Author Archives: Andy Deemer

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The Chinese Taxidermy Diaries: Days Four to Six

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Intro: Setting the Scene Day One: Stuffing the Big Dog Day Two: But These Aren't Squirrels Day Three: When The Booze Comes Out Days Four to Six: When We Eat the Dog Day Seven: My First Stuffed Dog The Last Few Days: The Final Exams Mr Zhou's a generous man. He loves to hand out smokes. As Michelle and I ...

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Siamese fighting fish

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We're still deep in the trenches at the taxidermy school outside Beijing, but I thought I'd take a moment to remember some living animals we came across, recently:  Cambodian fighting fish. The males of the species will live for 2 or 3 years, it's said, and maybe even 7 or 9 if fed right... but if ...

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The Chinese Taxidermy Diaries: Day Three

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Day One started with flaying a dog, and Day Two started with flaying a baby dog. So when day three started with Teacher Liu saying, over breakfast, "I think you'll do a sheep's head today," I cheered with glee. I almost spilled my bowl of fresh soy milk & nescafe. Intro: Setting the Scene Day ...

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Fish Heads in the Hutongs

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Walking through Beijing, I'm never sure whether things are to be thrown away, or if they're the meal being prepared.

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The Chinese Taxidermy Diaries: The Second Day

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That first day was a trial. We'd flayed a dog's legs, and worked the bones from the feet.  But that was nothing compared to the second. Intro: Setting the Scene Day One: Stuffing the Big Dog Day Two: But These Aren't Squirrels Day Three: When The Booze Comes Out Days Four to Six: When We Eat the Dog Day Seven: My ...

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Why Chinese People Eat Sea Horse

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Every time I pass by one of those classic Chinese pharmacies, I can't help but stop and wonder... And a few months ago, I decided to find out. Part 1: Eat snake for healthier skin Part 2: Eat ants to keep that lustrous hair Part 3: Deer penis will keep you strong Part 4: How to eat fried worms ...

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The Chinese Taxidermy Diaries: The First Day

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"Was he killed?" asked Xiao Li, as he was carefully slicing around the ear, trying to get at the tendon inside. Intro: Setting the Scene Day One: Stuffing the Big Dog Day Two: But These Aren't Squirrels Day Three: When The Booze Comes Out Days Four to Six: When We Eat the Dog Day Seven: My First Stuffed Dog The Last Few ...

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Off to Taxidermy School

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Woo and I have long shared a love of stuffed animals, so it's time to make it true. This morning, we're driving off to Songzhuang Artists Village with two lads from Harbin for a 10-day taxidermist training workshop. Intro: Setting the Scene Day One: Stuffing the Big Dog Day Two: But These Aren't Squirrels Day Three: When The ...

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Soy Sauce Kit Kats (and other awesome flavors)

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I was a little confused about the Tokyo airport when I flew through there a few weeks ago. It seemed so... rundown. Ceiling tiles missing, chairs blocking entrances, stores closed. And then I saw this sign. Uh-oh. What had I missed during my media blockout? Turns out the third reactor was ...

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Modern Day Cavemen of Shanxi

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Recently, Woo and I were in rural Shanxi Province, and noticed a series of caves carved into the landscape, off in the distance.  They were just dark shadows, really, but they were clearly man-made. "Before, did people live there?" we asked the cab driver, like the good tourists that we were. "Yes, but they still live there ...

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Outsider Art Kangaroos at the Beijing Zoo

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I wasn't much impressed with the Beijing zoo.  Quite the contrary...  I was absolutely horrified. We left depressed.  (See this story for a hint of the madness.) But on the upside, while we saw no live kangaroos, we did happen on these lovely grazing sculptures, made from pieces of found wood. It felt more like something ...

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Now that’s just rude…

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(At the Beijing Zoo.)

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The Best Stamps from Beijing’s Incredible Stamp Museum (including 3-D North Korean stamps!)

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Continuing on from yesterday's post, here are my six top favorite collections from Beijing's wonderful stamp and post museum.... Sorry for the spoiler above. But it's just... too weird. 6. Table Tennis What's there not to love about table tennis?  Mao adored it, so did Deng Xiaoping and Zhou Enlai.  Plus, there's always the ...

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Incredible Chinese Stamp Museum (first of two)

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I'm not a stamp geek.  My dad is, my nephew is... but to be perfectly honest, I had some low expectations for the Beijing Stamp Museum.  Even with free admission, four floors, over one million stamps, and "for rent" magnifying glasses, Michelle and I were the only visitors. But I have to admit, this museum is ...

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And we’re back…

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Sorry for the silence. China got wise to the VPN, and issues had to be resolved.  But we're back.  Hopefully for a while, at least.While we pop the bottles of silkworm baijiu and seahorse bourbon, here's a photo from last night's dinner at Beijing's newest maid cafe.  (Sure, Japan had sexy 19th century French maids ...

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The 100th Post? Miss Puke Massage, of course.

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Could we resist?  Central Bangkok.

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Why Chinese People Eat Fried Worms

Every time I pass by one of those classic Chinese pharmacies, I can't help but stop and wonder... And a few months ago, I decided to find out. Part 1: Eat snake for healthier skin Part 2: Eat ants to keep that lustrous hair Part 3: Deer penis will keep you strong Part 4: How to eat fried worms ...

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Kiev: The Weirdest Ukranian Opera Restaurant in Beijing

Missing those classic Yevhen Hrebinka hits?  Desperate for a Chicken Kiev and a bottle of Stoli?  But sick of those stern Soviet babushkas slapping down watery bowls of borscht? I hear you, brother. The closest I'd gotten to good Ukranian in Asia was in a subterranean Beijing nightclub. The bouncer outside was a scowling mohawked dwarf in ...

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China’s first sci-fi movie: Death Ray on Coral Island (1980)

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Sci-fi books?  China's got tons of those. But when it comes to sci-fi movies, China's really falling behind.  One that really did impress me, though, was the very first to be produced in China: 1980's gorgeous, fun, and campy "Death Ray on Coral Island" (珊瑚岛上的死光). In "Death Ray," a good-hearted team of Chinese scientists, based in what ...

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The Illegal Mae Sot-Burma Border Crossing

I put this up on YouTube a little while back, but it's definitely worth putting up here: the illegal border crossing at Mae Sot.I shot this from the Thai side of the Thai-Burmese border. To get from Mae Sot to Myawaddy, you cross a bridge, pay a toll, and have your passport confiscated for ...

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