26 April 2011

Turn pork into beef


Precis master Chinese counterfeiters (who else) have turned pork into fake beef....... heh reminds me of when I worked for a meat packing company that would mix meat which was labled unfit for human consumption in with OK meat. Though it was a bunch of Irish gangsters that time.

For balance though it's not just Chinese people being dodgy here. There is something called meat glue.

21 April 2011

Medicine help

I’m a 31 year old women and my acupuncturist has me taking Xiao Yao for anxiety and panic attacks and Nuan Gong Yun Zi for fertility. Last night I ended up in the ER because of a severe anxiety attack. Since then I went to my doctor and he wants me to take .5mg of xanax or klonopine when I begin to have a panic attack. Should I be taking the Xiao Yao and the Nuan Gong Yun Zi together? and if so can I take a .5mg of xanax or klonopine with them when I have an attack?

Thanks for your help,
Lisa B

Dear Lisa

Seriously I am NOT a physician, and I am in no way qualified to give out medical advise, nor would I ever give out any serious medical advise either. Really I can't answer your question and it would be foolish for me to even attempt to say anything i.e. to stop taking it or to continue taking it. Remember I'm just a weirdo sat at a keyboard somewhere in the UK you don't know me or my credentials... anybody who says they do have credentials you should look carefully at anyway.

Go see your doctor and ask his or her advice. Your doctor should know about these things why as said before I most definitely do not.

Sorry I can't help.

18 April 2011

16 April 2011


I don't believe lots of women do this in Asia EVERY single day....

Nowt wrong with our eyes folks.... ok we have to put up with bafoons like Prince Philip whose gaffes are actually sometimes funny due to the way he constantly puts his foot into it. (The ultimate irony is that our Royal Family is a bunch of Germans who changed their names around WWI so we wouldn't lynch them)

Maybe it's because I saw a video nasty when I was about eight. Where I saw a man get red hot pokers on a minature railway track inserted into his eyeballs (the screams haunt me to this very day). But eww...

15 April 2011


From the WSJ

HONG KONG—Officials here have taken special measures to speed up approval of 270 one-year work visas for professionals looking to leave Japan after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, a move aimed primarily at attracting and retaining top talent in the finance industry.

Talent? Talent is this

Using money printed by the government so the price of food and petrol goes up is NOT talent, its more akin to extortion.

Note TCG follows a sort of Austrian angry school of economics, sort of like Max Keiser but less polite.

Fitting in?

Dear Chinese Guy

I read the link to the article about not being Chinese enough and the illiteracy of the girl who wrote it.

I'm wandering if it is realistic or possible for foreign born Chinese people to actually be 100% completely literate and indistinguishable from Chinese born Chinese people? I've been to Chinese school on Sundays for years and speak Cantonese with my parents as they refuse to speak English with me.

What do you think?


Dear J

Of course it is possible. However like all things to be good at anything it requires lots of effort and time to actually get good at something. I forget where I read it actually its here To get good at anything you need at least 10,000 hours of it, (which is a bit of a pisser because to become an expert skydiver which I am not this would require 600000 skydives from a 15000ft drop and a 3000ft pull).

It is most aptly put forward by Gene Simmons in this song

God Gave Rock and Roll to Ya, I quite like this song (stop laughing at the back)

The bit where he goes

"Now listen"
If you wanna be a singer, or play guitar
Man, you gotta sweat or you won't get far
Cause it's never too late to work nine-to-five

It is completely apt. While it is relatively straightforward to get to the level of my parents who speak in a stilted way with a funny accent (My dad was taught by a Yorkshire man with a thick thick accent). A bit like this

Luckily he did not settle in Northern Ireland.

Sometimes I wonder what I sound like to native Chinese speakers tbh due to my really mixed wordage.

Secondly it is UBER important who and where you learn. The fundamental problem with schools is that they over egg what they are capable of. My travels through Korea, China and Japan illustrate this. Whereby a school will promise to make your child a fluent English speaker in only a few months. They of course do this to get customers and therefore raise expectations. To keep the children coming and their parents paying they will teach them poorly using teaching methods which give easily visible results. Results which the parents can see and they think oh my child is doing so well and they aren't so pained when the huge Hagwon bill comes. Since the parent isn't exactly fluent themselves they don't have the confidence or the skills to actually scratch beneath the surface and see the crappy methods they are being taught.


