My Lifeline on the Little Plastic Card

My first visit to U.S. was around the year of2000. I prepared for the trip for almost 1 month – from visa, to map, to research, to exchange money, and to create plan… The excitement and curiosity made going aboard very different from going to other city to me.

However, after visiting U.S. for more than 10 times, to visit a U.S. city is not a big deal any more. It is just like a Beijing trip (and a Beijing trip is like visiting another area in the city).

Money? Where is my Money?

After Boeing 747 of UA 858 arrived in the San Francisco International Airport in the typically sunny morning in the bay area, I realized that I didn’t bring a penny of USD with me during the trip. I still have much Renminbi cash in my wallet, but no USD. I don’t worry about it at all, since I have a magic plastic card – the visa credit card with me, and hopefully, the trip will be OK with the card. The only problem I can think of is, how to pay the tip in hotel.

To travel with no local cash? Bay area seems to provide this opportunity. I remember my first trip to San Jose with 100 USD and some changes in cash, and turned out to bring the 100 USD note back. I just spent the money on tip in hotel.

Australia is not so Credit Card Friendly

We applied the same “credit card” only approach in Sydney this Oct, but failed. The first problem is, the shuttle bus does not accept credit card, so we have to take train. There are many places, like restaurants, and coffee where credit card was not accepted, or at least not welcomed.

In Shanghai? Never go out of airport without RMB cash. The taxi, metro, bus, and food court, for example, all accept cash only. Exchange RMB at airport before going out.

Chance to Exchange USD? Oh. No. Thanks

We witnessed how fast the world is changing. During the first few visit to U.S. in 2000 – 2002, the first thing I’d like to do after getting ticket and visa is to exchange 3000 USD of cash, no matter I needed it or not. At that time, the exchange rate was something around 8.28 RMB = 1 USD, and USD kept going strong. To go aboard was one of the only few opportunity for people in China to exchange some foreign currency. If someone wanted to buy something from outside, they have to trade USD in black market. Any cash people had can easily change back to RMB at much higher exchange rate. Even friends wanted to exchange some USD from you at higher rate you pay the bank.

Just within 4 years, everything changes.

First, people can trade USD pretty freely. With a national ID, people can exchange up to 20,000 USD per year. This was enough, at least people didn’t have to go to the black market just for some USD to buy a book on Amazon.

Second, USD consumption in credit card can be paid by RMB. There is no limitation on it. If I pay USD with my credit card, I can make up the balance simply by RMB.

Third, and most important reason, USD continue to go soft and I don’t want to hold too much USD in cash.

So in the last three trip, I didn’t exchange any cash at all. I have some USD changes that I will bring to U.S., just in case. However, this time I even forgot the changes.

The good thing is, from renting a car, to hotel, to restaurant, everywhere credit card is accepted.

Till now, I didn’t see any problem. What a risky game I am playing. Hope everything should be fine. I will report my the first place I met problem later.

P.S. I am just a small potato in the big wave of change in history. My personal experience in the city or on the road sometimes reflects the bigger change in someway.

In San Jose from Nov 9 to Nov 18

Jian Shuo Wang is flying from Shanghai to San Francisco on Nov 9, 2006, via UA858. For Saturday, there is still some time block. If any of my friends what a meetup, please feel free to drop me email at jianshuo at hotmail dot com.

For the whole week of Nov 13 to Nov 18, I will be in Santa Cruz (day and night) with limited communication with outside.

I am flying back on Nov 19, via UA857.

I am an ENFP

According to my MBTI test result, I am an ENFP – Extraverted Intuition with Feeling (ENFP)

The test is very true. I feel the description exactly matches what I think I am. For example, ENFP s

See the need for and initiate change

Focus on possibilities, especially for people

Prefer to take charge of the start-up phase

Active, experimental and imaginative

May overlook relevant details and facts

May overextend and try to do too much

Update September 15, 2007

Here is the description of ENFP.

ENFP s are typically enthusiastic innovators, always seeing new possibilities and new ways of doing things.

Ha Ha. It is me. I like mashup and I like new things. That is true.

They have a lot of imagination and initiative for starting projects.

This may be problematic for people working with me because the speed of starting new projects may be too quick and new projects are endless until the team is fully burned out.

ENFP s’ energy comes from what is new and different, and they are spontaneous and enjoy action. They can become so interested in their current projects that they drop other things that are less exciting.Because they see so many possibilities, ENFP s sometimes have difficulty picking those with the greatest potential. They dislike routine and find it hard to apply themselves to the sometimes necessary details involved in finishing projects, easily becoming bored.

