Open thread

This “open thread” idea is still in its experimental stages. Complain, preach, argue and discuss, but play nice. I’m going to bed early tonight.

The Discussion: 88 Comments

Hey Bing, Bingfeng, and anyone else who has better Chinese than I do – if you see a chinese post on my board and you see a mistake (I’m sure there will be many) can you type me a quick note and correct it? I’m going to try to start posting more of a diary type thing in Chinese, with politics etc. in English – eventually i’d like to get everything in Chinese and english, but that won’t happen for a while…

June 11, 2005 @ 10:40 pm | Comment

What’s the point of these open threads Richard?

June 11, 2005 @ 10:43 pm | Comment

Laowai1979, you’re on Blog-city, right? I figured out how to do trackback on my blogspot blog (Haloscan makes it really easy) but the blog-city method eludes me – their support says it’s already enabled and that there is a place for the trackback URL on the “blog entry page.” When you create the blog entry, I figure this means. For the life of me, I can’t find any such option…do you use it? Where the heck IS it?!

June 11, 2005 @ 10:59 pm | Comment

Brian, it was inspired by the amazing 311 comment thread, which started out about one thing and went all over the place. Fun discussion. An open thread is just a place to talk about…whatever…so there’s no danger of going off topic.

I hope you’re keeping up with our discussion on the FLG. Bingfeng is really shining” in his latest comments.

Ohhhh…no, I haven’t looked at it lately. I guess I might as well…I’m in full-on procrastination mode tonight…

June 11, 2005 @ 11:03 pm | Comment

Other Lisa – it is on the entry page – when you click on an entry you’ve created there’s a trackback option – but I can’t get it to work for some reason…. I’ve trackbacked to 3 peking duck articles but they don’t show up… not sure what’s going on.

June 11, 2005 @ 11:53 pm | Comment

oookay…when you say the “entry” page…do you mean when you hit “blogit” and the form for a new blog entry appears? Cause I can’t even find where a line for a trackback url is…

It worked fine on blogspot though…but I did that through haloscan.

BTW, how do you put Chinese on your blog? Cut and paste? it’s very cool!

June 12, 2005 @ 12:22 am | Comment

blog-city’s still in the middle of an upgrade, so there are some bugs. that could be part of the problem. also, most of the help files have not been changed to reflect the new software as yet.

however, most trackbacks now must be approved/mutual. this is a new feature in most blogging software to help cut down on trackback spam. so for example if I trackbacked to laowei, he would have to approve it (blog-city sends a notification email to the site admin with a link to approve/delete). if he did it would show up on his site (it would not show up on mine unless he chose to update his entry to trackback to me)

June 12, 2005 @ 12:37 am | Comment

Thanks Echo. I guess really that one trackback is plenty in any case…it’s the same post, on different blogs.

I just get a little obsessive sometimes…especially when procrastinating.

June 12, 2005 @ 12:39 am | Comment

other lisa,
after you have written the text and clicked either ‘save’ or ‘save and publish’ you should see a number of links to the left of the text box (on the new page). they should be: entry, entry summary, advanced options, trackback, reader comments, reader trackbacks, trash entry, publish entry.

click ‘trackbacks’ and you will get a new page with a text field to input the url

June 12, 2005 @ 12:43 am | Comment

I think I’m the most arrested foreigner in China, I’ve lost count but it must be about 20. Possibly the only foreigner to be arrested in the China World Trade Centre, Beijing Hotel, T*iananm*n Square and the T*betan border and still be around to tell the tale!

I’ll post a couple of tales on Paper Tiger as I’m staying in all day today and doing nothing.

I’ve been reading Paper Tiger but haven’t left any comments this week.

I also just ‘discovered’ davesgonechina’s website because you blogroll him on Paper Tiger. Thanks for that.

Now over to Mr. Keating, I’ve been keeping this one till last…..

June 12, 2005 @ 12:44 am | Comment

By the way, Lisa, how are finding blog-city? Obviusly apart from the above comments. I hope it isn’t adding a whole load of extra time to run your original blog and the China edition.

