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Now ye're talking - to an Irishman in China

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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 7,920 Mod ✭✭✭✭cee_jay



    Very different to your generic Chinese takeaway food, not even comparable to be honest. The only things I can think of off hand that you can actually get here is sweet and sour (somewhat similar depending on the restaurant), chow mein (very different), fried rice (somewhat similar), roast duck (much better here), dumplings (do Chinese takeaways even sell them?). Hong kong restaurants here tend to be a bit more comparable to Chinese takeaway food (taste wise), but even that is only small number of things.

    I adore the food here, I will miss it when I eventually leave. If you like spicy food then there's lots of great options. It's not all spicy though, depends on the region. Hot pot is godly good (when it's done right), probably my favourite. Are there any hot pot restaurants in Dublin? I'm not moving home until there is at least one.

    There is a new hot pot restaurant on Marlborough St in Dublin called Kitchen 85. It is mainly Cantonese cuisine, really good! But I've never been to China so don't know how it compares to the real thing.

    What do you normally cook for yourself at home, especially now when you've been home for so long? Do you tend to stick to Chinese cuisine, or can you get ingredients for Italian, Mexican, etc?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,776 ✭✭✭up for anything


    There are people there that are fine, but locked in their apartment of course. Then there are people who have been sealed in their apartment.

    What is the difference between locked in and sealed in? Are you locked in or something less? Sealed in sounds ominous - like if everyone outside died you wouldn't be able to free yourself. :eek:

    What happens if you don't have money to pay for grocery delivery? Is there some sort of government welfare to cover this eventuality or if you don't have money to pay upfront or at all for medical care in the hospital?


  • Company Representative Posts: 39 Verified rep I'm in China, AMA


    cee_jay wrote: »
    There is a new hot pot restaurant on Marlborough St in Dublin called Kitchen 85. It is mainly Cantonese cuisine, really good! But I've never been to China so don't know how it compares to the real thing.

    What do you normally cook for yourself at home, especially now when you've been home for so long? Do you tend to stick to Chinese cuisine, or can you get ingredients for Italian, Mexican, etc?

    I cook pretty much everything; Italian, Indian, Mexican, comfort food etc. You can get pretty much anything online here so I've built up a decent pantry full of ingredients. Usually just need to get meat, veg and a couple of other things. I don't cook Chinese food that often as it's everywhere, and cheap. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC54SLBnD5k5U3Q6N__UjbAw/videos this is a good youtube channel for 'real' Chinese food if you want to give it a bash. Once you have all the staple ingredients you can make plenty of dishes. But like I said I'm literally surrounded by dozens of restaurants so I tend to cook other things. I made chicken balls and curry sauce the other day if that counts :pac: Good to hear about the hotpot restaurant.
    What is the difference between locked in and sealed in? Are you locked in or something less? Sealed in sounds ominous - like if everyone outside died you wouldn't be able to free yourself. :eek:

    What happens if you don't have money to pay for grocery delivery? Is there some sort of government welfare to cover this eventuality or if you don't have money to pay upfront or at all for medical care in the hospital?

    Some apartment blocks have literally been sealed with chains, nobody in or out except someone delivering you some groceries every couple of days. I've also seen a few videos of people being sealed in their apartment in Wuhan. That's a bit mad. From comments on Weibo the videos are real, but obviously I can't be sure.

    Honestly I have no idea what happens in regards to people not having enough money for food or medical care. I'm sure there are some provisions in place at the moment for that, given the circumstances. I've heard the government will cover all treatment for coronavirus patients, but not sure if that is just Hubei or countrywide. Regarding medical costs outside of this period, people usually have to save up money for treatment if they can't afford it straight up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,776 ✭✭✭up for anything


    Does anyone conjecture as to why some are chained or sealed in and most not?

    Are you still allowed out every couple of days?


  • Company Representative Posts: 39 Verified rep I'm in China, AMA


    Does anyone conjecture as to why some are chained or sealed in and most not?

    Are you still allowed out every couple of days?