That explain the reason I like travel so much and quickly bored. I can start something quickly but, as the analysis reports, fail to pay attention attention to details involved in finishing a project. Wendy is just the opposite site of me – she is so patient and long-lasting for anything she started doing.

They are concerned about people and understand others’ needs and aspirations. ENFPs readily communicate their enthusiasm, and this can be infectious. They often inspire others as well.

This is the reason I care about people more than the result. Good manager, but maybe not tough enough to fight in this market.

ENFP s are likely to be most satisfied in a work environment that is welcoming to people, innovative, and full of exciting new possibilities. Others can count on them to find new ways of helping people solve problems and overcome barriers.

A stable business is not that interesting for me, even though it is climbing so quickly. New things are the source of my energy. I agree. It sounds I am a child-like mood – like new toys, and quickly bored and interested in another one.

ENFP Careers

This page listed the ENFP possible careers.

* Consultant

* Psychologist

* Entrepreneur

* Actor

* Teacher

* Counselor

* Politician / Diplomat

* Writer / Journalist

* Television Reporter

* Computer Programmer, Systems Analyst, or Computer Specialist

* Scientist

* Engineer

For me, I am especially interested in:

  • Consultant – Yes. I was a consultant, and always want to be one – even be an uninvited consultant.
  • Psychologist – I found psychology especially interesting for me, and I love to read books about this.
  • Entrepreneur – this is what I am doing now professionally
  • Teacher – teacher in a university or highschool is always my dream job.
  • Counselor, Politician, Piplomat – this is what I do with this blog, and the reason I enjoy YLF so much.
  • Writer / Journalist – again, look at what I am doing with this blog.
  • Television Reporter – for the third time, this blog. I want to be a reporter, and enjoy being involved in TV programs.
  • Computer Programmers, Systems Analysts, and Computer Specialist – exactly. It is my major, my past job, and something I am so interested in.
  • Scientist – very true. I love to read these kinds of books.
  • Engineers – my past job, and what I am doing

What a list – I would say from my point of view, it is very accurate descriptoin of me. Is there any other jobs in the world? I just found out all the jobs here are good one for me.

Look at the ISTJ careers?

* Business Executives, Administrators and Managers

* Accountants and Financial Officers

* Police and Detectives

* Judges

* Lawyers

* Medical Doctors / Dentists

* Computer Programmers, Systems Analysts, and Computer Specialists

* Military Leaders

I don’t like any of them except computer programers (maybe it is another type of computer programmer than ENFP type). I especially hate military leaders, judges, lawyers, and police, accountant jobs…

Metro Lines are the Bones of the City

Winter arrives in Shanghai.

In the last week, a T-shirt is still OK; today, I wear a sweater, but still feel cold. The air started to show the character of air of winter of Shanghai – as cold as water. I don’t know whether it is the right word – the air in Shanghai always remind me of the word – crystal. People say something is crystal clear, and I want to say the winter of Shanghai is crystal cold.

However, the Sun shine today is wonderful – just like in San Francisco. In the morning, I waited outside the data center of China Telecom in Huamu. It was cold to stand in the shadow of the building, so I moved into Sunshine – it was much better. The heat of the Sun warmed me up. The only problem was, I have to rotate myself a little bit every minute to put the other side of my body into the Sun. I felt I was a pie in a pan, and you can only heat on side at a time… So you have some idea about how cold the air was and how warm the Sun was.

Metro Stations

On my way from home (Jinxiu Road and Chengshan Road) to Xujiahui, I past by many metro stations. They were on my way all the time in the last year.

The first one is Jin Xiu Road Station 锦绣路站 of Metro Line #7. It will be completed by 2010. I am waiting for that station to open, so I have a metro station within walking distance to my home. At the station, all traffic was detoured, and the roads formed interesting curves. The other station of the same line at Yanggao South Road 杨高南路站 is also under construction. It is a big block of area in the middle of the 4-lane road.

The construction site is much better than before. They have white walls (movable walls) to wrap the construction site up, so it still looks nice, and does not expose the ugly ground and construction materials to the public.

Along the Zhaojiabang Road 肇家浜路, there are three more stations, and cars wind left or right to give way to the construction site. These stations are to be completed by 2008, some even by the end of 2007.

Metro stations are no longer rare resources in Shanghai by then.

Nanjing West Road

At about 6:00 PM, after chatting with business partners, I stepped out of the Plaza 66. The West Nanjing Road 南京西路 has become another fashion center after Huaihai Road 淮海路. In my opinion, Shanghai looks the best at around 6:00 PM, when the Sun just set, and the sky is still a little bit light. The color is dark blue, and the lights of office buildings were already lit up. If you happen to be on a taxi and wind your way along the office buildings, you can see people working in their office – crystal clear. The saxophone music “Going Home” is the best music for this moment. On the West Nanjing Road, the night life started with fashionable ladies and gentleman hanging around – perfect image for me.