June 12, 2005 @ 12:55 am | Comment

say, another question for you blog city folks. On the “entries” page, where it has the “entries archives,” it lists the posts, and then has three columns: “Pub?” “Reads” “Comments/trackback”

I get two out of three – Pub? and Comments/trackback. What is “reads”?

June 12, 2005 @ 1:00 am | Comment

hi Martyn, can’t wait for the stories! Enquiring minds and all that. Especially the part about how you are STILL there!

I like dave’s blog – a lot of the time I put things on my blogroll just so I remember to look at them. Xinjiang has got to be one fascinating place. Glad that we can help each other…er…find each other, for lack of a better term.

Blog City has some things I really like about it – the bookmark organizing, for example. I don’t like the overall look as much as Blogspot, and so many things are set up automatically for blogspot – like flickr’s photo hosting and the haloscan trackback. But once I post on blogspot, I just copy the entry (with the photo URL and all that) and paste it into blog city, so it’s really not a big hassle at all…like I said, I just get weirdly obsessive at unpredictable moments.

Echo, thanks so much for the tips – I’ll play around with that next post.

Geez, it’s midnight here and I have all this frickin’ work to do and I haven’t even started yet. I did get through my last Chinese class of the quarter though…

What are you all up to?

June 12, 2005 @ 1:06 am | Comment

reads = how many people have read that post

June 12, 2005 @ 1:06 am | Comment


I just posted a big long new thing on my blog, and I’d love to hear your opinions.


Richard W

June 12, 2005 @ 1:09 am | Comment

Hi Echo…hmmm…well, the “reads” part doesn’t quite make sense to me as most of my entries have no reads, even the one where I have 14 comments. So obviously someone is reading it.

And I’m feeling like I’m not completely nuts. Here’s what’s on that page after I save or save/publish:

Entry Summary
Advanced Options
Readers Comments
Readers Trackbacks
Trash Entry
Publish Entry

No trackback option!

June 12, 2005 @ 1:09 am | Comment

It’s Sunday afternoon in hot+humid Guangzhou. I’m drinking beer and playing with the dogs!

I’ll pop over and have a read Richard.

June 12, 2005 @ 1:13 am | Comment

since this is an “open” thread, i would like to ask you a question for a mini business survey:

how many of you ever went to a SPA in a hotel in china?

and would you consider to try a SPA if you stay in a hotel in china?

thanks a lot


laowai, i will try wehn i got time. good initiative and you know your mandarin is better than my “broken” english ๐Ÿ™‚

June 12, 2005 @ 1:20 am | Comment

no trackback option –
that would likely be transitional error/bug. send them an email and let them know.

they’re a bit busy over there though, as there seems to be a nasty bug holding new posts from immediately showing up on the front page. but they’ve been good with customer service since I’ve been there, and if you send a report I think they’ll get on it as soon as they clear up the big, sitewide issues.

on the reads issue –
are the comments older than a few days? with the new system the reads column seems only to be counting hits since the upgrade. the daily hits should be more accurate, as they appear to have copied them directly.

if the post is brand new then it’s probably a bug.

June 12, 2005 @ 1:24 am | Comment


Richard, enjoyed your entry and posted a long and somewhat incoherent response.

Echo, Laowai, here’s ANOTHER blog city thing I don’t get. You post a comment and it says that the blog owner will be notified. I don’t get no stinkin’ notifications! And I can’t figure out where the options are to set that. But I’m starting to wonder if there are some larger issues with blog city, maybe with mac/firefox or this upgrade?

Bingfeng, I’m a California girl. We LOVE spas! The legitimate kinds, I mean. Hot tubs, massage, mineral pools, scrubs, all that cool stuff. So what kind of spas do you have and what are the services offered?

June 12, 2005 @ 1:24 am | Comment

Echo, yes, thanks, I think the daily hits seem about right. I don’t know why I’m even fussing about this. Could it be…perhaps…procrastination?

where are you, echo?

June 12, 2005 @ 1:26 am | Comment


SPA in a hotel in china?


and would you consider to try a SPA if you stay in a hotel in china?

No, not my thing at all. Never been to a Spa and never once had any sort of massage.

