Shanghai is Hot

OMG. Shanghai has never been so hot. My last memory of such weather is around 1995.

Wendy posted some pictures in Seattle after her trip there. She was so happy that Marriott sent her camera that lost in one hotel to the other free of charge.

(actually, this should be an OOB)….

Pressure is About Expectation

Wendy just arrived in Shanghai from her wonderful U.S. trip, but immediately after she set foot on the soil of Shanghai, there are many things waiting for her to do. Despite of the extremely hot weather (39°C), the to-do-list is hotter.

50 hours after her arrival, we still didn’t find time to check out the photo she took in Seattle. Wendy complained why there are so many stuff to do in Shanghai.

It seems to me that the pressure we got from this city is all about expectation – people’s expectation and ourselves.

My friends just got married. They planned to postpone their honeymoon. They said, it is the same to have it immediately or take it later. My suggestion is “No”. During honeymoon, the best thing is, NO people expect you to work, to reply to emails, or to turn on mobile phone… When people don’t have the expectation, your life is much easier.

Wendy came back and jumped into the center of expectations.

Spotlight from Top of Jin Mao

Attended a private party on the boat of the Huan Pu river. The boat left the pier at the Bund and toured on the river. Shanghai also has great views (if not better) than San Francisco at night, but very few people in Shanghai have the chance to experience the amazing city – not so many people have the sensation of the beauty of the city and not so many people have spare time as visitors have for this city, or simply don’t have enough money for it.

Recently, a laser light was installed exactly on top of the Jin Mao Tower – the tallest building in China, and the third tallest in the world. The laser lights shot to the sky and form a strong light pole in the landscape of Shanghai.

Tonight, the light was reserved with the boat, so in the two hour tour, the spot light followed the boat, and the boat is just like the spotlighted actor in the dark Huang Pu River. It is fantastic. I am very sure the boat is the third eye attracting objects on the river. The first is the histoical building groups at the Bund, the second is Pudong and the third is the small boat.

I rate it as one of the coolest idea in Shanghai in the year 2005.

US Credit Card Fraud Infected China (and Me)

Yesterday morning, when I stepped out of my office around 11:50 AM, a customer service representitive from the China Merchant Bank (my favorite bank in China) called my mobile and asked if I have a credit card ending with number xx. I confirmed. She told me the Visa organization informed them that this card is at risk of credit card fraud. I asked why, and the girl said they don’t know th reason yet, but what they can do is to give me a replacement of the card. She asked me to destroy my current card and waiting for a new card.

Well. I said “it is good”, wondering what happened with my card. Maybe it was because I have been to the U.S. in April?

After lunch, I used my card – the card she talked about – unconciousely, as I do everyday. The machine reports: Stolen card! It is nice that the restaurant didn’t call police and I handed in cash quickly.

At that time, I know, they are serious.

The News

24 hours later, when I open my MSN, I saw a pop up in the news window – that is the major change of MSN.com.cn launch in China. The news said: 9000 Chinese card holders are affected. 3000+ visa holders were affected, and I am honorablely be one of the 3000 card holders.

Some 9,000 Chinese accounts put at risk:

Chinese cardholders who may be vulnerable to potential risks are those who used credit cards in the United States between August 1, 2004 and May 27, 2005, according to the Peony Card Centre of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the nation’s largest lender.

OOB Today

No time to update blog today. I am happy to talk with 4 different people today, but the bad side is, when I am back, I don’t have too much time left for updating. Just post an OOB (Out of Blogging) today.

BTW, there is no response after I submitted my registration application. I checked today and the server is not working. I checked the Alexa ranking of the registration website:

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Image in courtesy of Alexa.com

It is among the fastest raising site in rank. It is now the 746 most visited site in the world.

Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Haisong gave me a book – Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. It is from Malcolm Gladwell, the same author of the Tipping Point.

It is a nice book of getting information in the first 2 seconds. I was so amazed that someone can record the video of a couple and decode the behaviors into a 1800 line of codes, and analyze it. That is the major difference between western culture (quatitive thinking) and the eastern culture (qualitive thinking).

Recently, I consistently amazed by the difference people in China think and the way people in U.S. think. China is a sociaty driven by “business instinct” instead of data. Some companies are moving that way, hoping to be successful, but I don’t see many successful cases yet. The majority are still using the old Chinese ways of thinking.

I believe there must be equality nice wisdom within the Chinese culture, and we must learn it in a way people in China learn it. To survive in this market, we need to be very good at “Chinese thinking”. The sad thing is, many people think “Chinese thinking” is bad, which I don’t think near the truth.

If the majority of the decision makers make decision using “blink”, do is still make sense to make decision only based on data?

