Shanghai Can Be a Pretty Crazy Place Sometimes

Shanghai King of Munchies

I know the title is a bit unusually long for me, but Shanghai is one of those cities that deserve it! It’s without a doubt, one of my favourite cities in the world.. perhaps the favourite in China. Why? Because of the nightlife, simply put. It’s not just that, but for me personally it kind of resolved around that.

The munchies are just amazing man. In fact it is known as the munchies capital of China. Look at the above dinner I had with a bunch of friends last year, these crabs will simply knock your socks off. Everything is cheap, seafood is plentiful, delicious and everything is 24h man! If the chef is at sleep you can wake him up, or just go to the next restaurant.

As you might have guesses, I don’t really like to sleep in this city. Except at daytime. But even then I like to chill and relax while feeling the gentle and stinky sea breeze. The guys who show Shanghai the best, is no other than Show Shanghai! I’ve met them many times on my crusades around the city and I think they have the best thing going on of all the expat, foreigner connecting guides out there.

One time there was a bunch of girls from Australia, we ended up going out two days in a row. Discovering some of the most secret nightlife places, like clubs, bars, theaters, eateries and the lot! Couldn’t be more thankful for these guys on showing me the Shanghai style.

All in all, the place is pretty crazy and you can get messed up if your not careful. Or even worse, you might end up living there! It never happened to me, but it was close. Some things they should still fix to make the place better, but Shanghai is probably to most evolved in the list of Chinese cities. Not just as in infrastructure, but just the mindset is pretty modern. Or as modern as it can be with such a restricted society!

Research: Why Chinese Shout

Shouting Chinese Kid
A typical view of a screaming Chinese kid. Cute as well.

Greek rows decided to look deep into the question.. why Chinese people shout all the time. While many think it’s just culture.. custom.. Chinese have no manners and all that is just a superficial explanation.

After years of visiting the country, only recently it hit me. Baby talk. Yes, it’s all about baby talk. In the west, parents talk to their children with a childish voice, reducing the IQ capacity and postponing their adulthood. But in China this is not the case.

Here people shout to kids. It seems that kids are stupid and so that they can understand better, you have to shout to them. Preferably not too long sentences, just quick idiotic remarks with a loud voice. That will enter the little kids brains, right. And perfectly so, the kids answer by shouting.

Conclusion? Chinese kids grow up shouting everything that comes out of their mouths because they think it’s the way their suppose to speak. And I can assure you, in adult life, it’s a difficult habbit to break!

In fact, it just might be that people are getting louder every generation. Obviously China could use some good old western brainwashing.

Freaky Santa and Anti-Capitalism

Freaky Santa
Freaky Santa is the hero of those who recycle.

Have you met the anti-hero of all present-loving kids? Let me present to you, the freaky santa! He is about everything but the commercial christmas spirit which is an evil power lurking behind everything neon-light street corner.

Yes, I though this christmas would be a little anti-capitalist. A popular spice amongst those who know what the real joy of present-giving is. Spending as little as possible.

Without a doubt there are very many amazing toys in the shops. Actually too many that buying them just doesn’t give you the kicks any more. This is why we recommended not spending a buck.. and the happy news is that you can still get stuff.

Now how could we teach this lesson to kids? I think papa ought to show their kids a good time at the local dumpster. Flee markets are too lame already for nowadays modern kids. So chop-chop!

Please Show Me A Good Chinese Acrobatic Show!

Beijing Acrobatic Show
The acrobatic show at Chaoyang Theatre in Beijing was full of light and action.. the crowd was definitely pleased. However I’m still trying to figure it out!

The title was a phrase I once heard when a friend of mine was visiting Beijing. Then I didn’t have any experience of any acrobatics from pretty much anywhere.. therefore taking up this challenge was truly a challenge. Finding a performance in Beijing wasn’t the problem but choosing one did end up being quite a task.

After much consultation from my friends and colleagues I decided on a Beijing Acrobatic Show from the central district of Chaoyang. It was supposedly the “best in the city” and “highly acclaimed”.. amongst other boasting titles that I won’t bother to mention here. Everyone including my friend, seemed to absolutely love it. However I couldn’t help thinking that there was something odd there. The show just felt tacky.. and the China kind of tacky which lacks the sort of romanticism I believe I could be able to understand.

I guess it just depends on the type of person who finds these kinds of shows interesting or not. Or perhaps who finds China interesting or not.. ? My friend got me tickets right in the middle of the action and the audience was going wild as dozen or so motorcycled entered a circular cage in pit black! Might sound good, but seeing it seemed a little pointless. Like there was no originality.

I have nothing against spectacular shows and I loved the kung fu show which actually shows some skill. But what is it that exists people when they see acrobats throwing hats at each other? I just don’t get it.. my friend later told me that this was the best acrobatic show he has ever seen in his life. And he has quite a lot of experience about acrobatic shows as well.

While his question was answered I was still left thinking.. Show me a good Chinese acrobatic show!! I wouldn’t dare to go to see another one in Beijing. Maybe next try i’ll try something fun when I visit Shanghai. Any advice on that? Let me know!

Good Old Dick Trance

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Dick Trance, let me elaborate. There was a time when cheesy trance was not commercial. That time, around ten years ago was the golden time to tell yourself that trance sounded good. If you are one of the lucky ones that lived during that time, you can still check back on nostalgic trance hits and enjoy them. But if you are one of the unlucky ones, you probably wont understand them. Worse yet, you are subject to modern day commercial trance which is a mere brainwash to make you a worthless slave for the global elite.

Man, during those times even sucking on lollypops was considered gay. A way to break into the new century. But all that has disappeared because that break through already happened. What’s the next best way to embrace the novel, the new. It’s up to you. The music will change but underground parties will never die.

