The Guest Room

A Hong Kong blog that does a lot more than blog


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /


Let me introduce a new column, with a very old topic.

For hundreds of years the West has been engaged with deciphering a large and diverse mystery. In English, we call it ‘China’, but this is only one of many names that encapsulate many aspects of this place, culture and nation.

Think of any other country in the world (that you don’t live in). How much do you know about it? How much could you possibly know about it? Every place on earth has its own trends, culture, hot topics and taboos. As an outsider our understanding is limited by the availability of information, of news reports and of our interest.

Now imagine a place that contains one-fifth of the world’s population, has amazing geographical and cultural diversity, yet at the same time remains terrifyingly homogenous. How can we begin to approach it?

Well, you’re lucky, because we have an insider: me! Somebody who has experienced China and has stories to tell. Somebody who still lives and works in the belly of this marvellous beast.

But even more importantly…

Somebody who has access to the weirdest and wackiest stories to emerge from the middle kingdom and can put them in some kind of understandable context for you, the dear reader.

I don’t claim this column to be serious, or a genuine reflection on the past present or future of the most populous country on earth.

But I do want to share the craziness of a foreign culture; the madness of something that makes so much sense to some and yet defies the logic of onlookers.

Let’s start with you. Yes, you! Don’t feel limited to China. I’d love to hear your tales / news stories / urban legends of a foreign location. Submit your stories in the comments box.

For it’s a wacky world we live in.

Let’s celebrate it together. Click follow to read more!

4 comments on “NewChinaHand

  1. Jeff
    November 25, 2013

    Bring on the wackiness ! Looking forward to it !

  2. renlingshuiyue
    December 16, 2013

    7 years? And you are still sane? Well, as most old China expats say, when one stays too long in China, one becomes either crazy, rich or delusional, and possibly all three, so good luck with it. If I were sane, I would’ve gotten out a long time ago. The allure of irrationality is both charming and terrifying. Have fun.

    • NewChinaHand
      December 16, 2013

      It’s crazy insane fun every day!

      I hope the delusion doesn’t set in, but the wealth can start any time it likes…

      • renlingshuiyue
        December 17, 2013

        Well, it’s difficult for one not to get delusional in China. Let me change a quote to that of China, “Deal with the Chinese is like walking on tight rope, sooner or later most people will fall one side or another. On the one hand, some people decided they are fabulous angels on earth, with superior culture and understanding of the world and can do no wrong. On the other hand, some people believe they are vicious pr**ks, who are out there to to spread yellow peril, and are plotting to take over the world.”. Both are delusional, but both are common views one see among expats.

        Enjoy yourself, I hope your lungs, liver, and kidneys hold out. 😛 Feel free to share your advice about China in my posts.

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This entry was posted on November 25, 2013 by in NewChinaHand.

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