Brisbane, and Gold Coast

I am now in Gold Coast near Brisbane.

I saw many comments but don’t have time to check out and answer yet. Everytime I grasp an Internet kiosk, it ticks in seconds and quickly, it shows “time-up”. I also don’t want to spend too much time on Internet when the nice pacific sea shore is just on the right hand side. I will clear the back-log later.

Jian Shuo in Australia – Day II, III and IV

It is the forth day in Australia – Sydney for the first two days (blue mountains, Kangaroos, River Cruise, Darling Habor…), and now I am at Melbourne Airport, leaving the great city.

It was not easy to find Internet access in the city – for first time visitors. Internet cafe is not that popular as Sydney, and thank to the Netkiosk in the Melbourne International Airport. I can finally

update my blog after three days of OOB (Out of Blogging)


I took many pictures, something like 1000 to 1500 pictures in the last few days. The netkiosk does not support SD card or USB – just keyboard, screen, mouse and Internet access. I will upload some pictures later.

Melbourne is a lovely city. As Wendy put it, “Congratulations, Jian Shuo. You have setup another personal connection with a city!”

Life in Remote Places

Anyone has any idea about where this place is?

Photograph by Wendy

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Pretty late-minute decision, for a long trip like this. But National Holiday Golden Week seems to approaches much faster than I expected, I mean flight tickets…

P.S. Today, the head of Shanghai government was sentenced to be guilty by the central government – a series of high-level politics stuff. Expected, and no surprise…

You’v Got (Registered) Mail!

How important is mail (traditional mail) in our daily life? No so important. In the last few years, I didn’t receive any written mails, and all the mail in my mailbox are either “Direct Mail”, or the fly-er of commercial advertisement, or bills (telephone bills, gas bills, cable TV bills).

I totally have no incentive to open the mailbox.

Among them, there are some special mail notification. It is a small piece of paper to ask me to go to the post office in person to fetch package or registered mail.

I hate this.

China Post

Once upon a time, all major services are operated by the state-owned enterprises: banks, post offices, telephones, water, electricity…

20 years past, all these industries changed dramatically. The only industry that left unchanged seems to be China Post.

For banks, most of them are commercialized. Recently, the ICBC is going IPO, which may marks the biggest IPO deal in the history of man-kind. The service provided by banks are among the best in all these industries.

For water supply, in Pudong Area, the water supply company is a JV between Shanghai Water and a France company, and the quality of water, billing system, and maintenance is great.

For gas, and electricity, more and more services are provided. The only interface between end users and the company is the billing and payment. Now people can pay your bill at convenient stores, online, via mobile, via banks… For the quality of gas, or electricity? I have no comment. That is too technical for common people to comment.

Now let’s talk about POST OFFICE!

China Post Office

If you want to experience the “old China” before 20 years of reform, go to a post office.

For example, here is the typical process to get my “registered mail” or package.

The notification

On the notification slip (bad quality paper, and all information is hand written – low efficiency), it said “come to post office within 3 days, or we will charge you for delayed fee…”.

They don’t care about whether it is convenient for people to go to THEIR office. The office closes at 7:00 PM. That means, if the mail arrives on Monday, it is for sure that I need to pay the delayed fee.

The location

The post office on the Linyi Road – about 4 km away from my home. I drove there. The package claim area is not inside the post office. There is no sign, and you have to ask the people working there, and they tell you – go out side the post office, turn right and turn right in the first gate of a residential area. To ahead for 10 meters, and there is a small gate on the right. Enter the gate, and turn right. Do NOT go up stairs, instead, go to the left side of the stair and there is a small window…”

The person must have told people many many times – inefficient.

OK. I followed the instruction and go the small window. They need you to write down your national ID number, signature, and hand in your national ID or passport.

They person inside the window will get the small piece of notification, and start to search in the piles of letters – one by one. This typically takes about one minute or two (low efficiency), and then give the the letter… Their attitude is really bad.

The Result

After all the suffer, you know what I got?

It is a bill from China Telecom.

Jinjiang Hotel

Wendy and I went to Jinjiang Hotel to attend her friends’ wedding. Jinjiang Hotel is a nice and old hotel in Shanghai. The area of the Jin jiang Hotel has one of the best architectures of Shanghai. What a co-incident. Our wedding was held three years ago on the same Saturday in the hotel nearby.

