Back from Karting

Just got back from Karting racing with friends.

Shanghai Quyang Racing Club

880 Zhong Shan Bei Yi Road.

Quyang Park, Hong kou

Shanghai 2000437, China

Tel: 021-65316800

65614959

Email:quyangkart@yahoo.com.cn

Website: quyangracing.com

50 RMB/8 mins YAMAHA FK-9 Max Speed: 80 km/h

150 RMB/8 mins YAMAHA KT-100 Max Speed: 120 km/h

It is said they have professional cars running on the circuit. I will go there to take a look one day. They will hold the forth race of the Shanghai Kart GP on June 20, 2004.

IKEA (Shanghai) Pictures

Hey, where are my IKEA pictures? I looked into my picture archives and found some. They were taken one year ago, exactly after the new IKEA store opened in Shanghai.

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

Location of Shanghai IKEA:

  • At the intersectoin between Cao Xi Road and Inner Ring.
  • Opposite to Hua Ting Hotel.
  • At the Metro Line #1 Shanghai Studium Station
  • If you take bus, find the Shanghai Studium Station and get off board there.

More IKEA archives:

IKEA Becomes Cheap in China

IKEA successfully built the global consistent image of cheap furniture. Now, it successfully bring the same image to Shanghai, China. IKEA furniture is really cheap for local residents.

When I was in university (around 1998), IKEA’s image is super good design + super unreasonable price. We talked about joke that how IKEA can sell the colorful PAPER boxes at 59 RMB. It was ridiculous for most people at that time. We don’t think a paper box is that expensive.

However, IKEA’s products were so appealling to me, as a newly graduated student in 1999 that I spent my first month salary to buy a Billy Bookcase. It was the first furniture I bought. It was about 840 RMB (100 USD), I remember.

At that time, most products sold in IKEA was made outside China. I can seldom see something with label “Made in People’s Republic of China”. Maybe it is part of the reason why they are so expensive. Now, the majority of products there are manufatured locally.

Turning Point

Before IKEA opens the new store, IKEA started to decreases its price. This champaign has lasted for more than one year.

On Oct 21, 2002 (thanks to my blog) that I can still remember when I bought them), I bought some more Billy Bookcases. The same model only cost me about 450 RMB, almost half of the price.

Yesterday, I was surprised to see the same Billy Bookcase drops to 340 RMB already. It is almost the same story for all the other IKEA furniture I have purchased.

The recent IKEA’s on sale campaign is astonishing. A set of flower picture that was sold at 19 RMB now only costs 1 RMB. Hey. IKEA is on sale, as more as 95% off! I believe IKEA intentionally put this product as the first article in the store people can see – so creating an atermsphere of big on sale….

Cheap but…

With the drop of price, unfortunately, is the drop of quality. Before, I never worried taking the bad product home. But now, I have to examine carefully for anything I put into my shopping cart, to make sure it is not broken. I begin to complain the poor quality of IKEA. For example, I cannot install the curtain pole because of the hole is a little bit smaller than required. The newly bought GLANT table has two obvious area of color-difference.. I am not sure whether I have been moving out of the target customer segment (as I was when I just graduated), or the quality does drops.

Something I like in IKEA

  • The underground parking area. It is among the best in Shanghai. I like the colorful pole and clear direction of the garage. It is higher than other garage. The most important thing is, it is almost empty and always free.

  • Icecream. The IKEA icecream is only 1 RMB and is sold at the checkout area. It is so nice to treat myself and Wendy some icecrease after successfully follow the big arrow and go through all the areas of the big IKEA store. It is said that the one way policy is part of the reason why IKEA keeps low price. Since the customers have to see everything once they enter the store, they have to buy something every time. :0)
  • Return. I like the return policy of IKEA. No question was asked. Just give the product to the counter and get money back.
  • Meal. Now IKEA starts to serve lunch and dinner. Ha. I often say, “hey, Wendy, why not have dinner at IKEA?”.

