Dinner Dinner

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Taobao Find Of the Day

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Cartoons of Beijing

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Found these on WeChat and thought they were super well done.

Chinese Food

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Summer Almost Over

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Bei Bei Beijing

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Less than a month until my brother arrives, along with millions of Chinese people all coming to marvel at the capital and take part in the 70th anniversary of the founding of the CPC. Oh joy…

Roast Lamb

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Madame Tussaud’s - Beijing

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Unsurprisingly, there were a ton of famous Chinese figures that I didn’t recognize. There was also a wax figure of Madame Tussaud which I thought was weird but hey, if I started the wax figure craze, I’d probably make one of myself too.

Me as a comic

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I should have noped right out of this one when she said, “I write comics about weird guys I go on dates with.” Well, here is me as a comic after two dates with this girl in June 2018. Guess it took her awhile to get me just right. The comic is in Chinese and it’s largely about how I told her my idea for a picture book about the funny things that farmers do in China. I guess she didn’t find it as amusing as me.

After this was brought to my attention, I thought “next time someone asks me about Beijing, or the people here, I should just keep my mouth shut.” However, after thinking about it, I shouldn’t let the fear of being turned into a comic again deter me from speaking my mind.

We didn’t kiss, cancel plans, or even fight when we went out. But I guess she needed some content for her site and I ticked the boxes. I didn’t know I could look like an asshole in comic form, but here you go, for your viewing pleasure. Oh, and my name in the comic is “迪克” - “Di Ke” - sounds like “dick” — very clever.

Hu Da Restaurant

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Glass Bridge outside of Beijing

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Cool Shirt

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Where do people even get shirts like this?

Hutong Life

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The Chinese says “My House”

The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d'Hoffmann)

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The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d'Hoffmann) is an opéra fantastique by Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was written by Jules Barbier, based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann, who is the protagonist of the story.

I’m pretty sure this was my first opera and probably my last. I was really confused the entire time and had a hard time understanding the translated subtitles. I was impressed that the actors/singers were able to memorize 3.5 hours of dialogue/songs and the set design was incredible. However, pretty sure opera isn’t my thing.

However, I was pretty excited to go inside the National Centre for the Performing Arts, which is super cool looking building surrounded by water.

Dating in China 2

After going on so many “bad” dates, it’s tough to get the willpower to go back out there. Sitting at home alone half-naked under my air con watching Netflix and eating Chinese Cheetos has started to sound a lot more appealing than going out to dinner on a date.

“Pressure”

This is our first date

Her: So, you want kids?

Me: I’m not opposed to having them

Her: What about living in China the rest of your life?

Me: Definitely not

Her: So, you hate China?

Me: Not at all, I just don’t want to live here forever

Her: Then this isn’t going to work

Me: Sorry what?

Her: I need someone committed to me, and that means living in China forever

Me: Should we just get the bill now or…?

 

“The Classic”

A typical WeChat conversation

Me: Hey any plans for the weekend?

Her: Sleeping

Me: You’re going to sleep all weekend?

Her: Yes, so tired from work.

Me: Do you want to grab a drink or something?

Her: No, sorry, I’ll be sleeping

This is also a super common response from colleagues I work with. ‘Sleeping’ is often replaced by the word ‘resting,’ which for most Chinese means laying in bed playing around on their phone and not leaving their apartment all weekend. 

 

“Better Salad”

We go to a nice Mexican restaurant around 6pm and both get food and drinks. We both get a substantial amount of food plus chips & salsa (which are not free in China) and no, she’s not fat. After we pay, this happens:

Her: I want a salad

Me: Why didn’t you order one?

Her: Well, I don’t want one from here, I want one from this little café I know

Me: You’re still hungry? I mean, I guess we could ride my scooter there

Her: Great

I just rode 12km to get to the Mexican place, and now I’m taking this girl 10km to some café because “they have the best salads.” We get there, she wants to sit on the rooftop, but their lights aren’t working, so we’re literally sitting the dark while she’s munching away on a salad and I’m drinking a beer. I’m not super excited to be in this situation. After she finishes her salad, she makes it abundantly clear that she wants to go home, so we walk outside.

Me: Well, that was super weird, but nice to see you! Are you going to get a Didi or take the subway home?

Her: You’re not going to drive me back to where we met?

Me: My battery is running low, plus I’d have to ride back here and I’ve gotta be getting home

Her: That’s so rude

Me: You chose this place

Her: Ya but it’s your responsibility to take me back

Me: I’m sorry?

 

“The Vegetarian”

Before the date, she explicitly told me she was a vegetarian and she’d only go out to dinner if I took her to a vegetarian restaurant, but not Indian. I love demanding girls, off to a great start.

Me: I don’t usually eat vegetarian, but I thought that was pretty great!

Her: Huh…

Me: You didn’t like it?

Her: It was terrible

Me: What didn’t you like about it?

Her: I just didn’t like it

We did get separate dishes, but we also shared pita bread and veggies with hummus. She also ate all of her food, so I’m a little confused at this point.

Me: My fault then, I’d never been here before but it has good reviews online. Next time we go out, you can take me to a place that you like

Her: There won’t be a next time

Me: Why?

Her: Because you took me to the worst vegetarian restaurant I’ve ever been to

Me: Are you serious?

Her: You’re a bad restaurant chooser

I think I dodged a bullet on that one

China's Hutong Renovations: Yay or Nay?

You ever get so busy that you forget to update your blog? Ya, happened to me. I leave for Egypt on July 30, so expect lots of photos of me with my hands in the air surrounded by sand.

Here’s an article I just recently wrote for Expat Guides.