Having changed computers and lost a bank of favourites, lets go with some trivia.
The Telegraph reports that:
“Shang Erqiang, 40, a restaurant operator based in Tokyo and originally from China, is accused of attempting to sell the endangered species (ie another bloody Panda) for nearly £25,000 (3 million yen).
The stuffed animal was displayed in his home in a bamboo-decorated glass cage and was described as “80 per cent real panda”, with its head and ears appearing to belong to another type of animal.
“An acquaintance of mine just left [the panda] with me. I didn’t intend to sell it,” Erqiang was quoted as telling the police in the Daily Yomiuri newspaper.
Now if you are planning to buy a luxury off-the-plan apartment at the Versailles Residentiel de Luxe La Grand Maison located next to a polluted river in the third-tier coastal city of Wenzhou, you must also consider a major ancillary expense after bimbos, a yacht and expensive motors.
(No thanks to the FT’s pay wall, and the above was from an article containing yet another of Andy Xie’s doomsday property predictions.)
The SMH reports that:
ENGLISH butlers, synonymous with Reginald Jeeves in the novels of P. G. Wodehouse, are answering more calls from super-rich Chinese and Russian clients as wealth shifts from East to West.
The Guild of Professional English Butlers has trained 20 per cent more butlers this year than last, placing them with clients as soon as they are ready, according to Robert Watson.
Butlers undergo a month-long training program that includes instruction on food and wine service and ”second guessing” what their employer wants, Mr Watson said.
The Department of ‘Can I powder your balls, Sir’.
If butlers are onto a right little earner in the Middle Kingdom, aging soccer players are really cleaning up. As the Dear Reader is aware HERE, Nicholas Anelka
….is not the first player lured by the mega-riches available in the Chinese league, with his weekly wages reportedly in the region of 200,000 pounds (around $300,000) — although Shenhua dispute the figure.
In July, little-known Argentine Dario Conca smashed the Chinese record when he signed a $10 million contract for Guangzhou Evergrande, who also splashed out $7.5 million on Brazilian forwards Cleo and Muriqui.
Chinese real estate companies are not undertaking these high-priced signings in a spirit of philanthropy however.
“The nation’s top leadership has ordered large-scale development for football, they have asked each company to invest at least 200 million yuan ($32 million),” Titan quoted an unnamed real estate mogul as saying.
Here is an opportunity for Chelsea to get rid of Fernando Torres and Man City could also piss of Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli. The latter would provide a bundle of laughs in the Middle Kingdom.
However, the Middle Kingdom is not an easy gig. Long bus trips with little leg room, stone-aged coaching methods and eccentric management.
Time reports HERE that the:
Chinese online-gaming mogul Zhu Jun is used to winning big. After all, he made his fortune in part by being the first to nab China distribution rights for the World of Warcraft franchise. But the soccer team that he bought with his millions, Shanghai Shenhua, has broken his lucky streak. Last season the Blue Devils finished in 11th place (out of 16 teams) in the Chinese Super League. What’s more, he’s had a patchy record as owner. He once made the coach pick him for a friendly against Liverpool in Amsterdam (he only lasted five minutes). Zhu’s merging of the club with rivals Shanghai United understandably upset supporters and he’s even threatened to relocate the team to Wuhu, in Anhui.
And there is a salutary lesson, if we look at the previous Sino adventures of Paul Gascoigne:
Hannah Beech Intrepid Time’s Reporter continues:
“There’s also the issue of how foreign players adapt to life in China, both on the pitch and off. In 2003, I followed England’s Paul Gascoigne — who had it not been for injuries might have been one of the greatest midfielders of his generation — when he washed up in China playing for the Gansu Agricultural Land Reclamation Flying Horses, a second-division team based in one of China’s most polluted cities. (The team was even worse than its name makes it sound—and it no longer exists.) Gazza lasted only a couple months and scored just a couple of goals for the Flying Horses. His fade on the field seemed matched only by his lassitude at team breakfasts where he was confounded by bowls of noodles, rice gruel and pickled vegetables”.
You can read Ms Beech’s full report on Gazza in China HERE.
It’s a hoot.
Yet a third contribution towards understanding Sport and Leisure in China.