Monthly Archives: September 2004

Orange Harvest in my Garden

I’d like to share the Orange Harvest in my garden. I didn’t expect so many fruit for the first year of this orange tree. The orange is very sweet right now. It seems there is not much different from the orange in supermarket, expect it is a little bit smaller and are completely green.

shanghai-orange-garden.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai-orange-many.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai-orange-one.big.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai-orange-three.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

It is a great idea to seed some fruit trees and it gives very good return. It is the return of 3-month watering and fertilizing.

East Fuxing Road Tunnel Opens

A new tunnel East Fuxing Road Tunnel opens today. It is another good news after the successful F1 circuit.

The tunnel is just besides the Nanpu Bridge, which is on my daily routine to work and home. I expect the tunnel will off load some traffic on Nanpu Bridge. :-D

Didn’t have time to drive through the tunnel yet, but I guess I will have a try in the long Natinoal Holiday.

Happy Mid-Festival

Happy Mid-Festival (Moon Festival) to all my friends and readers!

screen-happy.mid.autunm-drawing.jianshuo.PNG

© Jian Shuo Wang. Image created by Jian Shuo Wang with Microsoft Paint.

I especally want to send the card to my family in Luoyang, Nanyang, Tongchuan, Fuzhou, Toronto, Portland… It is a season for every member of the family to gather and today, only Wendy and I am in Shanghai.

Travel by Train in China – Part I

Railway is the “standard” travel options for normal people in China. Richer (minority) people travel by air and short distance traveler go by bus; the rest typically take trains.

For transition passengers in Shanghai, to take train maybe an option if the destination is near. I’d like to devote some time on the train system in China. I hope this guide will be helpful to visitors who want to use railway.

Types of Seats/Sleepers

There are several times of seats. The most basic is the hard seat, soft seat, and hard sleeper, soft sleeper. I know the translation is quite confusing but I couldn’t found a better one. Someone asked me “How difficult are the hard seats?” It is amusing. Actually, hard seat is not completely wooden. It feels soft when you touch it.

Typically, “hard seat” cars have 10 persons in a cubicle, 6 on the left and 4 on the right.

====    ==

|o o o    o o|

|o o o    o o|

====    ==

| is window

= is back of seats

o is seats.

There are about 100 – 120 passenger seats in one train cart.

The Trip

Bryan Tutt’s A Hard Seat Train is a vivid description about what a crowded “hard seat” train is. Fortunately, it should be the experience of several years ago. Now the train are getting better, faster with fewer people. The train has been upgraded to new models with better equipment. If you travel from Shanghai to nearby cities, like Hangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Changzhou, the train are more likely to be the newest and most advanced model. If you travel to Beijing, the train from Shanghai to Beijing are among the best in China.

Train Stations in Shanghai

In Shanghai, there are two train stations – the Shanghai Railway Station and Shanghai Southern Railway Station. Most of trains will start and arrive at Shanghai Railway Station except those to Zhejiang and southern provinces. Always check where the railway station you need to go to. The Shanghai Southern Railway Station will be expanded to as large as Shanghai Railway Station and the construction is undergoing at the time when this article is posted. There are 12 stops in Metro Line #1 between the two stations.

To be continued

F1 Grand Prix Shanghai Pictures

I am just back from F1 Grand Prix. I took some pictures there.

shanghai-child.flag-waving.jpg

shanghai-f1.bus-volenteers.jpg

shanghai-flags-franch.jpg

shanghai-grass.stand.jpg

shanghai-grass.stand-many.people.jpg

shanghai-grass.stand-watching.jpg

shanghai-grass-stand.with.flag.jpg

shanghai-official.shop.jpg

shanghai-people-getting.back.jpg

shanghai-people-waiting.for.bus.jpg

shanghai-space-under.stage.jpg

shanghai-the.car-f1.jpg

Carsten and Gweilo are right. The cars were very noisy and the earplugs Carsten shared with me are very useful so I can spare my hands from my ears.

