Dongjiao State Guest Hotel – The Most Under Valued

Wendy and I found a great hotel, and we firmly believe it is the most under valued hotel in Shanghai – the Dongjiao State Guest Hotel. Let me tell you why we think the Most Under Valued Hotel in Shanghai is the Dongjiao State Guest Hotel.

It is Rarely Known

The construction of the Dongjiao State Guest Hotel started in 1995, and it took more than 10 years to grow the trees – just the trees. From unconfirmed sources, there are 3 trees in the garden that is more than 1000 years in age, and 1000 trees with more than 100 years. They are all moved from other provinces one by one. Everything was done mysteriously. Until it opened in one year ago, not many people really are aware about the existence of such a huge “garden”. Even after the open of the hotel one year ago, it is still under the radar screen. I thought it is a restricted area as many other state guest hotel. It turned out to be not so.

It is a State Guest Hotel

The hotel is actually a garden. It is not proper to say it is a royal garden, but it is built exactly the same way. There are all kinds of huge trees moved from the four nearby provinces and there are big lakes – many of them in the garden. The area is 1200 Mu in size, or 800,000.04 square meters. That is huge isn’t it? 80% of the garden is covered for forest – the newly built forest by moving old trees into it, and there are 100 Mu (66,666.67 m2) of water (lakes). Imagine that! It took a while to drive inside the garden. In such a big area, there are only 4 buildings.

The reason of this arrangement is because it is a state guest hotel. It means it is designed just for Guests of the State – state means the country, or the People’s Republic of China. There are many state guest hotel in Beijing, and many in Shanghai, like the Xijiao State Guest Hotel, or the Hong Qiao State Guest Hotel. The Dongjiao is newly built and by all means the largest and best one. It is the hotel if presidents or government visitors from other country stay.

What is Inside?

The reason why not many people know it is partly because of its position. It is at the interaction of Jinhai Road, and Longdong Ave, some where near Zhangjiang Hi Tech Park. From the Highway, it is covered by huge trees, and the Jinhai Road now is a dead-end road – the entrance of the hotel opens to this dead-end road. Not many people know the road, or discover the hotel.

If you drive a car and get into the hotel, you will completely be amazed. Be sure to have a car to go there. To walk from the entrance to the hotel buildings is just not feasible. The garden is huge.

Entering the entrance, you see a huge lake. Turning right and drive along the road, you winds your road along the lake side and then drive along the other lake on the right. There are many bridges, and you drive at least past 3 bridges before you see a building.

There are only 4 buildings (as I said) in the garden. The buildings are hidden behind the huge trees. Building #1 is the building for the state guests. Its security level is high, and I have no way to go near it. There are rumor that the building has under ground facility 9 meters under the ground to protect the guest from air attack, and some even say that is the reason it took 10 years to build this building. I completely have no idea and don’t think I can get access to this mysterious building. But from outside, its view is very like the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. – with huge lake before it.

The building 2 is just for ceremony. It is good idea to hold wedding there. Their price for wedding package is 4888 RMB per table. Not bad in the current crazy wedding market. The building 3 is the only building that people can check-in.

There are 180 rooms in that building, and it opens to public. I am sure that when this hotel is fully functional, this building will be restricted only to government use, just like many other state guest hotels, but before that, you still have the chance to take a look.

The Architect

I like the architect of the three buildings – traditional Chinese architecture built in a modern way. Again, I suspect that the cost of the building must be extremely high, since the quality of the building seems super high.

The Room

The cheapest room in the hotel is 880 RMB per night if you book via CTRIP or 980 RMB at the reception. August is not the hot season so this is maybe the lowest rate all year round. I know it is by no means a cheap hotel, but it is definitely the best value I have every experienced in Beijing and Shanghai, not to mean other countries.

This is the photo of the room:

Credit: Dongjiao.net

The real feeling is just better than this already very good photo.

