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2011 the year of traveling

So it seems like in the last month I’ve spent alot of time in the airport, on an airplane, and just travelling all over the world. So for example, two weeks ago, I was in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. This past Thursday, I was in Princeton, New Jersey having a great time for work. Remember, I am working on Doctor House’s Hospital. Late Friday Night, I returned to Seattle, and Today (Sunday), I am currently in SFO waiting for my flight to Beijing. Yep… very very busy some business and some pleasure. The number of travel is really starting to catch up. So I know I still have alot of Mexico posts, that I have not updated yet, but I assure you they are coming. So let’s talk about my day today so far? My day started off super early.  I took a cab from home to SeaTac airport, once checked in, I was able to spend some time at the United lounge.  I thought the Delta lounge was bad, well, the united lounge was not any better, everything is very very basic.  After an hour or so of waiting, I boarding my flight and headed toward SFO; The view in the morning right after take off was just amazing!!!

Once I’ve got to SFO, everything seems to be pretty routine, I went to check out the United Lounge in SFO as well, did you know there is a business class lounge and a first class lounge? I did not know that until I walked in to the wrong one. I wonder what is in the first class lounge. There was also this nice TV exhibit in the terminal in SFO. Very Interesting.

So this is the first time that I’ve ever take an international business class on a 747. I remember see the stairs going to the second floor of a 747 but I have never been there. This is my first experience of that.

My ticket, 14 is on the 2nd floor of the 747!!!!

Special entrance hall for business class passengers.

The steps up to 747 second floor.  It is interesting, that first class is actually in the very tip of the plane on the first floor. I would have thought it would been isolated on 2nd floor, but it is not.

My seat.  The video display is huge and the seat actually lay flat, which is pretty nice, but it is like sleeping on a hardwood bench for 6 hours, it is nice and flat but still not very comfortable.

However, once I borded my flight, we were quickly informed that there is a mechanical error and there will be some delay.  After one hour, they kicked everyone off the flight, because they needed to “Reboot” the plane.  I hope our flight wasn’t running Windows 95 or something similar.

After 2 and half hours later, and some terminal japanese food and another round at the lounge, we finally started to board the flight again.  My flight to Beijing was 2.5 hours late.

Once on board, what’s interesting is that UA actually have the flight control communications linked up to their passenger entertainment system, so during take off and landing I was able to listen to the flight control provide directions to our flight. Flight UA 889.  The Entertainment system is pretty nice, big screen, lot of movies.  Very enjoyable.

This is our in-flight meal.  Not too shabby, better than the Delta’s hot TV dinner but not as good as EVA air’s lamb ribs. humm…

So after a long day of flying and 2 movies later, I finally arrived in Beijing.  Beijing air is as dirty as ever, I am sure it will take some time to get use to this.

2011 So Far …

It has been a while since my last post in my official personal blog, because of my lack of post, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy.  Just a bit of a recap.

The second half of December 2010, I went to Beijing to visit Vicky’s parents.  They are doing better, but her dad is going into Chemo as we speak so please keep him in your prayers.  So before I got back from China, I got really sick.  Most likely from a super duper version of the Chinese Strep Throat.  I got a chance to experience the Chinese health care close and personal.  And I still like our system much more.

Since I’ve been back from China, Auburn University won the National Championship.  WAR EAGLE.  My work also started to pick up fairly quickly.  Oh and the new TRON movie is amazing!!!

I’ve posted some more pictures on my photo blog site, but besides that… It’s been pretty busy.

I will be posting some pictures from Beijing soon.  Oh and that trip was amazing and what a great adventure!!!

Fake Electronics in China

 

Trip across the boarder to Zhu Hai and Zhong Shan

Today was my last day in Macau, it is also my first day entering into China.
The day started off with some nice breakfast at the Hard Rock Hotel in Macau.

It was pretty interesting.  Even though Macau is technically China, I still need to go through customs and immigration to go into China.  Actually I had to do that when I entered Macau from HK.  HK is technically China as well.  I guess it is because of the SAR status.  As soon as I cross the boarder, everything seems different.  Simplified chinese verse traditional chinese.


Street of Zhu Hai.

The first thing we did after crossing the boarder is to go toward the seafood market.  YUM!!!

No … I did not eat any of that sea worm.  Yikes!!!







