentially is where you get paid in company money which is a subset of normal currency not RMB but vouchers that can only be used in the company shop which has artificially inflated prices and also accommodation vouchers which again surprise surprise can only be used at the company dormitories.

TCG has never bought into the fashionable i range of phones computers or whatever shit apple pumps out, and tbh I urge you to do the same and shun such companies.

In Japan you have something called Karoshi death by overwork where people literally die at their posts from overwork, I think we need to invent a new word for this phenomenon in China. Again more evidence pointing to China's eventual disintegration as the grass roots are getting mighty pissed off at the way they have been exploited and sooner or later they will crack.

Buying glasses in China

Dear TCG

I heard it is much cheaper to buy glasses in China or Hong Kong, is this true and what is the quality. Im going to be visiting Hong Kong on the way to Beijing in a coupla months time and would like some advise.


Dear Anon (TCG just can't be arsed to think of a Witty retort to your anon email to me)

Anyway glasses in HK, are pretty good quality, over the border in SZ they are also fairly good quality. Something you should note though is their eye testing equipment is shit. The only store I can think of off the top o me head is Optical 88.

There is of course one catch a biggie too which I think applies to China too.

While at the opticians in the UK (I take other people as TCG can see fine) will perform a through check using a big arse piece of machinery to check your eyes with landscapes, letter charts and various different lenses and they will take their time in HK and China by extension they do not.

It is a hurried affair with a simple piece of machinery and they almost always get it wrong, my Cousin who regularly goes there tells me they always make them understrength by a small amount due to the poor testing technique. She's a doctor and probably knows more about it than me. So therefore the generally accepted advice is to get an eye test and a prescription back home be it UK/Europe/USA/Can or wherever than to go to HK and get an eye test there.

Though of course with purchase nearly everywhere eye tests are free.

But have you ever (I am uncertain of where you come from) taken a car to a free MOT test? They never pass....

Though I hear there is a free eye test clinic at Hong Kong University I have never been there before as said I don't need glasses, though my mates in HK often disagree from the choices of my dates sometimes.

Lucky bicycle rider

I may ride a motorbike cross countries of unfriendly people (azerbaijan) but going to Beijing last year the insanity of the traffic was an eye opener, makes London like a walk in the park.

Korea though was worse!

24 May 2010

Some Monday afternoon comedy

How the hell did this happen?

18 years later I think I know why at school I was almost always picked last when playing football at breaktimes in school. How embarrassing, a nation of a billion people+ and you can't find a couple of blokes who can play football? I mean smegging hell look at group G, even the North Koreans who are not exactly doing too well economically got a team into the world cup.

Shanghai expo highlights

Ok ok so I kicked up a hand bags at dawn rant about the Shanghai expo, which I feel was well deserved however Toyota has bought something along of interest (remember folks Toyota is a Japanese corporation an evil one at that too). Which should strike fear into the hearts of musicians everywhere. Much like robots and automation have destroyed many peoples' jobs over time. TCG has been replaced by software several times.

Violin playing Robots

Hold on the Korean's Mrs is supposed to be a erm musician involved with some sort of string instrument (I never really pay too much att) probably more fuel for the fire of Japanese and Korean dislike.

Chuck Yeager Put it nicely he once said "It's man not machine!"

However I shall resurrect the man vs machine debate with a 20 year old joke:

Lister: I had this Geography teacher, Miss Foster. She took us on a school
summer camp trip to the Ganwee. I had the tent next to hers, right.
And in the middle of the night I was woken up by this really weird
noise. /She/ didn't think men were better than machines.

Probably piss Yo Yo Ma off too 馬友友 and Yo Yo Ma rather good I remember seeing him in Tokyo

23 May 2010

Urk Example 2 To be rich is Glorious

I forget when it was said But Deng Xiao Ping to wrestle control back to the communist party changed his tone shortly after 1989 and said the famous words:

"To be rich is Glorious,"

And quietly abandoned their socialism while still pretending to be socialist (have you ever visited Beijing museums they claim to be Democratic and socialist still). Yeah so in China to be rich is glorious until you get too rich and the CCP want a slice of the action.

A CHINESE court jails the founder of home appliance giant GOME - once the country's richest man - for 14 years for bribery, insider trading and illegal business dealings, state media says. Huang Guangyu - a high school dropout who built what is now the country's largest electronics and appliance chain - was also ordered to pay a fine of 600 million yuan ($101 million), Xinhua news agency reported.

