Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for January 24th, 2011

All Hail the Chinese Post

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 24, 2011

I just received a package from a friend in China and I must admit that for all they lack in courtesy and efficiency, the Chinese post is not too shabby. The item I received, an XBOX arrived in no time. Although the packing box was not in pristine condition, it seemed to be ok. I am anxious to get home and see if the thing actually works.

The reason for my elation is that I love gadgets and love them even more when they are purchased form the land of milk and honey. And , to date, I’ve had everything from several Kindle book readers to this XBOX mailed to me and have not had a problem as of yet.

My friend back home was nervous about mailing it to me. I said for him not to worry, in the event that a local ie. Chinese were caught stealing from the post, they’d probably be taken out back and then shot, have their organs harvested…opps that’s another post. What I meant to say was that as of yet, I fully respect the ability of the Chinese Postal service. His rejoinder was that he was worried about some thug back home stealing the thing. absent laws which allow our government the ability to randomly mete physical and emotional punishment upon those who pilfer items of such low value, I see his point. I told him that I would be responsible for all damages on the Chinese side as long as he could ensure it left the US safe and sound.

(And save yourself from asking “hey dude why didnt you buy a box from here?”- If you do, then I will feel compelled to tell you not to worry but that I already have an XBOX from China and if you cannot figure out why it is that I need one from home as well, then either you or I are very ignorant of some very important technical differences in the boxes)

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Chinese Companies and Their Governance

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 24, 2011

From the Book The Party (Richard Mcgregor)

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What To Bring When You Visit China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 24, 2011

When you come to China, and you should, there are some things you may need to bring. As such, I have kindly prepared a list for you.
Things to bring when you visit China:
-good health- the air quality is horrible
-patience- every worker in China makes the postal staff from the USA look like the speed demons of a NASCAR pit crew
-good chocolate- Ding Dongs, Ho- Ho’s
-good magazines and books.What you buy here has to have been blessed by uncle C(communist party), thus what you will find here usually sucks
-thermal underwear- especially if you go to the south, they have no heaters in their houses
-bring an open mind

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Get ‘yer Freshly Harvested Organs Here!

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 24, 2011

This is a map that ‘allegedly’ shows the locations of hospitals where one can find some organs freshly harvested from Chinese prisoners. According to uncle C this is untrue, but then again the truth can be very painful.


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Jack LaLanne is Dead

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 24, 2011

This is sad for his family, but my real question is wtf? I remember seeing him when I was a kid and he was old back then. I never gave it much thought, but if you’d of asked me the odds that he was still alive today, I’d have laughed at you. Well, he was alive, but not any more. That little guy wearing the ultra-tight Salvation army leotards has gone to a better life.

“LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Jack LaLanne, a one-time sugar-holic who became a television fitness guru preaching exercise and healthy diet to a generation of American housewives, died on Sunday at age 96, his daughter said.

LaLanne, who became U.S. television fixture in his close-fitting jumpsuit starting in 1959 and came to be regarded as the father of the modern fitness movement, succumbed to pneumonia following a brief illness at his home in Morro Bay, along the California’s central coast.”

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Chinese Fashion- Faux-Faux- Clothing

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 24, 2011

Chinese Fashion
Long known for their stellar fashion sense, I the trend spotter, eyed the latest thing. Do not despair if you are not attired in a smilar fashion as Wu Wu pictured here. She is a Chinese fashion maven a trend setter who is pioneering the ‘Chinese grunge chic look’.
For the day’s endeavors, Ms. Wu (pictured here) has chosen a remarkable faux-polyster ensemble of dingy grey topped off with knock off cotton pants, with matching Nrike sneakers. The enormous bag situated to her right is nothing less than the modern Chinese “I need to go to the bank, so what can I carry my money in?” purse like device.

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He’s No Muslim, He’s Oba Mao

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 24, 2011

Weekly Photos: Jan 17 - Jan 23
The cover of a wallet bearing an image of US President Barack Obama’s face, in place of the usual image of China’s late Chairman Mao Zedong, is pictured at a souvenir shop in Beijing, Jan 18, 2011. Chinese President Hu Jintao concluded his four-day state visit to the United States on Jan 21 during which he and his US counterpart Barack Obama agreed to build a China-US cooperative partnership. [Photo/Agencies]

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Those Cuddly Tib.et.ans, Are They Really Harmless?