Yep my little sister is also in China to meet us :)

My little cousins.

Aunt and Uncle.

Mom and Dad

Now starts the cooked food section.  So this is how it works, you go and pick out the sea food market, and take the sea food to the many restaurants near by and they will cook the sea food for you for a fee.

Yum!!!













After lunch, we visited Zhu Hai and went on toward Zhong Shan.



Zhong Shan was the home of the Founding Father of the Republic of China. Dr. Sun Yet-Sen (Zhong Shan).



It has nothing to do with the site, but I thought the trash can looked cool.





Sun Yet-Sun’s Guava… the founding father guava ;)





Surprising to find the ROC flag in PRC.

The 3 Principle of the People.  It is inspired by Abe Lincoln’s “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

The start of my big summer trip to China!!!

Today I started off my grand trip to Asia. 2010 has been an interesting year. Europe, New York, Las Vegas, and now Asia. My Asia trip starts with a conference in Macau. This is my first conference for a short paper of mine. The trip will start from Seattle with a brief stop in Japan then to Hong Kong. I will be in Hong Kong late tomorrow night. After that onward to Macau in the morning.

Christmas Day in Paris!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2009 from Paris with Love ;)

Well, today is Christmas day, I can not believe I just spend a long eventful day in Paris on Christmas day. So where to start, well , lets see this morning we realized that everything closed today so we had breakfast in hotel… holy crap 12 Euros for baguettes and OJ???… uh… baguettes!! ha ha ha.

So after breakfast today, we followed my original plan and went to Notre Dame Paris for a Christmas day Mass. The mass was awesome, it was all in French, however, mass is a mass they are all the same no matter what language they are in. One thing that did bother me was that tourist that were just going in and out in middle of the service, taking pictures. I just thought it was very rude and impolite. After the the mass we took some pictures around the church and walk our way toward the Arab center.

Monde de la Arabe was pretty cool. They had a very interesting window shade design to let in light. The most awesome thing is that they have one of the best views of the Notre Dame.

Great view of a Notre Dame from the Arab Center.

After the visit there, tried to find some ice cream, however, they were closed so we took the metro toward the tower to meet our friends.

We were in line for an hour or so and then we walked up to the second level of the Eiffel Tower. The 2nd level doesn’t sound too bad huh? Well, except in France, 2nd level equals 3rd level, because they start with level zero. What? starts counting with zero? What is this a computer science class? ha ha ha … but all jokes aside, the walk was not too bad, and I get alot of chances to take pictures for my side project… “stairs!!”.

After a cold evening on the tower, we took the metro to China Town for some French Chinese Dinner. Xavier said there was a very good Pho place, however, when we got to China Town and walked half a mile, the place was not there any more … ha ha ha … that’s ok. We walked back and found a chinese place that had everything. The place felt alot like few restaurant in Seattle’s ID, with one exception, everyone in the restaurant spoke French. In the end, after dinner, I was just excited to get back in my hotel and get some sleep and get ready for another exciting day in Paris tomorrow.
Oh status update… still no news on my luggage…

Ok… I have to get this off my chest…

First of all don’t get a roommate that is someone you don’t know.

So for the last few month I had a roommate that was a FOB. He was a friend’s friend and I thought oh… sure it should not be too bad. He was a friend’s friend’s relative. A young kid that was coming here for school. I though… sure .. not problem. I will rent him a room. So for $550 including everything … bed, table, internet, power, water, private bathroom, detergent, all my pots, pans, dishes and bowls. I figure it will be ok. His parents and his relative and my friends friend showed up to take a look at the place. They all seems nice. His aunt even offered to come and clean up if he was too dirty. I felt like nah… I am sure he will be fine. They ask if they needed to pay for any deposit.. and I said no…I trust you it will be fine. So he moved in few days early and without deposit. I am ok with that… he was a kid far away from home.. I am happy to help.

So as months goes alone… many minor things just annoys me but I am thinking it is probably just me. I did ask him to clean the range with me and he said I never did that before… back in China, we never had to clean the range like this. Ok… that’s ok he’s young, but he needs to learn to clean and keep it up.

So all the sudden out of the blue, he asks me can I lower his rent? WTF? of course I said no. I think $550 is very fair. And this weekend he told me he is going to move out on Tuesday. Which is today. I said that’s fine… just please clean up your room and clean up the bathroom.