June 12, 2005 @ 1:30 am | Comment

Martyn, that’s cause you’re not from California. It’s sort of a residency requirement that you have to do that kind of thing…

Really, a good massage – I mean a real, therapeutic massage – is a really great thing. Good for your health, relaxing and all that.

June 12, 2005 @ 1:33 am | Comment

Wow, Richard Willmsen, what a great post. How long did it take you to knock that one out?

By the way everyone, RWillmsen’s The Three T’s just posted a great piece about overstaffing in China and then goes on to tackle certain aspects of the China economy, good links and a priceless photo of a couple of China street-sweepers hard at it!

I do think that foreign ventures like Carrefour must have some kind of ridiculously high quota of guaranteed jobs/staff numbers agreed with the local govt’s before being granted an operating license.

My current pet peeve is when I trot along to my local Carrefour in Guangzhou to buy a couple of bottles of wine (Carrefour has a great selection) and get mobbed by 3-4 young ladies (shouldn’t complain at my age I suppose!) who “work” the wine isles and they all tell me to buy the most expensive bottle in the store.

“Why this one?” I ask, because it’s the best. “But you haven’t tried it, how’d you know?” ‘I feel it’s the best’ they say (wo3 gan3 jue4 dao4).

Obviously, now I just completely ignore them, pretend they don’t exist!

June 12, 2005 @ 1:42 am | Comment

Lisa, I know, I know! You’re right and I know I’m totally missing out but I just can’t stand the thought of it, I’m wierd I know.

Still, in Asia, it’s usually a good thing to keep away from Massage places generally.

June 12, 2005 @ 1:44 am | Comment

Martyn, that’s why I asked “what kind of spa and what sort of services?” Not that I’d have to worry about the same kinds of ‘services’ you would!

Seriously, you can get good wine in Guangzhou? I’m pretty into wine. I noticed that you could get some decent stuff in Beijing but it’s so expensive. I’m a big fan of Chinese beer though.

Yeah, Richard’s post is really interesting. guess I’m going to have to add another to the old blogroll…Richard, tell us more about Dalian – I’ve never been there and it’s another one of those places I’ve wanted to check out.

June 12, 2005 @ 1:50 am | Comment

And Bingfeng, I’m not meaning to be snarky here. I haven’t yet used spa services in a Chinese hotel, but I would be very open to the idea.

June 12, 2005 @ 1:53 am | Comment

it’s authentic SPA not anything else

anyway, thanks lisa and martyn, now i see SPA has a bad connotation to potential customers like maytyn ๐Ÿ™‚

June 12, 2005 @ 1:58 am | Comment

Bingfeng, I’m sure if you market it the right way, you can escape such negative connotations!

In Los Angeles, we have several traditional Korean bath-houses that are very popular with all kinds of people, not just Koreans. And of course we have many, many spas. It’s a big part of our culture here. If you make it relatively inexpensive, clean and professional, believe me, you will get American customers. At least from the West Coast!

Also, I would include some traditional Chinese therapy as well. People from California are generally interested in traditional therapies. You know, acupuncture is very popular here, as an example. Massage, chiropractic, traditional Indian medicine (ayuvedic), yoga, meditation – all that kind of stuff.

June 12, 2005 @ 2:02 am | Comment

lisa, fine with me, you know a lot of the underground brothelsaare wraped as a “fa lang” or “massage salon”, while i don’t like those cesspools flourish in china, some people indicate they meet the needs of migrant workers and assk the government regulate them instead of a mere crack down

June 12, 2005 @ 2:05 am | Comment

SPA not a tradition here since not many places here have hot springs like japan does, but money drives (and changes) everything, now SPA is so popular that many hotels include it as one of the basic services. and don’t surprised if you find several “hot spring SPA” near a messy construction site in shanghai!

June 12, 2005 @ 2:14 am | Comment

Bingfeng I think with anything that involves peoples’ desires it’s really tough to just make such things illegal. People will always pursue such things. It’s like when we had prohibition (of alcohol) in the US back in the ’20s, and now, with similar problems around illegal drugs. Maybe it’s better to accept that this is human nature and regulate such businesses, rather than allow them to flourish underground and exploit people.

June 12, 2005 @ 2:15 am | Comment

bingfeng, Lisa’s right. If the Spa services you’re thinking about are above board and strictly professional then you can advertise them as such and don’t need to worry about people confusing them with, well, you know what I mean.

