New digs, new department 

New desk

I’ve got a new job - more or less - working in the Culture Department of the China Daily website. 

My new working home is on the fifth floor of the main China Daily newspaper building on Huixin Dongjie in north Beijing. It’s beautiful. I have a big, Ikea-style desk. The air conditioning kicks on well before 10 a.m. And there’s an odor-free ladies room that features a Western-style potty!!

Plus, a couple of my friends from the paper work in the same area as me. That was a nice surprise.

This gig is temporary right now, as I’m replacing a co-worker who had a family emergency and had to return to the US for at least a month. If it works out, my stay here may be permanent.

In the meantime, since we are shorthanded at the web, I’ll be doing my usual hard news editing, audio news broadcasts and Sunday column as well as editing lifestyle, food and travel stories. I’m looking forward to the challenge.


Rocky II?  

One of Rocky’s kinfolk?

I found this little pal hanging out on a piece of rickety old furniture outside our neighborhood post office Friday afternoon. The head markings made me do a double take. Although you can’t see the m well in the photo, they look very much like Rocky’s.

He’s the fluffy little white cat who belongs to my friend Murray. 

Rocky at home

Rocky was a stray kitten when Murray rescued him last summer. This spring, we kept spotting a pair of tiny “little pals” who shared the same, or very similar, markings as Murray’s cat. The markings look very much like the Star Fleet logo from Star Trek

I don’t know if this cat is one of the kittens from this past spring or another cat. At any rate, her or she’s got to be one Rocky’s kin.


Family time 

China Daily families enjoy a pleasant summer evening.

It’s a pleasant sight on my evening walk home from work: children playing, racing on bicycles equipped with training wheels or pushing toy trains on the pavement, all under the watchful eyes of their parents and grandparents.

Next door to the China Daily foreigner’s residence is a 13-story tower whose apartments are set aside for the Chinese staff.  

On most pleasant evenings, you’ll find the kids playing outside the tower while the adults relax. It’s almost like seeing an American family hang out on the front porch. The friendly greeting, “Ni hao!” usually evokes a smile or a wave from the little ones, but sometimes a surprised stare. 

It’s a nice little moment near the end of a busy day.


Renovations at the China Daily compound 


Renovation debris fills a truck at the China Daily compound.

The decibal-busting drone of noisy jackhammers and clouds of thick dust fill the air around the China Daily compound. It’s been that way for a week and we can expect these and other disturbing sounds over the next several months, as renovation is under way on the top floors of our 10-story apartment building.

The company is gutting the out-of-date ninth and 10th floors. The seven apartments on each floor will be newly configured, with fresh flooring and walls in the living room, kitchen, dining area and bedroom. New appliances, including front-loading washing machines and a sleek stove top and ventilation/fan system, and cabinets will be installed in the kitchen. 

The bathroom will be one of the coolest features in the redone apartments: there will be a glassed-in shower with two shower heads, one a regular handheld model and the other a fixed “rainforest” type.

The apartment furniture will be Ikea cool like mine. Two big wardrobes and a king-size bed will be in the bedroom and in the living room, two glass-front bookcases and a large-screen TV on the wall, opposite a leatherette couch. It’s all comfortable.

The compound, from the rear. My apartment’s kitchen is over the arched window in the lower left. 

The occupants who lived on the ninth and 10th floors have been moved to lower floors that were renovated late last year. When the work is finished, they can move back to their old apartments or stay in their new homes.

And while it’s noisy at times, the work schedule is mindful of those who live there. Most work afternoons and evenings at the newspaper, so the crews are active from early afternoon to early evening, when they’re at work. 


Construction crews made a little plank bridge over the apartment steps to carry debris out of the building and into a dump truck.


Pooper gets his dog license 

Pooper looks appropriately impressed in his dog license photo.

Our favorite resident canine is now officially registered with the city of Beijing. Pooper, expat Eric’s friendly, mid-size, mixed-breed mutt, got his dog license the other day.  

The license contains all his pertinent information, such as his name, color, the owner’s name and address. Plus a great mug shot that captures Pooper’s quiet, stoic demeanor.

There are a variety of pets among the residents of China Daily’s apartments for foreigners, including cats, dogs, a pair of big turtles and fish. There are even a couple of dogs, but Pooper, frequently seen out and about with Eric, is a stand out.

The kids love him. Six-year-old Ben beams when Eric lets him help take Pooper for a walk. And Ben’s mom says he sometimes runs up to Eric’s apartment, to see if Pooper can play.

Did one of the neighborhood noodle joints name itself in my honor?

Did one of the neighborhood noodle joints name itself in my honor?


Gifts from Brazil 

Bruno’s mom sent me this lovely gift 

My friend Bruno is an energetic photographer and assistant photo editor at China Daily. He just returned from his homeland, Brazil, where he journeyed for the World Cup. 

So it was a nice surprise to run into him today and receive a little gift from his mother, a university professor who I met when she and Bruno’s father and younger brother visited China back in February. It was so kind of her to remember me.

The soap is from an apothecary shop frequented by the former Brazilian royal family. It’s got a lovely scent but the packaging looks too pretty to unwrap! 


Mule cart in a modern city  

Peddlers rely on their mule cart in Beijing.               Photo by Anne Ruisi

Streetside peddlers are a regular sight in Beijing. But not many use a mule and a cart to sell their wares.

We regularly see these sellers around our neighborhood or parked near the entrance to the alley where I work at the China Daily website. They’re usually selling fruit or vegetables, but I don’t recall what was in the back of the cart the day this photo was shot. 


Fish brighten up China Daily  

The fish in the pond at the China Daily lobby.           Photo by Anne Ruisi

It’s relaxing to watch the fish meander through their artificial pond in the lobby at the main China Daily building. Their orange skins provide a punch of bright color against the deep blues of the pond as they glide through the water.

Stand near the edge of the marble lip circling the pond and the fish will swim right up to you. Walk along rim and they’ll follow you like puppies.

Aboard Delta Flight 189, six miles above the desert in China’s Inner Mongolia province. About 45 mins from landing in Beijing.

Aboard Delta Flight 189, six miles above the desert in China’s Inner Mongolia province. About 45 mins from landing in Beijing.