It is not the most wonderful time of the year

The holiday season has arrived. Christmas trees are all up, Christmas hats are on heads and ginger is in all foods. Not to put a damper on the whole atmosphere, but these are not the most fun times to be in China. There are many holidays in China, mostly based on the moon calendar. They also often involve gods, family and almost always food. But Christmas and New Year’s are not included among those traditionally. That means the Chinese have a different perception of this time of year than most Western countries. Discounts, shopping and food. Those are the most…

Animated Animals: birds of a feather talk together

Outdoors, nothing is as easy as it once seemed. There are decibel meters everywhere. It is finally more acceptable to stare at your phone all the time, since it is safer to chat with each other digitally. However, especially in China many pets and birds in particular serve a distinct social function. These birds of course learn to talk and twitter away quite literally, which is fine as long as they are confined. Some do escape however, which created pockets in the wild where it is allowed to talk out loud. So after your first work day, you decide to…

Animated Animals: what the duck?

I was traveling a few weeks ago and while climbing a mountain, I suddenly thought: “What if animals could talk? Surely it would make mountains and forests a much less quiet place.” I also just remembered seeing the headline somewhere that currently most ducks for Chinese dishes are imported from Great Britain. So combining the 2, I imagine it would end up something like this… It is the same as with humans. If you do not talk to them, they do not learn to speak. Since animals are now able of learning human languages, there have been many new rules,…

How much is in this?

Ready-made meals. In the Netherlands I could take pride in the fact I most often cooked myself. Now that I am too lazy, I can still say most food is sort of home-made. Or at least prepared in a kitchen? This is of course not the whole story. I have recently started reading a book which does give more of an idea of the whole story. Of course most people with a marginal interest in food, would only deem it natural about half of the time. Especially if you see what is dished up on this side of the world….

What words mean

The brain is a strange thing. Once you do not know something, you cannot imagine how it is when you understand or know it. Once you do know it, you automatically forget how it is when you did not understand or know it. Last weekend, I had a niece visiting who was in China for the first time. It made me remember how everything was when I visited China for the first time, or even when I did not know the language as well as my face would assume. With all the characters and different pronunciation(s), you adapt to a…

It is the second new year of the year!

Living in China has its advantages. You can eat 24 hours a day, you can cycle pretty much wherever you want, you can spit on the streets or pretty much everywhere (not that I do so of course, I am a proper educated lady) and you get to celebrate new year twice! Granted, the first new year celebrations are quite anticlimactic. People do wish each other happy new year, there are parties, drinks and get-togethers but it is not the same. There are no fireworks, many people simply go to bed before 12 and the atmosphere is not there. No…

Guidelines for working in a Chinese Japanese restaurant

Welcome, glad to have you with us! Please view below steps for proper conduct at our Chinese Japanese restaurant. Terms: Chinese Japanese restaurant, a.k.a. a Japanese restaurant in China, not a Chinese-Japanese restaurant. You know right? Positions these guidelines apply to: Waiter/waitress Please follow the rules mentioned below. It is of utmost importance to follow these guidelines exactly as they are written! When a customer (but honestly anyone) enters, be sure to say ‘WELCOME’ in Japanese (Irasshaimase (いらっしゃいませ) ). However, to not let customers be confused that they are in Japan, two important rules must be followed. a. Be sure…