Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How come...

How come people never listen to me when it comes to business, even though I always turn out to be right? Let's just hope this is a trend that doesn't continue in b-school... the not listening to me part that is, not the me always being right.

On a side note, I'm going to Harbin tomorrow for the winter Ice Festival. I've never been in -40 degree temperatures before, so I'm trying to pack accordingly (read: I'm preparing to freeze off my bullocks).

Hey, I'm moving to London for 2 years, I'd better start talking like 'em.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rand McNally would be proud

To anyone who is even slightly familiar with China, they will know that the Chinese media does not exactly follow what we would call in the West "professional journalism". News reports are often inaccurate or downright biased, facts are rarely checked, and the government's censorship is legendary.

Even given those realities, this following story surprised me greatly and drew quite a chuckle.

I was sitting in the office a few days ago and noticed my staff Zhang Wei was watching CCTV news on his computer. It was a story about the Iraq war. Suddenly, Zhang Wei cracks up laughing... laughing so hard he was almost in tears. When I asked him what it was, he paused the video on the map showing Iraq, Kuwait, and Iran.

He asked me if I recognized the map.

I stared at it for a while and said it did look strange, but I did not recognize it.

He then opens up the popular online game World of Warcraft, a highly popular MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role playing game), and scrolls to the maps section.

CCTV News had taken a map from World of Warcraft, roughly shaped like the Middle East, and written in the names Iraq, Kuwait, and Iran.

The map even still had the cartoon mountains drawn in where Turkey should be.

Monday, January 07, 2008

My Waistline thanks Thee

Dear Little Shop Near My Owner's House,

I wish to thank you in advance for the increase in circumference that your new offering in your store will cause me. I've not doubt that your new "Rock Taco" and "Nacho Cheesier" Doritos will sell well; I am quite sure that my owner, that silly waiguoren that lives in Dong Fang Hai Yang Hua Yuan, will buy up most of your stock.

I am comforted by the fact that while you are sending your daughter to school with the proceeds from your laowai Dorito sales, I will be giggling up and down as my owner (the silly laowai aforementioned) is running for hours on the gym's treadmill trying to shrink me down in size. I have no doubt that my grumblings will cause the da pangzi to spend a small fortune in your store, on Frito Lay products alone. I am glad a direct result of my grumblings could result in your daughter's further education.

Please consider expanding your line of tasty munchie goods to also include such Western snacks as Pepperoni Pizza Combos, Cowtails, and gallon jugs of Wawa Peach Iced Tea.

Nick's Waistline

Friday, January 04, 2008

Does anyone else think this is cool?

Nolan Bushnell, the founder and former CEO of Atari is also the founder and former CEO of Chuck E Cheese's Pizza (anyone from the US will know the glory of Chuck E Cheese to an 8 year-old.)

I don't know... to me that seems like a strange combination. I think its pretty neat. Mr. Bushnell's current venture is uWink, a media based restaurant.

uWink, Inc. has created a new entertainment dining experience that you can't get anywhere else.

Our fun, casual environment makes it easy for people to interact, have fun, play games, and enjoy delicious, reasonably priced meals. It's not a game arcade or pool hall. uWink is an interactive, social restaurant, where you are in control of your meal and your fun.

uWink provides delicious modern comfort food made with fresh ingredients ordered via touch screen terminals at the table and served by runners, quickly and accurately.

uWink's at-the-table-entertainment includes a large variety of games, table-to-table interaction, "edutainment", videos and more. The dynamic projected interior provides diners with scrumptious i-candy and a hip, ever-changing environment.

Check out http://www.uwink.com

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Dart in the Head

On New Year's Eve I went down to Chao Yang Jie (the old bar street) with some friends for some drinks at Raffles Bar. As we walked into the bar, I noticed that directly next to the door was a dart board. I commented in passing that that was a terrible location, and afterwards thought no more about it.

So, my friends start playing darts. After each game they took a step back. Not before long, they were standing at the back of the bar, approximately 15 yards away from the board/door. In order to throw a dart that distance, you need to seriously throw that thing...

So Ryan chucks a dart hard...

... the door opens...

... and the dart hits a Chinese mafia guy right in face. Well, kinda the side of his forehead. But hard enough that it was actually sticking out of his skull and it had to be yanked out pretty hard.

We thought bad stuff was going to happen, considering that this guy had about 10 of his mafia friends with him. Knife fights have started with much, much less in Yantai. Mafia really like to carry machetes. Fortunately for my friend Ryan, he happened to hit one of the younger, lower-ranked mafia guys... it he'd been a senior, he could not have afforded to loose that kind of face and would have retaliated.

Instead the guy was content with a free beer and a few laughs.