Yesterday I mentioned the phrase “It’s like watching paint dry.” This video of a street vendor making jianbing (煎饼・Chinese breakfast crepes) is like watching socks go around in a clothes dryer.

Compare that method with this one:

I’m sure there are as many ways to make this as there are street vendors in Beijing.

A funny account of someone addicted to jianbing: “Let he who has turned down a delicious jianbing first call me fatty” (from Roads & Kingdoms).

Also: “Why Jianbing is China’s Most Popular Street Breakfast” (from Serious Eats)

And if you want to try making it yourself: a recipe (from Genius Kitchen).

Another recipe, with a slightly different take on it, called Jidan Bing (from The Woks of Life).

Or wait four years and make a plan to go to the next Winter Olympics in Beijing.



Helping the needy

It felt like spring yesterday, but it’s cold again today. It’s hard to imagine having to “sleep rough” but that’s what the homeless are faced with.

In Brussels, Belgium, where (according to the video below) there are 2,600 homeless, and where canvas is illegal but cardboard shelters are not, Belgian entrepreneur Xavier Van der Steppen helps the homeless with “origami cardboard tents” that cost only $35 to make.

More about this story from the BBC

More about homelessness in Brussels (from the Brussels Times).

How about the homeless in Tokyo? According to this article from Mainichi Shimbun, “Tokyo sees 4,000 homeless sleeping in 24-hr cafes on any weeknight”.

One interesting point about the cardboard tents is that they’re made by prison inmates. One possible research project topic is to find out what prison inmates in Japan (or another country you’re learning about) are doing. Do they work? Do they make anything that contributes to society?

Another project for helping the needy (of a different kind): help the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour & Welfare with their English-language information. This is just awful: “Self-support of needy person” (PDF)

One incomprehensible sentence: