Friday, 29 January 2010

"World Chocolate Wonderland" - I wish I was there!

Taken from IOL

Beijing - Thousands of Chinese on Friday flocked to a new chocolate theme park, gobbling the sweet treat and savouring the visual feast of replicas of the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army and even a sleek BMW.

Organisers are hoping that Beijing's "World Chocolate Wonderland", on the Olympic Green near the Bird's Nest Stadium, will boost the chocolate market in China, where the candy is not as popular as it is in Western countries.

"Hmmm!" exclaimed Dai Qing, a 20-year-old student, as she watched an expert make designs out of chocolate.

"I love eating chocolate, so I wanted to see the process of making it and to understand the chocolate culture," she said.

The 20,000-square-metre venue includes three halls full of exhibits and demonstrations, all temperature-controlled to keep the elaborate replicas - safely behind huge glass panes - from melting.

Long queues of people milled past the cocoa terracotta warriors - both life-size and a miniature army - the car, and a 10-metre-long model of the Great Wall.

One exhibit was dedicated to sport, with a chocolate basketball player soaring towards the hoop. The BMW, located in the same hall, attracted huge attention.

According to a report in the official China Daily newspaper, 10 craftsmen needed four tons of chocolate and six months to make the car.

In another display, a huge array of chocolate fountains sent 1.5 tons of the smooth, dark liquid spilling in various directions - recalling Roald Dahl's beloved book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".

"The break sound of the deluxe chocolate is clear and crisp, and the break line is straight," said one explanatory panel on the chocolate knowledge wall.

In the courtyard outside, techno music blared out as two clowns performed tricks with audience members on a stage, a bouncy castle stood - empty - and people dressed in chocolate-coloured costumes milled around.

Back inside, employees shouted "move forward" at regular intervals as more and more people - mostly students on holiday - filed past exhibits detailing chocolate traditions in countries such as France, Switzerland and Belgium.

The exhibit that attracted most people was the building devoted to candy, which housed interactive games and displays allowing customers to experience different sweet flavours from around the world.

At the entrance - where tickets cost a steep 80 yuan ($12), a high price for the average Chinese consumer - men dressed in purple cloaks and pointed hats welcomed visitors.

"It's great but the entrance fee is expensive, especially for students," said 21-year-old Liang Miao.

"I think this is going to be popular for a short period of time but not in the long term. It's right next to the Bird's Nest, and for 80 yuan, people would rather go there than here."

Organisers hope to attract one million visitors to the park before it closes in April, when the weather will begin to get too warm. It will then reopen next January, with all-new displays. - AFP

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Sorry chocolate, I have another vice!

Popcorn. Don't you just love it? It is one of those happy foods that always always puts a smile on my face. I can have it a couple of times a week. And it is sold here at work! :) I am weak so I succumb to my temptation regularly. I only hate those crumbs at the bottom of the packet that becomes small, hard-to-pick-up bits! It is then I want to do the unladylike thing, open my mouth wide and pour the crumbs in. Knowing my luck, a rogue grain will make me choke! Hmm... wonder if any of my colleagues know the Heimlich, or will I end up blue in the face and look like an Avatar on my deathbed?!

* Stop rambling Prixie and go back to work! *

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Is the isolation ward all that is available?

I recently read a book where one of the characters needed to escape from a bad patch in her life, so she came to South Africa (SA). When another character asked why SA, she replied along the lines of: "Because it was the furthest place I could think of."

And I am feeling very very far way from the rest of the world. This sense of isolation is gnawing away at me. I feel stuck here, what I think of as the arse end of the world. My flight instinct is overwhelming my fight instinct.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Can someone point out the oxygen to me?

As my body clamps down in shock, my lungs forget how to breathe and my brains struggles to make sense of non-sense.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Resolutions - twisted and sick

It is hard to not thing about the new year without new beginnings. Hence resolutions. But they're all about self improvement and blah, blah, blah... I have been tagged to do a deliciously devilish version of resolutions by Standbymind. It is certainly thinking out of the box:

1. I would pack up and leave, start an entire new existence, besides keeping in touch with a few soul mates.

2. Practice the craft.

3. Lock the Family Unit up in a room so they can actually communicate, or start to.

4. If I could get over my fear of drugs - I would be curious to know it's effects.

5. I would like to beat the hell out of some people, till they get some sense knocked into them. (I am usually a non-violent person)

So, who is up to the challenge to expose some of their darkest thoughts?