charts/Mast19.jpg

CHANGING CURRENTS
REFLECTIONS
The MEDIUM, the MESSAGE and the SAUSAGE DOG
CYCLING TO XANADU
THE CHINESE DREAM
CHINESE NEW YEAR ADS
BEYOND THE WALL
ANYONE FOR TENNIS?
VIEWS FROM ABOARD THE CHINA EXPRESS:
1 Zola and Retail Marketing
2 Playing the Waiting Game
3 Beware the Ides of March
4 The county not on a map
5 Chinese Chess in Beijing
6 Build it and They'll Come
7 Riding the Water Dragon
8 The Best of Both Worlds
9 Storming the Great Wall
10 Welcome to the Wangba
11 The Catcher in the Rice
12 The Marriage Business
13 The Crouching Dragon
14 Counting the Numbers
15 A Century of Migration
16 Shooting for the Stars
17 Rise of Yorkshire Puds
18 Harry Potter in Beijing
19 Standing Out in China
20 Self-pandactualisation
21 Strolling on the Moon
22 Tea with the Brothers
23 Animated Guangzhou
24 Trouble on the Farms
25 Christmas in Haerbin
26 Dave pops into Tesco
27 A Breath of Fresh Air
28 The Boys from Brazil
29 Rolls-Royce on a roll
30 The Great Exhibition
31 Spreading the Word
32 On Top of the World
33 Moonlight Madness
34 Beijing's Wild West
35 Avatar vs Confucius
36 Brand Ambassadors
37 Inspiring Adventure
38 China's Sweet Spot
39 Spinning the Wheel
40 Winter Wonderland
41 The End of the Sky
42 Ticket to Ride High
43 Turning the Corner
44 Trouble in Toytown
45 Watch with Mother
46 Red-crowned Alert
47 In a Barbie World
48 Domestic Arrivals
49 Tale of Two Taxis
50 Land of Extremes
51 Of 'Mice' and Men
52 Tour of the South
53 Brooding Clouds?
54 The Nabang Test
55 Guanxi Building
56 Apple Blossoms
57 New Romantics
58 The Rose Seller
59 Rural Shanghai
60 Forbidden Fruit
61 Exotic Flavours
62 Picking up Pace
63 New Year, 2008
64 Shedding Tiers
65 Olympic Prince
66 London Calling
67 A Soulful Song
68 Paradise Lost?
69 Brandopolises
70 Red, red wine
71 Finding Nemo
72 Rogue Dealer
73 Juicy Carrots
74 Bad Air Days
75 Golden Week
76 Master Class
77 Noodle Wars
78 Yes We Can!
79 Mr Blue Sky
80 Keep Riding
81 Wise Words
82 Hair Today
83 Easy Rider
84 Aftershock
85 Bread vans
86 Pick a card
87 The 60th
88 Ox Tales
CHARTS
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2001 to 2007
BIRDS IN CHINA - PHOTOS
BIRDING in CHINA
PORTS of CALL
ABOUT & CONTACT

Anyone for tennis?
14th May 2020, Chaoyang Tennis Club, Beijing 

charts/BeijingTennis2_edited.jpg
Testing times

This wasn't just any game of tennis. This would be our first game of tennis since the lockdown started in Beijing, almost four months ago.

  We were told to get there quite a bit earlier than the 9am start. Just in case...

  The doors open at eight-thirty. We are the first in the queue of ten people, stretching back about 20 metres. 

  The two receptionists are, of course, both wearing masks – as is everyone who enters this outdoor tennis centre. There is no discussion of should we or shouldn't we put on our surgical masks, because everyone in this and I'm sure every city in China must continue to wear a mask in public, even though the official tally of locally-transmitted cases is now close to zero.

  So, 1) properly masked (no flimsy face-coverings allowed) we present ourselves to the 2) similarly-masked receptionist, who 3) takes our temperatures with a contactless thermometer. Any reading over 37 degrees would mean we couldn't play, although that would not be the worst of our worries.

  We then 4) scan the QR code on the wall, using either the Alibaba or WeChat app. We've both been in Beijing for longer than 14 days continuously  we've actually been here for close to four months, having rushed back from a Chinese New Year break in Hebei province after hearing a rumour that the border with Beijing was about to be closed – so we're quietly confident.

  Sure enough, our 'health passport' apps give both of us a glowing, big, green tick.

  It's perhaps worth noting that the 'health passport' apps work on mobile-operator location data, not bluetooth. This means that the technology doesn't need to be activated by the user. What's more, bluetooth is not asked to do something it wasn't designed to do. And, in case you were wondering, the apps were designed, developed, and rolled out in a couple of weeks, for a small amount of RMB, paid for by the companies themselves.

  We proudly show our big, green ticks to the receptionist, who 5) takes a photo of them.

  Somewhat relieved that the technology has worked yet again [thus far, it has never failed], we realise that the dream of playing tennis again is close to coming true.

  But not before we 6) sanitise our hands so that we can pick up the pen to 7) write down our names, address, and mobile telephone numbers on the registration form in front of us.

  Just to be on the safe side, we 8) sanitise our hands again.

  The entire process takes no more than two minutes. Even if it had taken much longer, it would have been no price to pay for saving lives and, with that, having peace-of-mind.

  After all, when it comes to this monstrous virus, safety is game, set, and match.

charts/BeijingTennis7.jpg
The new normal