I would recommend people to stay in this hotel – it is not fancy, but comfortable. It is of the best locations in Shanghai ,and is along the charming Huaihai Road.

Don’t get fooled by its three star status – it is a very nice hotel.

Jinjiang Hotel

59 South Maoming Rd



Tel: +86 (21) 6258 2582

Fax: +86 (21) 6472 5588

Metro: South Shaanxi Rd

Their price is very reasonable for meal. The dining rooms on the 14th floor are good.

Google Satellite Map

Maglev Accident in Germany

What happened in the Maglev in Germany? Why two trains can possibility hit each other? On the advertisement of Maglev in Shanghai, they use the tag line “Experience almost 900 km/hour speed when two Maglev passes each other…”.

I can imagine it is definitely not funny if they do not pass each other, but hit head to head.

I am so sorry for people who lose their lives. As the Germany president put it “It is completely unacceptable for their family or friends to say by to them in the morning but found out they never go back home again….” I share the pain of the families.


Image in courtesy of cbs news

There was fire on Shanghai Maglev before. This makes the future of Maglev not so clear…

Centuary Ave Station Opens on Oct 28

Shanghai Metro Centuary Ave Station will reopen on October 28, 2006. It was named Dong Fang Road Station before, and is the transition station for Metro Line #2 (already in operation), #4 (already in operation), #6 (will be completed soon) and #9.

The 4 lines will be arranged on three layers.

This is the first 4 line hub for Shanghai Metro. In 2010, there are other 15 3-line hubs in Shanghai Metro. I am an engering kind of person, and I will do some research to find out how the lines get connected together.

The station was closed about one year ago. It is nice that it finally completes. I am eager to go and have a look on the day it opens.

Here is a diagram I draw according to the text description of news report. It shows how the four lines transit with each other. Please note: This is just my own imagination, and may be totally wrong.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Future of Shanghai Metro

Now, there are 168 metro stations under construction concurrently in Shanghai, and there will be 300 metro stations in Shanghai. When I arrived in Shanghai 10 years ago, there were only 12. The subway lines will extend from 100+ km to around 400 km. In 2010, in urban area of Shanghai, on average there will be metro station within 600 meters of walking distance.

Then the density of Metro station will be the same as Tokyo and Paris.

Map of the Centuary Ave Station

Guide for Bike Riders in Shanghai

Shuan’s question on riding bike in Shanghai:

Hello again,

First I would like to acknowledge your warm welcome,

second.. how do I ask a question.. is there any special place where I ask, or do I send you an email or what?

Any way, I’ll post my question here considering you can edit posts and what not (the above is a question in it self :P ^_^)

I just got a bycicle, a standard $500 rmb one.. today I rid to work and back! The thing is I don’t know the laws with the bycicle or in shanghai.. Every body just seems to do what ever.. ie., some people (well alot..) go through red lights, some people go through any light.. most people ride on what looks to be the wrong side of the road (with cars comming towards them, etc.) as a foreigner.. what do I do?

Every body just seems to ride any where on the road! I find this quite frightening coming from New Zealand.

A side note: One thing I dont get is the lights.. if it says you can walk.. why do cars still drive thru? I heard about some thing to do with “right way” or some thing but am not too sure..

I think you should write a cycling guide for tourists in shanghai.. Do I need to get a bike lisence? What places can I park my bike at.. etc. Do I have to pay for parking? Should I lock my bike up? Should I get lights? Bells to honk at people in the way? Do you need a helmet? What happens if I get a flat tire and get stranded some where? Do I have to ride in designated areas? If so.. where are these areas? Can I ride on the walkways.. is it allowed? What are some ways to be fined from the police? etc.

This would help alot of expats/foreigners who consider using a bike to get around shanghai or china in general.. As I don’t think there is an extension guide for this.. just little pieces of info.

Posted by: Shaun on September 6, 2006 08:37 PM

This is a very good topic to discuss. Here is my Personal Guide for Bike Riders in Shanghai.

What You Need to Ride a Bike in Shanghai?

