Beijing’s Third Annual Craft Beer Festival drew thousands of visitors and brewers from around China to the Galaxy Soho complex in Chaoyangmen this weekend. It was some of the nicest whether Beijing has seen this year, with rainbows being spotted around the city.
It was just another day on the Square, though it seemed there were slightly fewer people than usual. Many must have gotten turned away at the security line underground, as officers informed, "If you don't have ID, don't bother waiting in line." The sternest reprimand we heard all day came from an officer who halted a woman sauntering past the queue. "Go wait in line," he barked. "Do you not see all these people waiting?"
China ramped up its censorship considerably in the lead-up to today, both of words and Internet services. Google is by far the biggest company to find its services halted -- as anyone trying to access Gmail without a VPN knows well -- and Google has by far the best response to it. We really want this to be true, anyway -- via Jonah Kessel:
This notice has been going around Twitter and Facebook all day, so it's likely you've seen it, but we want to hear from the students in Beijing -- what happens if you say no to this "study tour" that "all foreign students have to attend"? Drop us a line.
Because it's politically expedient to do so -- proven by Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, etc., to work -- Beijing conducted a drug investigation that recently culminated in a bust of street-level slingers in Sanlitun. This news doesn't affect the vast majority of Beijingers, foreign or local, which is to say, there's little reason any of us should cheer. If anything, we should cringe, knowing these "crackdowns" almost always disproportionately affect those on society's fringes who are most powerless to defend themselves.
More than 30 foreigners, most of “black complexion,” have been arrested on drug charges, and more than 790 grams of methamphetamine, ecstasy, and marijuana have been seized, according to an article on Tuesday in Legal China. Expect a few less head nods and “You good?”s around Taikoo Li. Also, you might need to find a new drug dealer.
Attention, writers of Beijing: we're holding a flash fiction reading on Sunday, July 13 at Great Leap Brewing's Original No. 6 location (Doujiao Hutong No. 6). Space is limited, so we're asking those interested to register by emailing us -- spots will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is 50 RMB, which includes a select GLB beer, with all proceeds going to the charity Educating Girls of Rural China. Also, importantly: we're seeking readers!
If you find yourself needing transportation around Bajiao Amusement Park on Subway Line 1, Tiantong Yuan North Station on Line 5, or Longze Station on Line 13, perhaps it's best to take the bus or a cab. (This is the first and only time I'll recommend taking a taxi over the subway, considering this city's traffic). If you need a reason, check out the video above.
An ostrich escaped from a farm and ran alongside cars on a road in the Changying area of Beijing yesterday around 8 pm, reports Shanghai Daily. "The ostrich, apparently upset by noise made by vehicles passing by, ran down the guardrails of a farm as it was being fed, according to the person surnamed Yu who is in charge of the ostrich farm." Lest you think we're surprised... we're not. We've seen this before:
On April 16, Alec Ash of the Anthill gathered eight writers (technically nine) to read stories at Cu Ju, a rum bar in the hutongs owned by the somewhat legendary Badr Benjelloun, who paired each writer with a rum. The result was glorious. Alec graciously allowed us to record the entirety of that event, which we now present to you as an episode of The Creamcast.
Our friend Amy Sands sends along these pictures from the 13th Beijing International Automobile Exhibition, China's largest auto show. "Like being on the set of a James Bond movie," she says. "Couldn't decide if I found it disgusting or awesome." Bumblebee's having a good time, at least.