Lifestyle / Hot Pot Column

Size really matters when it comes to sights and sounds

[2007-12-26 07:25]

My husband says he acted like a secret agent during a recent trip to buy wires for our home entertainment system.

Bei-jingle bells ring in my kind of Christmas

[2007-12-25 07:21]

Like most Chinese consumers, I'm able to mentally discard all the religious associations and go right to the fun part.

A finely wrought story about Beijing, no irony intended

[2007-12-20 07:02]

I was looking for wrought iron art when I bumped into a store in one of Beijing's immense home decoration centers. This year, wrought iron is particularly fashionable.

Crazy cabbies that grab and tickle our fancy

[2007-12-19 07:22]

The country's cabbies drive me crazy - in a good way, that is. Surely, some of the zaniest people I've met in China were behind the wheels of cars for hire.

W00t has happened to MSN and QQspeak?

[2007-12-18 07:09]

I don't know whether I'm a typical user of MSN. I use my real name and accept anyone who asks to get on my "friends" list.

Pen friends are my favorite kinds of people

[2007-12-14 07:08]

One of my many regrets is that I was born too late to be a turn-of-the-century satin-wearing, grape-eating aesthete. I could wear satin and eat grapes all I want in the industrial gloom of suburban Beijing, but it's just not the same.

When the love of food turns to hate

[2007-12-13 07:11]

The host then had to live in a wooden box beneath the branches where the birds would perch. Every day for 10 days, he had to think of a different way to cook the eggs.

Dinner as usual, but cigarettes not on the menu

[2007-12-12 07:06]

We had just feasted on a sumptuous seven-course Cantonese dinner and I was about to enjoy my usual dessert - a soothing cigarette - when all hell broke loose.

Pints, body language and other ways to bridge a culture gap

[2007-12-11 07:50]

One word I learned before going abroad was "multicultural". It's arguably the single most popular word to pop up in an IELTS essay question, and I got it down.

Left speechless by Chinese youth

[2007-12-07 07:16]

China's youth was speaking loud and clear at the telephone interview round of the "21st Century Scholastic Cup" speech contest, which I recently helped judge.

Trapped insidemy own private wooly prison

[2007-12-06 06:58]

Does wearing a black turtleneck sweater instantly turn you into a social leper?One thing's for sure, throat huggers do not make for appropriate karaoke garb.

Big shot can't see actions speak louder than words

[2007-12-05 07:48]

My friend Xiao Wang should have scored a 40,000-yuan ($5,256) a month job as a sales director at a top US company. Instead he became yet another victim of East meets West culture clash.