Well. I have to admit that the race is not as exciting as I expected. I am not a F1 fan. So I don’t know the names of each team and each player. Since it was too noisy and I was wearing the earplugs, so I missed the broadcasting inside the circuit. I stood there and watched the 56 round of the race – it seems a little bit boring for me for the middle 30 circles. It seems I should have done more homework before I went there.

Update More about the Game September 26, 2004

Now the long-expected F1 circuit is over. The event seems to be too short compared to the two years’ preparation. It went away almost at a speed faster than the racing cars!

Here are some thinking around this event.

Very Good Road Infrustructure

The Grand Prix in Shanghai well demostrated the express way network Shanghai has built. It is just besides the A30 Express Way and many other express roads lead to the circuit. It is very far from the downtown but we managed to get there in less than one hour from Pudong Yuanshen Stadium. For people in Shanghai Stadium, it is only less than one hour. I enjoy the 100+ km/h speed of my bus better than the 300+ km/h speed of the racing car – since the race continued for only less than two hours but the cars on the express ways run all the time.

Buy F1 Shanghai Tickets as Late as Possible

It is gumbling. Before the event, no body knows whether the tickets’ price will raise or fall before the game. It turned out that the price fell. Before I got on board the bus, venders (illegal venders) sold their tickets at 1/3 or less of the face price. 1080 RMB tickets fell to 320 RMB. The 150,000 actual visitors out of 200,000 capacity is a hint of the fall.

Shanghai Metro Line #1 – Part II

Well. Let me continue to follow the Metro Line #1 to visit the other great stations. In my last article, I have introduced the Xin Zhuang – Xujiahui Station. Now, we will go northward to the Heng Shan Road. Station.

Hengshan Road. Station 衡山路 map

Hengshan Road is the bar street. It is the place where lots of consulates of many countries – such as U.S., Canada, Japan, Singapore. There are many bars along the street. Although the Xintiandi has taken the best bar area title from Hen Shan Road, it is still a nice place to visit at night, especially for me who works in Xujiahui. Hengshan Road is also one of the most beautiful street in Shanghai with the nice phoenix trees along both side.

At the time of this writing, experimental automatic door was installed in the Metro to save some engerny.

The Shanghai Community Church is at #53 of this road. The Shanghai Library is also nearby.

Bus Stops: 93, 15, 02, 824, 315, 320, 830, 548, 401, 927

Changshu Road. Station 常熟路 map

Is there any reasons I visit Changshu Road. Station? Maybe because it is the starting point of Huaihai Road. Huaihai Road one of the most important road in Shanghai with all kinds of fashion stores and department stores. It is a long road. The Huaihai Road main refer to Huaihai Zhong Road, or Huaihai Middle Road. It started from the Changshu Road. Station till somewhere near the Bund. If I have enough time, I will start from the Chang Shu Road. Station and walk eastward, so I can see the whole road (and the stores along the road). Shanghai Conservatory of Music is at this station, but I didn’t visit it. I have once bought some music instruments for my friends there. There are no large shopping mall or places of interest nearby.

Bus stops: 15, 45, 327, 315, 830, 126, 927, 49, 920, 320, 911, 926, 831, 02, 824

South Shanxi Road. 陕西南路 map

Wow. This is THE station. The Huahai Road between South Shanxi Road and South Huangpi Road (the next station I will cover later) are the busiest and most exciting part of the whole road. The Parkson Shopping Center is just at the exit of South Huaihai Road Station. (Check “Sunny Saturday” to see some pictures around the area).

It is interesting that according to some newspaper, 40,000 people will meet at the exit of Parkson shopping center everyday, since it is a perfect place to meet and go to other places together. I don’t know if the source is accurate but I personally guess it should be so many people – I always use this place as the meeting point.

The Garden Hotel, the Lanxin Theater is at the east-side exits of this station.

Another reason why this station is so crowded is the Xiang Yang Market nearby. The Xiang Yang market is about 100 meters away from this station, so the sidewalks are so crowded and some readers have warned of stealing on the street and in the market.