I've experienced this a few times in my own limited teaching, TCG teaches ESL when he is bored, though with less anger ranting and swearing of course! Though I'm not expert teacher it is pretty obvious. Like you walk into a class and they can say, "Good Morning Teacher." absolutely perfectly as they've been rote taught. Now ask them something out of what they've been rote taught and they'll look at you as if you just pulled an AK47 out on them. TCG thinks the best method is total immersion btw. Not that a couple of hours a week isn't useful though but total immersion you're forced to learn pretty damned quickly and get 168ish hours of 'learning the language' and that's IF you mix with the locals and they are willing to talk to you and be patient.

In a nut shell, put time and effort and find a good teacher while at the same time being dubious of miracle claims of fluency within X weeks or months.


14 April 2011

China: Enforcing the Laws of Physics

Have you ever wished you could go back in time? Well if your in China its not going to happen. The Chinese government has recently put a ban on time travel. At least on screen. State censors have released new guidelines discouraging shows and movies who's plot revolves around time travel. The law was made to protect the integrity of China's history. I guess Dr Who won't be coming to China anytime soon.

13 April 2011

Things Japan Stole from China: Bonsai

It’s widely known that Japanese culture was greatly influenced by the Chinese; however there are many things that people accredit to the Japanese with but were actually created in China. In this series, I look into these misattributed creations and why they got that way.

A Bonsai tree

Bonsai is the art of miniaturizing trees, growing them and caring for them for aesthetic purposes. Bonsai trees are a common sight in any Japanese garden. They are also popular in homes and among horticulturists. Bonsai emerged in Japan in the 1300's and slowly grew more popular over time. Eventually they had become ubiquitous throughout Japan. But the story goes much deeper than that. Bonsai comes directly from the Chinese art of Penjing (盆景) literally "tray scenery". While bonsai focused mostly on the tree, Penjing was centered around creating entire miniature landscapes in a tray. They could be as complex as a mountain range or as simple as a single tree. Penjing is over 7000 years old. Its origins emerged in primitive form in prehistoric China in Yangshao culture. Primitive trays called "pen" were frequently constructed in early China. They were used for things such as incense burners, water dishes and vessels used for rituals. These would eventually be used in Penjing. Over time they were made of other materials such as wood or stones with moss. By the first century CE, Taoism and Buddhism had taken a strong root in China. In Taoist mythology, those in line with the Tao had the power shrink whole landscapes to a small size. Many Taoists tried to emulate this power, and thus the art of Penjing was created. From the Tang Dynasty onward, Penjing became a widely praised and respected art form. Trees with knots and unusual shapes were the most sought after, because it was believed that they were bestowed with unique energy. Bonsai was brought to Japan as souvenirs by Japanese diplomats to China in the 6th century. The art slowly took root from there.

A Penjing, encompassing a larger landscape

12 April 2011

Pot kettle black?

There is often a charge of the CCP being wholly and completely corrupt, you want something done? You gotta grease the wheels.

Since I'm simply not writing half as much even 10% as much as I used to here are a couple of blogs about iffy goings on in the UK


Bexley Councik

No wonder we're so much in debt,

11 April 2011


Stuff is keeping me busy here and there thus I'm severely neglecting this site.

But here is something interesting for you to read, about how some people are simply not Chinese enough.....

I have a different take though, as I speak English many people automatically assume I am completely illiterate and cannot speak various flavors of Chinese. Which is good in a way as people will reveal all sorts of stuff and talk behind your back in front of you, which is funny because they think you don't understand.

The thing is though about the article is that she wants to fit in and be one of them.... I forget the film maybe army of darkness or the evil dead or something. (Anybody know the name?) Where there is a chanting bit where it goes:

One of us one of us in a creepy sort of way.

Why fit in why be normal? Be yourself and forget what people say to belittle you!

08 April 2011

Crap in China 2

As a runner to the previous post China has launched its first aircraft carrier, the refitted Varag, which some how a Macau firm bought it from the Ukraine, and told the Ukrainians they were going to turn it into a casino. Its supposed to be a training carrier, and they're going to cut their teeth on it. But then again this is one of 4 Carriers China is currently building, the fact that it has no battle group and because it has no catapult (thus lighter launches) the Nimitz would eat it for breakfast.

TBH I think its a dick waving contest as its a pretty exclusive club. What with the Americans (11) The Russians (1) Brazilians (1) India (2) and the French (1). Meh the UK no longer has any of the mini carriers anymore.

But what boggles the mind is that it goes again an old Chinese parable. In that China was humiliated in 1999 over Taiwan when they rattled sabres at Taiwan. The USN 7th fleet had a little cruise around Taiwan. In that China has been spending years on designing weapons specifically to take out carriers. While at the same time stockpiling Russian ship killers like the Moskit which apparently can defeat the Phalanx CIWS of the USN.

