Please Get Ready For Your Arrival! Teaching the Beijing Subway Proper English

Please Get Ready For Your Arrival! Teaching the Beijing Subway Proper English

The Beijing Subway is an epic element of “daily life” (as they say here in Beijing) my end. Whilst I don’t ride it day in day out, I do ride on it religiously enough that I’ve been to most stations (though not all, unlike London at the moment), and I’ve seen a few Chinglish fails.

So City Hall got me the chance to speak to 90 of the Beijing Subway’s “Ops-3” (Third Operations) company. These guys manage Lines 2, 8, 10, and 13, which included the city’s two loop lines, and the arc line as well. We also went over the basic, included ten phrases used in ten situations — gateline English, at the platforms, to deal with interchange routes, and many others.

But we saved the best for last. I treated Subway crew to nearly a hundred phrases or so used at major interchanges and stations across town, in mock situations, and to deal with horrendously complex transfer situations.

Live on Radio Beijing: Of Trains and Stations!

Posted by on Jun 14, 2017 in Beijing 2022, Media Appearances, Trains | No Comments
Live on Radio Beijing: Of Trains and Stations!

It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve stepped back into that live studio at Radio Beijing (as in the English-language services)… The show was Touch Beijing, a live show mostly in English, but with a fair bit of spoken Mandarin Chinese as well. I came in around 25 minutes past the hour (17:25 or so), for my 20-ish minutes of fame (or so). The rail documentary I was doing, Next Station: China, took, of course, centre stage.

Up to this point, I had “sped up” going to stations — I literally just returned yesterday from Shidu Railway Station, Station 51 right by the mountains in southwestern Beijing. The past 50 journeys have seen me around much of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, He’nan, and Shandong, but also as far south as Hu’nan! Were there a few of my favourites already? Absolutely. Old Regular Rail stations made up for the bulk of unexpected discoveries.

Get Out Into the World: Jijiaying, Miyun

Get Out Into the World: Jijiaying, Miyun

“Get out into the world. (F*ck yeah you good thing.)” My new cuss-included iPhone weather app liked the weather in this part of remote northeastern rural Beijing. We went to Jijiaying, Miyun, one of the slightly more remote and less advantaged parts of the Beijing suburbs — to bring our English lessons there and to show that we cared.

First off, we had the bit where Alison Zhou, who co-hosted not just the radio shows at Radio Beijing in 2013 with me, but plenty of these pro bono English public talks as well, did a lesson on English and the Winter Olympics along with me…. Then onto the main event: shooting some kind of publicity video, pretty much to get everyone excited about learning English for 2022. Everyone got their 15 attoseconds of fame.

I can tell you that even if this was early-to-mid-May, it felt scorching hot. No wonder at all, in actual fact: I remember 2001 temperatures this time of year (early May) to be probably 30+ Celsius. At least 31°C. I read that on one of those digitised displays (whether it got correctly calibrated would be another issue, but still the writing is on the wall).

BOCOG 2022! I Am Not Making This Stuff Up…

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Beijing, Beijing 2022 | No Comments
BOCOG 2022! I Am Not Making This Stuff Up…

So Beijing beat Almaty pretty much solid — secured those 4 crucial votes — and brought the Games home! That was amazing already (although I do admit, probably on the day the vote was about to happen in Malaysia, when I went on the Bakerloo line train, I was so bloody nervous I swear I was about to have a heart attack — my Apple Watch registered a heartbeat pretty much nearly three times the usual!).

And now I’m back in Beijing for just a fortnight — 14 days since I was happily stamped in — and what on Earth is this? BOCOG 2022! Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games! And even better: I got my own microphone there!!

Zhangjiakou and Chongli: Ready for 2022 Sooner Than You Think

Zhangjiakou and Chongli: Ready for 2022 Sooner Than You Think

I do admit I left China at a time when it was pretty much in its doldrums. 2014 was a slow year. Earlier that year, me being stuck in smog in very bad traffic was pretty much it to me.

It would be nearly 7 years since I was last in London, so I imagined development had really picked up there. I took the Metropolitan line to the city terminus at Aldgate twice — once in November 2014, and again in summer 2015. It was highly disappointing: there was just about no change there in the City.

In the meantime, Beijing had engaged Magnet Mode again: just about everything from the Winter Olympics and the G20 meeting to international gardening and relaxation summits headed its way into the Middle Kingdom in a chain series of events starting from summer 2015.

With this return trip to Beijing, the absolutely amazing pace of development just completely took my breath away. I took the Beijing Subway the day I landed to see how fast things were picking up in the CBD, after seeing pics on the Web that there must have been at least one new skyscraper in the making. The entire city took my breath away. Even more breathtaking was Hebei, especially that part which would host the world in 2022.

David Feng to Host Hebei Photo Exhibition Launch Event at University of Westminster on 31 October 2015

David Feng to Host Hebei Photo Exhibition Launch Event at University of Westminster on 31 October 2015

I’m really happy to share with everyone that I’ve been confirmed as an event emcee of a photo exhibition about the province of Hebei. This will be held at 14:00 on 31 October 2015 as part of the opening ceremonies.

Hebei could be just any other random province out there, but since winning the rights to host the Beijing & Zhangjiakou 2022 Olympics, it has become the epicentre of a huge amount of publicity. Its close proximity to Beijing, plus a further regional integration project well underway to get Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei even closer, means that the province of Hebei is increasingly a Big in China.

With Hebei being as key as it is — hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics — it’s time the rest of the world in London knew what this place is all about. We’ll be having lots of pictures that will hopefully take your breath away. You’ll actually get to see the non-Beijing part of China that will host the games in 2022. And you’ll actually see some liquid stuff (Beijing is landlocked; but Hebei is right on the coast).

So join me as we start the show: 14:00 on 31 October 2015. This will be at Fyvie Hall at the University of Westminster’s Regent Street Campus (309 Regent Street). The entire exhibition will remain viewable to the public through to 06 November 2015.

Get more info — and get tickets (free!)

See you there!

Beijing 2022: We Nailed It!

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Beijing, Beijing 2022 | No Comments
Beijing 2022: We Nailed It!

“We’ve heard the sentiment that if you do not select Almaty then you, the IOC, can ‘sleep well at night for the next seven years’. I find that a curious statement.”

Almaty spared no effort in attacking the Jing, and it shot itself in the leg, with it edging ever so close to victory — separated by four crucial votes. Verdict? If your “competitor” is a Confucian country where being polite and courteous in rites and decorum is everything, you just don’t take jabs at your adversary. The votes had it all: Almaty’s spectacular Ballmer-(ish-)inspired (it looked every bit like it) bid ran out of fuel, just short of the finishing line. Beijing sprinted through, with my bit of the world pulling it off in brilliant grace.