When I waited for taxi, for the first time in that area, I felt the ground is shaking. I could feel a metro train running just below my feet. It is metro line #2. I could even visualize a picture that many metro trains running in the tube deep under the road with thousands of people on board. There are hundreds of miles of such tube under the ground of the city, connecting stations, and business centers. Sometimes, I appeared deep under the ground level, to be one of the passengers, and sometimes, like today, I stand still on the ground with crowd passing by my shoulder and other people passing by under my foot – it is an amazing picture of a metropolitan city like Shanghai.

I am not a Big Fan of Hate – Part II

I posted the first part of this article – I am not a Big Fan of Hate…. I didn’t plan to write the second part, but the hot discussion (52 comments in a week) urged me not to let it go. It is a controversal topic, but also an opportunity for people around the world to express, to listen and to understand about history, war and peace.

Before I start the discussion, I have to put some disclaimers here. Please read before continue and especially before you post a comment.

Please try to be open, try to listen and think before you argue what you believe in, and try to be respectful to others

You are welcome to post your thoughts as a comment. Feel free to disagree with me or anyone else, but do NOT conduct any personal attack. If I found any comment that is attacking someone else as a person, or a nation, instead of his/her opinion, I will have to delete it for the sake of a healthy discussion. The rule is much more strict due to the controversy nature of the topic.

Enough for a disclaimer. Here are my thoughts. It does represent anyone else. Just my view of the world.

On History

I don’t want to pretend to know history, and I don’t want anyone to pretend that they know everything inside out. Everyone just know what they were told, and never know what they are not told yet.

Personally, I admit that the younger generation in China, me included, don’t know the history of China well. For my fellow citizens in China, wait a minute to fight back when you hear something you don’t agree. Just wait a minute to do that, because there are big part of history of China missing in our history book too.

This is my personal experience. I was so shocked during my three weeks in New York in 2004. I saw different versions of the same history which tell totally different story. I don’t completely believe in any of version yet, but the difference itself made me think deeply about what on earth the truth is.

In the past two years, I started to read books I don’t read before, and think hard about matters I didn’t think. What I do is to try to understand more. I don’t argue as I was before, since if the evidence part of the argue was what I was taught. When I started to doubt what I were taught, I need sometime (maybe several years) to re-establish what I believe in. It is the same for people in any country – Japan, U.S., European country – any country if they find another version of history they believe in.

It is painful to accept an another version of history of his/her own country. People tend to refuse to accept anything that is different from what they are taught when they were young. It requires both courage and wisdom to accept it.

On the textbook issue of Japan, I can imagine how a normal young person in Japan (maybe another blogger in Tokyo?) feel when they realize their country ever committed huge crime in another country. He/she may never know that before. I can also imagine how shock a normal person in China will be if he/she was told and convinced about the crime China committed in the past. I know it is painful process, but people have to go through it if we want peace in the future and don’t repeat the dark part of the history again. This is why I insist to open a communication channel instead of spreading out hate.

On War

In the discussion in the first part this article, people talked about war. Recently I watched some movies, and books about WWII. In the Germany v.s. other European countries war, for example, Hitler should be the enemy of not only other countries, but also of German people themselves. When we talk about history, we should not only complain about Germany. German people also victim of the war. It was the people who started the war that need to be complained, sentenced, and punished, not the people. They were taught about how bad Jew are, just as we were taught how people in some countries are.

What I worry about the current China is, hate spread like virus, and people believe by hating other countries, they demonstrate patriotism. The situation is so similar to Germany and Japan before WWII. If you ask me, I would stand out and stop the hate. I know many people will throw stones to my window in the current situation, but I keep doing that, because I believe it is the right thing to do for a better future of the country.

People hate because they are taught to hate. Those who taught the people to hate the other countries are dangerous. People who claim by devoting their lives to whatever the government told them to do are dangerous. Think of those Japanese soldiers and German soldiers in WWII – they claimed they love their country. Their love were so deep that they are even willing to kill thousands to demonstrate their hate. It happened in Japan, it happened in Germany, and please don’t happen again in China. This is what I read from history.

I don’t want to pretend to know history well. I just want to think independently, assembly the limited information I gathered, and seek to be closer to the truth.

Thanks for the comments on this blog. During the last four years, you may saw many comments related to history and to current China. Emotionally, I didn’t feel comfortable when people point their fingers to China (it is common reaction, isn’t it?), but it also gave me opportunities to check out why people say so, what version of history they read, and which version is more likely to be true.