So whether you have been fortunate enough to live through those times or not, there is one song everyone should hear. Then you will know what is dick trance, in your own way. Listen to it, know it and move a long!


Gardener Insight: Work Slow!

Relax GardeningA gardening expert shares tips on being lazy and travels around the world.

Slow gardening brings a new kind of an approach to the hobby. It’s when you are most productive while kicking back with a relaxing and calm mind during work. Besides being productive it’s important to enjoy and get a sense of reward from your work. The concept is simple, if you are stressing about something then there is something wrong and you can do something about it.

Origins of such a break through in simplicity are from zen buddhism. According to it’s teachings, one should concentrate on the present moment to truly enjoy and live life. This helps one to forget all worries of the past and future as there are none in reality. Doing something with full attention and heart is the trick to realizing this. So get a shovel ready and see how slowly you can plant vegetables, herbs, flowers, anything!

South Korean Style Sauna Breeds Luxury

SaunaA public Sauna in South Korea is more like a spa. They are very popular and many of them are open all night. These luxury bath houses can occupy a height of five floors and aren’t spoiled with price either. At five euros per head you get a full treatment. The establishment will provide you with an outfit used in resting rooms and all the other spaces outside of the bathing place itself where business is conducted but naked.

Variety of saunas and pools can be baffling. Besides the traditional, you have mud baths, jade baths, massage baths, salty baths and saunas, steam saunas, finnish saunas etc. As you wonder through the spaces you can see loads of half naked Koreans sleeping about after their relaxing baths.

You can wonder around different floors, with all kinds of spaces for relaxing. For some comfortable enough to spend a cheap nights sleep. Oxygen room, salt room, ice room and herb rooms are some options to choose from. Not to mention activities like karaoke, video games, internet, food, movies, fitness rooms, you name it.

Is Kung Fu The Unbeatable Ass Kicking Chinese Martial Art

Chinese Kung FuWrong! There is no such martial art as “Kungfu”, it’s a general term covering most of Chinese Martial Art techniques, of which many do kick ass. “Chinese martial arts” is something that historically goes so deep and has spread so wide with different variations that it is impossible to know how many types there are. Bruce Lee was the first one to introduce the art in the west through his famous movies. He mainly practices a style called Wing Chun which he later developed into his own technique. Thus a new style of Kung Fu called Bruce Lee’s Kung Fu was formed, yes that happens too sometimes.

A great place to learn Chinese Martial Arts is Kunyu Mountain which is in shandong province, not far from Beijing. There you can still receive an old school training to learn the real meaning of discipline. Expect to part from your mum for a while. :)

The most famous place to see live Chinese Kung Fu is the Red Theatre Beijing where you can see The Legend of Kung Fu Show which is pretty legendary. Incredibly 10% of tourists that visit Beijing go to see the show and there is a reason to it which you can only see by going to see it. Also they do shows in the states and sometimes in other countries too.

Unfortunately because of the movie industry the view on Kung Fu can be rather twisted. Meaning it is not just about kicking ass, in fact that is usually the last thing on a practitioners mind. The objectives mold into your personality to become more kind and fair to people around you. Self defense is one thing, but there are easier ways to learn how to protect yourself if that’s the only thing you are looking for. Kung Fu is a new way of life that  increases self-awareness and helps you find inner peace. It’s a path you take that has no end and is different for everyone. So if you just want to enjoy the beauty go an d see the show at Red Theatre. Otherwise you must be prepared to throw away all your prejudices and be ready to accept the new! Good luck :)

The Beijing Eunuch Museum is a Blast

It's Eunuch TimeHave you ever wondered in the wonderful world of eunuchs? Well, in Beijing you have a chance! In case someone doesn’t know, eunuchs are those “depending how you look at it” fortunate or unfortunate people who have had their private parts mainly the “dingily dong” removed at early stages of puberty. This results in a man with a change in the levels of testosterone. Lack of the hormone perhaps created entertaining personalities for the Chinese emperors.

So they served as slaves for the aristocratic families but even though their social status was low it was considered a respected profession. You can get to know all about it when traveling in Beijing and visit the museum for just 8RMB.

This small museum is noted as the best of the eunuch museums in China and it certainly is not the only one. It’s located at the Tian Yi Tomb where lies the remains of a Ming Dynasty eunuch. Unfortunately no live closeups are presented to visitors. However a vast number of pictures and tools used for the removal operation are on display. Just to make sure there are no eunuchs in modern day China, the last one died 1996.

In China it is tradition to burry the whole body and so were the eunuchs. Testicles and the penis were kept until the day of death to accompany the sacred burial. Respect.


Best Invention for a Badly Insulated House

KotatsuThe Japanese have mastered winter survival, not by insulating their homes but dwelling inside the protection of a Chinese kotatsu. This ingenious investion not only keeps warm but unites the family under the same table.

Interestingly enough many parts of Japan are very cold during winter even though houses often lack compatibility with such harsh winters. That is because of central heating expenses are high and if you can avoid them, why not.

Kotatsu is a frame that has a table on top, a warmer inside and it’s covered by a thick cover. The blanket is put between the table and the frame, so that it just comes out of the edges of the table covering the inside. Thus creating a warm space where you can put your  feet while eating, playing or using your laptop on the table. If feeling really cold, depending on the size you can put the most of your body inside. Just watch out, it’s a very cozy place and easy to fall asleep. However soothing you might wake up with your feet burning!

The only downside of the kotatsu is that if you do have central heating or a warm house then it’s just not the same anymore! So it might not be the perfect fit for a modern apartment. However the kotatsu also functions in the summer time as a normal table.