Last night's dinner was great. Good food, excellent company. Can't ask for much more than that. We went to Feiteng Yuxiang, the branch on Chunxiu Lu- oddly enough, this is the best site I can find for it, but it does at least list addresses for some of their branches- for some good chuancai, and they certainly delivered. My only gripe was that the room was too warm- but that's nothing to complain about in the middle of winter.
Actually, I really liked the gongbao jiding- it was the first gongbao jiding I've ever had that actually had a bit of spice too it. They'd put proper chillies into it instead of those pathetic northern Chinese non-spicy chillies.
But Jeremiah raised two points that I found interesting:
- The quality of commentary in the English-language China blogosphere has gone really downhill. Yep, unfortunately, and on certain bigger blogs more than others, comment threads are all too often childish slanging fests right from the get-go. It used to be you could actually get some intelligent, rational discussion in before the nutjobs dragged it off topic and started hurling abuse. Not any more.
- New Zealand companies advertising in China like to emphasise the New Zealand origins of their products. Jeremiah suggested this could be because of the general political inoffensiveness of New Zealand. It's really hard to get angry at New Zealand. Of course, this also applies to Canada and Denmark (at least in China, and perhaps not among China's Muslim population). I suspect, though, that they're trying to trade off New Zealand's "clean green" image. I just have to wonder how they expect that to work, though, they seem to running on too many assumptions. China is not North America or Western Europe, where that image may be strong. The only ads for New Zealand products I can recall seeing on TV (and I don't watch a lot of TV- most of what I see I see because my wife is watching while I amuse myself with something else) are for Fonterra's dairy products, and they do seem to emphasise the New Zealand connection, but I don't recall seeing much about "clean and green". That may be worth further investigation...
Of course, a conversation with Jeremiah is guaranteed to include many interesting points, those are just two that I found worth sharing with the wider world.