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Chinese Tuesdays: The most complicated (invented) character ever

My teacher broke this down for us in class once but I forgot what it meant until I asked a waiter about it after seeing it on a fat golden pig. It’s a combination of the chengyu 招财进宝 (zhāo cái jìn bǎo, 招財進寶 in traditional characters), used to wish people wealth and prosperity.

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Fixed gear bicycles illegal in Gulou

 

We don't generally post news on the Anthill, as it's designed for narrative writing and there are too many China news aggregators anyway. But this is breaking news I discovered myself and have to share: the municipal authorities for the Gulou area of central Beijing have, as of midnight last night, made riding fixed gear bicycles in the area against the law.

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Museum of locks

A poem from Shanghai, by Rob Schackne

 

Every time I go across the river

My taxi passes a tiny place called

The Museum of Locks, between

Two hapless shops in Fuxing Lu

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Chinese Tuesdays: 眼红

Editor’s note: We’re introducing a new feature on the Anthill, in collaboration with Sam Duncan’s blog “Things I Notice While Studying Chinese” (汉语小发现). Every week, Sam will post a language titbit, from an unusual idiom (chengyu) to a netizen-invented character, as one-off quick fixes in between our longer posts. Here’s his latest discovery to kick things off:

 

In English we say “green with envy” which comes from Shakespeare’s green-eyed monster I guess, but in Chinese people say 眼红 (yǎn hóng), red eyes, to express envy or jealousy ...

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Beijing beatdown

Why not to quibble over a bill in Sanlitun – by Tom Sampson

 

It was December 31st – New Year’s eve!

Most of my friends at Beijing Language and Culture University had gone home for the holidays. The foreign population on campus had declined dramatically. The grounds were covered in untouched snow. The bare branches of the trees were as defenceless and vulnerable as I would feel later in the night.

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