臭不可当chòu bù kě dāng To give off an unbearable stink 当局者迷,旁观者清dāng jú zhě mí, páng guān zhě qīng If too closely involved may not see all the issues objectively 宁做鸡头,不当凤尾nìng zuò jītóu, bù dāng fèng wěi Better to be leader of a humble organization than the stooge of a grand one 死马当活马医sǐ mǎ dāng huó mǎ yī Persevering when it is already too late. A lost cause.
Strings of cash
Throughout most of Chinese history a unit of currency was 'the string of cash'. Standard wuzhi coins had a square hole at the center allowing them to be strung together. A standard string would have one thousand of the small bronze coins. Handling these strings was far more convenient than loose coins. Read More
One of the disappointing facts about China has been the apparent race to be the number one country for cigarette smoking. The current statistic is that the each adult in China smokes an average of 6 cigarettes a day putting the country as number 9 - below Russia on a per capita basis but due to China's population that puts the country on top of the table for total tobacco consumption. That for the year 2009 amounts to 2,640,000,000,000 cigarettes (yes 2.64 trillion!). About 60% of men smoke but only 4% of women in China.
Government efforts to curb smoking have not been entirely successful. Restaurants and other enclosed places had a ban some years ago. Now (November 2016) the government is enacting legislation to ban smoking in most public places. A fine of 500 yuan can be imposed for smoking in public parks, near children and near historic monuments.
It is likely that the new law will be widely flouted until the ban is combined with public health campaign to convince the 300 million smokers to give up. Personally speaking I have become so sensitive to smoke that I find it unpleasant when wafted on the breeze from a hundred yards away, so traveling in China can be rather tricky.