Wedding of the year?


This is the type of high-profile romance Hong Kong tabloids revel in. It is also the worst kind of relationship for eager relatives wanting to gain from the union – an on-and-off-and-then-on-and-maybe-off-again one.

The billion-yuan question: are China and Disney coming together to build a theme park in Shanghai?

shangai pearl tower

Some of the villagers simply can't wait for the government to evict them from their homes. "Next June," one predicted optimistically.

Such is the pragmatism that exists sometimes in the Chinese psyche. Never mind the ancestral home, think about the compensation that will come from the state. Others are looking to the day when the arrival of a Disneyland in the Pudong area will skyrocket the value of their properties by quite a few-fold.

Are they counting the chickens in their backyard before they are even hatched? Shanghai has been watching the possible deal since its then-mayor Zhu Rongji visited the Magic Kingdom in 1990 with the intention of setting up a match. Eighteen years have passed, Zhu has added "Governor, Central Bank",  "Vice Premier, China" and "Prime Minister of China" to his resume, and still, no deal.

The "A" List (Part 1 of 2)


Ten Asians making the news in America

From shore to shining shore, America is made up of successive generations of immigrants. But it has always found it difficult to accommodate those who came via the Pacific instead of the Atlantic.

Instant noodles rule the world!


It is the most popular processed food on earth and by far the most controversial. Its supporters say it is the ideal food for the masses and one of the 20th century's great inventions. Its detractors call it a weapon of mass destruction and blame its high sodium content and preservatives for widespread malnutrition from the Philippines to Mexico.

instant noodles

Easy to prepare and stomach-filling, it has become the staple diet of the world's dispossessed and victims of war and disasters, from the 2005 Boxing Day tsunami to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Beyond prestige


Seven years ago, cellphones were the latest rage. Today they are a commodity. In a world where just about everyone has a cellphone, how does one stand out from the crowd?

There are two ways to do it. One is to become a contrarian and refuse to own a phone. The other is to get one that is so unusual that it stands out from a sea of ordinary, run-of-the-mill phones.

A wet and salty treat


"Daddy, what are we having for dinner?" we asked. My mother was in the hospital and my eight-year-old brother, my father, and I were on our own for food. What could three people who did not know how to cook, cook? We’d never made anything more than simple sandwiches.

The answer came in a box from the Korean grocery store.

Don't tell the Japanese instant noodles is really Chinese!


In 2000, the Japanese public voted instant noodles as the most important food invented in the 20th century. Little do they know that it was invented by a Chinese.

It is on record that Momofuku Ando (above) of Osaka, the founder of the giant food concern Nissin Food Products, invented instant noodles in 1958. What is almost never mentioned is that Ando, now 98, was born a Chinese named Wu Bai-fu.

The Misadventures of an Indian Prince


One of the most interesting facets of the story of the 8th Nizam of Hyderabad, His Exalted Highness Prince Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah Asaf Jah VIII, is its literary nature. This might sound strange at first, but closer scrutiny reveals how closely it resembles a classic piece of tragedy.

To Pokhara by bus

Mukhiya began guiding treks into the Annapurna Mountains since he was 13 years old. He comes from a family of 13, had an arranged marriage at 22, and has 2 sons. "My brother sells culture. I save it." Mukhiya's older brother, like so many others in their region, leave their homes in the mountains carrying semi-precious stones, rocks, and art pieces from times of old, into the cities to sell. "We've argued many times."

Royal rumble


Barbara Millicent Roberts, known to her numerous admirers simply as Barbie, needs help. For many years Barbie had reigned supreme in the cut-throat business of selling dolls to young girls. Now she is being mobbed by half a dozen women led by Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, and she needs reinforcements to fend them off.

Ever since she made her first appearance in the American International Toy Fair on March 9, 1959 (which makes her 47 this year), the 11.5-inch blonde bombshell has captured the hearts of girls from six to 16 all over the world. Year after year, Barbie in various guises— the ballerina, the bride, the brunette, on the beach, in the kitchen, you name it — has flown off the shelves at dazzling speed. Mattel, its manufacturer, claims that three Barbie dolls are sold every second of the day, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.