To ride a bike in Shanghai, you do NOT need a license (or a certificate to demonstrate you can ride a bike). You can ride at any roads that allows riding (both foreigners and local residents). There is no classification the skill of your riding.

Typically, little boys and little girls learn to ride bikes when they are young – for me, I learn cylcing when I was 14. When their parents feel they can safely ride a bike, they go to the road, and then they keep riding on the “real road”. Unlike driving a car, riding a bike does not any license.

The bike does need a license. You get it after you buy your bike. They have a steel stamp that put a unique ID onto your bike on three major parts of the bike, and give you a certificate. You pay for this service, and most bike dealers provide this service.

This was mainly for the safety of the bike in case someone steal it. However, due to more and more bike stealing cases, and cheaper and cheaper a bike is (compared to people’s income), many people don’t have that number on the bike. For example, my second bike is still brand new – with no numbers. This is not allowed, but no one in this city really checks the number.


Two years ago, bike owners need to pay for 8 RMB (I remember, correct me if it is wrong) annual tax for the government. They will give a stamp to the bike owner’s booklet and a badge to you so you can put it to your key rings. Every year, some people will randomly stop people and check for the round badge. if you don’t have the badge, they ask you to pay the 7 RMB tax, and give you the badge.

This tax was canceled about two years ago, since the tax collected do not cover the cost of the 4000 people team to collect the tax. In 2004, 7 out of 12 provinces with bike tax canceled this kind of tax.

So relax! There is no bike tax in Shanghai.


People get confused about whether bikes should follow the traffic lights.

Obviously, you should. In many cross road, there are special sign designed for bicycles (so they have standard lights for cars, for pedestrians, and for bikes).

Since everyone can ride a bike without receiving the right training and education, many people still believes that red lights are still for cars only, and bikes don’t need to follow traffic lights. This is dangerous misunderstanding, but when you look at the current traffic situation, you will feel that the saying is reasonable since many people keep riding at red lights.

Green Lights for Pedestrians or Bike?

The other confusing situation for bike riders and pedestrians are, when there are green lights for bikes or pedestrians, cars still go across.

This is because in China, cars are still allowed to make right turn when it is red light (unless there are special red arrow pointing right). Although the traffic rule is, cars need to stop to yield for pedestrians, and pass when it is safe to do so, the general practice is, cars have the right to turn, and pedestrians need to yield for cars. Keep this in mind if you are new to ride in Shanghai.

Where to Park

Along the road, there are bike parking lots – you will see a lot of bikes there. Some places have bike parking sign, but no sign does not mean you cannot park. Follow your common sense and don’t park your bike in the middle of pedestrian.


It is important to have helmet to ride bike, but in Shanghai, helmet is not something related to bike. People never take helmet. This does not mean you don’t need to do that.

Need Help?

What happens if you get a flat tire and get stranded somewhere? There are some bike shops along the road. Just walk the bike. Typically, along the road with many bikes, chances are there will be some shops.

Area to ride

Some streets do not allow bike. Follow the sign – they have a forbidden sign – a circle with a bike stroked. For other areas, it is OK to ride. It is not OK to ride on walkways, unless with special sign, but unfortunately, it is a general practice. To violate this rule, you will be fined by policeman.

Happy and Safe Riding in Shanghai!

Swensen’s in Xujiahui

Swensen’s on the third floor of Metro Tower (1111 Zhao Jia Bang Road) is a great ice cream shop. They offer good Italian Noodles as well. We had great dinner at the outside garden tonight. The scene is amazing! The twin tower of the Grand Gateway is on the left – beautiful building with a big shopping mall in the middle (with bit TV screen on it) in the middle and 48-story high-raising tower on the both side. It is a great place to have dinner or ice cream.

I took the night scene with Davon’s camera, and will update this entry with pictures after I get them.

How hard it is to book a seat today in Shanghai. I called about 5 restaurants, and all of them are fully booked. (Namely, Yuxin on the Bund, Ying Qi on Jululu, Kathleen’s 5, BARBAROSSA in People’s Park, and Peace Mansion at Fenyang Road) Other reservation phone lines are busy. What a crazy city! From the business of restaurant, I believe it can be an indicator that the economy is going well.

Many bars are very good, but in Shanghai, not so many bars requires dress-up.

