Lunch headaches in Beijing CBD

| August 11th, 2011

From Netease:

In today’s China, price of everything is rising. The most basic need for a human being-"food" is certainly the first concern . Take a look at the people’s lunch in the Beijing CBD (Central Business District), where people of all social levels gather: from cleaners, waiters to senior consultants and white-collars… see what makes lunch one of people’s headaches now.

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Kiki,27岁,会计师事务所高级商业顾问。午餐是韩国餐厅的套餐,花费35元。Kiki公司楼下有一条美食街,她说:“吃遍了几十家餐厅后,根本找不到想吃的餐厅。”

Kiki, 27 year-old is a senior business consultant in a CPA firm. Her lunch is a set meal at a Korean restaurant, costs her 35 yuan. There are many restaurants and food stands along the street where her firm is located, but she still complains, "After I tried dozens of restaurants here, I still can’t find one that I want to eat in."

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韩莹,26岁,建筑设计师,月薪7000元。午餐是一荤两素的盒饭,花费10元。韩莹不在意午餐吃得怎么样,他认为年轻人来北京,不是为了吃中午这口饭的,是要努力寻求机会实现理想的。但他又说:“我倒是对房租的价格很有意见。”

Han Ying, 26, architect, monthly income 7,000 yuan. His lunch is a Chinese box lunch with two vegetable dishes and one meat dish. Han says he doesn’t care about what he eats for lunch, he thinks young people come to Beijing for the opportunity to realize their dreams not for the lunch. He adds, "But I do want to complain about the house rent here."

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杨光明,31岁,停车收费员,与妻子一起每月收入约3000元。午餐是馒头加盒饭,花费8元。露天工作的杨光明觉得暴雨和风沙都影响他就餐,最近的高温也让他吃不下。来自湖南的他说:“这里的菜都没有辣椒!”

Yang Guangming, 31, parking lot security guard. Total monthly income including his wife’s is 3000 yuan. His lunch is a box lunch with a mantou (plain bun), which costs him 8 yuan. He works outdoors and the recent rainstorm, the sand in the air and the heat make him lose his appetite. And as he is from Hunan province (where food is more spicy), he says, "There’s not enough pepper in the dishes here."

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Nate,23岁,美国人旧金山市驻北京机构工作人员。午餐时间,他和一朋友在街边吃饭,午餐是酱爆鸡丁、鱼香茄子、米饭和啤酒,共花费44元。Nate喜欢北京街边的小摊,但不喜欢北京的空气。他说:“只有空气好的时候,我才会出来吃饭。”

Nate, 23, works in an American company in Beijing. He was having lunch with his friend at a street food stand. His lunch includes two Chinese dishes, rice and beer, which costs him 44yuan. Nate loves the street food stands in Beijing, but not so much for the air here. He says, "Only when the weather is good will I go out for lunch."

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胡蕾,22岁,室内设计师,月薪不定。午餐自带。胡蕾工作的第一天就被拥挤的买饭场景吓了一跳。“每天买饭跟抢一样。”为了避免跟别人“抢”,她每天晚上都会提前把第二天的午餐做好。

Hu Lei, 22, interior designer, unfixed salary. She makes and brings her own lunch. She was scared by the crowded lunch scene the first day of work. "It was like everybody wrestles with each other to get lunch" so to avoid that, she makes her lunch every evening before the day.

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李喆,31岁,北京电视台编辑。午饭是油爆大虾、油菜鸡蛋、米饭、免费的小米粥和西瓜,花费15元8角。李喆每天中午在单位食堂吃,单位每月发的伙食补贴基本够用,吃腻了大锅饭还可以去食堂别的餐厅换换口味。“但做新闻常加班顾不上吃饭,等饿了跑到食堂,饭都卖没了。”

Li Zhe, 31, editor at Beijing TV station. His lunch is fried prawns, vegetable with fried egg, rice along with some free porridge and watermelon. Altogether it costs him 15.8 yuan. Li has his lunch at the company’s canteen and the meal allowance he receives is pretty much enough for his lunch. If he’s tired of the food in the cafeteria he can go to other restaurants in the canteen for a change. "But I often work overtime in my job (media), so I always miss the meal time. When I feel hungry and run to the canteen, there’s no food left already."