Authorities seized another 200 million yuan in assets from Huang, once known as the "Price Butcher" for GOME's low prices. Huang, in his 40s, was named China's richest man in October 2008 with an estimated net worth of $US6.3 billion ($5.5 billion) by the Hurun Report magazine.
He was detained and placed under investigation a month later, and resigned as GOME director and chairman in January 2009. He was held for more than a year without charge, and tried in April in a Beijing court. He stood accused of bribing five government officials with 4.56 million yuan in cash and properties from 2006 to 2008, Xinhua reported previously. The bribes were offered in exchange for "improper benefits" for Huang's GOME Electrical Appliances Holdings and Beijing Pengrun Real Estate Development Company, a private equity group which Huang headed, the reports said. China's Securities Regulatory Commission previously said he was suspected of manipulating trading in two mainland-listed companies. Before his arrest, Huang was revered in the media as a model entrepreneur who rose from nothing by successfully capitalising on China's decades of economic reforms.

After dropping out of school, he started building his fortune in his teens, running a roadside stall in Beijing where he sold radios and gadgets purchased from factories near his hometown in south China's Guangdong province.

GOME Group is now China's largest electronics and appliance chain with more than 1200 stores in more than 200 cities.

He previously topped the Hurun Report's rankings of China's richest in 2004 and 2005.
Trading in Hong Kong-listed GOME was suspended in November 2008 after Huang was placed under investigation.

But it resumed in June last year after private equity firm Bain Capital invested at least 417 million US dollars in the form of convertible bonds and shareholdings in GOME in a bid to rescue its business and tarnished reputation.

A string of top business and government leaders have reportedly been implicated in Huang's case, including the sacked former mayor of the southern city of Shenzhen, Xu Zongheng.

Two top police officials, including a former deputy minister of public security, were also detained on suspicion of bribery in connection with the case, reports have said.

One of GOME's wholly owned subsidiaries, GOME Appliance, was charged earlier this year with bribery in connection with the charges against Huang.

GOME said it was "highly concerned" about the case and pledged to "actively defend against the accusation at the subsidiary".

But it said the damage to its operations would be limited, with the worst-case scenario being a fine.

Heh as I said in a previous post bribery is normal in China and the problem is you don't know it is illegal until the cops nab you.

Urk Example 1

China still isn't free as many people think.

From the SCMP, May 21, 2010:

A college professor accused of organising a swingers club and holding private orgies on the mainland has been sentenced to 3-1/2 years in prison, in a case that touched off a national debate about sexual freedom.

Ma Yaohai, 53, was convicted and sentenced on charges of group licentiousness for participating in group sex parties, said an official from the Qinhuai District Court in Nanjing.

Ma, along with 21 other people, was arrested and charged last year - the first time anyone has been charged under a 1997 law in a case that has snagged huge public interest with its titillating details.

It also generated debate about sexual freedom in a nation trying to reshape its modern morality.

The China News Service reported that the other 21 were given lighter sentences, ranging from probation only up to three years, because they demonstrated "good attitudes" by pleading guilty.

The maximum sentence for the crime was five years in prison.

Ma's lawyer Yao Yong'an said his client, who was the only one to plead innocent, plans to appeal the verdict.

"It's definitely not a fair case. It's not based on the law ... We can understand the reason behind it, but we can't accept it," he said.

Prosecutors accused Ma, a computer science professor at Nanjing University of Technology, of organising a swingers club, where members met online and gathered in private homes or hotels for group sex parties.

But Ma had maintained that he committed no crime, arguing that his activities involved consenting adults meeting in nonpublic places.

His defiance seemed to strike a chord in an era of relative sexual freedom on the mainland, where extramarital affairs and prostitution are commonplace - drawing support from those who believe that the government should stay out of the bedroom.

Mainland people have debated whether the country's laws on sexual behaviour were outdated in a society that had undergone stark changes in its attitudes toward sex.

Sociologist and sex expert Li Yinhe, who had been among the most vocal public defenders of Ma, said that she was disappointed by the court's ruling, adding "Ma Yaohai shouldn't be sentenced at all".

She acknowledged the sentence marked an improvement compared with 20 years ago, when displays of public affection and even dancing with members of the opposite sex were punished. "He could have been sentenced to death then. But the real improvement should be the complete abolishment of this crime."