© Jian Shuo Wang

More IKEA archives:

Moving to the New Apartment

The decoration (or re-moduling in foreigners’ concept, even “building” for someone) almost completed. The project will be signed up tomorrow with the last equipments like the table in the kitchen will be completed. The project was “outsourced” to the B&Q decoration team and the work was wonderful. I didn’t spend much time in controlling the quality as for my Vanke Waltz Apartment, but the quality is almost the same, if not higher. I am very happy with it.

Now the apartment is of a little smell of paints and dust. I am going to place pine-apples into the room to remove the smells. Hopeful, I am able to move in very soon. There will be no furnitures in the new apartment. We started over again.

Today, we went to Yongle (yongle.com.cn) and put two air-conditions and a 29′ TV set into my shopping cart.

Eddie’s Blog

Eddie started a new blog. He is a great coworker of mine. He spent lot of effort on his new blog at http://liuzhijian.net. One day, Eddie sent me MSN Messenger to ask me to add a link to his site. I agreed but forgot to add the link. Days after, I check his blog again and found this post (Chinese page). I smiled when I saw he installed all kinds of IIS log analysis software and paid great attention on his site ranking in Google and Alexa. It is exactly what a new blogger will feel before he reaches the first 1 million page view. I got the following page view graph from his public visitor tracking tool. Wow. See the huge increase of readership in the first half month? I didn’t see this sharp increase trends for many months. :-D

screen-liuzhijian-blog.png

Image in courtesy of liuzhijian.net and nebstatbasic.com

Then I realized I still didn’t help Eddie to add a link yet. He must be disappointed when he cannot see a referral from my site for many days. Well. I want to make up the mistake to devote a special post for his site.

Eddie gathered a lot of interesting stuff on his site. Go and check the Korea video and the campus singer Koni from Fudan University. His topic is among the most popular interesting emails sending back and forth between close friends. I got such kind of emails everyday from friends – just for fun. So go there and have a look.

Shanghai Morning in A Car

I wake up at around 8:05 this morning, about 15 minutes later than normal days. Wendy has left for Xiamen already without my awareness. What a strange world! She flies there to interview some guys in Xiamen and will get back by late flight tonight. It all happens in a day. Maybe at the time I wake up, the plane carrying her already left Shanghai and was flying over Zhejiang.

Rushing to dirty kitchen, I start to wash. As I described before, the place I live right now is a poor, miserable, and old apartment without telephone. The washroom was occupied by the new SIEMENS Extra 1550 Front Load Washing Machine. Thank God that the decoration of the new apartment is almost finished and I am expecting new life very soon.

At around 8:10 AM, I stepped out of the door. The wood door with simple lock is a little bit better than no lock, but I don’t have any high expectation for this kind of lock. Once I left my key in my Meilong home. I hired a lock picker to help me. He put two sticks into the lock and about 3 seconds later, the door is open – he opened the door quicker than I do with my key. Howstuffworks.com provides a tutorial about how lock picking works.

After that, I know when I lock the door of this kind, it take effects only on physiologic aspect. It does not prevent any thief from breaking it.

Shanghai becomes warm these days. It is really warm. The temperature raised to 26°C already, according to the Living in Shanghai Talk Show at Shanghai Radio Station. I started the car, pull it back and went into the Jinxiu Rd. There is bad sign that more and more cars appeared on the road. This is not unexpected. Even Jian Shuo Wang got a car, why shouldn’t others? I just feel the traffic of Jinxiu Rd. increased dramatically in the last one month after I moved here. Maybe because more and more people are moving to Pudong area, while before, there is almost no people living there.

Within 10 minutes, I am at the entrance of the Nanpu Bridge, heading to Puxi. After Lupu Bridge opens, there is almost no traffic jam on Nanpu. I only need to be patient to drive slowly at the ramp. As soon as I get onto the bridge, all cars speeded up and I switched to shift 5 for full speed.

Since I am using a Hangzhou plate, I cannot use the elevated high-way at this time. The ban is lifted after 9:30 AM. I chose the Lujiabang Rd. -> Zhaojiabang Rd. -> Tianyaoqiao Rd. route. Shanghai’s traffic is not that bad. On this road, I never met traffic jam so far. There is only a longer red light at the interaction of Wanping Road.

