Author Archives: charlesakang

Biang2 biang2 noodles

Northern Chinese food uses many wheat-based items, particularly bread and noodles. Probably close to half of my meals here have involved noodles in one way or another. The most interesting noodle dish I’ve eaten here so far is something called “biang2 biang2” noodles. This dish comes from Shaanxi … Continue reading

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Photographs of round things

Below are some photos of round things in China. Chinese lamb hamburgers (肉夾饃, rou4 jia2 mo2, literally “meat clamp bun”) are a popular savory northern Chinese food item. I like how this one looks like a flying saucer. I want to believe! Candied … Continue reading

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Cultural note on words

I haven’t posted much lately, mostly because of laziness. Fortunately, I’ve encountered a great word that describes perfectly my situation: 懶癌 (lan3 ai2). This is a recently-created Chinese word that combines the characters for “lazy” 懶 (lan3) and “cancer” 癌 (ai2). The whole word, … Continue reading

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Humidity

The local climate is quite dry in the winter. All season long, the skin on my hands has been rough and peeling, and my lips have cracked more than once. It has snowed maybe two times in the last three months. … Continue reading

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Utopia and local state corporatism

Gilbert and Sullivan made their names by mocking the absurdities of British life in the late 19th century. Some of these absurdities have persisted into the present day, which lends a surprising sense of currency to certain parts of G&S plays. In this … Continue reading

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Terrorist threats and the police

There was some kind of terrorist threat against foreigners in the Sanlitun area (which has a high concentration of foreigners) over Christmas. My apartment also happens to be on the outskirts of Sanlitun. Here’s a screenshot of a US State Department … Continue reading

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Cigarette warning labels; air pollution part 2

Cigarette warning labels Cigarette warning labels here are text only: . The text on the right translates (roughly) to “Smoking is harmful to health. Quitting smoking can reduce health risks.” It’s interesting to compare the state of Chinese cigarette warnings with cigarette … Continue reading

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Chinese Taipei

I went to Taipei on a business trip December 13-15. This was my first visit to Taiwan ever, even though my parents grew up there. Aside from going to a bunch of meetings, I had the chance to do a few touristy things, … Continue reading

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Siem Reap

Another post not about China, but at least it’s about a place in Asia. This is mission creep happening in real time: The scope of this blog is changing and has changed from “Charles’s activities in China” to “Charles’s activities.” This is … Continue reading

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Targeted web ads

Now that I have my location on Facebook listed as Beijing, I get interesting targeted web ads: .

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