With rising prosperity and an easing of government controls on personal freedoms, China has moved towards a more progressive view on sex, though attitudes remain more traditional in the countryside than in urban centres.

Ok granted TCG does not regularly have group sex parties, very few parties and sex actually though I can say 3 somes and 4 somes aren't as fun as you might imagine. Also the accountancy mark of evil women can smell from 100 paces acts as a 100% effective contraceptive. But I want to have the right to have sex with say 8 women at the same time. I mean is this too much to ask? This sort of thing with Harry Kim (A Chinese guy playing a Korean).

I mean sometime in the near future a group of women could potentially want to have group sex with me (woo) and yet TCG if in China would have to refuse due to the laws.

Also from Time here

Evil Japanese imperialists!

Reader Kevin B sent me these links

I stumbled upon this. There is a Chinese video game in development sponsored by the Communist Party in which players must fight the Japanese in WWII. It depicts the Japanese unfavorably and is meant to encourage "national spirit".

Moar here:

Yet again China is stoking up nationalism and jingoistic things in, a sign of yet more cracks appearing in Communist China? I've said it plenty of times about China fragmenting or even going the whole hog into civil war as even the USSR fell apart after 80 years.

But they are milking events that happened over 60 years ago, sure Japan uses revisionist history about the atrocities committed in China, yet surely they can come up with something more recent to be nationalistic or patriotic about these days can't they?

Or is this just a storm in a tea cup? As there are lots of controversial video games

Ethnic cleansing game

Self explanatory

Super columbine massacre

Self explanatory

Left behind game

About non faithful people being left behind once the rapture occurs I think


WTF a Japanese rape simulator?

Muslim massacre

Again self explanatory

There are many more controversial games of course. However almost all of the above are made by private companies the kicker here being this after having a glance into it is state sponsored. TCG thinks it won't work though as nationalism can for a temporary time paper over the cracks but not all of them.

22 May 2010

21 May 2010

You wait for ages and three come along at once

Today is also Buddha's official birthday everybody goes to visit the big Buddha statue on Lantau island, and it is a public holiday so many people cram onto Cheung Chau island to see the bun festival at the same time too.

Yet again TCG is not a Buddhist and therefore does not celebrate this either, though if he were in HK still he would take the day off anyway.

Cheung Chau Bung festival

Another festival for the fishermen.

The Bun Festival is local to the island of Cheung Chau only. Pak Tai, the Taoist God of the Sea is worshipped and evil spirits are scared away by loud gongs and drums during the procession.

The celebration includes Taoist praying, opera performances and ends with processions performed by children dressed in colorful costumes.

Bun towers USED to be built 60 foot high piled with sweet buns normally outside the Pak Tai temple. These buns are supposed to be blessed and people would climb them to grab buns off them at midnight on the first day of the festival. This was supposed to pay homage and appease the ghosts of those who died in the 19th century plague that attacked Cheung Chau.

Except in 1978 a tower collapsed and injured 96 people. Since then the towers are built but for display only and are made in shops and delivered to the people who participate. But this is Hong Kong where you can buy them instead.

Cheung Chau before hand will go vegetarian for 3 days before the procession, no meat none at all will be eaten served on the island not even the McD's you see immediately off the ferry. Nothing none nada (it often closes).

The procession is the biggest most important part of the festival and each sort of group of houses on the island will build a float of some kind and children will sit atop of them TCG does not know the significance of this.

You can find more videos here again TCG is not from Cheung Chau or from a family of fishermen and therefore does not observe this holiday.

Tam Kung's birthday

21st of May today is Tam Kung's (譚公,) birthday, celebrated in Hong Kong anyway, however this is NOT a public holiday so no rest for the wicked.

He is the god/patron saint of fishermen, since I am not descended from a fisherman's family I don't celebrate this.

In Chinese folk legends, Tam Kung was one of gods who could forecast the weather. He was born in Huizhou Prefecture. It was said that he could cure patients in his childhood. Tam Kung became an immortal in heaven at the age of twenty in the Nine-dragon Mountain in Huizhou.

He was granted an honour in the Qing Dynasty. People whose ancestral home are in Huizhou or Chaoshan of Guangdong province worship Tam Kung most sincerely. They built a temple for Tam Kung in A Kung Ngam. On Tam Kung's birthday on the 8th day of the 4th month in Chinese calendar, a special ceremony including parade and dragon dance is held in honor of him.