Sept is Maybe the Best Time to Visit Shanghai

Many people asked me the question: When is the best time to visit Shanghai? I would say, most time is good, but there are only some bad time – like winter – it is really code or summer, when it is really hot. Also avoid national holidays, like Oct 1 to 7, May 1 to 7 and Spring Festival. That is the short version of the answer.

However, these days, when I walked on the Nanjing Road, or visited the Bund at night, I regret that I didn’t tell my friends who is planning his/her visit to Shanghai that “September maybe is the best time to visit Shanghai”. Why? Because the Shanghai Travel Festival started on Sept 16.

The Festival

There are many activities in the Tour Festival. It lasts for about three weeks. There are carnivals (night of Sept 16), Boat Show on the Huang Pu River (night of Sept 28), International Fireworks Show (Sept 30, Oct 3, 6 at 19:30-20:30 in Centuary Park), F1 Race (Sept 29 to Oct 1), Beer Festival (Sept 13 – 23), Germany Week (Sept 22 to Oct 2)… There are tens of international events in the three weeks in Shanghai.

The Lights

I am not a party animal and I don’t enjoy crowded and fancy events, but I do enjoy the lights.

To reduce electricity consumption, many places in Shanghai have turned off lighting, like the Nanpu Bridge, and many land markers in Shanghai. However, during the Tour Festival, all the lights were turned up. Saturday night, when I drove along the Century Ave in Pudong, I said “WOW!” Pudong was completely turned into a place of dream. So was Puxi. I would credit 50% of the beauty of Shanghai to its lights.

Also, it is cooling down, and sunny. The weather is great. The lights are great. Sept should be one of the best time period to visit Shanghai!

I Love to Invite Friends to my Home

Sunday, I was happy to invite friends to my home in Pudnog for dinner. It was great experience to have my friends around the shining dining room. It is also a good incentive for me to clean up the rooms and garden, to prepare for the home visit.

Shanghai is too large, and my home is just too far. It is not very convenient for people to be there – especially for my friends in Puxi and my friends who don’t have a car.

After one day of housework, I’d say, I love my home so much. No where in the world is as good as home. No where. I confirm that.

I setup the Sun umbrella in the garden, and lay out my sun chairs. It is a nice setting even for a bar, or restaurant, but there is not so many people visiting. I feel excited when people came and can enjoy my “garden bar” in the garden. The mosquito is a problem though. I am thinking of the anti-mosquito lights to kill them – the light with blue bulb and high-voltage lines around the bulb. The best decision I made was to have a power outlet in the garden, so make the installation of the anti-mosquito equiptment possible.

The glasses I bought from IKEA on Friday were fully levarged. I like the IKEA glass designed by IKEA – I saw the glasses in Qingdao (where IKEA don’t have a store).


Image in courtesy of IKEA

We also enjoyed good wine brought by Chen, with our SVALKA wine glasses.


Image in courtesy of IKEA

Life is beautiful, isn’t it?

The Banquet (Ye Yan) by Zhang Ziyi

Went to see The Banquet by Zhang Ziyi. The movie was directed by Feng Xiaogang…

It was 35 RMB at 10:20 PM at the Cinema of Grand Brand Mall.

I don’t have too many comments for this movie. It is not as interesting as other Feng Xiaogao movies, but it is not as bad as Wuji

From the logical analysis perspective, I feel although the director changed, the style is not too much different from the previous several movies, like House of Flying Daggers, or Wuji. The team (the photographer, creative designers, music, and act designer) are the same as other Chinese movies. Now, the scene is good, but the story is not as strong. It takes time for the staging and story to catch up, and it will be really a great movie.


Image in courtesy of The Banquet

Zhang Liangying (one of the winner of the Super Girl) performed very well in the ending song. It is one of the highlights for the movie.

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Went to IKEA Again

I was an IKEA, especially when I just graduated and went to work. A major part of my first few months salary went to IKEA… For example, this was the picture in 2002. As recent as in 2004, I still did Bulk Purchase from IKEA.

Wendy and I went to IKEA again. Maybe, I didn’t visit IKEA in the last one year or so. I am no longer an IKEA fan. Now, most furniture in my home is NOT from IKEA, and my favorite color changed from white, to light yellow, and to brown.

