As I walk the streets and roam the web of China, I share snapshots from my fieldwork on Bytes of China. My list of longer thought pieces can be found on my Writing Page

I am currently living in China, following students and migrants as they process information and desire, remaking cities and rural areas. I investigate media and memes in their collisions with markets, governments, and local thugs.   [More about Bytes of China.]

Here's a video of the most recent talk I gave about my research at LIFT in Geneva, Switzerland, "Dancing with Handcuffs: The Geography of Trust in Social Networks". In this talk, I analyze the changing conceptions of trust through the story of a college student who threw shoes and eggs at the government official who oversees internet censorship in China. 

Read more about my research. My analysis of culture and technology can be found on Cultural Bytes. And my personal blog is Hi Tricia.

The views expressed on this blog do not in any way reflect the position of any of my funders, past employers, the Chinese government, the US government or the Fulbright program. 


My research is generously funded though a mix of university grant programs, state initiatives, or industry research.

Read More

RSS Feeds
Recent Posts
Recent Updates
« How I was treated on the subway when I was doing fieldwork as a migrant worker | Main | Life Underground: an ethernet line to the outside world with no windows »

warm hot dogs: protein source in internet cafe


I was hanging out an internet cafe around 4pm in the afternoon on a weekday.

For each cafe that I spend time at, I do a quick and dirty subjective rating of each cafe on a scale of 1-10 stars, 10 being the most luxurious and 1 being the most dilipidated.

This cafe is on the nicer end; I would've given it a 7 but I gave it 8 because they offer warm hot dogs - note the keyword - warm. Most cafes, if they offer hot dogs, sell cold hot dogs snacks in a wrapper.

Here is a short excerpt from my fieldnotes about this cafe.

Cafe rating - 8 stars: air-conditioned, requires identification cards and they appear to check them, no mosquitos or flies, keyboard and mouse appear to be clean, available warm food (hot dog in food display, bathroom located on same floor as cafe (2nd floor), cloth on chairs are in place, no nuts or food scattered on ground, the workers seems responsive when customers need help, cubicles in back appear ot be new

keyboards are not stained with dirt though the keyboards are black so it would be hard to see the dirt  -but I don't see food encrusted in between the keys

estimate: total of 100-120 computers, 60 computers are being used with around 40 people playing games and 15 people watching videos and 5 people on websites browsing, 40 females and 20 males, I see 5-6 couples together, there are 2-3 people napping at all times

most customers playing games have a soft-drink or sugar beverage with them, some have lots of wrappers of candies and other snacks spread around their keyboard

within the last hour, two customers (one male & one female) bought 1 hot dog each, the meat is kept warm in a transparent plastic food display with a light, you can see the oil on the hot dog bubbling up, 1RMB each, customers went back to their computer and began playing their game, the female was playing a dancing/clothing game of some sort, male playing first person CS-like game

there's a sudden down pour outside, people are running in with drenched clothes and hair, the internet cafe is dry, are they coming here to use the computer or coming here to get away from the rain?

overheard conversation: let's just pay for 1 hour, check to see if companies have emailed me back, and then the rain will probably clear up

I wonder how many people have been living here, how many people are on a gaming deadline (like joined a team or bought in-game items that will expire), where are these people from, how many people are lookin for a job, who lives in the nearby tunnel, how many alrady have internet access at home

References (5)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: cafes in uk
    warm hot dogs: protein source in internet cafe - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    warm hot dogs: protein source in internet cafe - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Response: kids clothes
    warm hot dogs: protein source in internet cafe - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    although she supported while the management helper, as well as incorrectly called the traffic-court official in connection with the citation supplied to help the wife.
  • Response
    Simply no some other Proper rights has never meet the actual higher honourable demands needed of a proper rights of the court, or perhaps have been the actual frequent emphasis involving honourable lapses on the quantity proper rights.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>