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 24, 2011

This post comes from here via this gentleman. The article is interstting as it shows how the Tibetan people may not be the ‘cuddly little teddy bear’ that we often think of them as. The article talks aboiut their brutality in various altercations etc.


I. For Lords and Lamas

Along with the blood drenched landscape of religious conflict there is the experience of inner peace and solace that every religion promises, none more so than Buddhism. Standing in marked contrast to the intolerant savagery of other religions, Buddhism is neither fanatical nor dogmatic–so say its adherents. For many of them Buddhism is less a theology and more a meditative and investigative discipline intended to promote an inner harmony and enlightenment while directing us to a path of right living. Generally, the spiritual focus is not only on oneself but on the welfare of others. One tries to put aside egoistic pursuits and gain a deeper understanding of one’s connection to all people and things. “Socially engaged Buddhism” tries to blend individual liberation with responsible social action in order to build an enlightened society.

A glance at history, however, reveals that not all the many and widely varying forms of Buddhism have been free of doctrinal fanaticism, nor free of the violent and exploitative pursuits so characteristic of other religions. In Sri Lanka there is a legendary and almost sacred recorded history about the triumphant battles waged by Buddhist kings of yore. During the twentieth century, Buddhists clashed violently with each other and with non-Buddhists in Thailand, Burma, Korea, Japan, India, and elsewhere. In Sri Lanka, armed battles between Buddhist Sinhalese and Hindu Tamils have taken many lives on both sides. In 1998 the U.S. State Department listed thirty of the world’s most violent and dangerous extremist groups. Over half of them were religious, specifically Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist. 1

In South Korea, in 1998, thousands of monks of the Chogye Buddhist order fought each other with fists, rocks, fire-bombs, and clubs, in pitched battles that went on for weeks. They were vying for control of the order, the largest in South Korea, with its annual budget of $9.2 million, its millions of dollars worth of property, and the privilege of appointing 1,700 monks to various offices. The brawls damaged the main Buddhist sanctuaries and left dozens of monks injured, some seriously. The Korean public appeared to disdain both factions, feeling that no matter what side took control, “it would use worshippers’ donations for luxurious houses and expensive cars.” 2

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Chinese Dirt

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 24, 2011

I have no idea why I took this photo, but unless someone else stole my cell phone, I am guilty as charged. I call this master piece, Chinese dirt.

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Chinese Streets- You are Better off Crawling

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 24, 2011

I had to meet some visitors today so I did the wise thing, I picked them up at their hotel. Hacking at the visible Beijing smog while commenting about the air quality, they shoved into the cab. Lowering my gas mask, I addressed them from the comfort of the shiny new vehicle as the cabbie proceeded to growl our way and demand to know where it was we wished to go. After informing the man, who grunted in protestation, I refitted my breathing apparatus and grinned at the good fortune of my visitors on being able to enjoy the splendor of a Beijing day.

Some 45 minutes and 1.5 miles later (this is true). my visitors became visibly agitated. Smiling at them, I proceeded to blame the 4 million cars that inhabit Beijing streets for the congestion and reason for our slow pace. Considering this to be less than comforting they snorted at me.

Looking on the bright side, me being the eternal optimist and all, I said that 1.5 miles in 45 minutes is not bad for a Beijing taxi. “Why we are motoring along at nearly 1.87 miles per hour.” I smiled as babies crawled past, followed in due course by the elusive 3-toed sloths.

“What a disaster,” one of my surly colleagues nearly shouted. “This is like a jungle.”

Considering his words, I thought they rang true. So, in ight of this,I decided to see just how a typical Beijing taxi would fare if it where a four legged beast and were to trundle about the jungle all day.

We can see that we topped out at a blazing 1.8mph which pales in comparison to the relatively swift 9mph gate of a chicken, but whizzes by the Garden snail at mph 0.03, and absolutely runs rings around the common Giant tortoise/mph 0.17. In fact, not even the lowly Spider (Tegenaria atrica)/mph 1.17, keep up with our break-neck pace. Armed with this information, I called my colleagues who had given up all hope of seeing Beijing after a subway disaster (blogged about later), they told me they would enjoy the sites of Beijing from the comfort of their overpriced and under serviced hotel rooms.

Wishing them well, I smiled at my Chinese life.

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