Bus stops: 02, 911, 926, 42, 920, 831, 320, 41, 835, 24, 128, 301, 304, 104, 146

South Huangpi Road 黄陂南路 map

Huangpi Road is the decent area left from the old Shanghai. The Pacific Department Store are at the exit of South Huangpi Road Station. The Hong-Kong Plaza and many other business buildings and shopping malls are located here. I would suggest this station to be a must-see for any visitors to this city.

The Xintiandi is about 500 meters away from this station.

Bus Stops: 781, 109, 581, 932, 42, 320, 02, 911, 920, 831, 926, 108, 518, 126, 71, 127, 01, 925, 936

To be continued

Shanghai Metro Line #1 – Part I

In this series of article, I want to give personal comments to the Metro Stations along Shanghai Metro Line #1.

Xin Zhuang Station 莘庄 map

Xin Zhuang is the south-most stop of Shanghai Metro Line #1. It is also the starting station of Shanghai Metro Line #5 (or Xin Min Light Rail). There is no in-station transition between the two lines. You have to exit the Metro #1 and buy separate ticket for Metro Line #5.

There are almost no commercial facilities around that area right now. But it became one of the most populated area for residents for the convenient transportation but relatively lower price for apartments. Massive residential buildings were constructed near that station, and extend to the Lian Hua Road. Station.

Bus stops: 763, 756, 704B, 753

Waihuan Road Station 外环路 map

Like Xin Zhuang, The Waihuan (Outer Ring) Road Station is mainly a residential area. Seldom does passengers go to this station if they do not live there or don’t have a friend living there.

Bus Stops: 704B, 712, 753, 747

Lianhua Road 莲花路 map

I lived near this stop for around 3 years. My first rented apartment at Meilong is near Lian Hua Road Station. It is the first stop with full commercial facilities along the Metro Line #1.

The Friendship Shopping Center, the HomeMart are located there. Within the shopping malls, Starbucks, McDonalds, Hagen-Daze can be found. These shops are easily found at downtown, and Lian Hua Road is the first Metro Station from the south to have these facilities.

Bus Stops: 753, 757, 704, 704B, 747, 712

Hongmei Road Station 虹梅路 map

This stop was first named Jin Jiang Park Station, and then rented to Hong Mei Road Station. After a while, it is renamed back to Jin Jiang Park Station and finally, changed back to Hong Mei Road. Station. It is interesting.

Since this station is the transportation hub, with the Hu Min Elevated Road and Middle Ring crossing there, it is the most noisy and crowded stations along the Metro Line #1.

The Metro wholesale shopping mall is there. When the Shanghai Southern Railway Station is under construction, passengers should get onboard the trains to Hangzhou from this Metro station.

Bus Stops: 757, 747, 03, 803, 704, 704B, 712, 122, 703, 131, 326, 735, 725, 755, 218, 50, 755B, 731, 804

South Shanghai Railway Station Station 上海南站 map

The South Shanghai Railway Station will be a huge new station. It is expected to open soon. This Metro Station is closed at the time this post becomes online due to the construction.

Bus Stops: 703, 704, 50, 326, 218, 704B

Caobao Road Station 漕宝路 map

I lived at this station for two years. The Shanghai Ever Bright Exhibition and Conference Center is located at this station. There is nothing to see at this stop – it is very close to the downtown but not yet.

Bus Stops: 718, 704B, 703, 704, 326, 07, 50, 218, 92, 809, 43, 401, 834

Shanghai Stadium Station 上体馆 map

IKEA – the largest IKEA in Asia is located at this station. The Shanghai Stadium and Shanghai Swimming Stadium is here. It is both a sports center in Shanghai (one of the four major sports centers) and the transportation hub. It has more bus lines than many other Metro stations. The Hua Ting Hotel, the first five-star hotel in Shanghai is at this station.

This stop is also the transition stop to Metro Line #3. There is pretty long way to go to transit here. You have to buy separate ticket too.

