New Shanghai landmark

21 06 2017

 

The graceful moving facade of the new Bund Finance Centre, Shanghai.





Merciless Chicken

18 06 2017

HK culture: when your boss treats you to a meal and she/he subtly manipulates the lazy-susan (the turning table thingy) so the head of the chicken ends up pointing towards you its called “Merciless chicken” 「無情鷄」. You’re fired.





When I grow up, I want to be..

30 05 2017

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Fan Bing Bing at Cannes

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27 05 2017

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Hong Kong: horrible histories

27 05 2017

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Facts I learned from Jan Morris’s charmingly dated (it was written in the 1990s by an author most interested in British colonial history) book about Hong Kong:

  • The pre-colonial inhabitants of the area suffered from a “horror called Xhu Mao Bing, the Bristle Disease,whose victims found spiky bristles like pighairs (sometimes apparently fishscales, too} sprouting through their skin.” Curious, I looked this up online but couldn’t find any other reference to it anywhere.
  • In 1857 a Chinese nationalist plot poisoned the city’s bread supply, (presumably few Chinese ate bread in those days so it was a cunning way to target the British administrative elite). The dosage of arsenic was miscalculated however, so that the poisoning lead to mass European vomitting but not death, and the colonial regime survived.
  • The first ever hijacking of an aeroplane occurred in 1940 on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Macau by sea pirates looking to diversify.
  • Smoking opium was legal until 1940.
  • Under the Japanese occupation, Queens Road Central was re-named Naka Meiji-dori and a monumental Shinto temple was planned for construction on the Peak (but blown up when the occupation ended).
  • It was not until 1981 that the census recorded more than 50% of the population had been locally born, rather than migrants from the mainland. So in other words, the influx of people (and money) from the mainland is nothing new. Rather, the brief relative lull during the 1980s and 1990s was the outlier.




He’s got the look

18 04 2017

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Discussed this weekend with a visiting Shanghai fashionista, the PRC’s look du jour – boys in skinny sweat pants, big colourful Kenzo sweaters, and an MCM backpack. Its the complete package.





6 03 2017

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Ambition, by Chen Fei.