The other facility

The most interesting picture on its official website is this one:

Credit: Dongjiao.net

Look at this meeting room? Seems familiar? This is the typical meeting room leaders of the State meets with state guests. It should be somewhere in Building 2 (or maybe building 1).

Image in courtesy of Google Earthc

Above is the satellite image of the garden. You can see there are only three buildings on the north side of the garden, and the rest are all trees and lakes.

Practical Suggestions

If you can choose your hotel, choose this one. Give it a try. But do remember:

1. The location of the hotel is just for relaxing, and not for business. It takes several minutes for taxi to get to your building 3 even from the gate of the hotel. Imagine that. Also, wait for 30 minutes (I guess) for a taxi. It is far from Puxi, so it is best for having a vacation. If your home is in Shanghai, it is also a good idea to spend a weekend there in your special days, like your anniversaries.

2. It works best if you have a car. You have to take the shuttle to get from the building you stay to the gym.

3. The gym (swimming pool) is wonderful. Do spend your afternoon there.

4. Plan enough time just in the hotel – the hotel itself is a garden. It is not as big as the Centuary Park (0.8 million sq. meters v.s 1.4 million sq. meters), but the scenery is much better.

Hope you have a good time in this most under valued hotel in Shanghai.

P.S. Under-valued does mean it is a cheap hotel (let me emphasis it again). It means it is a hotel that its value is not proportional to its price or awareness.

P.S. 2. The question that is always in my mind when I visited the hotel was, where does the money to build this state hotel comes from? It is reported that the hotel (with 180 hotel rooms) was built at cost of 1 billion RMB. That is huge amount of money. I even doubt whether the report cost is the real cost if you really take a look at how luxurious the buildings and the gardens are. Now, the tax payers are more and more aware about where their money goes, aren’t they?

Got Invitation of Young Leaders Forum

On Aug 24, 2007, I got invitation for the Yong Leaders Forum of National Committee of US-China Relations. I will become 2007 Fellow of the Forum and participant in the YLF activities in 2007 in China and 2008 in U.S. I am very excited about it.

I have been longing to be able to join this forum for a long time. I heard about the Young Leaders Forum from Haisong, during my first lunch with NCUCR delegation. I wrote immediately after I know the program:

NCUCR Programs

I heard about the Young Leaders Forum from Bo Shao and today from Haisong again. Both of them are members of the committee. Every year, the program choose 14 young (under 40) professionals from China and 14 from American and hold seminars in U.S. and China alternatively. Today’s group comes from the other program, Public Intellectuals Program. It offers opportunities of new generations of China specialist to talk with key persons in China.

One question I often asked was, “Does it really make any impact for spending money and effort on just several people?” I tend to think any program need to cover at least 1,000 people to be significant. In Shanghai, for example, a program reaching out to 10,000 people even didn’t make too much impact… It seems I was using the point of view of a marketing manager.

Recently, I found I was wrong. If a program can impact even one person, it makes difference. It is not quantitatively significant, but qualitatively significant. It made positive impact to participants, and they can make impact for people around them. I feel the personal connection with the bigger scope of Sino-American relationship, so does my readers.

This idea made me even more confident about my Coffee Bean program. 7 persons are a small group, but when we do it right, it is helping the country to get stronger. They are the future leaders of China.

The Schedule

This year, the Young Leaders Forum will choose about more than 10 participants in U.S. and another 10 or more from China, and the alumni may also join this year’s forum. It happens from Nov 28, to Dec 2, 2007 (I think this is public information, isn’t it?), in Nanjing, China. The theme for this year is Meeting the Challenge. I don’t know the location of the U.S. trip yet of the next year yet (because I guess some readers may ask).

What I am Looking Forward to

I am excited to participant and cannot wait to Nov. The past participants are saying highly about the program. This is what I expect personally.

  • Getting New Perspectives. Just as I truly believe to put the six blind men in the Blind men and the Elephant story can help everyone to understand elephant better, to mix young people from U.S. and China together and share their different perspective help everyone to have a better understanding of the world.