Today, I really didn’t find anything to buy in IKEA’s large store. I know I am no long IKEA’s target customer.

What a circle – in 1998, I could only afford to buy some glasses, and candles in IKEA. Then I bought beds, bookshelf, carpet, TV cabinet – almost everything. In the end, almost 10 years since my first purchase in IKEA, it turned out I only want to buy small stuff like glasses or candles from IKEA. What a circle!

In the 10 years, IKEA started from a small shopping mall to a mega-store. Now IKEA is big, and always crowded with customers.

Look at current IKEA in Shanghai:

“Not Happy New Year”

I can never over-state the importance of the display name of an Instant Messenger (IM) in the current age. People change their MSN Messenger or QQ display name on daily basis, if not on hourly basis. By looking at the display name of my friends on MSN Messenger, I have some brief knowledge about

  • Whether they are happy?
  • What they are focusing on?
  • How they need help – it is a personal ad platform that people ask for referrer for a job, or ask for a job, or business
  • Contact information. Many people always include all their contact information.
  • Whether they moved
  • Joke of the day…

My Experiment

Since I started blog, I tend to do something in “long term”. This time, I did an experiment of how important the MSN Display Name is.

My experiment was, keep the display name unchanged for half an year!

In Jan 1, 2006, I changed my display name to

Jian Shuo Wang – Happy New Year

After that, I didn’t change it. I got incredibly many people complaint to me that I should not be that lazy to keep the display name out of date. In June, I changed the display name to

Jian Shuo Wang – Not Happy New Year


Jian Shuo Wang’s display name on Sept 14, 2006

I will keep this version until the new year of 2007.

If you ask me what is special in 2006? My answer is, I didn’t change my MSN display name for the whole year (or only once). This is at least something very special for me in 2006.

People’s Reaction

During the conversation with my friend, I discovered that if you have an out-of-date display name, people will think:

  • You are lazy.
  • You are extremely busy
  • You don’t use MSN Messenger often
  • Something wrong with the MSN Messenger system

Of cause none of the above is the real reason. I am just testing people’s reaction to it and have some idea about how important it is to change MSN display name frequently (and the impact of not changing it).

The experiment has run for too long – 267 days since starting, and still have about 100 days to finish. How crazy. When someone start to plan for project that last for months, or years, does it mean he/she is growing old?

Dishuihu (Dishui Lake) Pictures

Shanghai is a city without high mountains. Sheshan is maybe the only hill Shanghai has. Shanghai has a river – Huangpu River, but Huangpu is not that interesting – you cannot sail or swim in it. Shanghai is near sea, but there is no beach. People like hiking may have to climb stairs of buildings. People like sailing may only be able to watch cargo boats in the river. People like sea cannot even touch the river of the sea due to the muddy shores.

It seems the only interesting natural places in Shanghai are lakes. Recently, the Dishui Lake (Dishuihu) opened to public. It is at the end of A2 (near the sea), and is nice. We went there in May. I just saw the pictures and post it here.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang. © Jian Shuo Wang, 2006

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang. © Jian Shuo Wang, 2006

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang. © Jian Shuo Wang, 2006

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang. © Jian Shuo Wang, 2006

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang. © Jian Shuo Wang, 2006

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang. © Jian Shuo Wang, 2006

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang. © Jian Shuo Wang, 2006

Volunteer for Beijing Olympics

Want to be a volunteer for Beijing Olympics in 2008? Recently, the recruiting started.

The recruiting of Beijing Olympics Volunteer starts from Aug 28, 2006 to end of March, 2008.

Stage 1: Beijing Volunteers

From August 28, 2006, the program opens to applicants in Beijing (and Beijing only).

Stage 2: China Volunteers

From Dec, 2006, people from outside Beijing can submit their application.

Stage 3: Overseas Volunteers

By March 2007, people from outside China (including in other countries) can apply for volunteering in Olympics 2008.

The Program

Travel, hotel are not provided. Only working meal is available for volunteers (makes sense, isn’t it?)

If you have any questions, just call Olympics Volunteer hotline


According to news, 100k college students has applied for the position after three days of recruiting. 50,000 to 100,000 volunteers are needed for the game.

If you want to participant, just call the number and ask more questions about the program. However, my guess is, to be admitted to the program is not easy.