Around 8:50, I am at the turning point of #30, Tianyaoqiao Rd. I pulled my car to the right. There are so many passengers and bicycles on the way. I have to be extremely careful to drive. If I drive a little bit faster, I may hit a pedestrian. If I drive a little slower, more and more people will get into the way before me so I have to wait endlessly. According to the newly announce Road Safety Law, if a car hit a pedestrian, no mater whose fault it is, the driver have to be responsible for the accident. Before the new law, the pedestrian has to share responsibility of the accident. News reported a driver hit a jaywalker to death and he paid 400,000 RMB to the family of the victim, although he had no fault.

8:52 AM. I parked the car at the underground parking lot of Metro Tower. The Metro Tower only charges 600 RMB per month for people working in this building. That is cheap! I heard the 66 Plaza charges 1800 RMB per month…

Well. This is a typical morning of my life. It may be a typical morning of many people (who have cars) in Shanghai – a city with 19 million people.

Wangjianshuo’s Blog is Famous

I am really flattered. Tchoo-Tchoo sent me MSN Message:

  • “You know you are really famous among foreigners…”

  • “I happen to discover that almost every French friend of me have visited your blog and are regular readers”
  • “I was so pound of myself to tell them that I KNOW YOU PERSONALLY”
  • “They were all surprised: Really? how do u know this guy?”

Thanks Tchoo-Tchoo. It brings me good mood to the day. I want to put a small announcement here: “Yes. I know a wonderful girl named Tchoo-Tchoo. She is a good girl with many independent thoughts.” I hope this give her some visibility among all her friends.

45,000 Unique Visitors

I checked my server log and was surprised to find that the average monthly unique visitors to this site increased 45,000 per month. That means, 45,000 persons from 109 countries visited my website every month!

People in the following 109 countries/regions are visiting Wangjianshuo’s Blog

    ae United Arab Emirates

    al Albania

    ar Argentina

    at Austria

    au Australia

    aw Aruba

    ba Bosnia and Herzegowina

    be Belgium

    bg Bulgaria

    bn Brunei Darussalam

    br Brazil

    bs Bahamas

    by Belarus

    bz Belize

    ca Canada

    cc Cocos (Keeling) Islands

    ch Switzerland

    cl Chile

    cn China

    co Colombia

    cr Costa Rica

    cu Cuba

    cy Cyprus

    cz Czech Republic

    de Germany

    dk Denmark

    do Dominican Republic

    ec Ecuador

    ee Estonia

    eg Egypt

    es Spain

    fi Finland

    fj Fiji

    fr France

    gr Greece

    gt Guatemala

    hk Hong Kong

    hn Honduras

    hr Croatia (local name: Hrvatska)

    hu Hungary

    id Indonesia

    ie Ireland

    il Israel

    in India

    ir Iran (Islamic Republic of)

    is Iceland

    it Italy

    jm Jamaica

    jp Japan

    ke Kenya

    kh Cambodia

    kr Korea, Republic of

    ky Cayman Islands

    kz Kazakhstan

    lb Lebanon

    lk Sri Lanka

    lt Lithuania

    lu Luxembourg

    lv Latvia

    ma Morocco

    mg Madagascar

    mk Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav republic OF

    mt Malta

    mu Mauritius

    mx Mexico

    my Malaysia

    na Namibia

    ni Nicaragua

    nl Netherlands

    no Norway

    np Nepal

    nu Niue

    nz New Zealand

    pa Panama

    pe Peru

    pf French Polynesia

    ph Philippines

    pk Pakistan

    pl Poland

    pt Portugal

    qa Qatar

    ro Romania

    ru Russian Federation

    sa Saudi Arabia

    se Sweden

    sg Singapore

    si Slovenia

    sk Slovakia (Slovak Republic)