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小辛,28岁,收藏品公司客服人员。小辛手里捧着的食物,大多是给同事带的,只有水果盒是自己的午餐,花费5元。小辛只吃水果的原因是维持身材,但更重要的是:“饭太贵!”

Xiao Xin, 28, customer service in an art collection company. Most of the time, the food Xiao Xin is holding is for her colleagues, except the box of fruits. Her fruit lunch costs her 5 yuan. Xiao Xin eats only fruits to keep fit and more importantly, as she says, "The dishes and rice lunch is too expensive!"

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胡明明,21岁,大三学生,软件公司实习生,实习月薪2000元。午餐是煎饼果子,花费3元。胡明明说自己很幸运,实习拿到工资,楼下还有整个CBD地区最实在最便宜的煎饼果子当午饭。

Hu Mingming, 21, third year college student, intern in a software company. His salary for the internship is 2,000 yuan. His lunch is a Chinese traditional pancake, which costs him 3 yuan. Hu says he’s very lucky to get paid for the internship and there’s a pancake stand offering the cheapest lunch for him.

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孙玉珍,48岁,专门负责某公司老总办公室的保洁工作,月薪1500元。午餐是凉面和烧饼夹里脊,花费8元。孙玉珍说平时都用公司每月发的200元伙食补助,在食堂吃饭,偶尔出来换换口味,但花费不会超过10元。“公司里的饭,吃来吃去都是那几样。”

Sun Yuzhen, 48, she does the cleaning work in the boss’s office, salary 1500 yuan. Her lunch is cold noodles with sesame sauce and a Shaobing (a baked, layered Chinese flatbread) with some meat filling. This lunch costs her 8 yuan. Sun says she receives 200 yuan meal allowance from the company every month. Usually she has her lunch in the company’s canteen except every now and then she goes out for lunch for a change. But she always makes sure her lunch costs no more than 10 yuan. "The food in the company’s canteen is always the same old dishes."

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王波浪,22岁,造型师,月收入按他的话来讲是“十分随意,活多的时候多拿,活少的时候少拿,没活的时候不拿。” 王波浪这天忙得没吃上午餐,只用一瓶绿茶来补充水分和糖分,花费3元。他说:“我们这行就是太随意了,容易伤胃。”

Wang Bolang, 22, stylist, unfixed salary "it’s very unstable. If I got more jobs I got more money, versa vice. And no jobs, then no icomes." Today Wang is too busy to sit down for lunch. He has only a3 yuan bottled green tea to supplement water and sugar. He says, "In our business, we couldn’t pay so many attention to the 3 meals, and it’s not good for my stomach."

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Mana,26岁,影视公司编导,月薪6000元。午餐是母亲亲手包的饺子和同事带来的鸭脖子。Mana的母亲经常给她准备工作午餐,带到公司用微波炉热一下就能吃,但Mana每月还是要花掉500元午餐费。“我爱吃小零食,也喜欢跟同事分享,钱嘛,就难省了。”

Mana, 26, creator in a film company, salary 6,000 yuan. Her lunch is dumplings made by her mother and the duck-neck snacks from her colleagues. Mana’s mother often prepares lunch for her. Mana only needs to heat it up in the microwave oven at the company. But still Mana spends around 500 yuan for her lunch every month. "I love snacks and I love to share it with my colleagues. For that reason, it’s not easy to save money."

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夏天尘,25岁,《时尚先生》市场部工作人员。午餐是茶餐厅的烧腊双拼饭,花费30元。夏天尘还记得两年前,10多元钱就可以吃一个质量不错的盖饭,而现在则要20多元。“现在10多元钱的盖饭,怎么吃都有一股潲水油的味道。”

Xia Tianchen, 25, marketing staff in the Esquire magazine(《时尚先生》). His lunch is the barbecued pork with rice in a Canton restaurant. Xia still remembers two years ago, with 10 yuan he can buy a nice lunch of Gaijiaofan(rice with dishes on top). Now it costs more than 20 yuan. "Nowadays the 10 yuan Gaijiaofan smells of hogwash oil."