So he moved out mid day while I was not here. That’s fine. So when went up stairs I saw that the bathroom was super nasty. I don’t think he ever cleaned. He also left a blue bag in the closet, a bed sheets, and a pillow cover in his room. I though he was coming back later that evening to clean and pick that up. I waited until around 8pm. I decided to give him a call. When I told him that he still left some stuff here, he was shocked as if I was kidding, I also told him that he needed to clean the bathroom as well.

He agree to come back. He showed up around 9:30pm. Pick up the bag and was going to walk right back out. I said, wait, what about the bathroom. I even gave him all the cleaners, toilet cleaner, toilet brush, and Clorox wipes. All I ask is for him to make an effort to clean the bathroom. I went and wipe in less in one minute and said… “I am leaving, thanks”. I was like … what the F… So I went downstair as he told his friend to hurry and get going. I was really pissed… when I confronted him he basically said sorry… and walked out!!!

WTF!!!!

I felt really used.

Is it wrong to ask your tenant to make an effort in cleaning his bathroom before he leaves?

So Lesson Learned…

1) Don’t rent out to a roommate unless they are cool and have the similar culture.
2) Don’t mix business with kindness…. Collect the Deposit Upfront!!!
3) Interview much longer and if all fails don’t rent out to a roommate.

Wow what a night of dreams

It is Monday again…. Last night I had a night of interesting dreams. I was trying to figure out how to calculate position in space. You know using the surrounding stars to calculate relative position. It was all starting to make sense in my dream and now I am awake and thinking back I wasn’t making any sense at all. So then my dream drifted to ancient time in China and I was following a brother and sister who were carrying fruits across the country. They had the two baskets and the bamboo beam across their shoulder. They were carrying persimmons. It was an interesting and strange dream segment..but then I wonder off and began to follow someone else and eventually lead into a dream segment that is at my work place. I was going to work and people were getting moved around … and I was rearranging my cubicle….

how strange right… but it was interesting… oh and it was in full vivid color!!! :D

HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE!!!

I am sitting out on my deck enjoying the cool summer night and watching the fireworks outside. Explosions all over the skies of Ephrata. It is pretty fun. It reminded me alot of Chinese New Years in China. It reminded me alot of my childhood… it reminded me alot about Hsiu.
It is pretty nice sitting outside in the summer night, enjoying the summer night’s wind. My recent trip to LA really made me think that Ephrata is really too small for me right now. If I had a family this would be a wonderful town … a really relaxed and friendly town to be in.

Boom Boom! …. more explosions…

Well, after another full day of travel, I am finally back in Ephrata…. oh the small tiny town of Ephrata. It is kind of weird having two Valentines day in one year. One with Hsiu Hsiu and one without…. I like the one with Hsiu Hsiu alot better. Anyway… after such a long trip, ok one week is really not that long, it is time to reflect on my trip to Shanghai and comment on what I saw.

1) Shanghai is still a developing city.

No matter what anyone else is telling you, Shanghai is still developing. There are still a long ways to go. Out in the rural area’s of Shanghai, it is still very poor and very under developed. Even the beautiful European houses are only beautiful shells, the wiring inside and the climate control still do not match that of most homes in the US … ok most southern homes in the US. Yeah… even up here in Ephrata, lots of homes don’t have central air and heat.

2) Everything is packaging in China

In China, almost everything is packaging … by this I mean, everything looks wonderful on the outside, but in reality … there is not much substance inside. For example, alot of the food in Shanghai smells wonderful and even looks wonderful. however, they do not taste as good as they look and smell. Strange ,but true. Also the houses in Shanghai are the same way… as mentioned above.

3) Shortest distance between point A and point B is a straight line

In Shanghai and most of China, traffic law are merely a guideline. Most people knows the rules but don’t follow them. And everyone want to get to their destination in the shortest path. This includes cars, buses, bicycles, and even pedistrians. Because of this, a strage understanding exists between all parties on the road. Everyone complains, but they still are able to get around without having any accidents. All in all, driving in Shanghai is pretty chaotic.

4) Value of money is different

I guess that is true in all countries around the world. Well, things in China just don’t cost as much, especially food. But of course mose people in China makes a fraction of what we make in the US. I still have trouble how all that works out for the average joe living in China. That is a tough life.