    sy Syrian Arab Republic

    tc Turks and Caicos Islands

    tg Togo

    th Thailand

    to Tonga

    tr Turkey

    tt Trinidad and Tobago

    tv Tuvalu

    tw Taiwan, Province of China

    ua Ukraine

    ug Uganda

    uk United Kingdom

    us United States

    uy Uruguay

    ve Venezuela

    vi Virgin Islands (US)

    vn Viet Nam

    yu Yugoslavia

    za South Africa

    zm Zambia

    zw Zimbabwe

    Source: Wangjianshuo’s Blog Site Statistics of May, 2004

Even I cannot believe this. I started wangjianshuo.com in 2001, put some pages on to the hosted server at Hotsales, and was very happy to see two or three visitors coming to my personal page everyday. When I put the Pudong Airport information on to my personal site and it quickly went to the #1 result in Google for Pudong airport. I know a report about Shanghai from a local resident’s perspective may be interesting. I put more information like taxi and map onto the site and traffic is moving up. When I started my blogging site in 2002, the number of visitors kept increasing every month. Now I see about 2000 unique IP address in my server log everyday and I know a large portion of them are regular visitors (because 38% of page views comes from direct URL or bookmark). 5.5% visitors stayed on this website for more than 30 minutes and 2% stayed for more than 1 hour. I am very encouraged. Thanks everyone for your support. Well. Now it is a famous site. Haha.

Shanghai v.s. Central Government

For the first time I see a strong confront between Shanghai government and the central government in Beijing. It is for the car plate issue.

According to CCTV, a senior official from Ministry of Commerce commented that the car plate auction practice in Shanghai is illegal. It breaks the newly announced Road Safety Law.

Very soon, the spokesman of Shanghai gave firm response in a press conference that the auction is the right thing to do regarding the current situation and Shanghai will continue use auction as a market method to control the car ownership in Shanghai.

At the same time, rumors said the car plate auction practice will end no later than July. The spokesman claimed that he didn’t hear any official statement on this change.

Maybe due to the rumor (and the lower bidder v.s. car plate ratio), the lowest successful bid was only a little bit more than 10800 RMB this month.

Before this event, I never saw any incident that a local government in China speaks no to Beijing. This is a very good hint. Only debating and open discussion can lead to better decision.

Polution in Shanghai

I am moved by Carsten, one of my reader, after I read his email to me days ago. An expat as he is, he is more concerned with the polution in Shanghai than many local residents. After getting his permission, I am posting his first email with me here:

Hi Jianshuo

I have read your blog for almost 2 years by now, it is great !

I will spend at least one year more here.

Anyway, maybe you can tell me where and what protects Shanghai against pollution, some officials in the city hall or something ?

What trigged me into this topic was that yesterday I saw some guys working outside a small repair shop for motorcycles. They should change the oil, and just opened the oil plug of the motor and let it directly down on the street and into the rainwater drain system.

Then it will go to Huangpu and then the sea, polluting about one million times more seawater than the amount of oil. (How many motorcycles in Shanghai ?!)

I think at the moment noone informs anyone what the effects of this unawareness are.

At the moment people think : If I cannot see it, it is not doing any harm.

I would like to help people here to be more aware of, and understand, that if all do a little every day, it will have a tremendous impact.

In my country (Denmark) anyone can call the environment municipal office and say if someone pollutes unnecessary, so it will be stopped.

And when people feel that the air gets cleaner, and the streets are not stinking and dirty, then it will enhance itself.

Unfortunately I think that most people here in Shanghai believe that “the authorities will take care of this”.

Best regards,

Carsten

I agree that is a big problem in the polution status in Shanghai. A lot of effort should be spent on educating people on environment protection. This topic is not widely noticed yet.

Carsten continued to write in another email:

My idea was mainly to influence the people’s general attitude in Shanghai.

Shanghai is a good place to begin making people aware of this, as Shanghai soon will be the city with most influence, because the richest people lives there (you and me ?), and they are the only one who are able to pay for cleaning up after the factories waste!

But – it must begin at the factories.

My idea is – 1: start with the peoples attitude – 2: go for the polluting companies, which now buries the wonderful China in deep trash and chemical waste, just for a short term profit.