  • Difference and Conflicts. I would expect there are different opinions or even conflicting ideas. I believe there must be many such cases. I don’t worry about it. Actually, I see it as the success indicator of the forum. It means it does provide the opportunity for people to access oppinions that they may not previously see.
  • Meeting new Friends. I understand the value of talented people. They contribute more insight and thoughts much more than average people. I would be happy to know the 40 new people in the current or alumni of the program

Thanks Wendy for Finding my Passport

Wendy, thank you so much for finding my passport, finally! I was not able to find my passport anywhere at home – not in my document case, not in the drawers I used to put passport into, not everywhere. I don’t want to lose it again.

Finally, Wendy found it in the side pocket of my camera case!

You know how smart Wendy is? When I was emptying every drawer, she just sit there and thought hard. Her reasoning was:

  • the passport must be with me during my last overseas trip – it was in this March in Cambodia .

  • What was with me during the trip?
  • If the travelling case turned out to have nothing in it, what else did I brought into that country?

The she directly went to the camera case, and searched it inside out. She finally pulled the passport out of the side pocket. I also searched that camera case, for twice, without finding anything.

Thank you Wendy! Let me write an entry as a small gift to thank you.

Photo of the lovely banana boat at Sanya, Hainan. Taken in 2004, on the day of our first anniversary.

P.S. From the passport, I found out my last visa expires on Oct 18, 2007 – my birthday. That is also my only valid visa on my passport. Well. That is to say, I cannot set foot in any country outside China and U.S. The annoying fact is, even in China, I cannot enter Hong Kong without a new visa-type of permit.

You Know You Have Been in China for Too Long

This is a popular article circulated in the expats community for some time. Share with everyone.

You know you have been in China for too long when…

  1. You no longer wait in line, but go immediately to the head of the queue.

  2. You stop at the top or bottom of an escalator to plan your day.
  3. It becomes exciting to see if you can get on the lift before anyone can get off.
  4. It is no longer surprising that the only decision made at a meeting is the time and venue for the next meeting.
  5. You rank the decision making abilities of your staff by how long it takes them to reply “Up To You”.
  6. You no longer wonder how someone who earns US$ 400.00 per month can drive a Mercedes.
  7. You accept the fact that you have to queue to get a number for the next queue.
  8. You accept without question the mechanic’s analysis that the car is “Broken” and that it will cost you a lot of money to get it “Fixed”.
  9. You find that it saves time to stand and retrieve your hand luggage while the plane is on final approach.
  10. You can shake your hands almost perfectly dry before wiping them on your trousers, or you have your suits made with terrycloth pockets.
  11. A T-Bone steak with rice sounds just fine.
  12. You believe everything you read in the local newspaper.
  13. You regard traffic signals, stop signs, and copy watch peddlers with equal disdain.
  14. You have developed an uncontrollable urge to follow people carrying small flags.
  15. When listening to the pilot prove he cannot speak English, you no longer wonder if he can understand the air traffic controller.
  16. You regard it as part of the adventure when the waiter correctly repeats your order and the cook makes something completely different.
  17. You are not surprised when three men with a ladder show up to change a light bulb.
  18. You blow your nose or spit on the restaurant floor (of course after making a loud hocking noise)
  19. You look over people’s shoulder to see what they are reading
  20. You throw your trash out the window of your house, your car or bus you are on
  21. You would rather SMS someone than actually meet to talk ‘face to face’
  22. You wear nylons when it is 30 degrees outside
  23. You honk your horn at people because they are in your way as you drive down the sidewalk
  24. You regularly fumble for five minutes to find 10 jiao despite 10 people waiting in line behind you
  25. One of your fingernails is an inch long
  26. You ride around on your bicycle ringing a bell for some unknown reason
  27. In a meeting you say everything will be ‘wonderful’ and give no details.
  28. You forget that the other person needs to finish speaking before you can start
  29. You burp in any situation and don’t care.
  30. You see one foreign person eating Pineapple (or whatever) and say “Yes, all foreign people like Pineapple”
  31. You start to watch CCTV9 and feel warm and comforted by the ream
  32. You take a nap while you are dining in a restaurant with your girlfriend/boyfriend
  33. Just everything produced in your home town is “very famous in China”
  34. You don’t do any favors without wondering what your personal benefit could be
  35. You never ask “Why?” anymore.
  36. You understand all the above listed references.

