My life in a blog

IMBA Chinese Track student at The University of South Carolina, Moore Business School, I'm currently living in Columbia, SC and traveling all over the place

Check out my other blog: My life in pictures or better check out my Flickr account

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

dust storm

On the way to work this morning, I experienced one of the famous Beijing sand storms. Basically, during some springs, the wind is increasing in speed and it bring sand from the Gobi dessert and then spreads it around the city.

Walking on the street during this kind of weather is not a pleasure, as one feels eating dust and hard to breather. The picture from my office is self explanatory.My buddy Jeff F. sent me also some pictures from his side of the town, up North West in Wudaokou (五道口). Thanks Jeff !

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Beijing sex shops, 北京成人店

From the start... the Western idea of a sex shop and the Chinese outcome of one are totally different. I remember when entering the first time in a Chinese sex shop, I was impressed that it was more than half filled with flowers and sporadically some sex related products. Therefore, the store's clients were normal couples that would stop by and buy flowers and just check some condoms out in the same time. TIC = This is China! The translation of Sex Shop in Chinese also reflects its different nature: 成人店(Adult store) or 成人保健(Adult Health Protection), the products sold inside are Birth control pills, condoms and some toys.

Now, from that time until now, this place has definitely increased the number of so called Sex Shops. On my way to work, about 10 minutes of walking, I had three small sex shops, one being open 24/7. I never paid too much attention to them until yesterday.

As I was coming back home from a haircut place, on a normal Sunday afternoon, I noticed some 20+ Chinese people gathering together. Chinese really like to gather around where something is happening, such as an incident, accident or any abnormal happening.Therefore, I went closer and noticed some men of law (police, military, etc) were tearing down the sign of a local store. Well, it wasn't any store, it was a "sex shop." After they got done with it, they went to the next one, where, with no prior notice given to the tenets they confiscated all the products and took the people in charge of the store with them. This whole operation took only about 20 minutes to complete.

Late last night, this other venue that was not affected by the incident, was closing down and going out of business as well. It used to be a very small place, opened 24h, and late afternoon yesterday, already all the signs, posters and products were gone. Things can change over night in here, one day everything is there, the next day nothings there. My true belief, is that the Government doesn't want to show this side to the foreigners who are going to be here for the Olympics, therefore saving "face". Time will tell this...

From people at work, I learned that this kind of experience is not new to China and not new to the foreigners as well. It is just one of those factors that somehow you have to embed in your business model as a possible risk. In the meantime, if you want to buy something from the Adult Shops, hurry up because you might now find it anytime soon.

Update: One of the Ex-Sex Shops just overnight converted into a legitimate small food place.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ever wondered what's the women favourite thing?

It seems this Chinese coffee shop here in Beijing solved out the world's greatest enigma. Check it out: