Category Archives: China

Looking for podcasters in China

We are changing TIC China to a podcast network. The new name is TIC China Network.

Basically we are looking for people who want to record a podcast about their lives in China.

The podcast could be an interview, poem, song etc but it must relate to living in China.

We will host the podcast on our network for free. Please note this is not for profit we don’t have any sponsorship or adverts.

You can record a podcast with your smartphone. For example some of our podcasts have been recorded on iPhones and Samsungs using the supplied headsets. Just don’t do it in a noisy area.

MP3 or Wav format is preferred.

So if your interested in joining the network. All you have to do is email your podcast to Ian at the following

Links to podcast





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The Chinese Pollution Revolution 2016?

No you can’t fool the children of pollution.

Over the last few days Chengdu’s pollution levels have been extreme no difference really from the last 5 years just the same as usual. In the last couple of years I have started to wear a pollution mask on these danger days. So yesterday (NYE) I popped on my mask and headed off to the metro station on the way I walked past a young father and his very young son as soon as the father saw me he started to laugh. I was so angry I just muttered through my mask “wanker”.  I was thinking how dare you laugh at me you’re the one bringing your child out into this shit. I must note the local government sends out messages that children should not go outside.  I usually feel a bit weird in Chengdu as you usually don’t see many people wearing masks and being a Lowai (foreigner) makes me extra pointing fodder. “Oh look at the Lowai with the pollution mask” laugh, laugh, chuckle, snort and cough.

Finally I arrived at my metro station downtown as soon as I stepped out of the station I was overwhelmed. The amount of young Chengdu locals with pollution masks was astonishing. As I walked down the street to work I was getting nods of recognition from other mask wearers this had never happened before usually when another mask wearers saw each other they would just hang their head in shame, but not today folks! What’s changed? Maybe it was the documentary earlier in the year called Under The Dome, which is now banned in China. Maybe it’s because young people in China have finally had enough of being bombarded with commercialism and has come to the realisation that some things in life are more important.

Is this a pollution revolution?

Happy New Year

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TIC China Episode 2 A&B

This is our first full length podcast which is now available on iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud.
Recorded live on the patio at The Bookworm Chengdu Ian & Austin discuss the first two letters on their A-Z guide for living in China.

Check out links below

iTunes Please subscribe to our iTunes

Stitcher Radio


Follow us on Twitter Facebook

Bookworm Chengdu

Listen to Stitcher

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Echocardiography causes UNWANTED STRESS

In June we had the 4D Scan/Echocardiography everything seemed ok until we our saw our doctor after the scan.

She informed us that there was an echo from the left side of the babies heart or left ventricle and that this could be an indication of Down Syndrome.  She informed us we need to get a second opinion from Huaxi (West) Hospital within the next two weeks.  My wife contacted the hospital, but the next available appointment would be in eight weeks.


If you don’t have any 关系 guanxi (relationship) in China it can really difficult to get anything done medically.  Luckily a friend of ours had some contacts in another private hospital in Chengdu.  They reviewed the report and said everything was fine and that the Echocardiography results can be very misleading and not to worry and that this happens all the time.  I had been really stressed over the first results more than my wife, but after the advice from our friend this gave us a lot of relief.

Stress us out again!

About three weeks ago my wife went for a blood test and general check up at our hospital.  The doctor asked about the results from Huaxi.  My wife informed our doctor that we got a second opinion from another doctor from a private hospital and that everything was ok.  The doctor informed my wife that she wanted her to get this checked out again, because one of her patients had just given birth to a child with Down Syndrome and that we could still abort at week 30.  When she told me all this I was angry and upset.  How can they expect us to have an abortion at week 30.  We came to the conclusion if the baby has DS we don’t care.  We can give the baby a good life.

Corrupt Government Hospitals.  Return of the Yellow Cow.

We decided to get it checked out at Huaxi Hospital.  My wife called the appointments line next available appointment would be at the end of October after the babies birth WTF.  So we had to call a yellow cow.  A yellow cow is basically someone who can get you an appointment with the doctor via some corrupt channel we had to pay him this time 300rmb bear in mind that this is only an appointment to see the doctor who can authorise a scan.

My wife’s ticket had no number or appointment time that means everybody from the doctor to the person dealing with appointment is corrupt.  So we get an appointment to see a doctor my wife went to see the best doctor in Huaxi (allegedly) and informed her of our situation.  This so called best doctor just laughed and said to my wife good luck with getting an appointment for a scan.

Again my wife was informed late October for a scan.  We contacted our Yellow Cow he informed us he could get us an appointment in two weeks, but it would cost 1500rmb and that he could not guarantee the time.

We decided to find another private hospital in Chengdu to do the scan so two weeks ago we had another echo scan for only 400rmb.  There was still an echo from the left side of the heart.  The doctor told us not to worry that our hospital was just trying to cover themselves in case the baby had DS.  They informed us we could have a DNA test.

Finally some relief

After doing some intense research regarding echo noise from a babies heart there seems to be no definite research or statistics.  I even asked the doctor what are the chances of the baby having DS 50% 20% 10% ? The answer was we don’t know.

