While the food at the company canteen isn't much to rave about -- except for jiaozi on Wednesdays -- it's a great place for people watching.
I like to observe who comes in, who doesn't, what people are wearing, who they sit with, and of course what kind of lunch they've chosen to eat today.
And of course it's really easy to pick out the foreigners among the sea of black heads in the large dining hall.
The other day my two female colleagues saw one Caucasian man walk around checking out the various dishes on offer.
"That one -- he looks like Hugh Grant," one said. Everyone craned their necks to look at the young man whose wavy foppish hair had a slight resemblance to the famous English actor, but in a shade of light brown.
The two women continued to stare at him as he walked around the room, got his lunch, and then actually sat near them to eat.
As he ate and talked with other foreigners, the two would steal furtive looks at him periodically and ask people around them, "What do you think?" in murmured Chinese with a little giggle or knowing look.
Then they asked me: "Do you think he's good looking?"
I said he was OK.
"Who do you think is good looking?"
I reeled off the usual suspects -- David Beckham, Brad Pitt...
"But they have boyish faces," one said. "They don't look manly enough."
"What about George Clooney then?" I offered.
She agreed. "I like Daniel Craig... you know, James Bond."
"How about Clive Owen?" I asked.
"Oh yeah," she nodded.
Good taste in men is a universal thing.