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Gold, Renminbi and the Gold Standard September 28, 2013

Posted by hslu in China, Economics, Global Affair, Gold.
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It is rumored that the Chinese government has accumulated more than 7,000 tons of gold since 2009. the central government also encourages Chinese citizens buy gold on the open market. Panda gold coins has been a popular collectors’ item since 1982. Ads like this one are very common at gold and jewelry stores in Shanghai.

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Wouldn’t you like some of those gold pieces on you?

Why the rapid pace of gold purchase on the open market? 

The Bank of China probably doesn’t like what Bernanke has been doing since 2008, I guess.

But, this is the obvious answer.  I wonder that is there a hidden agenda from the Chinese government?

Some reports speculated that the pace of gold purchase will continue and some even linked Renminbi with the gold standard as a way to fight inflation and teach America a lesson.

It is hard to know what the real game is.

Well, just so happens that Chinese has a saying for this situation:

“不知道中国的葫芦里到底卖的是什么药!”

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Are you holding back on your spending? October 5, 2011

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs.
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Just heard this on TV that American consumers are cutting back on, of all things,  diapers.

Yes, diapers! And the spending on diapers was 1% below the level a year ago.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203791904576609254230522240.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

I don’t think that we have fewer babies than a year ago. Mothers all over the US have kept that wet and soiled diapers on babies’ butts just that little longer to save a few bucks.

Times are different now. I guess when ~16% of people don’t have jobs, they have to cut back on something.

Have you heard of 開襠褲 “kai1 dang1 ku4?”

上海一号私房菜 April 26, 2011

Posted by hslu in China, Chinese Food, Food, Restaurants, Shanghai.
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上海一号私房菜 “shang4 hai3 yi1 hao4 si1 fang2 cai4” is a very unique restaurant. It is not very far from 淮海南路 “huai2 hai3 nan2 lu4,” one of the busiest and most famous shopping areas of the entire Shanghai.

I didn’t know about the restaurant and had no idea what the restaurant was like when I saw the bright neon sign on top of this building. We were just finishing window shopping along 淮海南路 and I was in the mood of having some authentic 上海菜 “shang4 hai3 cai4” before going back to DC. When I saw the sign, I said to myself that this looked like a top class restaurant and I took Bao walked directly to there because it was close to 10 pm and I was afraid that the restaurant was about to close.

Well, the restaurant was very busy and we had to wait for a while. I was relieved because we’d have plenty of time to enjoy our meals.

The restaurant occupies the top floor of a  10 to 12 story building with marble floors, large paintings on the walls, gold-colored columns throughout the dinning area, large dinning hall with at least 50 tables and many private rooms for intimate parties and family gatherings.

The waiting area is almost as big as the dinning room of some restaurants and the hostess wear ankle-length Chinese  旗袍 “qi2 pao2” and a white feather like jacket. The decoration is old Shanghai, the ambiance is warm and I know the restaurant is doing great business in order to support this kind of 排场 “pai2 chang3.”

Well, this is the way I like it too.

After we sat down, we were handed over two thick menus and I almost had more fun going through the menu  than eating their dishes. There were simply too many to choose from.

The menu has 131 pages. In addition to pictures of hundreds of dishes, the glossy menu also included many pictures of Shanghai; 外滩 “wai4 tan1” The Bund, 黄浦江 “huang2 pu3 jiang1,” barges on the river, famous and not so famous people, city streets as they were in the early 1920 and 1930’s, movie stars, 青楼女子 “qing1 lou2 nv3 zi1i,” famous Chinese opera actors and actresses, old kitchen utensils and stories about Shanghai from the early 1900’s. I took my time going over the pages and the waitress left me alone as if she knew I wasn’t ready to order yet.

The menu is divided into 11 sections:

1.  Chef’s top 10 private menu,

2.  Cold dishes,

3.  Soups,

4.  Bird nest, abalone and shark fins,

5.  Shrimp and crabs,

6.  Fish

7.  River fish and shrimp

8.  Fowls and snakes,

9.  Pork, Beef and Lamb,

10.  Vegetables

11.   Desserts and sweets.

There are three 上海一号私房菜 in Shanghai.

The menu is about 1.5" thick.

It looked like this restaurant was good enough for Clinton as well.

Clinton's private collection when he visited China in 2003.

Varieties of Chinese teas at US $1 to US $3 per cup.

Honorable Red Robe tea at US $4 per cup

I ordered a bottle of 石库门锦绣 12 年 for RMB 198, or about US $30. Very reasonable.

A page from the menu.

Deepfried snake

This dish is so good that Buddha will jump over the wall to get a taste.

This bottle of rice wine was RMB 198. 500 ml.

沾酱黄瓜 RMB 7

菌汁小素鸡 RMB 10

手剥河虾仁 also called 大珠小珠落玉盘 "da4 zhu1 xiao3 zhu1 luo4 yu4 pan2." River shrimp with some kind of nuts. Very fresh and very tender. Lightly coated with clear broth.

翅汤四宝

鲍汁南瓜扣百灵菇

椰榄菜四季豆, RMB 20

海鲜两面黄. Do not order this.

Not sure what this was. Probably 松软白糖糕

桂花酒酿园子, RMB 18

Famous Chinese opera actors.

Something to try next time.

We had a good time there because of the festival atmosphere at the main dinning hall. A Japanese company had their 尾牙 “wei3 ya2” (Year end banquet dinner for company employees) there. At the end of their dinner, the Japanese boss was forced to sing a song. All he could do was a short Japanese song but it was so bad that all I could say was 不敢恭維 “bu1 gan3 gong1 wei2.”  The VP also sang but he didn’t want to pass the mic to the others and everyone there had a great time at boss’s expense.

The guy in the middle of the picture surrounded by many female employees are the boss.

We also enjoyed our meals but I didn’t have time or the capacity to try more dishes.

The total bill came to RMB 560, or about $85.

If you have a chance visit Shanghai, make sure you try some of the dishes at this restaurant. Go with a few of your friends so that you can have a wide varieties. Their Chinese rice wines and 白酒 “bai2 jiu3” are very reasonable too.

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