Bus Stops: 920, 205, 830, 814, 754, 42, 824, 840, 834, 50, 926, 303, 43, 712, 122, 251, 938, 138, 87, 73, 808, 524, 857, 42, 49, 120, 718, 720, 721, 704, 764, 07, 820, 847, 218, 927, 401, 89, 111, 872, 315, 401, 770, 303, 931, 56, 703

Xujiahui 徐家汇 map

Xujiahui is what we call “downtown”. It is the commercial center of the south-west region of Shanghai. Large shopping malls, fashioned shops and all kinds of restaurants gathers at the square. In a 1 square meter area, there are two Starbucks stores, 4 KFCs, 2 PizzaHuts, and 2 McDonalds stores. These numbers reflect how intensive the business in that area is.

See Xujiahui – Night or search for Xujiahui on this site.

Xujiahui is more as a commercial center than a business center. I work at the Metro Tower of Xujiahui. On the tower are some famous companies like Microsoft, Yum Corp (KFC + PizzaHut + Tacobell).

The Shanghai Jiao Tong University is also located near this station.

Bus Stops: 56, 732, 814, 205, 754, 02, 840, 920, 93, 572, 931, 830, 824, 548, 320, 806, 44, 834, 840, 72, 926, 302, 43, 315, 303, 50, 42, 847, Airport Bus #3, 547, 593, 927, 872, 820, 712, 326, 15, 315, 401, 122, 512, 732, 864

Resources:

To be continued…

XGAO’s RJRI Retired

According to GAO’s blog, his test machine RJRI retired.

screen-rjri-retired.jpg

Image in courtesy of Hui-Jie Gao. Quoted from his blog

It is not a big piece of news of a retiring machine, especiall it is a common, Dell, personal computer, but we will miss that machine. RJRI started a new kind of naming convension for computers at work. My laptop was named \\sha-jswang-01. My previous test machine was named \\sha-jswang-02, some times when I have more than four computers under my command, I named it \\sha-jswang-03, \\sha-jswang-04… SHA means Shanghai and jswang is my alias in Microsoft. BTW, SHA sounds exactly as 傻, meaning silly or stupid in Chinese. So the names sounds “Stupid jswang 01”, “Stupid jswang 02″… Haha.

Xiao Gao came and named his machine RJRI, with the first letter of Ren Jian Ren Ai (人见人爱), meaning You see it, you love it. It seems a better name than “Stupid …”. Although it does not agree with the stand naming convension, it brings much fun.

After RJRI, the second PC was named RJRYI (人见人又爱) or You see it again, you love it again. :-D I remember there are many more and more working machines within Microsoft changed to this interesting name, such as JJYY (唧唧歪歪). I cannot remember it is Linda’s or Eddie, or Eddy’s machine.

So the retire of RJRI is a big thing for its computer friends.

BTW, Eddie’s blog has a post of some pictures of the owner of RJRI – XGAO.

Google: IPO First, then Dance

It seems Google guys are too busy with the IPO and AdSense, AdWords and new features, and have no time to dance.

I noticed the last Google dance as in June 07, 2004 for my site. I know it from the obvious PageRank difference between the two adjustant entries. The difference is still there. This means, Google didn’t dance since June 07, 2004. 108 passed and there is no change in anything in PageRank.

Cemper also noticed this. Are Google guys too busy with IPO?

PVG: Bus to Suzhou, Nanjing, Hangzhou

Here are the latest long distance bus information from Pudong Airport to nearby cities.

Direct bus

The following bus lines connects the Pudong Airport and the city directly with no stops in the middle.

Hangzhou 杭州 100 RMB 1030 1200 1330 1530 1730 1930

Qing Tian 青田 192 RMB 1310

Via Hong Qiao Airport

The following buses will go to Hong Qiao Airport to pick up passengers there and they leave for the destination.

Kun Shan 昆山 76RMB 1130 1230 1330 1430 1530 1630 1730 1830 1930

Suzhou 苏州 82RMB 1050 1150 1250 1350 1440 1520 1610 1650 1750 1850

Wuxi 无锡 100 RMB 1120 1220 1320 1420 1520 1620 1720 1820

Zhangjiagang 张家港 110 RMB 1140 1250 1440 1540 1740

Nanjing 南京 122 RMB 1120 1320 1510 1640 1840

Note: All the record are in the following format: Desitination, Chinese name, Price, Departure Time

I have updated the following pages to reflect the changes.

