Sunday 6 November 2011
We wake up knackered after being very busy over the last couple of days and so decide to take this day easy.
I have a coffee in the morning from Tea Da Ye. ‘Because every day should be a Tea Da Ye.’ I think it is from Taiwan. The name is a clever pun. It (kind of) means Tea Master in Chinese, as well as having an English sounding name. There are lots of businesses in China with clever pun names like this.
We went to a shopping mall near Wangfujing underground station for lunch. We looked around and found this place where they specialising in sizzling food cooked served in a hot stone bowl. It rocked.
We go to Bread Talk, another bakery after lunch. ‘Because everyone is talking about Bread.’ I have a fantastic croissant that is filled with peanut butter cream. Very tasty. Liwen has a blueberry cake that is pretty good, but not as good as my selection. I win! There are Bread Talk outlets in Shenzhen.
There are a few statues in the busiest area of Wanfujing. They are not that impressive, but they still attract studpid tourists who pose next to the statues with their gormless faces.
There are a couple of KFCs in Wangfujing. Liwen and I remember seeing loads of KFCs last time we were in China, but there now seem to be a lot fewer. Perhaps we are miss-remembering. We also remember there was a lot fewer McDonalds compared to KFCs, which still seems to be the case, as when we were in Shenzhen we only saw one Golden Arches compared to a few Colonel Sanders.
Chinese people refer to KFC as Kenturgy, as it kind of sounds like Kentucky and the ‘gy’ at the end kind of sounds like the Chinese word for chicken. There are some things that sets the Chinese KFC apart from KFC in UK:
- They have different meals on the menu such as congee or jook, a watery rice dish, mostly eaten for breakfast. You can also get soup and noodles.
- You can eat with plastic gloves, so as not to get your hands dirty or infect your food with your grubby mitts. That’s why they would never be able to use the phrase ‘finger licking good’.
- There are unisex sinks on the outside of the gents/ladies bathrooms, so that you can wash your hands before and after your meal. Wash your hands and then put them in gloves. You can never be too careful when handling Kenturgy.
- They sell Portuguese egg tarts. KFC in SZ was the first place I had Portuguese egg tarts, so to me they are still the original and I remember them as the best.
- There are many more members of staff working in each chain. I have always found them to be very courteous and helpful.
KFC advertise aggressively in China. There was an advert I remember where a man visiting the dentist will not open his mouth until a Kenturgy chicken burger is brought into the room. The description on the advert below says that it is controversial as taosit monks should be vegetarian, so probably not big fans of KFC.
We watch some television in the hotel room. Mr Zhou, a popular stand up comedian was on. He does observational stuff with a social conscience. He was doing a bit about how it is difficult to help elderly people. There had been a story in the news about how when this man tried to help this old lady who had been in a car crash she accused him of being the person who caused the crash. It was on CCTV, so it was proven that he was just a helpful bystander. He ended by saying that we should all try and help each other in these situations whenever we can.
I wish I could have understood Mr Zhou myself, as from Liwen said it sounded very intresting. We watched him again while in Shenzhen and he was talking about politics. I believe he was saying that the Chinese government shouldn’t measure the growth of wealth of the country by GDP. He was saying that a better measure would be to look at the wealth of ordinary Chinese people e.g. by looking at employment opportunities. I didn’t think this kind of opinion would be allowed to be aired on Chinese TV.
Liwen said Mr Zhou presented what he was saying as just ideas and not neccesarily his opinions. It’s a shame I couldn’t understand this for myself because I would like to hear the tone that he uses and know if it is tongue-in-cheek.
There are some negative things to say about Mr Zhou’s show. There are weird cartoon sound effects, like pings and buzzers, while Mr Zhou is talking, which seemed tacky and distracting. He also didn’t seem to be getting many laughs from the live audience, but Liwen said some bits were funny, but it was more captivating than hilarious.