Dragon dancing processions and Joss sticks are burnt in his honour at his shrine in Shep Kip Mei (I think this is where it is located these days as it has been taken apart and rebuild several times)

Here are a couple of pictures of the inside of his temple.

Chinese Joseph Frizel

TCG says: What the fuck is wrong with these people?

First we have nutters going around stabbing children, now we have Joseph Frtizel copy cats in China too. Hell in a hand basket....

TWO teenage girls kidnapped by a suspected rapist in central China and kept chained in a windowless basement for almost a year are free - thanks to a faulty television set.

The girls were rescued after smuggling out an SOS message hidden in the television set that was sent to a repair shop.

The two, aged 16 and 19, were found naked and with their legs manacled in an underground chamber in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province.

The older girl was just 200 meters away from her home.


Robert Mugabe in Hong Kong?

Dear TCG

I heard a rumour that Robert Mugabe lives in Hong Kong is there any truth to this?


Dear John

This is false Robert Mugabe does not live in Hong Kong. However his wife does and so does his daughter Grace Mugabe who studies under a pseudonym at City University Hong Kong under the name Bona. Bob owns a £4 million flat in Tai Po Hong Kong near where my dad used to live presumably when TSHT.

Beware the crazy PRC government (who overruled the HK SAR government) has granted her diplomatic immunity so she can kick your arse and not be held to account.


Guns Guns Guns!

Dear TCG

A few events have had me a little concerned over the ability of the cops to protect me.

The first, and most serious event, was a last year. I lived in on a higher traffic street in a less affluent part of town. Some cars got into a traffic accident, which turned into a shooting. Nobody was actually shot, but it scared the bejesus out of me. It took the police about 2 minutes to arrive, but by that time the person with the gun had fled.

This kind of brought it home to me that bad / stupid people have guns and aren't afraid to use them. It also made me realize that police can't be everywhere all the time. They can arrive quickly, but things can get bad very, very fast and when someone is shooting a gun, 2 minutes is a very, very long time.

I have seen online some incredibly cheap deals on Chinese made carbines and rifles the SKS in particular interests me greatly but I will have to go to Canada to buy one. What is your opinion on Chinese made guns.


Dear VJ

TCG does not dabble in guns and has no knowledge whatsoever about Chinese made guns or guns made anywhere else, other than a few anecdotal stories about people shooting guns in South East Asia and the experience in Seoul where I fired a gun called a SAW.

The UK and HK are both largely gun free zones except for the police.

Therefore TCG cannot help you with this. Perhaps you should ask on more gun specific forums.

The way Hong Kong used to be

Halt ICAC! from here

VANCOUVER — A three-decade-old manhunt for one of the most notorious figures of the Hong Kong underworld — a man who pumped millions of dollars of his ill-gotten gains into British Columbia — ended Thursday in a cemetery near Vancouver.

Sgt. Lui Lok was part of a cabal of five powerful station sergeants who ruled Hong Kong's police jurisdictions during the early 1970s, collecting graft while allowing the triads to conduct their criminal activities.

The most infamous of the corrupt cops was Lok, dubbed the "$500-Million Man." He and three other so-called Dragons fled to Vancouver in the mid-1970s before seeking sanctuary in Taiwan. They left their families behind.

They sure took their damned time didn't they?

Still crime doth not always pay. As corrupt cop Fitzroy Godber was apprehended and caught soon after he tried to make his escape.

You can read more propaganda Sucessful ICAC case files here

I will say one thing though if Jacqui 'Jackboot' Smith was in Hong Kong the ICAC would be all over her like a bad rash, look at this woman claiming to be unfairly treated by the media. Well deary you got your hands slammed in the till.

20 May 2010

What the hell is the point of the Shanghai expo?

I'm probably going to get some flak from the HK readers of this but present me with a valid argument other than jingoism / Nationalism or Chinese unity /pride. Anyhow this is a reflection of many of my HK based friends who are Chinese too and a few people in SZ too. Seriously what is the point of the Shanghai expo? European powers, the USA held their great expo to show off their technological prowess to the world.

Hey look at what we can do, the 1851 expo you can read about here Expos are to show the world your technological prowess and willy wave at other countries to get them to buy your new inventions and to show off.

Erm what exactly does China have to show off?

The man in space, erm the USSR managed that in 1961

The new high speed Harmony railway? Oh wait they use German, Japanese and French technology.

The Shanghai super high speed Maglev? Oops again made by the Germans.

