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Chinese people love word games and giving meaning to numbers according to their pronunciation. Everybody knows number 4 is bad luck in China because it sounds the same as “death” (四 sì vs 死 sǐ), and 8 is good luck because it sounds similar to “getting rich” (八 bā vs 发 fā, 发 is the first character in 发财 fācái, which means getting rich). But there are many more numbers with a meaning. On January 4th, 2013, many Chinese couples tied the knot because 2013.1.4 (dates are written year, month and day in China) sounds similar to “love you for a lifetime” (爱你一生一世).


November 11 used to be an informal festivity for single people in China because it has many ones in it (11.11). I was first aware of its existence when I saw an advert on a Beijing bus tv. It seems the stick-shaped cookie Pocky was the sponsor of the festivity because their cookie sticks also look like “ones”, so the advert was more or less: “Eat Pocky on Singles Day!”.


But does anyone care? No, sir! Everybody loves online shopping! And what about me? Well, I think this year I won’t participate in Double 11. I don’t really need anything.





Video arcades stopped being popular in Western countries around the end of the 90s, I think. I remember them as dark places where the bad kids went to play games and maybe smoke cigarettes at the tender age of 14. In China, arcade salons are still present in many malls and are an entertainment option for the whole family. There are games suitable for children, for example using water guns or throwing balls at the monsters on the screen; music games like playing drums or being a DJ; driving games with cars or motorcycles; dancing games… You just need to change a small amount of money into special coins and you can start playing your favourite games.


Some games don''t look too suitable for children but they play anyway...


On Thursday we went to have dinner to the most popular mall in Suzhou. It is always crowded and in fact we had to wait one hour for our table. What to do during that hour? Luckily there was an arcade salon in the mall!


I love taking pictures inside arcade salons. There are many weird machines, full of bright colours and neon lights. After taking a look around, I found my favourite game: the drums machine. I am glad I was never interested in becoming a drummer because I am awful at it, but I enjoy banging at the drums once in a while. It is a good exercise for my arms!


In this arcade salon there were also a lot of crane machines where you could get plush toys. C. wanted a dog with a big head but he could only get this bear


Next time I would like to try the dancing games, but only if there is no one looking.