For more information:

Olympic Jobs – Beijing 2008

Beijing Olympic Volunteer Program launched (photos attached)

Olympic volunteer recruitment begins

Beijing Olympic volunteers get call-up

Four Years of Blogging

Today marks the end of the forth year of blogging at Wangjianshuo’s Blog. 4 years ago, in Sept 11, 2002, I setup MovableType and wrote my first entry MovableType Successfully Installed on Windows XP on the old desktop computer in my home. No one expected that it is the start of a four-year-long blogging journey. Of cause, every year when I look back and wrote a note about the anniversary of this blog, I am not unaware of the fact that Sept 11 is a special day. The 911 event 5 years ago took away many people’s lives, and inevitably changed the world. I write with my respect to everyone involved in the trategy.

The Meaning of 911 and a Blog

When I first heard about blog on the Internet, the world of blog is always related with the 911 event. It was said, the blog was there for a long time, but the 911 event is the trigger of its popularity. When people were hit by tragedy like 911, they turned not as interested as business, money or fame. More and more people understood the meaning of live, and turn into themselves to discover a new person in themselves. They used blog to record their changed lives, and thinking… I believe the spirit of self-awareness continued on this blog. Every live is a miracle. Treat it well, and record it well.

Snap Shot of Wangjianshuo’s Blog

About this Site

Created: Sept 11, 2002

Entries: 1396

Page views/month: 2 million

Comments: 17061

Location: Shanghai, China

Time: Shanghai Time

Author: Jian Shuo Wang

See Also: Chinese blog

In the last 1460 days, 1396 entries were created, almost one entry per day. I am also happy to have many people joining me, share their lives and opinions with me and other readers. All the thoughts were recorded in the 17061 comments. Thanks every one for being with me.

The Fifth Year

Today is the first day of the 5th year of blogging. In the 5th year, I hope I can continue the blog in the way of the last four years. Here are my wishes:

  • I wish I still have the freedom to choose topics that interest me most. Thanks for giving me the freedom to do that. I know the topics are not always interesting for everyone. Anyway, I am still the most important reader of this blog. Everything I write? at least it should look interesting to me.
  • I wish it can be more helpful to visitors to Shanghai. A blog cannot be everything to everyone. My focus is still to make sure it is useful, informative to visitors to Shanghai. I especially put the first time visitors in mind, so some introduction may seem obvious, but it is NOT for first time visitors.
  • I wish I can still have a balanced life. Thanks Wendy for her support. Typically the blogs were written at late night. If you agree that to keep blogging for four years is not easy, so it does to have a husband to do so. I hope I can spend more time and lead a more balanced life. (Blog still plays an important roll as reflection, and sometimes as recreation for me).
  • I wish more readers come and share their own experiences with other community members. I also hope peace in discussion

Good. Another year started. Life is always beautiful, so record it well.

P.S. Haagen-Dazs Icecream

Got some coupon as Mid-Moon Festival gift from the company. Very good. Here is the package – Haagen-Dazs has very good package. Sweet start of the fifth year of blogging.

Chivas’ Mermaid by Sarah Khider

Like many others, I am a big fan of Sarah Khider’s song – Mermaid for commercial from Chivas.

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Because of the song, the Chivas’ commercial became my best TV commercial. Every time when the commercial shows, I just stop switching channels until I complete listening to the 30 seconds commercial.

The Chivas Regal’s commercial is shown frequently. There is big ad in the People’s Square Station of Metro Line #1 and #2. I don’t drink wine, or whisky. I just love the song and the lifestyle Chivas painted.

How about other countries? Does Chivas use the same song as commercial in other countries, or just China?

P.S. This is maybe the first time I ever posted lyrics, or song in my blog…



We could be together

Everyday together

We could sit forever

As loving waves spill over


The moon is fully risen

And shines over the sea

As you glide in my vision

The time is standing still

Don’t shy away too long

This is a boundless dream

Come close to me my reason

I’ll take you in my wings


We could be together

Everyday Forever

We belong together

Further seas and over


In the garden of the sea

I see you looking over

With my wistful melody

You leap into the water

It is no breaths sighing

This is the mermaid song

The singing of my sisters

The sea has drown for long