Actually, there was one that they said was their "accomplishment". Do you remember the train that is supposed to be the highest elevation train in the world? The one that goes to tibet? The Chinese Gov claimed credit for it as "a great achievement for China" and etc... Except China didn't actually build it, they hired people from outside to build them, even the locomotive was made in the USA.

Or the stellar Chinese car industry lets take a look at them shall we?

Daewoo Matiz vs Chery QQ

Vauxhall Frontera vs Landwind

Honda CRV vs Laibao SRV

Mercedes C vs Geely Merrie 300

I don't quite see the resemblance do you?

Anyway the Shanghai Expo is nothing more than a marketing exercise to stir up some nationalism as really there isn't anything unique to show off. If they perfect those pebble bed reactors, or really make something unique like the Japanese expos where they can make robots which pass Turing tests then sure. But if you've got nothing to show, erm what is the point in wasting so much money in holding one?

Why not spend the money on something useful instead like the acute pollution and water shortages in China instead, something the people will thank you for, for decades rather than just this (I was going to say cheap) uber expensive publicity stunt.

Handing over a wad of money to buy technology from somebody else is not an achievement! I can't go to a shop to buy a PC and claim I built the PC can I?

Side note: TCG still thinks Asian Motor shows are worth while to visit, Korean ones especially. A photo from SZ recently

Though Korean motor shows are good too.

I know I know it is useful for the PRC government to claim they made this they did this, but come on the People aren't retarded and they can travel around too outside the country and will notice such things are made in other countries or originate from other countries.

How do Chinese characters work

Dear TCG,

How do Chinese characters work? Ive studied them for a while and it seems like there just random. Surely there must be more to them. They must have some kind of connection to each other. Ive heard all these terms like; classifier, radical, allograph etc. Im terrible at linguistic terminology.
Also, whats the difference between Classical and Vernacular Chinese?


With great difficulty? I'm no expert (see the column on the right) but this is my understanding thus.

In school you get taught by rote, and are MADE to memorise by waiting them over and over again until they stick in your mind (probably why Asian cultures are generally known for their lack of creative thinking).

In school which was a hell of a long time ago, you would get explanations of thats just the way it is maybe I got shitty teachers or something.

Note to get around day to day Hong Kong/Taiwan and Macau (Chinese uses simpled text) you need to know 1500 characters, you can read a newspaper with this many. High school educated children will know 3000-5000. Highly educated types will know 10000 or so. And judging by how many aimed at adults how to write Chinese or you're confusing words in Chinese type programmes on TVB Chinese people are by no means experts too!.

I think the book fun which Chinese characters may help you here, as it explains things quite simply i.e. the origins of the word and also how to write them and context. This is down loadable if you search for it.

Essentially you get pictographs so the Chinese character looks like what is means.

Sun for example 日 if you look maybe squint it sort of looks like a 5 year old's drawing of a sun.

Actually this is a bad example Horse is better turn your head round and it sort of looks like this

Next you have ideograms where the word represents an idea the simplest of these are numbers

1 =

Or for example Up and down

But then you can combine them into all sorts of meanings

木 tree 森 Forrest (i.e. three trees)

Then it gets kind of complicated as you can add radials and compound your words for different meanings which again relies upon memory more than anything put it this way. My sister teaches Chinese and hasn't figured out too much of a pattern other than pictogram's and ideograms.

Vernacular is pak hua , it essentially means plain speech, ordinary speech and is how grammatically and writ en how modern Chinese is used.

Classical Chinese was sort of a hodge podge of everything before this, before various forms of standardisation. Which was further enhanced by the communists. Since before the communists (and still so) there are so many different regional variations it was a big hodge podge.

Tbh I would compare it to like Hadiths in Islam where older texts are interpreted by modern scholars, as Muslims can read the Koran but find it difficult and confusing thus many turn to Hadiths (there is a funny one about the hand of the thief shall be marked, some people have interpreted this as chop off)

19 May 2010

Happy Birthday Nancy Kwan

Nancy Kwan is 71 today May 19th 2010

For those of you who don't know Nancy Kwan played the iconic (Ming-Lee) Suzie Wong in 1960, the film is an unconventional love story.

The trailer is here:

Also a bit here:

The film is worth checking out if only for what 1960s Hong Kong looked like as the novel was written by Richard Mason in 1951 while the film was shot in 1959 and in those 8 years there was a hell of a lot of change in this time. Hell each time I go to Hong Kong there seems to be a new building put up.

