Photos and stories about my expat experience in China, currently in Bejing.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009


On a lighter note now, some Chinglish I encountered all around in China. Don't worry, this post won't contain any stories told by animals and won't show any photos of slaughtered protected animals. We've returned to Beijing now, and back to this century. It snowed here a few days ago (but see this: China lets it snow to end draught )

I have collected quite a selection of photos with 'Chinglish' (English translated literally from Chinese, or otherwise funny English.) I am always surprised to see huge (and expensive) bill boards or traffic signs with spelling mistakes in them. I recently saw a building with large neon letters: "Hunan Agricultural Development Bnak". Doesn't anyone notice this over the years? Probably not, or perhaps the people just don't care. It is not like anyone actually speaks English (outside the three largest cities of China) so what's the use anyway.

Brand names use the same rhetoric. I always have to laugh about the variations of the fashion brand 'Playboy'. To name a few: "Playboby", "Boy Play", "Peony Boy" and "Player Boy" (these are just cheap copies of the real brand name, but still funny without it being meant to be). There are countless more examples of funny brand names or packaging. In the supermarket I found shampoos called "Sod" and "Gays", and tea that mentions that it contains "poison".

Vegetarian Style meal, including Traditional Roast Duck
This is the menu of a famous Beijing Roast Duck restaurant
Toilet door in a train
A DVD I bought. I didn't notice the spelling mistakes at first
Another photo taken in a train
Potato ships
Not really 'wrong', but it has a funny sound to it
Sign in a bar
This is typical Chinglish; translated word by word from Chinese
A tea pot we bought yesterday. "Keep fire pot" ~ I like the sounds of that!
Da Niang dump[l]ing restaurant

Another sign in the bathroom of a train showed: "Dumping place". Perhaps too obvious...?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Country Style Cooking with Lao Huang (Not suitable for small children and vegans)

... It all started when I, 'Lao Huang' (Old Yellow), the house dog, heard a large motorcycle arrive at the house...

"Ah, it must be nearly dinner time" I thought, as I walked over to have a look which animal's bones I would be thrown tonight. It was a warm and sunny day, although it was only February. I had been sleeping and chasing birds in the hills all morning, and was getting hungry by now.
Hedgehog! My favourite!

A family member had brought a large hedgehog, and delivered it in a big bag. He had bought it from an acquaintance for 100 Yuan. It is a local delicacy, and quite rare.

Meanwhile our two heroes where sitting on a hillside behind the house, going about their daily activities, oblivious to the goings on in the house...

The massacre had already begun . . .

The little creature was already being plucked as they heard of this terrible tale and came rushing down to have a look.

It was washed in boiling water and carefully removed of its fur

Ooohh I couldn't wait for dinner to be served...

After plucking, the hog's skin was burnt with a hot iron poke, thus sterilized.

The 'first phase preparations' were done.
In total eight people were going to eat from this

This guy didn't care. He'd rather chew on some discarded chicken wings or a duck leg.

Our specimen was then carefully washed again in fresh mountain dew...

and handed over to another top chef for the cutting to commence.

An auntie performed this task in the bright and spacious kitchen, with carefully selected precision instruments, such as the hatchet and cutting board.

With the skill of a brain surgeon, she removed the intestines and other inner organs

As you can see I, Lao Huang, paid close attention to every step of the process, making sure that nothing went wrong (this is my story, after all...)

Nearly done now; we want only the meat, feet and head.

The whole operation took roughly twenty minutes

Starters were already served for me: bladder. The proud auntie holds up the result: a neatly cleaned and ready to be cooked hedge hog.

I did my part by cleaning the operation room

So that's how you prepare Asian hedge hog. I never got to see the end result, because I was too busy chewing on the hog's fine bones under the table.

Come back again next week for more 'Country Style Cooking with your loyal companion 'Lao - flea nest - Huang' :)