So what’s this business venture you’re mulling over? Obviously, don’t away your multi-million-pounds-winning business plan but are you thinking of the hotel industry in China?

By the way bingfeng, I’ve always been curious as to where you are in the UK. Keep it general if youlike, southeast, London, northwest etc.

I’m a Geordie from Newcastle! Why-aye.

June 12, 2005 @ 2:25 am | Comment

I thought Bingfeng was in Shanghai. Bing, I believe, is in the UK.

I could be wrong. I’ve been drinking some of that wine I mentioned earlier.

June 12, 2005 @ 2:27 am | Comment

lisa, their argument is a little different from yours, HIV rate is higher among those migrant workers, if those “fa lang” are regulated, things won’t be so troublesome

talking about SPA, i watched a tv show introducing taiwan tour last night, which will be launched to mainland tourists, SPA is among one of the “features”

June 12, 2005 @ 2:28 am | Comment

By the way, Richard Willmsen, anymore great posts like, please come and advertise them on this Open Thread.

I’d don’t mind any self-publicity as long as it leads to an article like the one I just read on The Three T’s. Good work man.

Yes, it’s a good piece isn’t is Lisa? He’s obviously put a lot of thought into it before writing, you can tell when you read it.

That’s the same reason why I like davesgonechina’s website Under The Tenement Palm/Silkworms.

June 12, 2005 @ 2:30 am | Comment

Bingfeng Not Bing, it’s part and parcel of the same argument. If you drive such things underground, they can’t be regulated and people can be endangered, whether through exploitation or as you said, diseases like AIDS. I was very impressed to read that the Chinese government is now promoting needle exchanges and the like to combat this plague. Such things are still very controversial here in the US – “we don’t want to encourage illegal drug use by promoting needle exchanges!” and I won’t even get into the similar arguments about c0nd0ms…(thank you, religious Right!).

yeah, martyn I agree – this is a great place to publicize posts and the like. Thank you Richard – both Richards in this case!

And I just want to state for the record that I AM getting some work done between posts.

June 12, 2005 @ 2:36 am | Comment

Oh dear, you might be right Lisa. The pair of them are going to kill me if I keep getting them mixed up.

Yes, you can get great wine in Guangzhou, mainly via the big foreign supermarkets like Carrefour and Lotus Centre (UK’s Tesco).

The prices have come way down and they’re not subject to the outrageous import tax they have in Hong Kong which keeps the price there very high (in HK even the most average bottle of plonk is about US$10+).

In Guangzhou, it’s RMB30 upwards for foreign wine. I like New World stuff generally but California wines is what I usually stick to because of the quality, which is where you’re from I believe.

June 12, 2005 @ 2:36 am | Comment


OH yeah! I just took a class (*snicker* – well, it really was a class, but boy did we get snockered) on fine wines of California. I am completely spoiled now. But that’s one of the great things about California. Good food and great wine we got.

I also love Spanish wines, which I think are a great value for the money.

Okay, quarter till two, time for even this night owl to sign off…bye all! Hope the rest of your weekend is hen hao.

June 12, 2005 @ 2:44 am | Comment


June 12, 2005 @ 2:55 am | Comment

Bing, no way in hell is my chinese better than your english. you can discuss politics. I can discuss very little. discussing politics basically means you are fluent, in my opinion.

June 12, 2005 @ 3:05 am | Comment

Laowai, polished off all those strawberries mate?

June 12, 2005 @ 3:06 am | Comment

CRAP! it said Bingfeng not Bing. I thought it was the otherway around. I wish you guys could post your names with characters, it would make my life easier. I always skim the names.

anyway, Bingfeng, same goes for you. you discuss politics. In my latest post I’ve described middle-class charity, in not-too-technical terminology. You’re far far better than me. no arguments!

June 12, 2005 @ 3:07 am | Comment

Laowai, I’ve just read your Chinese post and I can’t spot a single grammatical mistake in there.

June 12, 2005 @ 3:11 am | Comment

Yes indeed. Check my reply – am making raspberry pancakes for lunch. I know, I know, pancakes in Brittain have a funny connotation – but in the U.S.A. they are strictly breakfast food unless you say crepe, and then it’s more like a british pancake.

