Convenience store 7-ELEVEN is to open 1,000 stores in Chongqing beginning this year.
Not content with the sight of the Japanese-owned LAWSON spreading throughout Chongqing, the also-Japanese-owned 7-ELEVEN will finally begin its fight for Chongqing market share before the year is out.
7-ELEVEN is already a famous and much-loved brand throughout the world. In ultra-modern cities such as Hong Kong, "Club-7" doubles as a place to pay bills, top up public transport cards, charge mobile phones, and even pay rent.
An often overlooked but very handy benefit to having a 7-ELEVEN open up in your area is also that all the mom-and-pop cigarette and beer stalls near your house will quietly disappear, letting you relax safe in the knowledge that your money goes straight into a multinational every time, and never to a kind old lady's retirement fund.
Rumours surrounding the entry of 7-ELEVEN into the Chongqing have been circulating for some time, but an official announcement at last makes this much clear: 7-ELEVEN will throw down RMB 1 billion first. It will establish 1,000 stores throughout the city, and it expects to earn RMB 7 billion a year out of those.
Chongqing wins too, as it is predicted that out of that, the city will keep RMB 300 million a year in tax (that's a bowl of noodles per year per resident), and 50,000 jobs will be created.
CQScene will be waiting to see what kind of import alcohol is on offer at 7-ELEVEN compared to competitors LAWSON (Asahi) and local underdog Maxwell (PBR).
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As the Wall Street Journal and World Architecture News have reported, CapitaLand (the Singapore based company that owns the Capital Retail (Jiamao) department store in Shapingba), have pretty much bought Chaotianmen and plan to add a massive mixed-use complex right at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. The impressve project designed by world renowned architecture firm SafdieArchitects will feature six new towers, four of which connected by a 'garden bridge,' and will take an estimated five years and $3.1 billion to build. Check out the video presentation of the project below:
Now, I know its not Lonely Planet, but Frommer's, you know, the travel guide for the elderly, has named Chongqing one of its top travel destinations for 2012 (take that chengdu!). They don't have too much to say about the metropolis we make our home other than the ubiquitous, hills, rivers, hot-pot (they even failed to mention the women), but do offer a nugget of truth in stating that Chongqing "offers a captivating glimpse of modern China -- the good, the gritty and the glamorous" Go on and read the full write-up here.
Technically she's just a mammal, but any 6 year old little girl that can swim across the Yangtze river in less than 28 minutes, might as well have gills.
And thats just what Tan Jiajia, a Chongqing first grader did, as she "easily" swam a 1,500 meter stretch of the river in a time of 27 minutes, 24 seconds.
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Owners of Iphones, Ipads, and Ipod touches rejoice! For getting around Chongqing has never been easier. Over the past couple of years "Taxi-Books" have been floating around Chongqing, allowing anyone with a purse, or the willingness to walk around with an extra cigarette-pack sized bulge in their pocket, to get to a number of popular destinations with relative ease (open taxi-book, find desired location, show taxi driver). However, as fashion trends have begun to move toward slimmer fitting pants, and away from the once fashionable man purse, that extra bulge has become not only uncomfortable, but inconvenient, and getting around town usually results to struggling to give directions in broken chinese, or calling/texting your one local friend to have them deal with the Chongqinghua slurring cabi.
Struggle no longer my friends, as a savior is upon us... well, some of us(unfortunately not me). In true Darwinian fashion, the fine folks behind the aforementioned Taxi-Book, have got with the times and created the Chongqing Taxi-Book application(available here). Not only does "Chongqing Taxi-Book - The App." have over 300 locations for you to choose from, broken down into 10 separate categories, from Nightlife + Entertainment, to Healthcare + Education, but it also offers text-speech pronunciation of said locations(incase your cab driver can't read. trust me, it happens), and a 12,000 word english-chinese dictionary. So now you can keep the skinny jeans, forget the man-purse, and still get where you need to go! And for a few faithful readers, you can do so for free...
***CQSCENE.COM and Taxi-Book are giving away free downloads of Chongqing Taxi-Book - The App. to the first 3 people to leave a comment, telling us your favorite destination in Chongqing.***
In two recent news reports, one Chongqing school has put an end to Tai-Chi, while another is making an attempt to end touching.
This little article reports that Duping elementary school in CQ municipality, has traded in the tradition of teaching tai-chi exercises to it's students during recess, for something a bit more modern. Instead of learning how to relax, and do things like, channel their 'chi' energy, the kids will now be taught how to grab their crotch, and thrust their pelvis, just like Michael Jackson.
And purveyors of 'truthiness,' The Global Times reports here, that Chongqing University of Posts & Telecommunications, has assembled a group of student volunteers to crack-down on students' "uncivilized behavior," which includes littering, trampling grassy areas, and forms of touching such as kissing and hugging.
Is it just me, or should the kids being taught to emulate MJ, also be the ones who are taught not to inappropriately touch?
Yesterday a friend in Chongqing posted on facebook that he'd just seen 6 rats at Big Pizza in Three gorges square. That was right after I'd returned home from eating, no more than 100 meters away, at Tianlu Sushi, and witnessing 1/6 of what went down at Big Pizza.
Now, if you want to eat delicious, traditional, inexpensive Chinese food, you're going to eat in in restaurants with rats. The aforementioned restaurants however are expensive(ish) and nice(ish) by local standards.
There is a time and a place for Rats. My favorite noodle shop for instance. Sushi. Sure as shit isn't one of them.