Lifestyle / Hot Pot Column

Up, close and personal with Cheerful China

[2010-10-28 10:02]

"Why did you cut my punch line, 'Revenge is a dish best served cold'?" asked Australian Patrick Whiteley, a former editor.

Congratulations on your divorce, my forest is in the lobby

[2010-10-27 09:15]

"Congratulations," I told the newlyweds, "on your divorce!"

I am no general, just a foot soldier

[2010-10-26 09:14]

A few people have written to me lately and said: "You must be a great chef!"

Cashing in on group discounts has hidden costs

[2010-10-21 14:36]

"Could we have another set of plates?" I asked. One of the two waiters who had been lingering near the counter chatting about vacation plans finally brought us the plate, without saying a word or offering even the hint of a smile.

Keeping it in the family, Chinese style

[2010-10-20 09:22]

My two sets of "parents" were about to meet for the first time.

Time to put learning to the test

[2010-10-19 09:27]

At the start of this semester, I was asked by the university I work at to give the students a pre-test, a sort of mock exam to establish their English level.

Loser pays, the winner takes it all

[2010-10-14 09:12]

Pool is a great game. It has skill, tactics and a cooler cachet than its elder brother, snooker.

Holidays should mean time off, not confusion

[2010-10-13 09:15]

The dean cheerfully informed me last week, "Wednesday is a holiday, you'll have to work Saturday instead!"

Saving time and face is a lost art

[2010-10-08 09:34]

Transportation was unexpectedly smooth and I arrived at the meeting half an hour before time.

Because the night belongs to people

[2010-09-29 10:18]

With the pleasant autumn nights upon us, my wife Ellen and I have taken to walking around the neighborhood we live in of an evening.

Chosen we may be, but clever and rich too?

[2010-09-21 09:18]

My mother is Jewish. Funnily enough this makes me, despite my lack of faith in anything Jewish, Jewish.

Give and take of living in a Chinese compound

[2010-09-16 09:19]

I live in what is often termed a "Chinese compound" which, unlike the "international compounds" of Beijing supposedly made to international specifications, is a simpler residence constructed to local standards - or rather the local standards of the 1970s.