Bingfeng – I would consider a spa, but I would only go if I were assured of quality, so the image, the reviews in expat magazines, full governmental safety approval and so forth would need to be advertised. I’ve had a few instances in China where I’ve been suckered – by tour companies, by a boss (!) etc. and if I were to go to a spa I’d want it to be really high quality.

Also, as we’re on the subject of customer service, I’d like to open a general question as to if Chinese businesses who want to cater to foreigners train their employees two sets of manners – those for service of Chinese and those for service of foreigners. I know I’m always put off by the situation Martyn described – it doesn’t happen all the time but it does happen often enough. When I go to buy wine or go to a spa or something I don’t like people telling me to buy the most expensive thing. I have no idea at all whether this is considered natural to someone who grew up in the culture, but for me it’s a pain in the butt. So I was wondering if Chinese businesses that want to cater to foreigners ever think about this sort of thing? A store could immediately have my total devotion if they were flexible enough to show ‘my version’ of customer respect. It might be a really good way of gaining a ‘competitive advantage’ (sorry I hang out with a bunch of management consultants).

As an example – the bookstore in the library of BeiYu sells pirated DVDs, and they were always so friendly and nice, and never tried to get me to buy anything, and would make recommendations that seemed considerate and not driven by greed to suck my pockets dry – and so I went back every 4 days to check out their new titles. yes, yes, buying pirated dvds is bad… but actually my views on multimedia (music, dvds etc) are different on other IP. maybe inconsistent but that’s a discussion for a different time.

Anyway, bingfeng, wondering if this issue has popped up in any businesses you’ve done research for (are you a consultant?). is bridging the culture gap ever discussed in terms of competitive advantage?

June 12, 2005 @ 3:26 am | Comment

lol, I step out for an hour and there are 30 new comments ; )

other lisa – on notification : did you fill out an email address to send notifications to? I think it’s somewhere in settings but don’t know exactly where…you can also change what you recieve notifications for. am on my way out again so post here if you don’t find it and I’ll give you the exact location later tonight.

give blog-city a chance, though. they really are good, it’s just that they’ve upgraded to an entirely new system, so there will be a few weeks of bugs. I’m on a mac as well, so I doubt that would cause problems, but I use safari or opera, not firefox.

I’m in the western mainland (and am a bit too paranoid to get more specific than that in public forums. I know, silly, but I’m still of the better safe than sorry mentality on this one)

I think xinjiang wine is glorious. and I would consider going to a spa in china if they did foot massages. can’t say I enjoy the wraps and such, but it’s hard to resist a good foot rub.

June 12, 2005 @ 3:49 am | Comment


Xinjiang wine? Never heard of it. Will they have it in Guangzhou you think?

Is it really glorious?

June 12, 2005 @ 3:52 am | Comment

I like blog-city. haven’t used anything else but seems very flexible and user friendly. the trackback option is a bit confusing, though. can only put it in after it’s published.

June 12, 2005 @ 3:59 am | Comment

Laowai, out of interest, how much time per day does it take to run a blog…average.

An hour? Two?

June 12, 2005 @ 4:36 am | Comment

Depends. If I’m writing something personal that doesn’t require much thought or research than it takes no time at all.

If I have to do reasearch or write a long post, then maybe an hour or two. My chinese entry took way too long, partially because I couldn’t figure out how to use umlauts above the ‘u’ in ‘funu’ and ‘lushi’ and partially because my computer is slow. And my chinese is rusty. Let’s be honest (!) ๐Ÿ™‚

June 12, 2005 @ 4:40 am | Comment

Thanks, yes, I’m sure it depends.

I always use the Bi Hua method of writing characters on computer and mobile phones, it’s much more difficult than pinyin but I’m a total snob when it comes to that sort of thing (as you can now tell).

June 12, 2005 @ 4:46 am | Comment

how does that work?

June 12, 2005 @ 4:48 am | Comment

Strokes of the characters. It’s used in Hong Kong a lot as they don’t have a standard romanization like Guoyu’s pinyin.

You have five basic available strokes (horiz, vert, across-left, across-right and a “L” shaped one) Whichever character you want to write, you punch in the applicable strokes as if you were wrting the character with a pen and paper, each time you punch in a stroke the computer/mobile phone narrows down the search of the appropriate characters.

I once bought a mobile in Hong Kong which only had Bi Hua and traditional characters. It was absolute hell for about 3 years but now I wouldn’t type characters any other way.

Oh and I can enjoy one-up on everyone I know that uses pinyin (even Chinese people shy away from Bi Hua and it’s very difficult to learn).

June 12, 2005 @ 5:01 am | Comment

does your question meant you’re thinking of setting up a blog Martyn? or do you have one already?

June 12, 2005 @ 5:08 am | Comment

Thanks for being so positive about my site, it’s nice to know I’m not just wailing into the gloom!

ps. Martyn, I think you were thinking of the division of labour, no?

June 12, 2005 @ 5:42 am | Comment

Other Lisa, unfortunately your site must mention democracy, freedom or ghosties or something ‘cos I can’t read it from here. Shame.

To be honest I’m not a big fan of Dalian. It’s very hard to come across anything that’s seems to have been in existence longer than 10 years. I’d heard it was very laidback, and was expecting to find a bit of Linglei action here, but nada. Personally I vastly preferred Qingdao, more space to walk by the sea and not so noisy, plus the skyline wasn’t quite as hectic! While we’re here, can I ask where you’re all from and at, and why the China Connection?

June 12, 2005 @ 5:55 am | Comment

Richard W:

Other Lisa has kindly favoured us China bods with a Chinese edition of her badly blocked blogspot blog (try saying that after a bottle of Carrefour wine).

You can find it at blog-city:

Also, ha ha, of course I mean division of labour! How silly of me.

By the way, I assume you took that classic photo on your site The Three T’s yourself? I hope you didn’t wake those poor people up.

June 12, 2005 @ 6:53 am | Comment

Just a test to see if Mac OSX pinyin input works here:


(Which is the entire extent of my knowledge of Chinese.)

June 12, 2005 @ 7:25 am | Comment

Martyn :: xinjiang wine is quite a lot nicer than most of the wines I’ve tried thus far in china. most tend to be a little too sweet (as in sticky sweet and heavy) for my taste. the xinjiang wines I’ve tried tend to be a bit more dry, lighter.

plus, at 15 quai for two bottles you can’t go too far wrong ; )

no idea if it’s available in Guangzhou

June 12, 2005 @ 7:26 am | Comment

Richard W:

Re Paper Tiger, I forgot to mention, in case you don’t know Lisa, she was one of the first foreigners to set foot in China after the Cul**ral Rev***tion.

She was there in 1979/80. Be sure and read her earlier posts about Beijing/Shanghai in 1979 as there are absolutely fascinating.

Trust me, It’ll make you look at Dalian 2005 in a whole new light mate.

June 12, 2005 @ 7:46 am | Comment

Echo, thanks, I’ll keep an eye out.

As you said, I also tend to shy away from China wines. By the way, a lot of which are not China wines at all but imported from Spain usually in huge rubber skins.

I know this as I once had to visit a supposed “vineyard” in deepest Henan Province and inspect some skins which had ripped in transit.

June 12, 2005 @ 7:50 am | Comment


If you make your way over to Chengdu, I don’t think you will be disappointed in their wine selection. I’m generally not a big China wine fan, but there are a few locals here that I absolutely love. In fact, I took a bottle home for my aunt last year and she requested that I bring her one each time I return home. To top that off, my uncle hates wine, but he loves the stuff I bring home from Chengdu.


BTW, you have a new email message.

June 12, 2005 @ 8:08 am | Comment

Gordon, read it and replied!

Thanks mate.

June 12, 2005 @ 9:14 am | Comment

It appears that the Open Thread idea is a roaring success so far.

What you say Richard?

June 12, 2005 @ 10:06 am | Comment

Michael, I’m somewhat in shock. I expected to see five or ten comments, not 60! I just hope it doesn’t draw comments away from new posts, like Jerome’s article below.