5) People is cheap

Of course, everyone knows that people are every where in China. But what is amazing was in a walmart like store there is a person responsible for every aile in the store. They can only do that because labor is cheap. That will never happen in the US. Also less than 100 dollars US a month, one can hire a maid to clean your house and watch all the clothe for one month easy.
Once again… labor is cheap.

6) Simplified Chinese just sucks!

The person that decide simplified chinese is a good thing should get shot. Simplified Chinese removed all logic in the chinese written language. No longer can one piece together a meaning of a word by its parts. In simplified chinese you either know it or you don’t . And even if you know it, you would need to know if that word is used properly in the simplied chinese context.

7) GPS system would be nice in China

There are so many small roads in China and not all the maps are accurate. A well developed GPS guidance system would rock in China. I think some are available in Shanghai city and Beijing City, however nothing is availble for the rural areas of China.

8) Chinese Radio SUCKS!!!

First of all, most of the songs that are played in Shanghai and in China are older songs. Ranging from couple of month old to couple of years old. But the most annoying thing in Shanghai and China radio is they stop the song 2/3rd of the way through. Just when you are all in to the grove of the song they cut it off. Stupid Shanghai radio.

9) Short on Power….

Well… I actually experienced my first blown fuse in Shanghai because of to many electronics connected on one circuit in the house. The house is maybe at most 4 years old, however, the wiring systems looks like it is from the 1940’s. No breakers and all fuses and the circuits are not designed to take the load of all the modern electronics. Scary huh?

10) Money for everything

In Shanghai… almost every where you go you will need to have cash. Most are not very expensive to enter, but once you are inside that area, every little thing requires cash. And they all eventually add up. It is captialism at its finest. But wait … we are in a communist country?

That is all that I can think of right now. I am sure I will think of more.

But please don’t get me wrong… I still had a lot of fun in China and in Shanghai. The Bund and the metro area of Shanghai is a beautiful place, especially at night. I hope I will have a chance in the next couple of days to share some of the pictures I took.

Well, It is hard to believe one week has passed already. I am in Hsiu Hsiu’s office getting ready to head to the airport. I have a 10 hour flight to get back to the US from Shanghai. It is a shorter flight than when coming to China, but it is still a long flight. I had a wonderful week here in Shanghai. Most importantly, I finally got to spend some quality time with my honey. Well… I got tons of pictures… I just hope I will have the time to process them when I get home. Anyway… I will see everyone when I get home.

HAPPY Valentines Day!!!

Well… today is the day!!! I will be traveling to China today. I guess I am a little excited… I can’t sleep. So…. I look online to check out the weather in Shanghai… And this really sucks. I will be there for an entire week and it seems that the weather will be cloudy and rainy the whole time. When I went to Shanghai last time, it rained 2 out of 3 days that I was in Shanghai. But that’s ok… I might get some pockets of sunshine here and there. I have faith. Besides what is important is I will be with my honey.

All most time… just few more hours and I will begin my trip to China!!!

Happy Birthday!!!

Well, today I turn 28. Wow… 28!!! Well… not much has happened today…. humm let see I woke up, went to work… oh and it snowed today… Yeah… it snowed last year on my birthday too. So after a full day of work.. I am at home relaxing and watching Van Helsing… so far it is a pretty cool movie. little bit of James Bond and a litte bite of Blade.

So … yesterday was Halloween and I gave away about 3 bags of candy. That’s pretty fun… of course I only give away the good stuff… like Kit Kats and Snickers … ummm…. I always remember how much fun I had when I was a kid in halloween. But you know, I hate high school kids that don’t dress up and still come out and ask for candy… that is just lame.

I miss you Hsiu Hsiu. That’s ok… I will be in Shanghai soon… next week I will celebrate with my wonderful fiancee in China!!

By the way… everyone Vote Bush tomorrow!!

I have to say… the best vegetarian food in Houston is in the Bellaire China Town. I went there for lunch, for around 5 dollars, I got good authentic Chinese food. And I am filled up. The place is called May’s Ice Parlor. Right next to Din Ho Super Market.

I just got back from Chinatown. There are some benefits about living in Houston, there is a China town here. Yep I went to Sangtong Noodle shop in Bellaire’s Chinatown. It was good. I got back just before the rain. Now it’s raining again.