We had another scan last Thursday 6th August the echo had gone relief all around.

After reading hundreds of posts from parents it seems until somebody does some in-depth research doctors worldwide need to be cautious with the information they give to parents.  I understand the hospital is just covering themselves, but really if the percentages are so low or unknown why give any parent this added stress.

To be honest I wish we had never even done an Echocardiography.


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Snow Mountain Surprise

Yesterday morning I woke around 6am in our Chengdu apartment opened the windows and saw something I have never seen before in Chengdu.  I could actually see Xi Ling Snow Mountain looking towards the North West from near Wanda plaza on the 2nd ring road.  You could actually see the snow on top of the mountains with your naked eye.  My father in law told me that when he was younger you could see it everyday, but with the rise in pollution over the last twenty years it maybe happens only a couple of times a year if your lucky.

The picture quality is not so good as I was using my phone.  The other pic was from a Chengdu website.








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Two White Chicks In China Podcast

A big thanks to Hollie & Nora for mentioning my blog in this weeks podcast.

Two White Chicks In China

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Pollution In Chengdu

First photo taken 26th June 2014 second photo taken 28th June 2014



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Building Work Finished 01/12/2013

The building work was completed on the 1st December 2013.  I have had lots of problems trying to upload videos to youtube.  Sorry for the delay.


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Almost finished.

So we replaced the tiles..  We are still not 100% happy with the work done, but I won’t be paying for it.  So the last two weeks all the walls have been plastered, bathrooms, kitchen, balconies and hall way tiled.  Yesterday we fitted all the wall sockets and light switches and painted the whole apartment.

Video below.


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What’s been done?

In my last post I informed you that all work has currently stopped until we sort out the problems with the building company.

Anyway a quick video of work completed.


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Work has come to a STOP!!!

It’s been a month since my last update. The building work as been moving quickly in the last month even though we had a seven days of National Holidays, but unfortunately yesterday all work came to a stop after I told the Tiler to get the hell out of my apartment. He is employed by the building company which I now regret.

He started the work on the 8th and then vanished for three days. On the 13th I went to the apartment to check on what work if any had been done in the Kitchen. The tiler was not around.

This is the quality of his work.





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The pollution levels over the summer have been okay in Chengdu this year, but today they are back with vengeance and furious anger. It’s time to get my pollution mask out again.


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Cooking Chengdu Festival (Support Local Music and Art)

All please buy your tickets Hemp House, Lan Town, Morning Bar and Lotus Palace.

RMB80/ day (Pre sale RMB50 two-day RMB100 incl. one free shot)

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The Work Has Begun!!!

Finally on September 12th 2013 the builders could start work on our apartment.  If you don’t already know when you buy an apartment in China all you get is a empty shell.  By law the building company has to supply electrics, plumbing and plastering, but on average the quality is not good.  So all the electrics, plumbing and plaster has to be replaced.

September 12th

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September 16th Bathrooms and kitchen waterproofed and re plastered.  Balcony windows being constructed.

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We Finally Got The Keys

Finally on the 10th September we took over the keys from the management company.   After six months of waiting for them to resolve some structural problems.

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No taste No style

The two silver cars I saw yesterday in random parts of Chengdu.  Why?

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Camera 360

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This gift is still giving

In June as usual we had some major thunderstorms in Chengdu.  This morning the thunderstorm started around 3am 7th Aug 2013 and it’s still going at 11:30pm..  anyway I’m sure my gift that keeps on giving will have to be taken out the box again.

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Pollution Chengdu Watch

I love living in Chengdu, but one of the big issue’s we face is the rise in pollution. Since 2012 it seems to be increasing rapidly, this could be due to the building of the second ring road flyover or the increase in construction. Who knows? Below are some snapshots for my pollution index app and some pics from our balcony window.







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A typical Sunday In Chengdu

I always make sure I have one day off on the weekend.  Also been pretty busy DJing for the last two nights at Hemp House and the hangover was wearing off.  Jumped on the bicycle and wandered around town.

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The Nightmare Continues

Every time we find a problem by law the building company has sixty days to fix the problem. Which is standard practice in China.  So the first time we reported the problems we had in the previous post they completed the work just within sixty days.  So in my last post the major problems had been fixed, but then I found we had a leak from the kitchen ceiling.

The building management company called me on 27th of June and informed me that the leak had been fixed in the apartment above.  So I headed down to the apartment.  I checked the wall and it was dry and all looked great.  I needed to make some measurements in the bathroom.  Just outside the bathroom I found another water leak problem behind the main light switch.


So over the last month I have been pushing the building management company to get this problem fixed within the sixty days.  Yesterday 30th July 2013 they called me and said it’s fixed.   I was thinking thank god I can finally get the builders in to start working I have only been waiting since APRIL!!!.

I get to the apartment and all looks great until I enter the kitchen.



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Sometimes in China you have what I like to call “I hate China day”.  Yesterday I had one of those days.  If you live in China you will understand what I’m talking about.

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