Easy access to movies, TV shows and music one might suspect is part of China's panem et circenses approach to keeping the population docile. As long as they are in front of their computers and TVs gawking they're not doing other, more threatening things. Apart from that, I've never heard of anyone ending up in trouble for being the end user of media copyright infringements in China. It's probably slowly going to change but for now it shouldn't be a source of worry.
@Ocean: Yeah, I'm pretty sure the marriage GC doesn't allow you to work, which is pretty stupid since there's no real difference between that and going to renew your family visa every year. I guess you save 3 hours and 600 yuan, but apart from those the benefits are laughable. Now, I can understand why most countries would like to protect themselves from mass immigration from questionable individuals, but I've always wondered why it should be such a damned hassle for people who are married to a national, can support themselves and don't cause any problems.
Ideally it should be something like this: You've got a wife and a kid in China and you hold/have found a decent job. Your local work bureau and the PSB approve and you get a 1 year work visa. On renewal you show them tax receipts and letter of employment or proof of self-employment and the z-visa is renewed automatically as long as you're married and are employed. Personally I'd like to see a real marriage visa implemented in the Chinese system because they just don't have it currently. I'm not going to need it since I'm setting up a WFOE right now but all the red tape, headaches and resentment I've built up over the past 2 years is not something I'd wish on my worst enemy.
I bought a mid-range Midea in metal/black 4 years ago. It's still working perfectly and I've never had any issues with it. Nah, it can't grill (or broil or whatever you yanks call it) but as a standard, no-fuzz microwave I really have nothing to complain about at that price. Brother recommends.
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The comment from Chris had deserved a wider audience. Beluga?
Went there yesterday and it totally made my week. Nice decor and friendly staff and a real salad bar. Sadly we both wanted mexican food so I can't really say much about their other courses. The food was great but just a tad spicier would have improved the dish. The best thing was that we almost had the place to ourselves and we could have a quiet conversation without shouting, spitting Chinese people in the background. I realised how much I had missed that since coming here.
We went to Chicago Coffee a couple of days ago and it was a nice experience. The place is cozy with soft comfy chairs (I realized how much I have missed one since coming here) and they have a nice little collection of English language books in the corner consisting mainly of classics and travel litterature. I was looking forward to trying their advertized tortilla bar but it wasn't up and running that evening.
Instead we went for 2 12 inch pizzas -roast chicken and pepperoni- but we quickly realized that 1 would have been enough. Those things are heavy. I am mainly into Italian style pizza but Chicago's double layered pizzas are well worth a try. Their coffee seems to be a bit on the expensive side but people say good things about it and they have got a nice selection. I wouldn't mind dropping by again some day,, hopefully when they've got the tortilla thing going. English speaking staff btw.