Ask Beijing Today is our weekly attempt to make life in China less confusing. Whether it’s tracking down the papers to apply for a Chinese green card, dealing with KTV-crazy neighbors or finding the best buy on saffron, we are happy to help.
Q. I’m moving to Beijing to teach this July. I would like to find an indoor Tai Chi class taught in English. I will be working in the Wangjing area.
A. Tai Chi is starting to become popular again in the city. You can find lots of people practicing in most of the popular public parks. If you don’t mind working out in the morning, you might consider joining one of those groups to learn the basics.
If you are after more professional Tai Chi training, you can try contacting Eric Liu. He is a private Tai Chi instructor who has a lot of experience in training foreigners.
Q. Where can I find a store with great CD selection?
A. Hop in your time machine and head back to 2002: there used to be one on every street!
But seriously, if you are still buying CDs there is one shop that has a good selection of jazz, rock, pop and more obscure bands. Music Shop is located on Dongsi Road. Get off Subway Line 5 at Dongsi Station and walk south. You can find it on the east side of the street.
If you are in the area, keep heading south for another 15 minutes to find China Books. They have a huge selection of out-of-print and used books and an interesting English selection.
Q. Our cat needs a new home. She is a two-year-old healthy female who is spayed and up to date on all her shots. What’s the best way to let find a new owner?
A. Post your cat’s information on a social media site like Sina Weibo, WeChat or Douban and ask your friends to help you share the post. Be sure to include lots of pictures.
Q. A friend of mine wants to relocate to Beijing for work. Currently he is a math teacher at a high school in Spain and has previous work experience as an accountant. What kind of jobs can he find in the city? Where can he look for job postings?
A. If he wants to teach, we suggest he contact the city’s international schools directly. Most post hiring notices on their own websites. The visa won’t be a problem as long as he gets all the required paperwork, including a criminal records check.
Keep in mind there are a ton of scammers posting education-related job offers online. Many of them are just out to steal your passport information. For professional jobs, LinkedIn is a good way to get noticed by local HR companies.
Q. My mom is really a big woman. I’ve been to so many places but still can’t find her size. At Ya-Show Market, the vendor told me clothes only go up to XXL, but that is still a bit small. Is there anything like a Big & Tall store?
A. People in your mom’s situation usually snap a picture of what they want and ask a tailor to make it. Custom tailoring work is amazingly cheap in China.
If you really want to buy “off the rack,” so to speak, check Taobao. There are plenty of vendors who sell big sizes are reasonable prices. Browse their stores until you find something your mom likes.