The following piece is the first of a special series of Curiosities for Metropolis Magazine. I just finished reading Lucy Kellaway’s acerbic-but-true piece (free registration required) in the FT about management consultants and all their related jargon landing in China. And it immediately brought to mind an evening I spent in Shanghai a few months ago, where we invited a group of young...
We hear them going off all the time in the neighborhood where we live, at seemingly random times of the day or night - the distinctive sound of firecrackers, the rippling, crackling, insanely loud firework that is uniquely Chinese. A firecracker is a small explosive device primarily designed to produce a large amount of noise, especially in the form of a loud bang; any visual effect is...
Curious About...Chinese Cricket Matches.
(Huge thank you to my colleague Greg Perez for suggesting this topic.) I haven’t been to Shanghai’s legendary Insect Market yet, but am planning on plucking up the courage to do so. I am a huge entemophobe so the challenge is vast, but I am curious to see the fighting cricket matches that everyone here talks about. (Worth pointing out upfront that unlike many blood sports such...
Curious About...Ping Pong.
Most of our offices have some form of lightly competitive communal sport going on - in many cases there is a central foosball table where folks break in the mid-afternoon; fueled by cookies and Red Bull, they gather round and raucously egg one another on. In our Shanghai office, naturally, it’s ping pong. Ping Pong (乒乓) is the official name for the sport of table tennis in China. The...
Curious About...Chopstick Etiquette.
Last week in Japan was about studying the subtle details of everything, from handing over a business card (text pointed towards the user, ponder theirs for a second, do not carelessly place it in a pile on the table) to the depth of a bow (not too shallow which is dismissive, not too deep which is too formal and reverent) and to struggling to not make a fool of myself with chopsticks, which...