Kathleen’s 5 Rooftop Restaurant

Eric and Jessica always have the ability to find great places for afternoon tea. Kathleen’s 5 Rooftop Restaurant is at the top of the Shanghai Musuem of Art – the

It has one of the best natural view of the city – the People’s Park is all below the restaurant and the landscape of both Pudong and Puxi are far behind the park. The tea is 30 RMB, which is very reasonable for the price – the coffee at the Starbucks nearby is 25 RMB (for tall mocha).

Shanghai has many great places like this. We went to a Peace Mansion for dinner, and I stayed there till 10 PM. It is rare that they have the best food, and the nice environment. It is located at 158 Fenyang Rd, with tel: 64375193. I was there with my computer and read Alan de Botton’s book. It was wonderful night, expect the mosquito in the garden.

Location:

How to Win Free Cross China Travel?

Many people have the Around the World dream. For young people in China, maybe the Around China Travel is more realic. Dan Washburn did wonderful to travel around China in 3 months. He was also very successful in the fund raising perspective. I hope he can realize his dream of publishing his story into a book soon.

I talked with my friend, a girl with great thoughts recently. She is also dreaming a 3-month around China tour. She expects the cost to be something around 10,000 USD. It seems to be a mission-impossible to raise this big amount of money in China. Donation and sponsorship are not popular yet.

I suggested her to focus on the larger scope. I thought there must be some way to get some money for her trip. I don’t know yet. Here is a list of things I can think of. Anyone has more ideas or willing to sponsor her? Please leave comment.

Plan A: Gege is a very good writer and writes novels. Maybe she can publish some articles (but only in Chinese).

Plan B: Some company may want to sponsor some $$ to have her wear the T-Shirt or coat with the logo of the company. And she makes sure there are enough reports for the trip so people can see the logo.

Plan C: If any company or agents want someone to do some survey around China, maybe hiring her is a good idea – she only needs the travel cost, and don’t ask for pay for the labor (I guess)

Plan D: She can take pictures and sell it on the web, so someone can assign some photo-taking tasks….

Plan E: Create a donation website so people can donate and help her…

I know there must be plan F, G to Z. Any ideas?

P.S. Wendy spent the last week in Seattle and this is the first weekend for her in Seattle. Wendy always wanted to visit Seattle. Her last trip was only to Portland – very near Seattle. I hope she enjoys the trip, as well as enjoy the happy life in Shanghai.

My Site is Almost Legal in China

Tonight, a long Friday night, I don’t have too many things to do at around 23:00 in the office. The office is completely empty. Only the small noisy laptop is with me. Well. Maybe it is the good time to register my blog with the government – 13 days before the deadline.

The registration process itself is not complicated, at least not as complicated as registering at another free email provider. It seems so easy maybe because I expect it to be a long process. Here is what I did, in case you are interested.

1. Get a user name and choose a password.

2. Enter email address and mobile phone number. It is the first time mobile phone number is required I have experienced though.

3. Wait a SMS to be sent to my mobile phone and an email to be sent to my email address. The SMS contains a 8 digit confirmation code, and the email is the same.

4. Login into the system and enter the two 8-digits number. At this time, I know that someone can reach me by mobile or email and I cannot say, it is not my mobile.

5. Enter the required information. It seems all of the information is required, including: Name, Mobile, Home phone, Home address, Domain name, Host provider, Organization

7. After I submit all the information, I should wait until someone review my application and decide whether to grant me the certificate or not.

Finally, Wangjianshuo.com is almost legal now.

Tea House vs Coffee Shop

I spent the night with my good friends in a tea house at Lujiazui in Shanghai. Tea house is becoming more and more popular in Shanghai, as in other areas in China. When more and more Starbucks appears, the business of traditional Chinese tea house is also booming.

For Starbucks, the typical charge range from 15 RMB for Coffee of the Day to 35 RMB for some newer coffee. For the tea house, however, the charge is typically 68 RMB, as the one we went to.

The tea house are typically very traditional Chinese building with Chinese decoration. Many move the interior or exterior decoration of ancient Chinese buildings from Shanxi, or Shaanxi. Although it is more expensive, but it includes many things – all kinds of fruit, a cup of nice tea that you can continue to refill water, and even includes noodles and small dishes, which makes a good option for dinner.

Many people get there to combine dinner and tea together and spend the night there. This is the kind of business I like – the typical Chinese way serving customers in China. They know their customers better. Although there are large percentage of people in Shanghai willing to try some new things (from aboard), the majority still prefer the cost-effective options like tea houses. It is an interesting phenomenon to see tea houses and coffee shops sit side by side at the Shanghai street.