My Comments?

Unfortunately, most of the items listed above are true – it is the behavior of my fellow people. What would I say?

There are some bad behaviors, and there are also many things that are just different. One of the best thing people get during travel is sensation. People are much more sensitive in a new world, and notice every difference from its own country. It is the same for people going to other countries. For example, Claire posted about the France version along with the Chinese one here. Don’t too worry about this part.

I do worry and feel ashamed of the bad habits people have, with the “jumping into the line”, and “spit in restaurants” on the top of the list. I am confident and optimistic about the future at the same time. We are in the transition period of urbanization. There are more people moving into cities in the last 20 years than people living in cities. Litter? Bad habit, but did you ever see a dust bin in the cotton field? It takes time for people to get used to the city life.

I thought of another word: Jay walking. Why people use “Jay Walking” to talk about people who didn’t obey traffic rules? From a reference book, I learned the word was invented in old cities (like New Yorks) in 1930s. Jay means “village people”. See, it has nothing to do with country. It is more relative to the time in progress. I would say, of cause, China is not so advanced in development… So take the time.

Having said that, I do agree it should be brought to everyone’s attention to improve all these bad areas.

What do you think about these 36 items in the list?

Can you Understand Dish Names in China?

Or let me try to use a better title: As a foreigner, are you able to understand the English translation of Chinese dishes in China?

To Read English Menu in U.S. is Hard, but Chinese Menus are Harder

The biggest headache for me is to order dishes in U.S. I think I understand English, and can speak some English, until I am presented an English menu. I believe the most effective way to determine whether someone has lived in a foreign country or not is a menu test. The names of vegetables or sauces are the most basic terms in daily life, but can be very hard terms for a language learner (when they learn it out of the daily life context). That is how I feel in U.S. and Australia.

For visitors or expats in China, the situation is completely the same, and even worse. The translation of Chinese dishes does not help too much because by nature, it is not easy to translate the Chinese dishes to English just by direct or word-to-word translation, not to mention the Chinese dish names are not descriptive itself.

The Key Difference in Chinese and English Dish Names

There are key differences between the dish names of Chinese and English. The English names basically list what’s in the dish (the ingredients) and how it was cooked. The challenge of understanding English menus is to understand the name of the limited amount of vegetables, fruits and sauces names.

The Chinese dish names, in contrast, are completely irrelevant from the ingredients. Cooks tend to think of a very short and beautiful name for the dishes. Typical Chinese dish names are only four characters long, and when you read it, it sounds like a short poem. To name or to guess what the name stands for is an interesting game for cooks and diners.

Examples

Here are my favorite examples of Chinese dish names. Guess what it is from the names.

  • Lion Head. Is it the head of lions? No. It is big meat ball cooked in Hangzhou. One of my favorite. Why they name it this way? I have no idea. It is just named hundreds of years ago and people are still using this name.

  • Ants Climbing Trees. This is also a popular dish in China. We order this almost every time we go out. It is also translated as “Sautéed Vermicelli with Spicy Minced Pork”. Did you see the connections? I didn’t.

Xiaojie Wang sent me some other direct translations that is so funny. Here you are:

  • Slobbering chicken. Chinese: 口水鸡 More official translation: Steamed Chicken with Chili Sauce

  • Tiger Dish. Chinese: 老虎菜 English: No idea at all. What is that?
  • beancurd made by a pockmarked woman. Chinese: 麻婆豆腐 English: Mapo Tofu (Stir-Fried Tofu in Hot Sauce)
  • Rolling Donkey. Chinese: 驴打滚. English: Glutinous Rice Rolls with Sweet Bean Flour
  • There are very ridiculous: Chicken without Sexual Life. Chinese: 童子鸡 English: Spring Chicken

These are the traditional dishes with relative common names. In some restaurants, they really tried hard to find new names for old dishes, or their new inventions. That can be even more wired for foreigners.

