Author Archives: herschelian

About herschelian

Recently moved to Beijing from London - its all new to me! Trying to learn Chinese, and what makes this city tick.

Why the Chinese are batty about bats and westerners are not.

The Chinese are not spooked by bats, in fact they really rather like them. Bats feature prominently in Chinese art, embroidered on silk robes for an Emperor, painted on porcelain, carved in lacquer ware or wood. On the landing outside … Continue reading

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Fashionably Early or Fashionably Late?

In the west, when we send an invitation inviting people for lunch, or a dinner or what-ever, we give a time to arrive – so do the Chinese. But they don’t seem to really mean the time given. For example, … Continue reading

Posted in politeness, timing, invitations, being a good guest,, Uncategorized | 13 Comments

‘Ferryman’ – the Scottish YA novel that is a best-seller in China.

Avid book readers in the UK would be hard-pressed to name the YA book by Claire McFall, a young Scots author, published in 2013. It has sold approximately 10,000 copies in Scotland, whereas in China over a million copies have … Continue reading

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Oysters and the Chinese Saucerer

130 years ago, in 1888, there was a young man called Lee Kum Sheung who lived in Nanshui, Zhuhai, a small town not far from Shanghai. He had a take-out shop which served oyster soup.            … Continue reading

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A Night at the Opera

A few weekends ago my DH and I took the High Speed Train from Beijing to the city of Wuhan which sits astride the great Yangtze river, some 1060 kms south of here. We were going to the Opera. In … Continue reading

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The Dream of the Red Chamber – China’s Downton Abbey

‘The Story of the Stone’ by Cao Xueqin is more familiarly called ‘The Dream of the Red Chamber’ (DRC). Written in the mid 18th Century, it is considered one of the four ‘great’ literary works of China. In fact, I … Continue reading

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After months away, I’m back in Beijing!

It is over three months since I wrote a blog post – why? because I have been away from China; first I spent 10 happy days at Woods Hole on Cape Cod with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandsons. Then I … Continue reading

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