An in joke from a Navy buddy from Plymouth, he said if you ever hear the Phalanx open fire you should jump overboard in direct contradiction to this video:

Anyway the parable is of a travelling salesman (a euphemism about a bloke who sells guns in the UK) during the three waring states period. Think snake oil salesman in the Midwest of the USA claiming to sell a tonic or to make rain. Anyway this sales man was pretty bad. Who quite frankly was dumb. First he woo'd the villagers with a shield which was indestructible and could not be penetrated by anything. He then advertised a spear which could penetrate absolutely anything and no armour and no shield would offer any protection. While he was proudly advertising his products, a man in the crowd asked him "what if I stab your shield with your spear? Bewildered by his own words, the craftsman was at a loss for a suitable reply. The crowd broke up laughing and booing.

The moral is that you should not hold a contradictory position.

Kind of like this

Simply if you've spent billions on developing a missile to take out carriers, why exactly are you building carriers yourself?

Crap in China

There is an old saying all over the world, in fact there are quite a few sayings:

You get what you pay for.

If it's too good to be true then often it is.

Buyer beware!

I find this story therefore quite funny

"From TFA: 'A Russian friend .... works at a hard-drive repair center in a Russian town, located near the Chinese border. A couple of days ago a customer brought a broken 500GB USB-drive that he had bought in a Chinese store across the river, for an insanely low price. But the drive was not working: if you, say, save a movie onto the drive, playing the saved movie back resulted in replaying just the last 5 minutes of the film.' Apparently, the contents of the external HDD box included: two nuts, glued to the inner surface of the box with a 128MB flash drive wedged between them (image). And it was a clever hack, too — if ever an attempt was made to write a file that's too large, it got cycled — rewriting itself over and over from the beginning, while leaving the existing files intact. And it reported everything correctly — file sizes and all!"

Yes yes there is a lot of counterfeit shit from China, soy sauce, tofu, eggs etc the list goes on and on. But what do you expect when you pay an insanely low price for something. Buyer beware and check things carefully! The cheapish parachutes I buy I check before I jump the damned things!

05 April 2011


Dear Chinese Guy,

I have a friend in Shanghai, China and I have been writing a couple of letters to him. My first question is, why does it take so long to send a letter to China? He received the first one I sent to him months after I sent it.

I know it's wrong to question the government if you live in China, but even if I send mail with questions, will they confiscate that as well? And will they block communications with my friend?

He told me he was very eager to respond to the incoming mail, and for some reason he's stopped speaking to me... I backtracked what the cause to that might be, and I know it's nothing personal, so I was wondering if the government is involved with the contact he has with me. Is this possible?


Dear Sara.

AFAIK postage always seem to take ages from China, back in the days when HK was British it took months. I recall back in 2007 sending a post card back to my work place and it took 3 months. Therefore postage is slow in China anyway, hell it's a state run monopoly they can take ages if they want. (DHL for instance took weeks to get a parcel from a depot down the road to me). Hell on my 2009 trek I posted post cards home to myself and family. They are still arriving in 2011 better late than never I suppose.

Regarding the does China censor letters and or is my friend in trouble issue. I doubt it, but if the CCP did do this then I wouldn't at all be surprised if they did. Namely as the CCP has some serious social issues which it is trying to mask. They are merely papering over the cracks and trying to hide the symptoms of a very unbalanced society. Not least the awful Gini Coefficient of 4.7 mass unemployment and environmental issues. The CCP censorship department is pretty freaking powerful such that the (public) leaders of the PRC are surprised when their speeches are edited heavily for broadcast even though they were generally in line with that of the ideals of the CCP.

My thoughts that they wouldn't is that there are millions if not millions of Chinese who live outside China who send post back and forth into and out of China daily. And it would be a pretty damned tough task in which to covertly open read and or censor such letters. Though letters have to pass through the state system due to a law FedEX and DHL complained about nigh on ten years ago. Thus its a technological barrier to doing this. Hell in the past a LOT of my DVDs without tax paid used to slip in from the USA, and if a modern 1st world country with high levels of automation can't catch my obvious DVDs then can China.

Also some points to consider.

The thing is though the CCP's version of censorship so far is less of a East German knock on your door in the middle of the night and be on the receiving end of a kicking/prison sentence. It is more of a passive aggressive system. Take for example the great firewall.

If you search for something the CCP censors then it locks you out for a minute or two even from legitimate websites allowed in China. Do it again and it doubles the blocking time, do it again and it doubles the blocking time. Thus much like a child with a hot pan the people learn NOT to look at websites which are verboten in China. People will learn not to go looking for such things thus they self censor in a sort of chilling effect method which is a pretty sneaky if not clever way to go about it tbh.