    In most (all?) cases it's because there had been 1 or more confirmed cases in a particular building. As I mentioned before I know British girl whose apartment block was fully quarantined for 2 weeks, they delivered her food (vegetables) every second day. There are still some apartment blocks in my city that padlock the front entrance at 10pm every night, one of my colleagues only noticed when he ran out of water at midnight one night and tried to go to the shop.

    We're allowed out pretty much whenever we want now, no more 'every two days'. The problem is there is still not much open, so go where? Supermarket is really as far as we go, though we usually go the long way for the walk. I'm not really comfortable just yet going to a park (which are probably packed) or something like that. Still checks going in and out of the apartment complex and when entering the supermarket.

    I've been informed that I'll likely be working from home until the end of March/start of April. Hooray :rolleyes: Hope you guys don't have to endure this sh**e, but if you can (and are willing to) work from home, short term of course, I would highly suggest it. Ireland is not going to be able to contain this like China has. I've never seen anything like it and will never again (I hope).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 85,464 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1


    How long have you been in China?


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,327 ✭✭✭✭fritzelly


    Can we flip this on the head (even BNO don't bother reporting Chinese numbers any more)
    Would you like to ask an Irishman what it's like living in Ireland with rampant coronavirus? (who would have thought it would have come to this)
    Bog rolls, pasta, hand sanitizer... so many questions


  • Company Representative Posts: 39 Verified rep I'm in China, AMA


    JP Liz V1 wrote: »
    How long have you been in China?

    4.5 years in total. Will probably leave at the beginning of next year.
    fritzelly wrote: »
    Can we flip this on the head (even BNO don't bother reporting Chinese numbers any more)
    Would you like to ask an Irishman what it's like living in Ireland with rampant coronavirus? (who would have thought it would have come to this)
    Bog rolls, pasta, hand sanitizer... so many questions

    How the tables have turned, eh?! I guess I do have a question. Obviously not getting sick is everyone's main concern, but are people starting to worry about their job? I'm sure not everyone can work from home, and I'm sure some industries could be hit hard if things get a lot worse. Asking because there are plenty of foreigners here who are worried about that...when/if they are going back to work. Add to that people only getting paid part of their wage, or none at all. Seems to be the biggest issue in the aftermath of all this.

    And yes, whats peoples obsession with stocking up on bog roll? That gave me a good laugh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,167 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    The toilet paper thing is nothing to do with any actual shortages. Toilet paper is bulky (so takes up a lot of shelf space) and low margin, so shops don't like to carry more than one day's supply in the shop. This is how just-in-time supply chains work. Result is that even a tiny upswing in demand leaves cleared shelves, which don't get refilled until tomorrow's delivery comes in. And, if you're thinking "If I had to self-isolate for a couple of weeks, what might I run out of?", toilet paper will probably spring to mind. So even a small number of people deciding to buy two weeks worth of toilet paper, so that's at least one thing they won't have to worry about, will result in cleared toilet paper shelves.

    But same goes for distribution warehouses; they don't like to carry much more TP than they will distribute in a day or, at most, two. So a small upswing in demand across a couple of stores will clear out the warehouse that supplies those stores; then it may be two or three days before shop shelves can be restocked, because the distribution warehouse must first restock from the manufacturer/importer.

    Empty shelves are really noticeable, so by the time they do get restocked there are worried people who have been waiting for this so they can stock up, having missed out the first time around, or having only been persuaded by the empty shelves that they need to stock up. So the process repeats itself.

    It doesn't go on indefinitely. Eventually everyone who cares to has two weeks worth of toilet paper in the house. There are a limited number of things you can do with toilet paper, so actual consumption does not increase. Sales in stores revert to normal levels, and just-in-time supply works to keep the shelves stocked as usual.

