Sometimes Chinese can be a nightmare. But you have a whole summer ahead of you, why not try to catch up a little on your mandarin language skills? Here are six useful online tools to get your Chinese from mamahuhu to chaojiwudi:
ChinesePod (depicted in the article’s title image)
Chinesepod has Chinese lessons that work. Chinesepod’s podcasts consists of a short sketch which the two hosts disect – explaining the new vocabulary and cultural concepts in depth. The sketches are fun, quirky and you’re bound to relate if you live in China. A personal favorite is an episode called the “DVD Ploy”, a lesson all about netflix-and-chilling China-style. Levels range from beginninger to advanced and members get a free trial for a month after they subscribe. After that, classes cost RMB90 per month and RMB195 per month for Premium. It sucks that it’s not free, but if you’re dedicated to learning Chinese, Chinesepod is worth the price tag. Read the whole article here.
Be a Survivalist
Beijing can be a tough place to live, but if you thought the countryside was any easier, then think again. Imagine’s Survival Summer Camp sends kids ages 7-14 out into the wilderness by Huairou (that little town close to the Mutianyu Great Wall). Children will have a stab at surviving in the great outdoors, learning to build fires, make shelters and cross rivers with bamboo rafts. Children will also learn about cooking in the wild, navigating without maps and making tools using only a knife—closely supervised, of course, by professionals with first-aid skills. It promises to be a pretty wild summer in the Beijing hinterlands.
Dates: From June 13
Age range: For kids ages 7-14
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.imagine-china.com; 5739-4933
Prices: RMB3,500/week Read the whole review here.
Though Alba café’s menu has had its ups and downs, the café itself has remained the same: the same cozy décor, same great prices and the same Bob Marley tracks playing on the speakers above. This winter the Alba team slipped in a few extra pages to their menu and with the opening of their rooftop terrace for the summer, it’s a perfect time to check it out.
So what’s the new menu all about? The quick answer: pizzas and sandwiches. The pizza selection includes a chicken pesto pizza for RMB48, a medium sized pizza with creamy pesto sauce, chicken breast, feta cheese and sprigs of fresh basil. Other pizzas include Parma ham, shrimp and if you’re feeling especially daring – a sweet potato and blue cheese pizza (all for RMB48).
There are lots of new sandwiches as well. They are all served on wooden panels and come with a side of fries – which means that for only RMB30 you can stuff yourself pretty successfully. The open face breakfast sandwich (RMB30) is especially filling, with eggs benedict on one slice of the bagel and an avocado arugula salad on the other. Read the whole review here.
For Gulou-dwelling fashionistas who have run out of shops to sustain their eccentric style, Miss Eliza Vintage is your answer. The owner of the store is Miss Eliza herself, a Beijing-born vintage fanatic with a great sense of style and a love for afternoon tea. The shop is crammed full of finds that have plenty of character, with everything from a hippie rainbow-hued jean jacket to a wide selection of ankle-length plaid woolen skirts. The clothes and accessories are all sourced from Japan and most of the clothing dates back to the ’70s or ’80s.
Dresses, skirts, and blouses from unknown brands all fall in a price range of about RMB300-500 and jackets are priced at about RMB800—bigger brands cost twice that, with one beautiful vintage Yves Saint Laurent jacket priced at RMB2,350. Read the rest of the review here.