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Month in Beijing - Page 2

post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! Visiting people in Chengdu for the weekend, and the aunt's up next week. When i'm alone after that though, I'll definitely give a bunch of these a shot. Can you elaborate on the Western style bars Eason? Are they good? I can't imagine even a Jameson for 24 euro considering a the prices I've seen for foreign liquors in restaurants.
post #17 of 36
They're basically like a USA dive-bar. Well drinks are what you'd get, I've never ordered anything expensive in China because it's probably all fake anyway.
post #18 of 36
Just happened across this article by David Sedaris on Chinese food, I found it hilariously unapologetic: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/jul/15/david-sedaris-chinese-food-chicken-toenails
post #19 of 36
Sanlitun is where every ex-pat seems to hang out, and every ex-pat in the know seems to avoid.

With that said, there are a couple great places there, including Apothecary which has great cocktails and surprisingly good cajun food (it might be creole, I can never tell the difference), and Mosto which has great Mediterranean food.

The only problem with taxis, as I see it, is the traffic - which is the second worst thing about Beijing, the first being the air quality. The subway is often much, much faster.
post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eason View Post

Just happened across this article by David Sedaris on Chinese food, I found it hilariously unapologetic: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/jul/15/david-sedaris-chinese-food-chicken-toenails

"In Beijing, you see an overwhelming amount of shit. Some of it can be blamed on pets, but a lot of it comes from people. Chinese babies do without diapers, wearing instead these strange little pants with a slit in the rear. When a child has to go, its parents direct it towards the kerb or, if they're indoors, to a spot they think of as "kerby". "Last month I saw a kid shit in the produce aisle of our Chengdu Walmart," a young woman named Bridget told me."

"I'm used to standard butchering: here's the leg, the breast, etc. At the Farming Family Happiness, rather than being carved, the rooster was senselessly hacked, as if by a blind person, a really angry one with a thing against birds. Portions were reduced to shards, mostly bone, with maybe a scrap of meat attached. These were then combined with cabbage and some kind of hot sauce.

Another dish was made entirely of organs, which again had been hacked beyond recognition. The heart was there, the lungs, probably the comb and intestines as well. I don't know why this so disgusted me. If I was a vegetarian, OK, but if you're a meat eater, why draw these arbitrary lines? "I'll eat the thing that filters out toxins but not the thing that sits on top of the head, doing nothing?" And why agree to eat this animal and not that one?"


David Sedaris sounds like a fussy, squeamish wimp to me.

"There are the wild outdoor turds of China, and then there are the ones you see in the public bathrooms, most of which feature those squat-style toilets, holes, basically, level with the floor. And these bathrooms, my God. The sorriest American gas station cannot begin to match one of these things."

Obviously he hasn't seen a village or small town public toilet. A shed with two holes in the ground, one for gents, one for ladies.
Edited by MikeDT - 7/28/11 at 9:28pm
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterMetro View Post

The only problem with taxis, as I see it, is the traffic - which is the second worst thing about Beijing, the first being the air quality. The subway is often much, much faster.

TBH I think the subway is the best part of Beijing.
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eason View Post

They're basically like a USA dive-bar. Well drinks are what you'd get, I've never ordered anything expensive in China because it's probably all fake anyway.

Probably got antifreeze in it. Neighbour gave me bottle marked as 'Red Côtes de Bordeaux.', I'm not drinking it. Like the fake Marlboro cigarettes I heard about, made from rat shit.
Edited by MikeDT - 7/28/11 at 9:06pm
post #23 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post


TBH I think the subway is the best part of Beijing.

Not the rush hour 1 line... And I thought the New York rush hour 1 line was crowded.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post


Probably got antifreeze in it. Neighbour gave me bottle marked as 'Red Côtes de Bordeaux.', I'm not drinking it. Like the fake Marlboro cigarettes I heard about, made from rat shit.

Tell me more about these fake Marlboro cigarettes. You're scaring me.
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Another New Yorker View Post

Tell me more about these fake Marlboro cigarettes. You're scaring me.

Something you may have noticed if you look at the choice of cigarettes in a store, is that they're all Chinese brands. Basically in China the entire cigarette industry is state owned, and AFAICT the Chinese government is very protective of this. So any western brands like Marlboro or 555s, you see on sale will either have been imported and are rather pricy, or they're counterfeit and made from god knows what.

Cigarettes are a status symbol as well for many men, as the prices can vary from incredibly cheap like say 60c (USD) a packet to over $30 bucks for 20. If one is rich, one likes to be seen smoking an expensive brand of cigarettes. Mao Zedong liked to smoke Zhounghua and imported 555s.

Then there are the 'special' unbranded cigarettes that only high-up government people have....
500
... one can't actually buy these. They're given as gifts to some VIPs.

Hong Kong and Macau are different. One will see mostly western brands here, with few Chinese brands. Also they're priced similarly(heavily taxed) as well, just like in the US and UK.
Edited by MikeDT - 7/28/11 at 10:55pm
post #25 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post


Something you may have noticed if you look at the choice of cigarettes in a store, is that they're all Chinese brands. Basically in China the entire cigarette industry is state owned, and AFAICT the Chinese government is very protective of this. So any western brands like Marlboro or 555s, you see on sale will either have been imported and are rather pricy, or they're counterfeit and made from god knows what.

Cigarettes are a status symbol as well for many men, as the prices can vary from incredibly cheap like say 60c (USD) a packet to over $30 bucks for 20. If one is rich, one likes to be seen smoking an expensive brand of cigarettes. Mao Zedong liked to smoke Zhounghua and imported 555s.

Then there are the 'special' unbranded cigarettes that only high-up government people have....
500
... one can't actually buy these. They're given as gifts to some VIPs.

Hong Kong and Macau are different. One will see mostly western brands here, with few Chinese brands. Also they're priced similarly(heavily taxed) as well, just like in the US and UK.

So the 13 yuan packs of Marlboros I've been running on that give me headaches are... Where would one go for legitimate cigarettes.
post #26 of 36
Should have bought them duty free on the plane or at the airport.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Another New Yorker View Post


So the 13 yuan packs of Marlboros I've been running on that give me headaches are... Where would one go for legitimate cigarettes.

I've actually given up now. But when I did smoke, I went for Chinese brands usually costing around 10-30 yuan a packet. These where OK, and didn't cause me any headaches. Brands like Hongtashan(Red Tower Mountain) and Shuangxi(Double Happiness).

http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/tobacco/articles/entry/1437/
China’s Marlboro Country
A Massive Underground Industry Makes China the World Leader in Counterfeit Cigarettes
post #28 of 36
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know where one of those giant tech department stores are? Looking to buy a cheap pair of earbuds, maybe some computer games, movies, and whatever else comes to mind.
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Another New Yorker View Post

Does anyone know where one of those giant tech department stores are? Looking to buy a cheap pair of earbuds, maybe some computer games, movies, and whatever else comes to mind.

There's relatively large one, about 4 floors, on Chouyangmen St, quite near the CCTV building in the Chouyang district. They've got pretty much everything in tech. My Android interactive Beijing guide app, says there is another large one in the Haidian district, 1 Zhongguancun Daijie, phone (010) 8266 3838. Although I've never been to this one, so can't comment about it.
post #30 of 36
Thread Starter 
Is the Chouyangmen one close to the subway? Otherwise I'm pretty much hopelessly lost in Beijing, being illiterate.

Oh yeah I've been to the other but the Chouyangmen one seems to be a quicker subway ride.
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