On Love or Hate

The hate dominate logic already caused problems in China. For example, the discrimination of people in other places is a social problem. Some people in Shanghai don’t like people outside Shanghai. It is also true in Beijing, and many other cities. “Shanghai people or Beijing people, which is better?” This kind of discussion is hot on BBS, and is guaranteed to have 100+ replies whenever it is raised. People believe there must be a right answer. There is NO right answer because the question itself is wrong.

I love my family. It does not mean I have to hate my neighbour. I am proud about what people in Shanghai archived, but don’t perceive it as I look down upon people in other region. Can I love all? Why I have to choose only one and hate others?

I never hide my pride to be part of the amazing country of China, and being who I am. But it does not mean I cannot appreciate other countries.

OK. That are some of my random thoughts. I experienced hard time to figure it out, and still seeking for a better answer to many questions.

Your thoughts?

Photo: Dog under Sunshine


This note is for carsten, and for everyone to give you some clue about these pictures.

Today, I put my quilt to the garden to have Sun warm it. And I put my little dog – a dull dog – on to it. Then I found it really looks relaxing and hope to have more time like it.

It is not a real dog though.

Shanghai to Hangzhou by Taxi

I talked with Alex in Hangzhou. He took a taxi Shanghai South Railway Station to Hangzhou. The fair is 280 RMB for four persons, or 70 RMB for one.

How did he make it?

From Shanghai to Hangzhou

It is about 2 hours ride from Shanghai to Hangzhou. The distance is 192 km.

If you take a taxi, and the taxi charges by meter, it should be at least 560 RMB (since it is 3.15 RMB per km after the first 10 km). Many taxi drivers ask for the same amount of fee for the return trip, since they have to go back with an empty car.

So it is not rare that people charges about 1000 RMB to go to Hangzhou.

The Chain of Profit Ecosystem

Alex was approached by someone who claimed to be able to send them to Hangzhou, at only 280 RMB (or 70 RMB per person) using taxi. Frequent travellers said it is OK to do that, so they followed those guys.

They used a taxi to send them from the Shanghai South Railway Station to the entrance of the Shanghai-Hangzhou Expressway, and then drop them off. There, that guy’s partner waved to stop taxies with Hangzhou plate, and asked if they are willing to take four people back to Hangzhou at 100 RMB.

Many taxi drivers agreed! Since they send their passenger to Shanghai and they HAVE to get back with an empty car. It does not hurt for them to make more money. So even if it is only 100 RMB, they did the job.

Finally, the 280 RMB was broken into two part – 180 and 100. People in this value chain get what they get.

Warning – don’t try it

Repeating the story does not mean I think it a good idea. Don’t take it if you have any other choices. It is too risky.

I just feel it is interesting that someone are making money this way.

Coincidence? Maybe Not

There are some “coincidence” in the Chinese Blogger Conference in Hangzhou. The conference was originally planned to be at a place called Zijingang. One and half day before the conference, the venue owner cancelled the venue claiming that government is using the venue so they have to cancel all other events. Ops. What a coincidence! Then the venue was changed to another place in the Hangzhou University (what a rush). When the word of changing venue spread out, the university called and said electronic power will be shutdown for maintenance for the next two days. So the conference cannot be held there. Ops. What a coincidence! Then finally, people moved to the third venue at the night before the conference. This time, no meeting there, and there is electronic supply, which is good, but the Internet provide reported that they are conducting system maintenance and there is limited Internet access – I have to use my CDMA in my room. Ops. What a coincidence, for the third time!

Infected by Spam Virus?

This is a technical article. (This is a friendly warning to people who don’t like to see technical articles on this blog. :-))


I was notified by my friend in Google that I have some spamware installed on my server This is very astonishing. I checked the directory and found the following files.

filename: /public_html/.htaccess

RewriteEngine On

Options +FollowSymlinks

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f

RewriteRule ^[/]*([^/]+)\.phtml$ ./search.php?q=$1 [L]

AddType application/x-httpd-php .php

and then found out files like search.php, proxy.php, feed_data/ folder and many other files.

I delete these files. But does anyone know why this happens?

Metron #2 Station Name Change

There are some changes to the Metro Line #2.

1. The Dongfang Road Station 东方路站 was renamed as Centuary Park Ave. Station 世纪大道站, and was reopened this Monday. Today when I pass by the station, I found it already very crowded – looks like another People’s Square station. It IS bigger than People’s Square station in the plan.

2. Middle Henan Road Station 河南中路站 will be renamed as East Nanjing Road Station 南京东路站. This morning, the broadcast in Metro train has been changed but all the signs and logos on the platform were not changed yet.

3. Shimen No. 1 Road Station 石门一路站 will be renamed as West Nanjing Road Station 南京西路站.

That is the update for now…