How Far are These Cities?

Nothing is better than a real satalite photo to tell the relative locations between the cities and the time it may take to go to the cities. You can find the location of the city on the photo below. I added the point, which means it may not be as accurate as a map.

map-pudong.airport-on.map.of.east.china.jpg

Image in courtesy of NASA

Update Hong Qiao Airport Buses September 23, 2004

For pictures and bus information at Hong Qiao Airport, visit my Hong Qiao Airport Long Distance Bus page.

Ticket price of long distance bus at Hong Qiao Airport

Cars with Non-Shanghai Plates

From Sept 1, 2004, all cars in Shanghai without a Shanghai local car plate will be charged 150 RMB per month. It means, I need to pay 1800 RMB more for my car.

According to the new regulation, I need to visit the police office to hand in the money; otherwise the fine will be 30,000 RMB.

Actually, all cars without a Shanghai plate need to pay 30 RMB for the entrance fee when they enter Shanghai. This regulation just added the 7-day valid period for entrance fee. It means, the car driver can choose to go back to the entrance toll gate to hand it the fee every 7 days (so it is 120 RMB per month), or to go to the police to pay a little bit higher – 150 RMB per month. Of cause, the third choice is not to do anything until the fine ticket of 30,000 RMB arrives.

It is strange for a large city to issue a command like this to restrict the flow of cars between Shanghai and other provinces.

P.S. Just found an interesting website to write on the Berlin Walls (via Eric’s blog). Take a look.

screen-wangjianshuo.blog-berlin.wall.jpg

Image created by letterjames.de

P.S. 2. I am in Beijing and will get back to Shanghai on Wednesday.

How China Mobile Fee are Charged

Notice: This article only applies to China Mobile users. I didn’t research about Unicom charging model, but it should be very similar.

Yes. I Agree it is Complicated

To be honest, I don’t know how the mobile fee is charged till now. As one reader commented (I cannot find the post about three days ago), it is too difficult to calculate how much it costs since it is not a flat rate. You have to put where you are, where your base city are, whether you are calling or receiving call into consideration. If you put the different discount plan into the calculation, it is almost impossible for you to clearly know how much you are paying. Even people in China Mobile may not understand the whole thing. Maybe all those people who are clearly aware of how it works are not the target customer of either China Mobile or China Unicom: they are so called low-end customers. If someone spend more than 800 RMB on mobile every month, will he/she bother to spend time to understand it? :-D

Anyway, I finally got some idea with the help of this page (Chinese page). Let me try to explain it.

Component of Calling Fee

There are two rules to remember:

  1. Someone has to pay the long distance fee (not neccessarily the caller)
  2. They charge according to the REAL route a call goes

So there are three types of fees: Local call, Long distance call (familiar with these terms? They are how fee is charged by fixed-line telephone), AND roaming fee.

I don’t know why the roaming fee is charged. I guess it is for the usage of the infrustructure of the other city, other than the home city.

When the Mobile is not Roaming

The simplest senario is, the mobile is at its home city (you can tell the home city of a mobile from its phone number), when it calls other mobile, or fixed line telephone, the caller has to pay either local call fee only or local call + long distance call, depending on where the destination is. I tend to guess that local call fee is the fee you pay for the wireless connection between your mobile to the basestation and long distance fee is paying for the fixed-line between your base station to the destination.

If you receive calls, no matter who calls, even from other countries, you only have to pay the local call fee – the segment from the base station and your mobile.

It is under hot discussion about whether this two-way charging mobile is reasonable. The discussion has been undergoing for more than three years, I remember. However, up to now, they are still charging both caller and receiver.

If the Mobile is Roaming

It became very complicated.

If you are placing local (the place you are visiting) calls (no matter it is local fixed-line telephone, or local mobile), you pay the roaming fee. No long distance fee is involved, since your mobile directly connects to the local mobile base station and goes to the destination. As I guessed, the roaming fee is the usage fee to use a different base station infrustructure.

