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April 20, 2007

Richard Gere's Kiss

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Some of you may have been keeping up with that whole Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty problem in India (from April 15th). I've been taking a look at some of the more right-wing webpages and they seem to be steering towards blaming Richard Gere. Fair enough, he went somewhat too far. But picture this sort of thing happening in Bahrain or Jordan or some Arabic/Muslim country. The American Right-Wing would be all over it, blaming Islam and Arabic culture for the response. Obsessing over misogyny and the like.

When it happens in India, it is, apparently, Richard Gere's fault for the uproar over an "immodest act". 

February 04, 2007

My favourite new toy…

I was sitting in Starbucks the other day in Jianwai dajie, when a horde of loud-but-friendly AmericanIt gives me tea. Without leaves clogging up my mouth. Therefore it is good. tourists entered (mostly some very nice and retired old Jewish ladies from Miami and some much younger and quieter but just as friendly southern African-Americans). The staff were having some problems communicating effectively with a couple of the old girls who were looking at the various mugs, beakers and other trinkets. So while I was up getting some tissues, one of the waiters asked for my help in translating 半价 (half-price).

So I very helpfully pointed at the sign which said both 半价 and 50% off in English and told the waiter that the sign had the English translation and then told the ladies what the waiter was trying to say. After the had finished pointing and asking whether certain items were included in the offer, I thought I might as well pick up a half-priced teapot. At about GBP4.50, it was expensive by Chinese standards but it looked nice, simple and sturdy and so I picked it up at a whim. 

Now I can make tea effortlessly and with little cleanup. I never really used to drink tea when I was younger, save the odd cup loaded with milk and sugar and, of course, a rich tea biscuit with half of it ending up at the bottom of the cup.  Having given up Diet Coke for a certain someone special, I drifted more and more towards tea and I find myself enjoying it without sugar, without milk, just black and strong, brewed from Earl Grey leaves. Delicious. 

I'm going to start sampling more Chinese teas now that my taste is a bit more open to different flavours. I've always been a fan of 乌龙茶 and 龙井茶 but now I want to move on to some of the different flavours and mixtures.  


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