June 12, 2005 @ 10:09 am | Comment

That’s always a worry I suppose but Martyn and shulan have commented already and it probably needs a bit of time to warm up. This time tomorrow when everyone gets back to work shoud be a different matter.

I think the usual suspects are still stuck into some of the longer threads below anyway and others are awol.

Mind you, the article itself isn’t as blatantly controversial as the last one (Dec 04?), it’s far more subtle I think.

Never you worry, one post from bing and another from bingfeng and all hell will break loose!!!

June 12, 2005 @ 10:19 am | Comment

Would you tell me where the Lotus Centre in GZ is located?

Foot massages. They are available in several cities in Guangdong including GZ.

June 12, 2005 @ 10:23 am | Comment

I slightly disagree, instead of neglecting the other posts because I had a flick through this Open Thread, I’m actually spending more time on the Duck I think because there’s more going on, more to read.

The Open Thread just adds to the mayhem. It’s been mostly chit-chat anyway, other bloggers advertising their posts, China wine, blog-city, Spa surveys, quite a mix!

Mr. Keating’s piece will be be mayhem soon. Just wait until the FLG is exhausted.

June 12, 2005 @ 10:26 am | Comment

John, I’m glad to hear this is like flypaper.

I actually think there’s been some very good stuff on this thread, and if people want to point out stuff on their own blogs I’m happy to give them the free advertising. And the Hank-Martyn exchange was quite priceless.

June 12, 2005 @ 10:34 am | Comment

Actually, the Hank-Martyn exchange was in the Blog Wars thread. If you haven’t seen it, go there!

June 12, 2005 @ 10:49 am | Comment

Richard, I see that the 100-plus threads much earlier on were no fluke as there’s currently at least another 2 100-plus threads on the go (I am not even going to MENTION the 311 comment thread).

Now, however, as the rest of the blogasphere is looking on in total dismay, you’ve started an open thread—which is essentially blogging n-o-t-h-i-n-g—and you’re hitting 70-plus with that. Hell, this time tomorrow it’ll surpass 100 as well.

Don’t you think this is a bit like rubbing salt into the wounds of the rest of your fellow bloggers!!!!!!!???????

Good work. You deserve it. Onwards and upwards!

June 12, 2005 @ 11:07 am | Comment

Thanks Ron. Actually, I had an unfair advantage, being one of the first blogs to open in the PRC back in 2002. It helped me get a lot of attention, especially when SARS came around. But the recent upsurge in comments — I just can’t explain it. It’s the same blog it was a few months ago, only a lot more commenters.

June 12, 2005 @ 11:21 am | Comment

And for anyone interested in updating their Chinese vocabulary, eswn is now offering a new service. (For readers of Chinese only.)

June 12, 2005 @ 11:33 am | Comment

I think a few of the more recent commentors make quite excellent contributions which have, in turn, attracted even more contributions.

You can easily spend an hour on TPD these days and still not read everything.

I personally feel I have to think before daring to comment on here rather than just throwing in the odd comment, as some of the posts people make are pretty amazing and very insightful. I’m sure you find yourself thinking harder as well!

That Hank-Martin ‘exchange of views’ was funny. A couple of guys have a heated exchange, trade a few blows then end up comisserating with each other about their Chinese wives and walk away best of friends! Martin’s a regular but I hope we see Hank again.

June 12, 2005 @ 11:39 am | Comment

richard recently sent me an email about how the comments have exploded exponentially recently on peking duck. he wondered if this was a tipping point.

i don’t know. how would i know anyway?

but i believe that this is an exceptional moment in time when an equilibrium point has been reached. there are many people involved, passionately so but not disgusted and revulsed as to never wanting to come back. i urge you all to keep it this way, because this is a truly unique moment in time. we wouldn’t know how to re-create it if we tried.

this moment may not last forever. but let us savor it, and keep it going as long as we can. smooch smooch.

June 12, 2005 @ 12:02 pm | Comment

Thanks ESWN., let’s see how long it lasts. I asked you the tipping point question because I know you are an expert at numbers, a topic of which I am painfully ignorant.

