Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Beijing for Beginners: An Irishman in the People's Republic
Foyalty 39

Beijing for Beginners: An Irishman in the People's Republic (Paperback)

Currently unavailable to order online.
Email me when back in stock


I hand over my entrance form to a young but tough-looking official. 'First time in China?' 'Yes.' 'Push green button.' The front of the desk has four buttons lighting up. Two green, two red. The first green one says 'very satisfied' and has a picture of a very happy face. The second says 'satisfied' with a slightly less ecstatic, but still moderately content smiley face. The third button is red. It reads 'not satisfied' and the face looks somewhat downbeat. The last option is a miserable-looking 'very dissatisfied'. Above the range of smileys is a question: 'How satisfied are you with the welcome you received in Beijing?' 'Eh...I'll be teaching at a...' 'Push green button!'I push the green button, the one with the smiliest face of all. And that's that. I'm in. No doubt there'll be a news story at the end of the year claiming 99 per cent of tourists are delighted with the reception they get in China. There is no fifth option saying 'airport is nice, but do something about the spitting...'. Faced with choking smog, chaotic traffic and locals who have a penchant for public spitting, Gary Finnegan finds himself in the world's fastest changing city.

His attempts to adjust to an altogether alien culture make for an often hilarious travelogue, peppered with fascinating insights into Chinese history and its transforming society. From Chairman Mao to the recent surge in IVF and plastic surgery clinics, Finnegan attempts to understand modern China and learns a little about himself along way.However, he begins with more questions than answers: Can he survive without Western comforts? Is the new consumerist China still communist? And why are people calling him Big Nose? As the attention of the world focuses on China, "Beijing for Beginners" is ideal for anyone curious about the most populous nation on earth, and the weird and wonderful things on offer for a foreigner grappling with serious culture shock.

Travel & MapsTravel writing Publisher: The Liffey Press Publication Date: 01/06/2008 ISBN-13: 9781905785445  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: Currently unavailable to order online.  

Gary Finnegan is an award-winning journalist and former magazine editor currently living and working in Beijing. He has been a contributor and columnist to Irish newspapers and magazines, as well as making regular appearances on national and local radio and television including Newstalk, The Last Word on Today FM, TV3's Ireland AM and The Late Late Show. This is his first book.

More books by Gary Finnegan

Leave Review


Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.

Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Standard Delivery FREE FREE 3-5 Days
UK First Class £4.50 £1.00 1-2 Days
UK Courier £7.00 £1.00 1-2 Days
Western Europe** Courier £17.00 £3.00 2-3 Days
Western Europe** Airmail £5.00 £1.50 4-14 Days
USA / Canada Courier £20.00 £3.00 2-4 Days
USA / Canada Airmail £7.00 £3.00 4-14 Days
Rest of World Courier £22.50 £3.00 3-6 Days
Rest of World Airmail £8.00 £3.00 7-21 Days

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Click and Collect is available for all our shops; collection times will vary depending on availability of items. Individual despatch times for each item will be given at checkout.

Special delivery items

A Year of Books Subscription Packages 

Delivery is free for the UK. Western Europe costs £60 for each 12 month subscription package purchased. For the Rest of the World the cost is £100 for each package purchased. All delivery costs are charged in advance at time of purchase. For more information please visit the A Year of Books page.

Animator's Survival Kit

For delivery charges for the Animator's Survival Kit please click here.


Delivery Help & FAQs

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

Wartime Notebooks: France, 1940-1944
Andrzej Bobkowski; Grazyna Drabik;...
Cultureshock! San Francisco
Frances Gendlin
Banyan Tree Adventures: Travels in India
Keith Forrester
A Village in South India
Adam Clapham
© W&G Foyle Ltd
Foyles uses cookies to help ensure your experience on our site is the best possible. Click here if you’d like to find out more about the types of cookies we use.
Accept and Close