    Other non-perishable staples that are disappearing from the shelves: rice, pasta. Hasn't happened as quickly as TP, and since the shelving space given over to them is not as large it's not so obvious and people aren't panicking about it in quite the same way. But it's basically the same process. With just-in-time stocking even small spikes in demand can lead to empty shelves.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,776 ✭✭✭up for anything


    How're things now? Are you back to work? Have the personal liberty restrictions been lifted? What did you do to celebrate Paddy's Day? Is there any noticeable difference between people before Covid-19 and now? Have you met or spoken to anyone who had it and recovered, yet? So many questions. Please don't disappear on us. I'll need someone to talk to during lockdown because as it is, I've fallen out with 90% of the people online and 100% of my nuclear family in the last three days of self-isolation. :D


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,109 ✭✭✭PMBC


    Good friend had son working there up to recently teaching English and enjoyed life and was well paid in Irish terms. Came home due to fear of spread some weeks back. Are there opportunities, or were there rather, for this kind of work?
    Hope it is still good for you and that you had a happy Paddy's Day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 116 ✭✭Gruffalo22


    I hear that many people in China cannot get loans or credit cards from the banks. How do they manage? Have you heard of many people using online lending platforms such as Qudian or Laifenqi? I have heard that people may get loans from multiple sites.

    Is IQIYI popular in China for streaming?


  • Company Representative Posts: 39 Verified rep I'm in China, AMA


    How're things now? Are you back to work? Have the personal liberty restrictions been lifted? What did you do to celebrate Paddy's Day? Is there any noticeable difference between people before Covid-19 and now? Have you met or spoken to anyone who had it and recovered, yet? So many questions. Please don't disappear on us. I'll need someone to talk to during lockdown because as it is, I've fallen out with 90% of the people online and 100% of my nuclear family in the last three days of self-isolation. :D

    Things are continuing to improve. More things are opening up and free to go outside whenever you want. They've started letting people enter other peoples apartment complexes, so we've had a couple of friends around. Everyone has a personal QR code on their phone (with their personal info) which you need to show entering most places. That's how they're tracking people in case anyone new gets the virus. Interesting approach. Most (foreign) people still not back to the workplace, including me. Though I've been working the whole time so makes no difference, as have a lot of the teachers with online classes. Schools will begin to open the end of the month (staggered), so probably back to the office then. To open a workplace you have to apply to the government. My whole office can work from home so they won't let us go back yet.

    A LOT more people roaming about now. I would say the streets are probably at 80%, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Actually went to the mall a few days ago for a stroll, it was pretty empty though. Everyone still wearing masks, so no difference there. Though I will say that Trump's comments on the 'China virus' has roiled up some of the folk here. Had the security guards outside asking if I'm American. They were fine when I told them I was Irish, one of them mentioned Whiskey lol. Have heard of a couple of foreigners being turned away from restaurants and public buses, though that's more to do with fear of people bringing the virus back into China. Hence why anyone arriving from abroad is to be quarantined for 2 weeks.

    No I still don't know of anyone who has had it. I guess with 1.4 billion people and approx 80k cases (can't remember), the odds are pretty low on that front.

    Yeah the isolation is not fun, hopefully you're keeping yourself busy which is not easy. Anyone (minority I'm sure) who was hoping for everything to close will regret it very very soon. I'm still at home 80% of the time, but it's become pretty much the norm after 9 weeks.

    I went to a friends apartment on Paddy's day and had too much Jameson :D
    PMBC wrote: »
    Good friend had son working there up to recently teaching English and enjoyed life and was well paid in Irish terms. Came home due to fear of spread some weeks back. Are there opportunities, or were there rather, for this kind of work?
    Hope it is still good for you and that you had a happy Paddy's Day.

    Tonnes of opportunities and no enough teachers to fill them. With schools opening again soon and thousands of teachers gone home, there's gonna be a huge shortage. Even though China is heading the right direction, people are not going to want to travel or leave their family. I certainly wouldn't if I was at home. Plus, as mentioned above, you gotta spend 2 weeks in a hotel on arrival :pac:

    Thanks, I'm going less crazy now so that's a positive. Feel sorry for everyone at home though, looks live it's just the beginning :( Stay safe.
    Gruffalo22 wrote: »
    I hear that many people in China cannot get loans or credit cards from the banks. How do they manage? Have you heard of many people using online lending platforms such as Qudian or Laifenqi? I have heard that people may get loans from multiple sites.

    Is IQIYI popular in China for streaming?

    Loans (and any form of credit in general) are just not popular in China. Most loans are confined to businesses and mortgages. Small personal loans are becoming more popular through companies like the ones you mentioned, probably because Chinese people have more income then they did 10 years ago, so can afford repayments. What the average person did with no work for almost 2 months, I don't really know to be honest. That will be something I'll be asking my colleagues when I go back to work.