If you are placing non-local calls, you are paying for roaming fee + long distance fee (from the visiting city to the desination).

For example, my mobile’s home city is Shanghai. If I travel to Beijing and I call local calls, I only pay roaming fee. If I call a number in Chengdu, I pay for roaming fee + the long distance fee from Bejiing to Chengdu.

If you receive calls in your visiting city, depends on who calls, the fee varies greatly.

If local (the visiting city) mobile or telephone is calling you, you pay the roaming fee.

If non-local mobile or telephoen is calling you, according to how the signal goes, the call will first by transfered to your home city (Shanghai for me), and they transfered to you at your roaming city. You have to pay both roaming fee and the long distance fee for this call.

Excercise Time

Let’s do some excercise (to help me understand it too). Here are some background information for thsi excercise: Jian Shuo Wang owns a mobile with home city Shanghai. Eric owns a mobile with home city in Beijing.

  • I am in Shanghai, Eric is in Beijing and I call Eric:
      I pay for local fee + long distance fee. Eric pays for local fee.
  • I travel to Beijing and I call Eric:
      I pay the roaming fee and he pays the local fee.
  • I travel to Beijing and Eric uses his China Mobile (the company) mobile phone to call me.
      By theory, Eric should be paying long distance fee to Shanghai and I pay the roaming fee + long distance fee from Shanghai to Beijing, but China Mobile is running a program to waive the long distance fee for both party. So Eric pays only pays the local fee and I pay the roaming fee.
  • Eric travels to Guangzhou and I travel to Beijing. Eric calls me.
      Eric is paying for roaming fee + long distance fee from Guangzhou to Shanghai. I pay for roaming fee + long distance fee from Shanghai to Beijing.
  • I travel to Beijing and Eric travel to Shanghai. I call Eric.
      I pays for roaming fee and Eric pays the roaming fee.

Ha. What a complicated homework to do. The last but the most important question is, how much is the local fee, roaming fee and the long distance fee? Well. It is another complicated calculation depends on which package you are using. This article may help: Difference Between Quanqiutong and Shenzhouxing.

P.S. Please help to correct me if there is any error in this article. I am trying to understand how it works but this is by no means the official answer. The number on your bill is the most official one.

Cheap and Clean Hostels in Shanghai

If my friends or family came to Shanghai, I would recommend one of the three brand of chain hotels to them: Motel 168, Rujia Inns, and Jin Jiang Inn. They are cheap, clean and convinient.

Unlike those star hotels in Shanghai, their price is about 168 RMB – 298 RMB (20 USD – 36 USD) per night for the standard room. I took picture of one of the Motel168 room in this entry: Cheap and Clean Motel in Shanghai – Motel168. The other two hostels are similiar. I cannot tell too much difference between these brands right now, since they are so similiar in price, room, and background.

To reserve, call their hotline or reserve online:

Jin Jiang Inn

800-820-1838

or (+8621)38744588

http://www.jj-inn.com/

Rujia Inn

800-820-3333

or (+8621)54614638

http://www.homeinns.com/

Motel168

16831683

or (+8621)63168168

http://www.motel168.com/

Jin Jiang Inn and Rujia Inn are China wide chain hotels. You can find it in many cities around China. Motel168 just started and is only available in Shanghai.

Carsten Gave Me Earplugs

If you keep reading this blog for enough time, you must know Carsten. He shared a lot of good comments on this blog. More than that, he contributed lots of his earplugs to my F1 trip. We met the B&Q in Pudong. It is nice to see my reader and good friend in person. :-D Thanks Carsten.

shanghai-earplugs-by.carsten.jpg

Image sent me by Carsten

If Carsten hadn’t reminded me of the noise of F1 race cars, I will go there without any protection, and it may be a disaster for Wendy and I.