June 12, 2005 @ 12:10 pm | Comment

Hi all,

Boy, I missed the Xinjiang wine discussion. Look what happens when I go to sleep. BTW, in my ancient Chinese textbook – any of you ever do the classic Practical Chinese Reader, with Gubuo and Palanka?! Those wacky bell-bottom wearing Westerners? They report back from Xinjiang at one point and I do believe hong putaojiu (红 葡萄酒)comes up in that lesson…(similarly testing my mac chinese input)

Richard W., can you read my blog-city site? I try to be careful of keywords and content and such, but still…assuming you can, I pretty much explain the hows and whys of my china connection there – and thanks for the plug, Martyn! – I echo Laowai1979 – the basics of setting up the blog and posting are very simple these days and really not that time consuming. The amount of time it takes is all about how much time you take on the writing – or if you’re like Richard, here, the amount of time you take on the writing PLUS the incredible volume of posts.

June 12, 2005 @ 12:31 pm | Comment

Echo, the trackback thing is because, d’uh, I’m not a premium user. You’re right about the tech support – those guys are fast.

June 12, 2005 @ 12:58 pm | Comment

I’ve got an idea!

You know how supermarkets, hotels and factories sometimes have ‘Employee of the Week/Month’?

Ok, let’s have the Peking Duck Awards!


My nominations (so far for June):

Commenter of the Day:

Join award for Hank and Martyn (Blog Wars) for a great exchange of views.

Commenter of the Week:

davesgonechina (various) for consistently excellent posts.

Commenter of the Month:

Laowai2479 (various) for posting above and beyond the call of duty.

June 12, 2005 @ 3:20 pm | Comment

hahhah! I concur. They should be hereby awarded the first official “Golden Quacks.”

June 12, 2005 @ 4:08 pm | Comment

Well. Quack Quack.

If you haven’t read Frank Rich’s review of the “Deep Throat” re-emergence, I highly recommend it – I just posted a link in my most recent post.

It details his thoughts about propaganda in the Bush administration.

Bingfeng – this is a good chance to see me have a go at the *other* big country. Or at least see Frank Rich do it on my behalf.


June 12, 2005 @ 4:38 pm | Comment

Laowai 79, can’t wait to read. I’m a big fan of Frank Rich.

This isn’t exactly blogwh0ring, but I just got the most bizarre comment on my blogspot blog. The problem is I installed haloscan and not only did it make all my old comments disappear (off the main page, they still show up on the permalink) the new comments don’t show up on the permalink (there must be a way around this but I haven’t figured it out yet. anyway it’s about halfway down the main page, the entry entitled “Angels in China.”

I echo Gordon’s comment earlier…where do these people come from?

June 12, 2005 @ 4:53 pm | Comment

Laowai, I read Rich’s column last night, and I’d have to say of all the “must-read” pundits he’s far and away No. 1. His description of the media humping Colson’s leg was hilarious and infinitely depressing at once.

June 12, 2005 @ 5:33 pm | Comment

On another subject…

I just started reading FOREIGN BABES IN BEIJING at the gym today. I was laughing outloud by the frontispiece (a little embarrassing when you are riding an exercise bike), which features the English translation of the “Foreign Babes” theme song:
“They all come from different countries,
They’re all in love with Chinese culture
and green vegetable snacks.
Their lives are carefree and fun
Because they’re all old foreigners!
But they can all speak Chinese.
They are so beautiful and poised”

“Foreign girls, foreign girls in Beijing, Beijing!”

Has anyone read this yet? I think just about every laowai on this list will find something to chuckle at.

June 12, 2005 @ 6:46 pm | Comment

No, haven’t read it yet! read the review though, and it looks fascinating.

Other Lisa – I’m going over to your site in a moment to look at the comment – I’ve answered your question though on my site.

June 12, 2005 @ 6:57 pm | Comment

Martyn, did you ever find the source of that story? Sorry, you may have replied in an ealier thread, and I missed it.

June 12, 2005 @ 7:16 pm | Comment

martyn : been popping around this morning hoping for an interesting breakfast story about the most arrested foreigner in china….didn’t see anything on paper tiger, where did you post it??

June 12, 2005 @ 9:44 pm | Comment

I’m gonna request we try to migrate to the newer thread if you don’t mind. Thanks!

June 12, 2005 @ 10:02 pm | Comment

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