You see. From the name, you really have no idea about what it is, and some direct or bad translation makes it even hard to understand.

Bad Translations

Even with good and direct translation, it is so hard to guess. Believe me. It is not only for foreigners. I also have hard to understand what it is about. It is not rare that I ask the waiter what a dish really is.

Now many restaurants provide English menus, and the translation is really bad. They did the translation just by characters (not by meanings), and it turned out to be seriously wrong.

For example, “Griddle Cook” is common way to cook a dish, and it can be mistakenly translated to “fuck” if they don’t know English well. Look at this menu, and you will be really surprised by what the dish names are.

screen-interesting.menus.jpg

See? Don’t be surprised to see a translation like this. They really didn’t mean rude – they just want to communicate about what they are going serve you – in a wrong way.

Survey: What is Your Experience?

Reporter Miss. Wang Xiaojie asked me to do a simple survey on my blog for my foreigner readers: What is your experience with Chinese menus? Can you read it? If you can, how did you figure out what it means? If you cannot, what do you think that can help you?

Please post comment directly understand this post. Thanks.

P.S. Xiaojie will collect the response from this post and feature the interesting replies in the next week’s International Herald Leader.

P.S. 2 Why there are so many f*** word in the menu?

There are just 2000-3000 frequently used Chinese words, and there are so many meanings in the world, so every single character means a lot of different things. For example, the Chinese character 干 in the menu means a lot of different things. To name a few:

the trunk of a tree

the main part

capable; competent

[Informal] to do; to work

to fight on

[Literary] to offend

to interfere in

to be involved in

dry; dried

to drain till empty

You can see, there are some. It can also be translated to the f*** word. The menu maker may randomly pick a translation and print it there.

P.S. 3 The blog of International Herald Leader points to this entry on my blog for discussion around the Chinese dish names. Welcome, readers from International Herald Leader.

FeedBurner is a Useful Service

After Feedburner coming out for many years, now I switched my feed from my standard feed – my own XML feed file at http://home.wangjianshuo.com/index.xml to FeedBurner. The original feed file is still there so my previous subscribers won’t lose update from my blog, but new visitors will start to receive RSS feed from FeedBurner. Now you can subscribe to my blog via FeedBurner’s address: http://feeds.feedburner.com/jianshuo.

P.S. One day after I enabled FeedBurner, it was banned by the Great Firewall…

Is Community Blog a Good Idea?

Some readers suggested me to open a community blog section on my blog. That is, a blog hosting service that enables active community members on this blog to post their own experience in Shanghai on this blog and share with other Shanghai expats, visitors or travelers.

With this the MovableType 4, I have the ability to offer every blog reader the same blog hosting service and everyone can post to this blog using the same interface as I am using and manage the comments as I do. I believe it will be under different URL though, like http://wangijanshuo.com/<username>, where username is a name chosen by the poster. That means, everyone’s blog is still separate but can be presented on the home page after aggregation.

I know I have the best community about Shanghai so far. Although I didn’t implement any community features like user registration, or profile, or BBS (there is a not so working one), the community feeling of Wangjianshuo’s blog is very strong. Sometimes I feel it is hard to believe to run a community with such a simple way – just anonymous comments, and most commenter didn’t abuse the freedom to be able to post freely.

I there is a community blog feature, I can ask those who plan to visit Shanghai to start to write a small blog during their trip in Shanghai, or those who just relocated to Shanghai to describe their lives, or local Shanghainese to share their favorites or tricks about this city – it is a much more powerful community than the current one man show.

I know everyone has wonderful experience about Shanghai. There are a lot to share. So this can be a good idea.