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高思蓓,24岁,影视后期制作。午餐是便利店买的寿司拼盘、卤蛋和饮料,共花费18元1角。高思蓓的同事们经常一起聚餐,但她觉得过度频繁的聚餐会让她吃不消。“我尽量只参加人均40元以内的聚餐。如果聚餐,我会在第二天中午吃省点。”

Gao Sipei, 24, video post-production. Her lunch is the sushi set from the convenience store, a marinated egg and a bottled drink, altogether it costs her 18.1 yuan. Gao often dines out with her colleagues but she says it’s costing her too much. "I try not to join the dinner that costs more than 40 yuan per person. If I dine with colleagues, I’ll cut the budget for the next day’s lunch."

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严滢,18岁,餐厅送餐员,月薪1700元。午餐是餐厅提供给员工的烩面。严滢每天至少要送餐20趟。两点半,午饭点过了以后,她的午餐才开始。严滢说:“经常吃着吃着饭,一个订餐电话打来就得丢下饭碗。等回来,饭都凉了。”

Yan Ying, 18, food delivery, salary 1,700yuan. Her lunch is the free noodles from the restaurant she works in. She has to deliver food more than 20 times a day. Usually she has her lunch around 2:30 pm. Yan says, "It happens a lot that I get calls for food delivery while I’m eating. So I have to stop eating and deliver the food. When I come back, the food is not warm anymore. "

12 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Gary says:

    The best lunch in Beijing’s CBD is Crystal Jade Palace or Southern Empress, both in Oriental Plaza. If you’re tired of Chinese food, the Sizzler in New World Mall has a decent unlimited salad bar.

  2. john digmeme says:

    Wow, great article. Very insightful. Look at all that food they get for so cheap…

    • handburglar says:

      While it seems cheap to us, it seems as though prices are nearly doubling (for food) every year.

  3. Joe says:

    Just look at that drunkard American. I hope he dies of lead poisoning.

  4. HansDampf says:

    the salaries seem very low, or maybe only the low ones are being reported. My colleagues, late 20/early 30’s all make a lot more money than that, and all definitely over 15k. We are a local company though…

    But yeah, lunch options suck ;)

  5. LL.lies says:

    I feel bad,I always complain about what I eat and stuff but these (most?)people have to deal with it. (:

  6. korean_guy says:

    I like men. I like to suck cocks.

    TSB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    8===============D~

  7. Cleo says:

    Nobody wants to eat cold food even if prepared at home except that Japanese lunch in the one photo.

  8. beepbop says:

    dprk_guy

    China’s food is to the highest standard! AT LEAST WE EAT!

  9. xino says:

    its only the outside eat out that uses those bad oils

  10. John says:

    I found out what’s up korean_guy’s ass. We all better watch what we say to him or one day he might commit suicide. Seems to be all the rage in South Korea, these days. Then again, I’m guessing this fucktard doesn’t have half the IQ needed to get into a prestigious university.

    Anyway, Koreans won’t get lunchtime headaches if they’re dead. :)

    Elite South Korean University Rattled by Suicides

    DAEJEON, South Korea — It has been a sad and gruesome semester at South Korea’s most prestigious university, and with final exams beginning Monday the school is still reeling from the recent suicides of four students and a popular professor.

    Academic pressures can be ferocious at the university, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, known as Kaist, and anxious school psychologists have expanded their counseling services since the suicides. The school president also rescinded a controversial policy that humiliated many students by charging them extra tuition if their grades dipped.

    After the last of the student deaths, on April 7, the Kaist student council issued an impassioned statement that said “a purple gust of wind” had blown through campus.

    “Day after day we are cornered into an unrelenting competition that smothers and suffocates us,” the council said. “We couldn’t even spare 30 minutes for our troubled classmates because of all our homework.

    “We no longer have the ability to laugh freely.”

    Young people in South Korea are a chronically unhappy group. A recent survey found them to be — for the third year in a row — the unhappiest subset among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Education Ministry in Seoul said 146 students committed suicide last year, including 53 in junior high and 3 in elementary school.

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