Why is this relevant? A friend has been picking my brains for cultural and locations of Hong Kong especially the Sham Shui Po district where cage homes are popular, TCG has had family live in those places once, and also participated in a SOCO project once Society for Community Organization. And thus has some knowledge of such districts.

18 May 2010

What does pook kai mean?

Dear TCG

What does Pook Kai mean?


Dear Jon.

Oh come on wiki has a page on this, since when did this turn into Yahoo answers? I've got a back log of questions waiting, but I'm bored and decide to answer which ever ones I fancy in whatever order I fancy. TCG hears this outside the Manchester Chinatown Bookies quite often after a big race. Men will come out tearing up their tickets and will curse pook kai!

Literally it means hit head on street ~ but its more complicated than that, i.e. its more like may you become bankrupt and either:

End up having to beg in such a manner. (absolute humiliation)


May you lose all your money, fall over in the street and be left there to rot since everybody who cared about you in your life has left you and you are all alone.

However given the context of Hong Kong where money is everything and having to beg is even more humiliating than death (you can't be embarrassed when you are dead). I prefer the bankruptcy meaning of things.

You can of course make it worse 死 仆街 adding si on the front.

Such an insult doesn't phase TCG though as most things flow over him and TCG generally doesn't give any body any reason to be called this either.

China school stabbings


Here Here



Note this post was written a while ago, as of May 11th there have been 7 stabbing rampages.

All of them are blokes / teachers who go nuts and go on a murder spree, so what is TCG's take on all this? My thoughts are multi fold.

Firstly there are rather a lot more people in China than anywhere else attacks on children can and do happen, in the Uk there have been plenty of torture and or murders of people's children, with a population 20 times bigger you get 20 times as many. In fact there has even been a teacher beating up a child here

However (puts his amateur psychologist hat on) I think the reasoning behind this in China is complex:

Firstly in society you get a large number of sociopaths, that is one notch down from a psychopath, where they don't get the courage up take it up a level and start doing the bad things psychopaths are known for. There was a study post WWII where it was found 2% of soldiers were natural born killer socio/psychopaths therefore modern training has adapted to make soldiers shoot first then think as it makes them much more effective killing machines.

Secondly China has grown fast, psychiatric and medical help for such problems often simply does not exist, socialised medicine doesn't exist much in China, and the psychiatric help you can get costs a fortune. You can't just say I feel rather unwell please can I see a psychiatrist or a psychologist?

Thirdly China is a face orientated society, you are to hide your weaknesses and put a brave face on things therefore people who could have gone and asked for help, tend to hide their need for help and as above if they needed help where exactly would they get this help? People will think if I go and get this treated how exactly will it affect my career? TCG has had similar ramblings from colleagues in accountancy before and I know quite a few of them hid their mental illnesses as they were scared it would ruin their career. Same thing in China, where there is no welfare unless you return to your home village even then it is limited.

Fourthly we have little emperor syndrome the one child policy from 1979 to the present has created 100s of little emperors. Whereby they have one child and thus treat their children incredibly well as little emperors. My dad for instance he has 3 sisters and 2 brothers, due to the old economics thing about supply and demand more children = lower value of each one. He was treated like crap by his parents as they could just rely on another one instead. In China this is worse, the children are treated like treasure by their parents, the schools are often private and thus a going concern, you castigate the children you lose customers the boss gets pissed off at you and you get fired so you can't discipline them either. In many ways they are worse than the chavs you get in schools in the UK as quite simply you can take time off from stress, or do what my teacher in school did.

My teacher in school (a very poor inner city area) stood up in class and said to me:

"All you people won't amount to shit you're all going to end up on the dole anyway."

He then sat down and read the newspaper for the rest of the year he was 92% correct as during the school reunion of 2007 out of the year of about 102 most of the people were on the dole.

The videos below of Monkeytime are actually quite typical in China especially of wealthy children this is a 'good' class, there are worse videos of much worse classes of course but this was was convenient.

Quite simply the management doesn't give a fuck, so the teachers get the flak, the parents see their children as never wrong and thus the teacher is to blame, the teacher here even in the youtube comments gets an incredible amount of abuse.

  • Therefore the teachers cannot discipline the children.
  • Therefore the teachers cannot turn to the management of the school for help
  • Therefore the teachers cannot turn to the Chinese NHS (national health service) as it does not exist.
  • Therefore the teachers cannot turn to other people other than maybe their families who will tell them to keep it secret as they have bills to pay.
  • Therefore the teachers cannot go to the papers to embarrass the children into behaving either.

