Time Out Beijing: “The best places to get tattooed in Beijing”

Tattoo artist Chacha

Where are you from? ‘My hometown is in Hunan. You know, it’s Chairman Mao’s hometown so it’s pretty famous.’

Why did you decide to become a tattoo artist? ‘It was when I was in Yunnan. I realised I should probably start making money so that I could actually buy food. But I didn’t want to buy a tie and work in some office building, so I thought it might be a good idea to start tattooing.’

Were you always good at art? ‘I wasn’t that good in the beginning. When I [started out] in Yunnan I made a lot of horrible tattoo works. People said, “No, don’t go to Chacha. He’s just awful!” But you’ve got to keep practising, and you’ll constantly improve.’

When did you get your first tattoo? ‘My first tattoo was a big mummy skull on my chest. It was really horrible, the line looked wrong, but the tattoo artist said it would be fine after it healed. After it healed, I realised he was just lying. So I was really sad about that. And it’s affected how I tattoo people today as well. I don’t want to make any mistakes because I don’t want my customers to have the same feeling I did back then.’ Read the rest of the article here. 

City Weekend Beijing: “Health Matters: Helicobacter Pylori”

Gut Feeling

Helicobacter pylori is one of the most common bacterial infections in human beings. However, studies have shown that in a minority of cases, this bacteria may result in several diseases including gastritis, stomach ulcers, and even gastric cancer. In Asia, where gastric cancer is more common than anywhere else, it’s important to understand what helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is and whether it’s worth getting screened and treated.

What Is It?

H. pylori is a bacterium that is well-adapted to survive in the human gut and in most cases does absolutely nothing. The consensus among experts is that about 50 percent of the world’s population is infected with H. pylori.

However, in some cases, the bacteria can lead to diseases like gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) and stomach ulcers. Most importantly, helicobacter pylori has also been classified as a carcinogen for gastric cancer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer since 1995, and there is also evidence that H. pylori infection is a risk factor for gastric mucosa-associated lymphoma (a lymphatic cancer of the stomach).

Read the rest of the article here. 

City Weekend Beijing: “Memoirs of a Rolling Stone”

Quite honestly, I have no clue where I am from. People want a simple answer; they want to squeeze you into a well-defined box. What people don’t want is the truth: that I have a Swedish father, an American mother, was born in Sweden and before the age of 18 had already lived in the UK, Taiwan, Shanghai and Sweden. Try yelling that to a stranger in a nightclub who has made the terrible mistake of trying to spark a conversation.

My Swedish sounds northern though I lived in the south. My Chinese sounds Taiwanese though I am now living in Beijing and even my English – my mother tongue – is some strange cross-Atlantic blend.

Read the rest of the article here. 

City Weekend: “Six Ways to Improve Concentration”

Get your blood pumping, your brain will love you for it! A study conducted by the British Medical Journal found that the increase in blood flow to the brain during exercise leads to an immediate boost in concentration. According to John Rately, clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, this peak in concentration lasts for about two to three hours after a work out. So if your feeling a bit slow before a big test or deadline, try taking a power walk around the block instead of sitting at your desk in despair.

Read the rest of the article here.

Time Out Beijing: “Apple Pay is Coming to China”

This week you’ll find Apple-lovers and shopaholics alike jumping for joy. It’s official – Apple Pay, Apple’s mobile payment service, is planning to launch in China. According to reports by the Wall Street Journal, Apple has already made deals with four major Chinese banks. China is set to join the super-exclusive club of countries with Apple Pay services, including the US, UK, Australia and Canada.

Don’t give up on WeChat Wallet or cast away your cash just yet, though. The Apple payment service won’t be around till February 2016.

And it looks like Apple Pay will be facing some major competition when it finally launches. According to the Wall Street Journal, Alipay constituted 45 percent of total online payment transactions this year.

Time Out Beijing: “Eat it: Da Dong’s duck burger”

When you walk into a restaurant where the bizarre concept is ‘duck burger fast food joint‘, the biggest shocker is that it’s, well… not that bizarre. The décor at duck master chef Da Dong’s new fast food joint is sleek, and the restaurant is filled with smartly dressed customers scoffing duck burgers and Salt and Pepper Duck Chops before heading back to the nearby offices.

The counter is made to look like a Western fast food chain, but the menu is unlike any other. Forget nuggets and chips, here customers can expect laoganma spicy mashed potato (5RMB), Petite Meat Moon Cakes (9RMB), and egg tarts (8RMB). Oh, and let’s not forget the whole point of the place: the Classic Crispy Lean Roast Duck Burger. That name’s a bit of a mouthful already!

Read the rest of the article here.

Time Out Beijing: “More hints that Google might be returning to China”

As the techies may know, the Beijing stop of popular international startup conference TechCrunch was held in Haidian over the last two days (November 2-3). Eric Schmidt (he’s the executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company) stopped by for a chat, and, while on-stage, dropped this little gem: ‘The interesting thing is that Google never really left China…In fact, we do hope to provide services here…’

Wait …what? Does that mean there’s a chance Google might be getting unblocked in China? Well, Schmidt seemed to be hinting at just that.

‘[Google] has lots of partners [in China] and we have offices in… Taiwan and Hong Kong,’ Schmidt said at the conference, further explaining that Google has been in constant communication with the Chinese government about the company’s presence in the country

Time Out Beijing: “Construction begins for new fast train to Hong Kong”

Could it be? A high-speed rail that takes you from Beijing to Hong Kong in just eight hours? It seems like our romantic dream to speed down south by train might actually be coming true. At least now that the recent plans to construct a new 2,400km high-speed rail have been approved by officials.

The construction is going to start in December 2015 and, according to News 163, it should be ready to go by May… 2019. Okay, so maybe don’t start buying your tickets just yet – but still, we love having something to look forward to.

Read the rest of the article here. 

Time Out Beijing: “Forbidden City blacklists misbehaving tourists”

Are you on the Forbidden City’s blacklist? Well, if you’ve drawn a smiley face on a Ming vase, scribbled ‘James was ‘ere’ on the Gate of Divine Prowess or thrown sweet wrappers in the imperial gardens, then you might be – and shame on you!
Beijing officials have grown tired of unruly visitors and have compiled blacklist of 2,500 vandals, litterers, loud-mouths and general forbidden-palace-hoodlums since June this year, China Daily reports.
The thought of museum wardens turning away ‘hoodlum’ tourists, decked out in the mandatory silly cap and khaki shorts is quite a comical thought – but they do have their reasons.

Guardian: “Here’s the truth about Shanghai schools: they’re terrible”

“Shanghai tops the Pisa rankings thanks to their focus on test-taking. Their model would be a nightmare for US schools…

The western world watches China’s rise as a formidable world-power with a mixture of awe and apprehension. Sci-fi films depict a futuristic world where Baidu.com is the new Google and Mcdonalds has been replaced by Grandma Wang’s Dumpling Emporium. And yet again Shanghai is number one on the Programme for International Student Assessment’s (Pisa) 2012 ranking list of international education, and the US is once again at a low rank, this time 36th place. The US is desperate, and naturally the Chinese educational system seems like an answer. But let me tell you – this is not the case. I know; for two years I attended a local Shanghainese high school and this is the truth: they are terrible.”

Read the rest of the article here.