Mall of hyperbole

The National (from that other place of hyperbole, the UAE) runs an fascinating article (‘Mall of misfortune‘) about a desolated shopping mall in Dongguan in China’s Pearl River Delta: The South China Mall which opened with great fanfare in 2005, is not just the world’s largest. With fewer than a dozen stores scattered through a space designed to house 1,500, it is also the world's emptiest - a dusty, decrepit complex of buildings marked by peeling paint, dead light bulbs, and dismembered manne…

Honest spicy food

Just back from a week in New York (taking benefit of the favorable dollar to euro exchange rate) which was amazing in a number of ways. One of the more interesting culinary discoveries was the Sichuan hot-pot. If you like honest spicy food than you should try one if you have the chance. It consists of a simmering metal pot of stock made from Sichuan Pepper (also known as ‘flower pepper’) that is placed at the center of the table. The broth is so spicy that the Chinese seem to refer to it as ‘Ma…

Infrastructural claims to fame

I think i bought my last CD (‘Original Pirate Material‘ by the Streets) in 2002 only to rip it to my computer and then to leave it in a train running along the river rhine from Cologne towards Karlsruhe (in the hope that someone else would find it and enjoy it). I have not bought a music CD ever since (with the exception of a couple of baile funk CDs in Rio de Janeiro in 2006, but these don’t count because they were burned on demand by the sellers). As everybody who hasn’t spend the last couple…

Slideshows

Ran into some amazing slideshows in the last couple of days which somehow remind me of my trip to Dubai, India and China (see here) late last year. First, the New York Times (which apparently is one and a half inches less wide these days) has a beautiful slideshow from construction sites in Dubai (see my own pictures here): Photo by Tyler Hicks nicked from NYTimes.com And the Atlantic Monthly hosts an extensive slideshow by James Fallows (complete with voiceover and cheesy pseudo Chines…

Phantom menace

Lawrence gave a pretty amazing presentation on ‘what can be learned from asian cinema?‘ at piratecinema on sunday morning. His general point was how new forms of distribution (read shameless copying) slowly lead to another form of aesthetic/cinematorgaphic practice in Asia (or to be less general China & India). towards the end he showed a couple of slides form an earlier presentation he had given at the Asia commons conference in Bangkok last year. I really liked this diagram, which gives a…

Chi (from China with pride)

Seems to me that globalization is more or less complete as of today. Until today i was under the impression that half of everything comes from Shenzen and the rest of the pearl river delta (also see my post about CFLs from a while ago) and the other half of things comes from other places. Looks like this is not true anymore, as now even the red wine comes from China (seems to have something to do with the fact that KLM is having an ‘experience china food and wine festival’ on board of its flight…

Casino Royale

So i have been trying to buy a dvd copy of the latest James Bond movie all along my trip. finally managed to score a decent copy with proper english sound in Shenzhen (china) yesterday. in total i bought 4 different discs which gives a nice little insight in the dynamics of movie piracy in asia: 25/11 Dubai, Karama market: got a 4-1 dvd with three other crap movies on it in a upstairs room behind one of the numerous fake brand clothing shops in the Karama Market Shopping Complex. Paid 20 Dirham,…

Europe is so 20th century ...

… coming home form the (opening of the going to be) excellent mycreativity event/conference/meeting i stopped by the shoarma place around the corner from my house. The egyptian guy who runs the shop was in chatty mood and somehow we ended up discussing Syriana which he described as… … a film about the CIA and the Arabs (sic!) fighting about influence about the enormous oil resources of the Persian gulf … form there our discussion went towards describing how much of a mess this confrontation and…

My new 9/11 lamp

Bought a new lamp today after having spotted it yesterday night on the way back from the theatre. it is a cheap (ok, actually they charged me €20 for it, so it is not cheap) plastic lamp that emits a cold, ugly blue neon light and makes a cracking sound once in a while. tres plastic baroque! and while it was not really misplaced in the cheap late night grocery/liqour store window i got it from, i actually have no clue where to keep it in the apartment. The lamp contains two rotating films inside…