Author: life-china

他妈的: How to Drop the F-Word Properly in Chinese

In this week's Mandarin Monday, we'll focus on what we all need to know for those emergency situations where polite talk just doesn't do the trick: profanity. While we don't suggest that you drop f-bombs in every sentence from now on, sometimes you do need a word that stops people in their tracks and raises a couple of eyebrows. First, the basics. “F*ck” (the verb) can be directly translated into Chinese as 操 (cào), but honestly that's only for the most extreme of circumstances. A slightly more polite term to use instead is 他妈的 (tā mā de), literally "his mother."...

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Taking the Train? China Has Some New Rules to Follow

If you’ve ever boarded a train in China, you don’t need a reminder of the security checks as you enter the station – not to mention the checking of health codes and test results during the COVID age.  Well, China has just made a few changes to rules regarding certain luggage items. The National Railway Administration of the People’s Republic of China announced that the changes will come into effect on July 1.  Here are the changes you should be aware of:  Alcoholic Drinks Must be in a sealed container and clearly labeled  Drinks 24%-70% alcohol cannot exceed total...

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Are Chinese Consumers Ditching Sweet Treats?

The pandemic has disrupted our plans for, well, almost everything, and for many, it has even led to a change of profession. For Heimi (who requested we refer to her by her business pseudonym), a scriptwriter with nearly a decade of professional experience, COVID-19 brought about a new relationship… with bread. “As someone who studies art, scripts are a medium of self-expression. Bread is also my self-expression,” Heimi, a 31-year-old home baker, tells That’s from her home in Beijing.  “I was abroad when Wuhan first reported the COVID-19 outbreak,” Heimi says. “After I came back home, the whole [film]...

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How Folk Music United Post-COVID-19 Beijing

Back in May 2020, when Beijing was recovering from the first pandemic wave, Claire Courtney set about putting on the first Jing and Tonic after witnessing the devastating effects COVID-19 had on live houses and bars. It was a variety show filled with comedians, magicians, music acts and a whole lot more. The 30-year-old was working as an English teacher in China’s capital at the time and had only just started to earn her stripes in the city’s music scene after testing the water at a few open mics. While Courtney’s performance talents would come to fruition a bit...

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Shanghai Records Hottest Day Since 1873

Shanghai's temperature reached 40.9 degrees Celsius yesterday, Wednesday, July 13 – the highest since 1873. Shanghai has been scorching for nine straight days, with yesterday the 14th high-temperature day of the year – one that goes over 35 degrees. In response, meteorological authorities issued this year's second red heatwave alert, the highest in their three-color scheme. Image via WeChat Don't expect respite from the heat any time soon, either; today's forecast high is 40 degrees. And, while the subtropical high is set to move south towards the weekend, temperatures will only drop to a still-sweltering 35 degrees. [Cover image via...

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