A similar system recently reported on and suspected with telephony AND SMS messages, anything the censors don't like (automated which is theorised as to why China is building super computers) it cuts you off. Or if you say something bad the CCP does not like on an SMS message your phone gets bricked which would be pretty crappy if you just spent a lot of money on it.

He may simply not be talking to you because he is busy or as Jocelyn covered it in a post a while ago here. That Chinese men will stop talking to you to save face and attempt to make you go away. It's a cultural thing I suppose. My wider family know to leave me alone if I don't talk to them for a bit and they have the sense to leave me alone.

03 April 2011


Dear Chinese guy.

One of my fave films is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but the ending is so ambiguous does Jen die? Earlier on in the film she can fly across the roof tops so surely she survives right?


Dear Erme.

Um I've not seen this film in ages, TCG talks a bit like Chow Yun Fat tbh, i.e. a mishmash of Mandarin mixed with borrowed words (mandarin speakers thought WTF when they saw the film). Anyway I do remember Jen jumping off the bridge and falling into the clouds as so:

The thing is though Jen can't actually fly, it's an exaggerated form of something called the light way where people are extremely nimble on their feet and can control their weight and balance almost perfectly. With the martial arts uber masters they can 'fly' even higher. I just watched the earlier bit in the film and the rooftop chase bit clearly shows Jen kicking off the walls and having to land and jump every now and again.

You know sort of like you can run up some stairs jump the last one and land without much of of an impact compared to your body weight. Ballet dancers can do this where they pirouette and land on pointe shoes. And over time for dramatic effect it is exaggerated. Much like in Braveheart whereby they feel William Wallace shoult be ten foot tall and don't believe Mel Gibson is Wallace.

In the video she does however glide, but that's wire works and CGI for you. I bloody wish I could fly at a ratio of more than 2:1 (I currently fly or rather drop at a ratio of 1:1 horizontal and vertical movement).

Anyway to spoil it for you yes Jen lives since Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is part 4 of 5 books which were adopted to this film. My dad told me about this when we first went to see it, also that Li Mubai was picked from an earlier novel. Thus there is not exact continuity... the Jen Charactor appears in book 5 and thus lives. Though then again there have been some absolutely ridiculous things appearing in Chinese media. For example in the 1988 film A Better Tomorrow, you clearly see (for once) Chow Yun Fat eating an entire MP5 clip in super slow motion. There are a ton of squibs firing all over him. Yet he returns in the sequel which is handwaved that it is his twin brother...... riiiight...

I've not personally read these books as I prefer gritty horrible books like American Psycho

Tbh I don't think about it too hard and thinks she just puts her life into the hands of fate, or that it was a Gainax ending

01 April 2011

Chinese Teeth 2

Hi The Chinese Guy,
I read your post about Chinese Teeth and i wanted to ask why do Chinese people throw there teeth on to the roof of their house when they fall out?

Curious Collector

Dear Curious.

It varies from place to place as not all families in China do it, and even then it can vary. I remember seeing it in my youth here and there but with no real consistency. Heh I suppose in the future it won't happen at all what with the children wanting money from the tooth fairy. I never got any smegging money from the tooth fairy, though granted most of my first teeth ended up being punched out from rampant violence and bullying over the years.

IIRC you wrap a lost tooth carefully in white paper and then toss the bottom teeth onto the roof while you toss the top teeth under the bed or at the foot or the head of the bed. It changes depending on who you ask. You know sort of like Chinese whispers...... except in China we merely call them whispers heh. Or how each house hold has different rules and or traditions

This is purely superstition thing whereby if you do this your new teeth if you are a child I suppose. Your teeth will grow out to be straight and not crooked.....

TCG dislikes crooked teeth more unpleasantness are teeth which grow in rows, urgh... If a dream woman approached me and was perfect in each way other than this I would probably refuse to date her.... but yeah I'm shallow whats new? In the USA and the UK crooked teeth are sorted out using braces or IIRC called in the USA retainers. (Whenever I hear that I always think of a deposit on something you want to buy or something)

As with the last post obeying a superstition = free.
Dental braces are expensive as is all dental work that is required. Especially so in China.

A particularly hideous variation is teeth lost are thrown into a well.... which is supposed to make them whiter.... but I've only heard of this second hand. But if I didn't have pumped purified and drugged up water (UK tap water contains various 'additives') it would make uncomfortable. I.e. you go out for your water pop it in the kettle and boil it. You then make some tea or coffee out of the water and something hard yet brittle floats over your tongue. You reach in and find a smegging tooth. Yeesh.

Here is a video of Simroid for aspiring orthodontists