A letter, a word – F for… Fuwuyuan (服务员)


Fuwuyuan preparing a noodle dish in Cuandixia

服务员 – Fu Wu Yuan

This word is one of the first that I learned when I arrived in China. It is for sure included in the top 10 ‘Survival Chinese’ words that all expatriates learn but I think that I cover it only after one year during my official Chinese courses.

What does it means?

The official translation is ‘waiter’. All persons who work in a bar or restaurant are called ‘fuwuyuan’.

Why do we learn this as soon as we reach China?

After few days, I clearly understand that English and polite words are unsuccessful in restaurants. The only way to have the waiter’s attention is to shout ‘fuwuyuan’.

Only calling them is not sufficient as people on the other tables will shout at them ‘fuwuyuan, fuwuyuan…’.

It appears disconcerting and disrespectful for the people working in bars & restaurants but it becomes quickly a habit. This is for several years a cultural tradition and set in everybody’s mind. (more…)

A letter, a word – E for… E-commerce


z.cn ad in Beijing subway

We often heard in Europe that e-commerce will boom in the coming years and its potential is high. China market is one more time really advances on this topic. Buying online is already well known by Chinese netizens.

To answer numerous customers’ demands, e-commerce companies start to become multinational companies that can manage suppliers, freight transportation and home delivery.

Deliverymen are every morning in front of offices to bring their latest deliveries to customers. This is usual to see colleagues go down twice a week in our building to get their new gadgets from deliveryman.

The most famous e-commerce website in China is Taobao.com but I will write about it in an other dedicated post (most probably on the letter T… :) ). I spent so much time on Taobao that I got many stories to share.

It represents today more than 50 % of sells in China so the rivals have tough challenges to remain alive.

The principal contenders are: (more…)

Incredible China – example 23: heat in the factory!


Winter is coming but temperatures are still high in Southern China. One of my friends just sent me couple of pictures from his industry.

The workers decided to implement their own air conditioning system to reduce the incredible heat inside their factory; ice in a bucket.

Air conditioning in a factory


News from Ctrip.com


logo CtripA French lady, a Ctrip representative, who recently discovered my blog, contacted me few days ago.

She read my initial blog post (French version) that presented the famous Ctrip website and suggested me to promote latest news & offers on their site.

As Ctrip helped me and other “laowais” (expatriates who live in China) to visit this amazing country, I agree to publish a new article referencing this information.

So Ctrip, what do you plan to bring to your customers in the coming weeks?

  • Fast train tickets (home delivery is the only way to receive the tickets for now in almost all major cities in China; except Beijing and Guangzhou) (more…)

A letter, a word – D… for Dadong


A short focus today on local cuisine with the latest series’ post: D for Dadong.

The beijingers will find quickly which location I refer when I mention this name; it will be a little bit harder for the others. The Dadong Restaurant is well known in the Chinese capital. It is one of the references to taste the Beijing’s specialty, the savory roasted duck.

The menu proposes the famous Beijing Roasted Duck and other delicious dishes. Those are modern cuisine plates with a specific focus on the presentation.

Famous Beijing Kaoya in Dadong Fruit for Desert in Dadong


Memrise, a simple way to learn Chinese


Memrise logoThere is not particular secret or any magic formula to learn a new language.

Key points are often the same for any languages:

  • Motivation: some people are moving backward as soon as they need to go to their language classroom
  • Leave in the country : is it really possible to learn French from the US?
  • Have a good teacher and go to the courses
  • Define personal challenges: official exam, usage in the enterprise…

Chinese language is one of the most complicated language to learn (just after Arabic and Hebrew) but also one of the “trendy” language these years. (more…)

A letter, a word – C… for Communism



Third article in the new series, A letter A word, with the word Communism for the letter C. China is one of the latest country in the world where Communism is still the party which detains the power (with North Korea).

The initial model that Mao Zedong put in place in 1949 largely evolves but the Democratic Republic of China is still governed by the Communist party today. It is been more than 70 years than PCC controls with a “strong hand” the country.

In the eighties, under one other well-known personality in China, Den Xiaoping, the country started to slightly open to the outside world and began to make international commercial agreements. Those years shown the beginning of a huge economic growth that is still on-going now.

Today, Communism still controls the power but the persons in charge clearly understood that capitalist economy was necessary to support their country development. It is complicated to understand this from an outside point of view. How can they promote communism ideas and in the same time support capitalism in their enterprises? (more…)

Incredible China – example 22: Chinese power is everywhere!


“Incredible China” series continues even in France with a snapshot that I took in CDG Airport, Paris. HSBC, the most famous hongkongese bank uses nice PHOTOMONTAGES to promote their international services.

HSBC Ad in CDG Airport, Paris

The Sphinx, Egyptian symbol is presented with a big red Dragonhead. This is only an ad but it shows the Chinese economy growth in Africa. Ads follow the economic trend… I had to share this nice representation :)

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