Qing Dynasty Saga, Part II
emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty
Post by Eva  

As is typical of virtually any dynasty in Chinese history, the dynastic cycle started with two strong emperors, during whose reign the country enjoyed cultural and economic prosperity. Particularly famous is the first Emperor, Kangxi (康熙 KāngXī – 1661–1772), who today is perhaps most known for his role in the creation of the most comprehensive Read More…

Qing Dynasty Saga, Part I
A Manchu warrior
Post by Eva  

The Qing dynasty 清朝 (QīngCháo) was the last dynasty in Chinese history and it lasted between the years of 1616-1912 (the dynasty was actually overthrown in 1911, but it wasn’t until 1912 that the last emperor abdicated).  At its peak, the Chinese empire became the largest in the whole of Chinese history. This period is Read More…

Hot – to die for
mala xiangguo
Post by Eva  

Everyone that knows me, knows of my outstanding affair with spicy food. It started with adding just that extra spoon of 辣椒 (LàJiāo – hot pepper) to every bowl of noodles that I came across to, to buying my own Mexican habanero sauces – ready to be used on every occasion. When I am faced with Read More…

Learning Chinese – The Daily Struggle, the Life-long Challenge
Xinhua Chinese dictionary
Post by Eva  

Every endeavour has its ups and downs, and the same is true for learning Chinese. Initially, one is fuelled by the sheer enthusiasm of something new, fresh and having potential bragging-rights – come on, who hasn’t done the Mā (妈) means ‘mum’ but Mǎ (马) means ‘horse’ routine? – but eventually your motivation will dwindle and Read More…

Work, Work, Work
working in China
Post by Eva  

There are a couple of things that I’d like to have known before working in China. First of all, there are jobs, though more and more competition to get them. Especially in Shanghai, foreigners are not exactly a rare commodity anymore – actually, I have heard locals complaining about the high numbers of those in Read More…

American Dreams in China
American Dreams in China
Post by Eva  

In my constant Sisyphean pursuit of trying to understand China and Chinese culture (中国文化 ZhōngGuó WénHuà) better, I’ve recently watched the movie American Dreams in China. Yes, there’s the American dream, but there’s also the Chinese dream, a concept recently introduced by the new Chinese leadership. Strolling around the streets of China you will thus find Read More…

How to: Start Speaking Chinese and Get Going
speaking Chinese
Post by Eva  

No matter what your starting point is, a university student 大学生 (DàXuéShēng), self-learner 自学 (ZìXué), or a devoted spouse of a Chinese native, get ready for some awkwardness 尴尬 (GānGà). Your first Chinese syllables uttered for the audience of at least “you + 1” (the mirror doesn’t count), will most probably turn out to be a Read More…

Shanghai, baby
Shanghai's skyline
Post by Eva  

My friends and family often ask me – still, after all these years – how could I describe China (this question is second only to: when are you coming back?). I’ve given up a long time ago on nailing down the whole country, but I can give my two cents on describing Shanghai. Shanghai 上海 Read More…

The Faces of China: The Goddess
Post by Eva  

Meet the famous actress, model (模特 MóTè), host – the goddess,  林志玲 (Lín ZhìLíng). Chances are that if a tall, slender, shy-looking beauty is staring at you from a nearby jumbo poster, you are most probably facing Ling Chi-ling. Born in Taiwan, Taibei in 1974, Chi-ling was later on educated in Toronto (多伦多 DuōLúnDuō), where Read More…

Knockoffs Galore
fake phones
Post by Eva  

Living in China or studying Chinese you must’ve heard this word knocking about:山寨  (ShānZhài), which originally means ‘stronghold’ and is used to describe a mountain village with a defence wall. This word also signifies a remote, god-forsaken area populated by poor people, kind of like the American Wild West (西大荒 Xī DàHuang), also a port Read More…

DianPing: One for You, One for Me
Dian Ping Group Purchase App
Post by Eva  

Ever heard of group purchase (团购 TuánGòu)?  If you’ve been exposed to Chinese culture in the last couple of months, then I’m sure you have. Group purchase is a new way of buying things or services (online) and it’s in (很火 Hěn Huǒ – ‘very hot’).  The company that first introduced group purchase was 大众点评 Read More…

Chinese TV-Shows: Papa, Where Are We Going?
Papa, where are we going?
Post by Eva  

Suddenly, being a dad in China is very cool. Just today I was greeted by an add featuring a hunky looking fella that was equipped with diapers, pacifiers, and other necessary equipment (from the looks of the crying child still rather unsuccessfully) taking care of his kid. The ad was for an online supermarket, the Read More…

Swindled in China: The Teahouse Scam
tea ceremony
Post by Eva  

If Chinese people are not known for being innovative, they are surely known to be very resourceful. It’s nothing strange to encounter people that are busily working away in their illegal businesses: like the illegal taxis 黑车 (HēiChē), selling counterfeit (or stolen) goods, or trying to get some extra money from scams. In the country Read More…

The Faces of China: Big S
Big S
Post by Eva  

Walking around any city in China, turning on your TV, computer or looking at the ads displayed on the subway, in taxis, shops and magazines, you will be greeted by a limited number of faces that stand behind the world’s most famous brands. It would seem that international stars are a rare commodity in China, but those Read More…

Taxi Talk
taxi in China
Post by Eva  

  For visitors (foreigners), taxis (出租车 ChūZūChē) in China are a relatively safe and inexpensive method of transportation. Different cities offer different fares, with Shanghai and Beijing unsurprisingly topping the charts. Shanghai taxis have a 14 RMB starting fee, while Beijing chargers 13 RMB for the first three kilometres, but with the additional one-kuai (块 Read More…

Get Your First Mandarin Lesson Now
Get Your First Mandarin Lesson Now