That demand must come from the people itself.

My country has been through all the same story before (chemicals – erosion, nitrogen pollution from farmers causing lack of oxygen on the sea, etc., etc.), and we have paid a tough burdon to get everything cleaned up (and still does).

As a good outcome of the efforts: in my home country’s capital Copenhagen, we are having swimming facilities in the downtown harbour for 3 years now !

See http://www.dhi.dk/News/2002/news20020802_UK.htm

It is a great idea. I have did some research and found the following information on the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau. They provide an email address to report any environment problems:

Welcome to the internet pages of Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

Here you can find out the latest development in environmental policy and about the work of the SEPB. You can download environmental reports or regulations. We welcome your ideas and suggestions.

mailto:xinfang@sepb.gov.cn

They also provide hotline to report any pollution of air, water, soil, noise, radiation, hazardous wastes, toxic chemicals, and vehicle emission, etc.

62863110

-and-

12369

Once some workers were digging a very big hole on Cao Bao Rd. and made unbearable noise. I called the Environmental Protection Hotline of Xujiahui and within 10 minutes, their staff came and talked with the workers. 5 minutes later, the workers left the construciton site. I was very happy that time. I hope the hotline works for any pollution Carsten reported. A joint effort will make Shanghai a better place to live. Thanks Carsten!

Update: Carsten’s photo July 25, 2004

shanghai-plants-carsten.jpg

Carsten sent me the photo he mentioned in his comment.

Cheap and Clean Motel in Shanghai – Motel168

screen-wangjianshuos.pick-logo.pngYesterday, I met my sister-in-law and other 5 teachers from the primary school I graduated. They just returned from Hangzhou and visited Shanghai. I took the assignment to arrange a cheap but comfortable hotel for them. It is not an easy job, since a hotel that is both cheap and good is not easy to find everywhere in the world.

I recommended Motel 168 which is near my previous Vanke Waltz House. I am glad that they are very happy with the small motel, and would like to recommend this hotel to my readers.

Location

Motel 168 is a chain hotel that will have 10 more branches in Shanghai. The one they stayed last night is the Liuzhou Rd. Motel. It is relatively closer to Xujiahui and only 1,000 meters with the Metro Line #1.

map-shanghai.liuzhou.rd-motel.jpg

Map in courtesy of SMI

Price

Their standard room for two persons cost only 198 RMB per night (or 25 USD/night). That is very good price already. Their rooms are clean and the lobby/bars are very good. Here are some pictures.

Lobby

shanghai.motel-lobby-v.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The lobby looks better than some 3 stare hotels in China. The receiptions are very nice. Some of them speaks good English.

Wash Room

shanghai.motel-wc.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The wash room is clean without any bad smell.

Room

shanghai.motel-room-entrance.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

They painted their rooms in vivid colors, like red, green and purple. This one is a green room.

shanghai.motel-tv.jpg

There is a TV in each room.

shanghai.motel-sign-night.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Sign outside the hotel

Receiption

shanghai.motel-receiption.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang.

Mobile charger. I remember if you put one RMB coin into the machine and it allow you to charge your mobile phone. They provided many kinds of outlet so one must match your mobile.

shanghai.motel-mobile.charger.jpg

Entrance

The entrance at night. As any other motel, it provides a large parking area.

shanghai.motel-entrance-night.jpg

The bar in the lobby of the motel. It is rare for such level (less than 25 USD) hotel to have a bar in Shanghai.

shanghai.motel-bar-night.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Cards Accepted

shanghai.motel-cards.accepted.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

According to the plate, they accept Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, American Express, JCB, and Yinliang – The China Bank Cards.

All rooms are covered by Wireless LAN.

Detailed Map

Want detailed map? I am leveraging my new Shanghai Map Viewer to located it.

It is near Metro Cao Bao Rd. Station.

Booking

The hotel is near the Everbright Exbition and Convention Center. The rooms are very hot and almost all occupied for most time. Very advanced booking is needed.

Their reservation hotline line is +86-21-63168168. Their website is http://www.motel168.com/.