My Home Became in Good Order

Almost half year after I moved to Pudong, I finally get my home in good order. Today, as Wendy and I celebrate the 1.5 year wedding anniversary, we welcame our first batch of guests: Grace, Claire, Xiao Gao, and Ricky. They share something in common – all of them are best friends and all of them keep blogs. It is late after the party and I will write more about the new home soon. The reason why it takes so long to settle down is, we have more than 60 boxes and we have to clean them one by one and put the stuff in the boxes into their new place in the new home. So from today, I guess the life is completely back to normal. It seems to long a process, isn’t it?

Posting my Mobile Number

I listed my mobile number on my contact page. Some one commented that “Jian Shuo Wang is really crazy that he put his mobile phone number onto his blog! The whole world can see it.”

I Never Received Any Spam Mobile Call or SMS

I am not crazy. To publish a mobile number on the web is not that astonishing as others think. I am comfortable with it. To put on an email address in its original form may bring many spam emails, but a mobile number is not as attractive for spammers, especially for international spammers. :-D If they want to spam, mobile number is much easier to guess than email. Let me tell you the rule if you are going to spam (take it as a joke). All mobile numbers in China are 13 digits. The first three can tell you the operator the mobile is using. 135, 136, 137, 138, and 139 belongs to China Mobile while 131, 132, 133 belongs to China Unicom. In Chinese version of Google (swtich the interface to China in Google Preference), type in any mobile number and they tell you the operator, the type of the subscription (Shenzhouxing or Quanqiutong) and base city. Here is the information for my mobile. Since China Mobile is going to open the 134xxxxxxxxxx number range, it is pretty sure that the existing number range are almost full. Back to the spamming topic, a spammer can just start with my number and increase the number by one (I know it is one of my friend’s number), and spam it. Then increase it by one and spam again. At last, the spammer will reach all mobile in China. (Don’t tell others that I told you this :-D).

I was kidding regarding spam idea. The point is, they don’t need to actually see your number before they send spam SMS or call you. Unlike email, they have to pay much higher for either SMS or call, so mobile spam is not popular yet.

I Love to Receive Calls

Till now, every call I received was a pleasant story.

I received call from United Kingdom, they asked for the financial institutes in Shanghai. I received call from a reader, who sat at the Startucks of Beijing (Near Guomao) and just called to thank me for the stories I wrote. I received other calls from different part of the world (German, United State, Spanish, and India…). The good thing is, I *always* got the call at day time. It seems the notice about the time difference worked:

If you are out side China, please consider the time difference between Shanghai (GMT+8) and your place. I did get phone call from U.S. at mid-night. :-D

International caller’s number does not show up on my mobile’s screen. It displays “Unknown number!” if it is an international call. Whenever I see this number, I know it is either my reader from out side China or my elder brother in Portland.

I also got calls from book agents, magzines and newspapers. Some of the interview was conducted via telephone, such as the MarketPlace interview and the China Radio International’s. Yesterday, I got a call from MetroZine, the most popular free magzine (in terms of wideness of distribution). They asked if they can use some of my Pudong Articles in their magzine. I said, “Yes. Thanks for asking.” Things like this happen all the time. I love it. The base line is, they respect my work and checked my permission before using it (see On Credibility). They won’t call me if they cannot find my mobile number.

The most interesting call I received was from Italy. Any one still remember the English Instructions in Yantai? Two days after I posted the entry, a girl called from Italy at around 6:00 PM Shanghai time. She said: “Well. I saw your post about the instruction in Yantai. You know what? I am now in Italy and I came from Yantai. My friend happened to be the manager in charge of the computer facility in that hotel. I called him and he said, the instruction was not printed by them and they would have people change the instructions to the correct version. He just wanted me to tell you, that now everything is OK.”

Haha. Small world again. What an interesting story. I am happy that this blog helped to improve something. It is like a media already. I didn’t post the story becaue the girl perfer now to post the story immediately when I checked her permission to disclose it. She said, how about two or three month later? OK. Now it is almost three month. I appreciate her friend’s effort to change the instruction and I want to thank the girl in Italy to take the trouble (and money) to call IDD to me just to let me know.

P.S. Comment feature was of this entry is closed on May 21, 2006.

