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. Summer break is around the corner. Can you suggest any good summer camps in Beijing where I can send my 5-year-old daughter?
A. International schools in Beijing hold summer camps every year. You might look into British-operated schools in Sanlitun and Shunyi or Harrow International School in Chaoyang. English educational institutes like New Oriental and RISE will also organize English summer camps.
You can find a fairly detailed list at this travel site.
Q. Do you know where can I buy a good Aussie meat pie? I just found out today that the only store I knew is closing due to lack of business.
A. There is a wonderful meat pie store founded by two Australian expats who are meat pie lovers. Unfortunately, its flagship location in Sanlitun closed on August 7. They are still running their business online and you can have their frozen pies delivered to your doorstep.
For more information, visit twoguysandapie.com.
Q. I’m trying to find the best way to transfer the money that I’m making in China back to my bank account in the US. I tried to ask at ICBC, but they said I have to set up an online banking account and then use a remote device that they gave me. The only problem is that I have a Mac, and the device doesn’t seem to be compatible.
A. If your Chinese debit card can take cash out of a US bank, you can get a second card and send it to a trusted friend or relative in the states and give them your pin code. They can take out cash in the US and deposit it into your US account for you. There is a yearly exchange limit of $50,000.
Q. Is there any place in Beijing that offers classes in Latin dance styles like salsa?
A. Salsa Caribe is Beijing’s best place to go for Latin music lovers and salsa aficionados. It features a large dance floor, high-tech DJ booth and house Latin band. It is located behind the Pacific Century Plaza at Changhongqiao, just east of Sanlitun.
Q. I am looking for a piano teacher. I have piano at home and never played before, so I’m a total beginner.
A. The Beijing Midi School of Music is one of China’s best schools for learning modern music. They can teach both music theory and advanced musical techniques. You can call the school in Haidian District for more information at (010) 6250 6210.
If you want to start smaller, hit up LinkedIn and search to see whose is providing piano tutoring in your area.