Nickname: Have been landed with the name “Dinger” by some of the foreigners. I’m told it means “David Ginger”, to distinguish me from “Dasian” = “David Asian”. I’m cool with it. Usually followed by a brief debate about who is the most ginger in the group.

Being Called ‘Dave’: What did I do to deserve this? Was it the pretentious blog?

Mango and I

Guitar: Bought a cheap piece of junk. It’s got strings and it’s possible to tune it, what do you want for nothing, a rubber biscuit? And got my hands on a telecaster to play at Church as well. Haven’t touched an electric in over two months and fairly nailed my debut ( I played alright ).

(Talking of) Church: Not as illegal as I’d expected/hoped. I go to one that meets in a hotel, it’s called Beijing International Christian Fellowship ( not a fan of the the word “Fellowship”, but oh well ). There are 5 services: two English, one Korean, one Indonesian, one Mandarin. So might try Mandarin service sometime and ask for gift of tongues. Anyway, I haven’t been arrested for my faith yet.

Hot Chocolate: Have been sent a steady supply by Mother-of-Mine, along with various chocolate things, English magazines, squash, cuppa soup, more Marmite, and even a few pancakes.

Dentistry: Wisdom teeth, big LOLs. I’d sooner pay for flights home than have dentistry performed in China.

Chinese Habits: Gave in to the whole spitting thing and just gob off occasionally when I really need to. Don’t judge from your high horse in England or where ever. I’ll stop when I come back, I promise. Other Chinese habits: shouting at waiters, drinking hot water, taking no prisoners in queues, afternoon naps ( altho this is common among foreigners, and true of students in England as well I think ), adding “ah” onto the end of sentences for emphasis, not being that surprised by traffic accidents.

The Bitter Cold: Very bitter.

Living in the Big Smog: Reached all time highs, highest its been since I’ve been here anyway. Bad enough to make international news. Was pushing 650 in the city on the AQI. It sometimes gets to 400+, but that doesn’t normally make Western news. When it cleared it was bright and cold and I have never been so happy to see the Beijing-blue sky.

Beijing Happiness
Just so. Courtesy of

Bargaining: Went to Silk Street with my main man Joe to scout the bargaining scene. He was well into it and slaying the traders for things that he didn’t want to buy ( or have the money for ). I was awful. I apologise and in future will make a greater effort to reduce the price on things I don’t need/want to buy.

Characters: Some of them look the same and are pronounced in different ways depending on the meaning. What kind of stupid language would do that? Why on earth would you create that kind of confusion, it doesn’t make any sense.

Alive: and generally kicking.