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(2008-10-23 15:25)
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时尚

A seemingly apocryphal story is making the rounds at law firm water coolers around the city, while it seems unbelievable, I've seen this kind of thing happen before here.  It goes like this: two partner at Foreign Firm A, which only recently opened up in Beijing, got into an elevator in the basement of Guomao and were discussing a new Corporate project they had.  They (seemingly) didn't notice that there were some other lawyers in the elevator with them and even more got on at the first floor.  The partners mentioned that they were understaffed and looking for an associate or two to help them out with this major assignment.  Among the other individuals in the elevator were associates with Foreign Firm B and C and Chinese megafirm.  With these being desperate times and Corporate attorneys the city over (the world over, for that matter) struggling and clawing for billable hours, word of the opening spread quickly.  A hal

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(2008-10-22 18:41)
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杂谈

A coworker's fiance works as a promoter for a ticketing company and so he often gets into plus parties or has top tickets.  Another friend is internet friend's with a top concert musician and so she regularly gets free tickets to concerts.  Me?  I got a proposal to work as consigliere for Chinese gangsters.

Back in the day, clubs and bars in Beijing were run, either directly or through tributes, by one of two equally dangerous groups, the PLA (the Chinese military) or Chinese gangsters.  There were few exceptions.  Places like 88 at Sanlitun were hangouts for the then very small group of rich people, celebrities like Wang Fei, and the hipsters of the day, but also a darker element.  You bumped into the wrong guy, mistakenly reached for someone elses BB (no, in this case it doesn't mean Blackberry, but a pager, does anyone still remember those days pre-mobile phone?), or just looked at someone's girl the wrong

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(2008-10-21 16:46)
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时尚

China is still, for the most part, a cash society.  While credit card usage is steadily on the rise, most people make purchases using cash.  Recently when I made the decision to leave my hutong, I had to pay the first few months rent for my new place in cash, requiring me to go to the bank and remove RMB20,000 in RMB100 bills. 

 

20 years ago, RMB100 would go a long way, today, there are bars and clubs where RMB100 is barely enough to buy a single drink, requiring you to carry a huge wad of cash.  Sure, most places take credit cards, but if you only have an atm card, it requires you taking the 'walk of shame' up to the cash register to enter your pin number. 

 

Please, those at Financial Street who have pull with the Bank of China, the nature of the Chinese economy has changed massively, it's time for an RMB500 bill!

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An interesting article in the Times about a new software for Gmail which prevents you from sending out drun emails.  After a late night session of drinking, its easy to come home, check your email, and send out something that you probably regret and wouldn't have done at another time, but I'd hope that drunken emails isn't an extremely common trend.  Sure, drunk dialing/texting is easily imagined as you always have your phone on you, but going through the steps of turning on your computer, going to the webpage, and typing a message?  CBDrama has done a lot of things in his day, but has yet to commit this kind of offense.  Well, just another new device to help save people from themselves.
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Today, TN and I went back and forth over whether we'd have lunch together, but in the end we met up for lunch and then a coffee.  Frustration set in on both sides after awhile as it came out that part of her tongue lashing the other night was revenge for my previous attack on her ability to 'fall in love.' 

 

So it goes:

Judge Panda: It seems you and he are pretty close.

TN: I've known him for 2 years.

JP: Wow, he must be great, how can he put up with knowing you for 2 years?

TN: Taoyan! Why don't you support me?

JP: Like you supported me with Snow? So you really don't think my reason was good enough?

TN: No.

JP: What if I told you it was due to the fact I fell in love with someone else.

TN: If that was the case, I could accept that, but I would be even angrier at you for breaking up.

JP (now starting to get a headache): so you can accept it, but you would think its wrong.

TN:

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(2008-10-17 14:16)
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时尚

After drinks at Q Bar the other night, I unsuspectingly hailed a cab and got in, thinking it would be a normal ride.  Granted, I've had some difficulties with cab drivers recently and lack the patience to deal with them (as was discussed in previous posts).

 

So here goes:

 

Judge Panda: Please take me to XXX Lu.

Driver: Sorry, I don't know it.

JP: It's okay, just go straight then take Chaoyangmen.

D: I don't know Chaoyangmen.

JP (Getting exasperated): Okay, just go like you were going to Tiananmen.

D (idiotically): Where's Tiananmen?

JP thinking Please. Shoot. Me.

 

Okay, it turns out this driver was from Pinggu and only working for a month, what a surprise.  The Olympics are over and so DVD and breakfeast sellers are back hanging around Guomao and all the countryside taxi drivers are back on the prowl.  Ugh! 

 

Fortunately, this

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(2008-10-16 16:58)
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时尚

Tuesday night saw a rounding up of the usual suspects for dinner and drinks to let loose and start the festivities that is the impending departure of one of our crew's most beloved members.  The choice of the night was Kro's Nest at Gongti While Kro's falls short of US standards (and is outdone by nearby The Tree), its a good pie for Beijing, though avoid ordering a large as the crust doesn't get cooked enough and you end up with a soggy mess.  In any case, you can't complain too much about a place that rolls out 2 kegs of Qingdao every Tuesday night and offers free pints 'till the kegs go dry, and then RMB5 pints after that.  The beer was good, the pizza was passable, and the conversations were stimulating, though mostly focused on our current gloom-and-doom economy (work and the influence it holds over us is never far away).

 

After the meal, we headed over to Q Bar, which

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(2008-10-16 16:32)
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As has been discussed in the last entry, things in the corporate world haven't been quite as busy as they used to be with the destruction of the world economy, otherwise known as the impending end of the world.  This gives me plenty of time to do whatever I want and, unfortunately, I can rarely figure out what I want to do once I sit down in front of my computer.

 

This leaves me forced to think of ways to fill the working hours when I am supposed to be (or at least appear) busy and productive.  Therefore, I've taken it upon myself to support and assist the US economy by shopping online.  The lack of brands like J. Crew and BR in Beijing, the lack of second hand and vintage clothing, plus the import taxes on the brands you can find here means online shopping is almost an addiction for me.  In thes tense economic times, is spendind $200 on a pair of Varvatos boots (even if they were re

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(2008-10-14 16:46)
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Last week involved a lot of turnover, a break up, the absolute blowing up of the world economy, L heading off to Shanghai...It seemed like the world was coming to an end and was difficult to deal with coming directly off a holiday.

 

It's the 'beginning of the end' for L's time here and we've started the celebrating and sadness already, singing at Partyworld last night with an amazing performance from a 'special' guest.  I came late and was not in the mood for singing, but also didn't want to be sitting in my apartment alone.  Perhaps it was the wrong choice.  After the singing, the ever comfortable security blanket that is drinks at Rickshaw didn't help get past the state of malaise that I (we?) are in right now.  Part of it is on account to my own current situation, but its mirrored by the current situation in the world.  What am I to do next?  Was the breakup the thing to do?  What i

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(2008-10-14 14:35)
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时尚

Unfortunately I'm not working in bankruptcy and so therefore right now there isn't a lot of work to be done and much of my time is spent sitting and waiting.  Perhaps that is for the best, I'm not sure if I've been in a mood to do serious work since the breakup, but at the same time, perhaps that would have been the best thing for me to focus my mind on something else.

 

Even with yesterday's stock market recovery, things are still moving slowly for many in the CBD.

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