    IQIYI is very popular, probably the most popular along with Youku. I don't use any of them though, I download everything :o 100 mbps internet, unlimited download, no piracy laws and the Great Fire Wall...it is what it is.


  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 11,948 Mod ✭✭✭✭iamstop


    Really appreciate you keeping us up to date on what is happening there and how it is progressing. There is a lot of people here (in Canada) starting to freak tf out and not knowing that things are already getting back to normal in China. Some think there could be several months if not a year or two of lockdown and economic ruin.

    In fairness I know a lot of people who have been sent home and are now without work. We're on the up tick right now with no sign of the crest of the curve in sight.

    I'm no expert but I think economically China are a bit more self sufficient than any other one individual country. Globalism and all that.


  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 11,948 Mod ✭✭✭✭iamstop




  • Registered Users Posts: 8,364 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!


    So we’ve finally reached the isolation levels you started with two months ago. They’re giving it two weeks here ..... :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 53 ✭✭Ralphyroo


    May have already been asked but based on the death toll/infection rates being seen, do you think there was a cover up by china? Or is it just that the lockdown was so effective due to the structure of their society


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,130 ✭✭✭✭JCX BXC


    I recall reading this when the thread began, wow how things have changed in this country since.

    Has normality returned in many aspects of life? Are there things you'll think will never be the same as before?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,329 ✭✭✭Loveinapril


    Is there any acknowledgement from the government or Chinese people in general about the cause of the virus?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,003 ✭✭✭handlemaster


    How do you feel about the lack of freedom of expression and human rights ?

    The figures given by the Chinese government for coronavirus cannot be true reflection of the deaths and patients. Less people dead that Italy and so Spain with a fraction of the population.
    Are you sure it's a safe place to be when truth is never been given to the public?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 51 ✭✭Ocer


    How do you feel about the lack of freedom of expression and human rights ?

    The figures given by the Chinese government for coronavirus cannot be true reflection of the deaths and patients. Less people dead that Italy and so Spain with a fraction of the population.
    Are you sure it's a safe place to be when truth is never been given to the public?

    Have you ever been to China? if not, go and have a look by yourself.:rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,003 ✭✭✭handlemaster


    Ocer wrote: »
    Have you ever been to China? if not, go and have a look by yourself.:rolleyes:

    Question was for the thread holder. Walk on with your rolling eyes.


  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 11,948 Mod ✭✭✭✭iamstop




  • Registered Users Posts: 8,364 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!


    iamstop wrote: »
    Where'd he go?

    CCP thought we were asking too many relevant questions. OP has been sent to a ‘training camp’ :eek:

    https://touch.boards.ie/thread/2058066685/1

    (This may not be correct but never let the truth get in the way of a good story) :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,164 ✭✭✭Bigbagofcans


    He's gone back to work :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,776 ✭✭✭up for anything


    Hi Niamh, is the OP ok? I hope so. He's never come back to conclude the thread.

    It would be great to get his take on what is happening in his life, his part of China and what he hears from other people in other parts of the country now it's post-virus... or entering the second wave - if he has time and is still willing and able to post.


  • Boards.ie Employee Posts: 12,597 ✭✭✭✭✭Boards.ie: Niamh
    Boards.ie Community Manager


    Hi up for anything, I will drop him a line to see. Hopefully ife has returned to something resembling normal and he is too busy to post here :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,776 ✭✭✭up for anything


    Hi up for anything, I will drop him a line to see. Hopefully ife has returned to something resembling normal and he is too busy to post here :)


    Thanks Niamh. I have visions of him being carted off by the secret police to work in the salt mines for telling all. :eek::D


  • Boards.ie Employee Posts: 12,597 ✭✭✭✭✭Boards.ie: Niamh
    Boards.ie Community Manager


    I haven't heard back from OP yet so I will close this one for now - of he comes back to me I will happily re-open it. Thanks all for the questions and especially to OP for the time he has been taking to answer questions over what was probably our longest AMA yet!


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