And thus quite simply they snap and go nuts on a killing spree., as I said before there are a great many sociopaths in society they normally do not go psychopath either keeping control of their desire to murder people or never being driven to it. While here I reckon they are pushed towards it. Of course this is just my humble opinion of what is going on and I could be very wrong.

Fucking spoit brats

Dear TCG

[Paraphrased] Why is Beijing so full of douches? My girlfriend and myself visited Beijing recently and all of the young people seemed so full of shit.

[and various other threads which said pretty much the same thing]


Please note this post is semi written by guest writer Patrick Woo a friend of TCG. The TCG is indisposed and is taking a break Patrick has actually lived amongst Beijingers and thus has more authority to speak about this than TCG. Profanity therefore is expected to be higher than usual in this post

Dear Various.

Hello various random people I'm sorry for your fucking shitty experience in Beijing, my explanation is as follows: What you are seeing is wealthy second generation kids [TCG hates the words kids]. In the hotspots in Beijing, say

  • The Suzie Wong Bar
  • The Northern Lake district north of the bell tower and forbidden city in Beijing.
  • Wang Fujin Street.
Only wealthy people can afford to shop there (I paid more for a ice cream on Wangfujin than I pay back home in Canada)

Anyway their parents got wealthy via good business acumen, good trading or simply connections. This is ok as both myself and TCG don't mind if you make your own money.

Money = Power

With a phenominal wealth gap divide those who are wealthy are arrogant fucks about this fucking rubbing it into the faces of people another negative Chinese trait. I hate little shits like that with a passion and would gladly spent all day punching them in the face ruin my knuckles and continue punching them in the face until my my arms were bloody stumps.

Let me get this straight, if you make money a successful idea or run a business well I have no beef with you at all I especially respect a certain Mr Yip of Wingyip Ltd. His son and daughter appear to be fairly decent people too.

There is an old saying common to English speaking societies and China, that wealth only lasts 3 generations. Whereby the grand dad or grand ma works hard and builds the business from the ground up (as above Mr Yip who came in 1972 with £10 in his pocket). The son or daughter is sucked into this business and is worked so they know the hardships and the guts of the business so they know how it runs. Then the grandchild grows up and at 18 gets a company car, company expenses a plush office and promptly runs the business into the ground as they never saw any of the hard work which went into building this business. As auditor and accountant I have seen so many dynastic type businesses run into the ground like this.

In modern day China is appears to have skipped a whole generation completely, whereby at a very young age people pose and show off their 'wealth' when really they haven't made a penny of this themselves. And they rub it into peoples' faces. It is a bit like LKF in Hong Kong. I hate Lam Kwai Fong, although it is also filled with arrogant fuck bankers and such like at least bankers are employed for their money. While rich fucking kiddies keep going to LKF to show off their family wealth [TCG loves to point out people's fake rolexes]

However you and me may get the last laugh in all of this Schudenfrauden is an ugly thing, but sometimes is is justified why?

These rich kiddies think their futures are so incredibly secure they tend not to do the traditional Asian thing, and that is to study their fucking balls off (or ovaries for you women out there). In fact many of them tend not to study at all. [TCG makes money sometimes from correcting their fucking terrible assignments at universities, I mean fucking hell they say Fixt costs they were too fucking lazy to change it to ed or would throw money at me, TCG has learn humility due to the recession and lack of jobs and takes it, TCG does not suffer from face dillusion]

The kiddies I see in Hong Kong carry humongous bags of homework home daily. My experience in Korea was seeing lots of school children only finishing after school schools at 10pm.

However to them it doesn't matter as they have degree mills like this where they can BUY their qualifications, which quite simply are worth fucking jack shit, seriously watch the videos this is called a Tier III 'university' calling it a university cheapens the word university to be frank.

They get shitty degrees (note going to university in China is only something wealthy people do) which aren't worth a fuck. And expect high paying jobs or worse take over such companies and run them into the ground and go bankrupt. And because they didn't have a skill to fall back on i.e. proper qualifications they go so deep into shit.

Take note of this article from 2008 775000 graduates 13500 jobs.

Granted not all of these people who go to university are from wealthier families and some really do save hard to send their children to university but the Chinese university system is stuffed full of rich clueless children. And stuffed full of schools as you see in the video.