Search Function Improved

Anyone noticed the new search function on this site? I wrote the code (PHP code) and added the following features:

Standalone Search Page

I have removed the search box from the title area and put a search link on every page. Thanks to readers like PP to point out the search box won’t work on certain browser. I know it is against Jakob’s usability suggestion that search should be a box, so I added a search box at the middle of the home page.

History

I record all the search terms entered in the search box so create some hints of what others are looking for. When the history data becomes large enough, I will hide some terms that are searched only once.

Search

I am a fan of Jakob’s usability site. His research show a site with more than 200 page should offer search function. This site has grow to more than 1000 articles (including both traditional site and blog site) so if you cannot find anything, don’t hesitate – search!.

Google is doing great on search, so I don’t need to create my own search engine.

Am I working too much on the technical side of this site? I often surpress my attempt to drive into code although I enjoy writing some small piece of codes. As I said, the soul of a blog is the content, not the technology it is using.

Goudaner Scratched by Drunk Driver

Life is bitter, for my car. Around 7:00 PM, at the parking lot, a Hyundai Sonata backed to the parking lot. My car was stopped nearby and the Hyundai’s head scratched the rear of my car. Bang! I checked my car. It was not very badly hurt but my heart was hurt.

I went to the driver. I was surprised to see the driver seemed cannot understand what I said. Later, I found out that the driver, about 40 years old, was completely drunk. He even could not step out of the car. With his friends’ help, his friends have to support his hands so he could walk. The air suddenly was full of the smell of alcohol. I could not imagine how he managed to drive to the parking lot. The driver seems to be the big boss. There is a guy jump out and tell his boss that nothing happened. He will handle everything and sent his boss away. It is obvious that this guy don’t want others to know the driver was drunk. I guess he is the big boss’s executive assistant or some role like that.

The big boss was certainly not satisfied with what his assistant told him to do. He managed to come to my face and was very angry. “What is your name?” He pointed to my nose and asked. Haha. I guess he was more seriously drunk than I thought. His assistance finally managed to let his boss calm down and agree to hand over everything to his assistant.

After that, the driver and other people left. There is only me and the guy. The argument was boring and he finally only agree to pay me 300 RMB. Anyway. I don’t care about it, but I care so much that the boss dare to drive after so badly drunk.

I called 110 for the police. But it is a pity that every body disappeared before the slow police arrived. I told him, everybody had gone. He got it and went away too.

The “good citizen” inside me raise again and I called the police of Xujiahui and they gave me a number. I called and reported again. He recorded everything and suggest me to go to their office tomorrow morning and bring all my witness. Again, I was not happy with what I was told. I said, the driver is drunk. The car is there. They have to get back soon. It does not make sense to handle it tomorrow when the evidence of the drunk driver disappear. The police said they will investigate. One hour later, I called again, and he said, thanks for calling back, but we have nothing to do since the driver is not there. There are more drunk driver on the road of Shanghai than I thought, since the police is not as efficient as I thought.

Ironically, on the day of the first month of my new car (April 15, 2004), I scratched the car for the first time. The car went very well in the following five months without anything wrong, and today is exactly half year after I bought my car (March 15, 2004).

Negative Comments for this Blog

Some people don’t like this blog. Some hate it. Here are their reasons.

Why a Chinese uses English to Blog?

It is common comment. Someone said something really bad about this blog, because it is in English. Many people take France as a model of anti-English countries. I have to accept this. It is bitter sometimes. Well. Let me get back to the question, why I choosed to use English in this blog?

It was just for fun at the very begining. When I started, who knows what the site would be look like. Just as the URL of this site, I used http://home.wangjianshuo.com for simple reason – the computer was at my home. After that, I found the gap of communication and the hopeless visitors in Shanghai or planning to visit Shanghai. So I continued. It does not mean I don’t love my country or to show off – as some commented.

Bad Shanghaiese?

Some people just feel someone is bad because they are Shanghainese. This became popular, as I discussed at the Mercy! Tolerance section of Nice Meetup with Hailey and Roddy. I don’t want to comment on this. It does not make any sense.

As earthmilk said, why people keep giving comments and suggestions to other people’s life.