Lifestyle / Hot Pot Column

Farewell from a foreign family at a traditional Chinese funeral

[2009-07-29 10:30]

We run a guesthouse in a small village near Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and integrating into rural life has been one of our main interests.

Honestly, can the Chinese just try to fib once in a while?

[2009-07-28 10:26]

Who coined the phrase "Honesty is always the best policy"? Maybe it was Confucius. It wouldn't surprise me as every Chinese person seems to strictly adhere to the principle. Honesty is not always the best policy. In some situations, in fact, it is the worst policy or at least a distant second to the policy of "keeping your big mouth shut".

The world of bore-craft

[2009-07-24 10:45]

Everyone is said to enjoy 15 minutes of fame, but not many people can achieve it in 15 minutes. Jia Junpeng did - almost.

Stars in their eyes, but fate is the hand that guides

[2009-07-23 15:39]

One night, I introduced Kai, a young friend who is graduating from the Central Drama Academy, to a famous Taiwanese singer I know. Kai has studied music all his life. He plays piano and saxophone and writes his own music. He also has a handsome face that rivals the top stars in China. In a nutshell, he has star potential, as a visiting Broadway producer once commented.

Abortion ad sends supermodel running to court

[2009-07-23 10:57]

Add adverts to the growing list of fake products or shanzhai ("mountain stronghold") versions of the real thing. Supermodel Lin Chi-ling is suing a Dongguan gynecology clinic that promoted its "2-minute painless abortion" at a cost of 400 yuan ($59), using the Red Cliff actress' image. Adding insult to injury the clinic used a photo that was part of Lin's uterus cancer prevention campaign, for which she is an ambassador.

Lessons from two pandemics: be safe, don't panic

[2009-07-22 13:59]

My sister was arriving for a long-awaited visit from a New York area airport. There was a chance that she would be quarantined, so I prepared a "quarantine kit" of 30 movies, the entire Sopranos TV series, a How to Hula video, four long books, biscotti, chocolate, a jump rope and a pack of cards. If she was quarantined, I was going to join her.

Losing isn't everything, it's the only thing

[2009-07-21 13:10]

Despite sitting some 5,000 km away in Beijing, the moment Andy Roddick threw himself to the turf and Andy Murray assumed the position of Defeated Brit at Wimbledon recently, it was if I could almost hear the collective sigh of my tennis-mad compatriots.

Give me a dog any day over a selfish cat

[2009-07-20 09:52]

Are you a cat person or a dog person? This question always sparks fierce debate among one-eyed pet owners.

Free from curse of dumbest thing ever invented

[2009-07-16 09:37]

I've been in Beijing for three months and admit to being in the "honeymoon phase" of my relationship with this city.

To be a man above men, or not, is the point for returnees

[2009-07-16 09:16]

My friend Joe, a senior manager at a major Wall Street bank, was back in China for a short visit.

A classic conundrum

[2009-07-10 09:51]

The first time I realized the gap in perception between the Western notion of the Chinese market for classical music and what I knew from within was when I interviewed Renee Fleming.

Look beyond the spitting,shoving and find kind folks

[2009-07-09 11:01]

A few nights ago a friend and I rode in a crowded elevator to have dinner together. When the door opened on the top floor, my friend instinctively stepped out first, brushing past a middle-aged Caucasian woman on the way.