To make this idea more solid, we have to ask the question: why blog here, instead of thousands of blogging hosting sites? I will try to answer this question this way: It is not about a hosting service. It is all about the community, or who are the readers. Here there are many people interested in Shanghai and the same interest will gather people together as a community, instead of the same tool, isn’t it?

I also have concerns about the idea. I posted Shall I Open a Shanghai BBS before, and then opened a Shanghai BBS at http://bbs.wangjianshuo.com. This actually didn’t work, and I am thinking about shutting it down sometime. The key problem is, I don’t have the bandwidth to manage it, or generate content or answer every question there in a more timely manner than for the comments on blog.

Hmm… Let me think about this and postpone actions. Do you have any idea about this? Whether it is good or bad idea?

OK. Let me do it this way. Let me do a short survey with just three questions:

1. If I offer a blog hosting service that you can own a Shanghai blog at http://wangjianshuo.com/yourname, will you consider that? (I think I will only accept people who don’t have a blog somewhere else, since I know it is almost impossible to maintain more than one blog. Trust me. I know how hard it is).

2. If you think it is a good idea, what kind of writers do you think is the best choice?

3. Any other thoughts about this ideas?

Please post your answer in the comment section. Thanks a lot.

Is RMB and Yuan the Same? Yes

This may seems a very easy question, but it is frequent one – trust me, I receive several emails everyday from visitors to Shanghai, and many people got confused of the difference between RMB and Yuan. For example, yesterday, when I answer a question with 2500 RMB, my reader asked: Is RMB and Yuan the same thing?

Yes. It is the same. RMB is the abbr. of Ren Min Bi, or the People’s Money. It is the official currency (maybe the only one) in China.

Yuan is the base unit for RMB – just as Dollar in USD. This is the currency system in China:

分 Fen cent

角 Jiao dime

圆 Yuan dollar

The first characters (you may not be able to see them if your computer don’t have Chinese font support) are the Chinese character of the currency unit. The second is its Pinyin / English name, and the last one is the counterpart in USD.

So Yuan and RMB is not always the same (as Yuan is just one of the currency units in RMB), but they can often be used interchangeably. 2500 RMB and 2500 Yuan is exactly the same amount of money.

PS. I know this is too easy a question, but I would rather spend sometime to help to answer this one. The reason I am doing this is, I understand some very easy question may not have an easy answer for first time visitors. Just as I found out in the comments of this entry:Frequently Used Phone Numbers in Shanghai, people even not familiar with emergency number 119. What can be more easier than this question?

Top Commenter of the Month (2007H1)

When was the last time I published my Top Commenter of the Month? I guess it is Sept, 2006. Old readers of this blog knows, that I publish Top Commenter of the month from time to time in 2005 to 2006 and to recognize to the top contributors of this blog.

Why I have this award? Simply because I owe my readers a big THANK YOU for your comments, your thoughts, your contribution to this blog that make it so unique today. I feel bad that I paused this very important award for sometime – almost one year. Today is the opportunity for me to pick it up.

This time, let me summarize all the top commenters in H1 of 2007, just like what I did in 2006H1.

Jan 2007

stephen 21

Shrek7 21

carsten 16

Давид 15

solopolo 12

Charlie 8

SSC 8

mcgjcn 7

twang 7

Feb 2007

Давид 20

rio 14

stephen 8

Shrek7 8

ericsson 6

Indra 3

DC 3

liujie 3

federico 3

shirley 3

horsoon 3

Herbert 3

swany 3

tom 3

March 2007

carsten 20

ben 13

Давид 11

Shrek7 9

joyce 8

Jianfeng 8

Herbert 7

lionroars 7

oncerest 6

DC 6

stephen 6

April 2007

Shockr 19

Jianfeng 11

Jet So 10

DC 8

ddjiii 8

CJ 6

John 6

Elaine 6

Давид 5

David 5

fujianren 5

Herbert 5

tw 5

Yanqing Chen 5

May 2007

Давид 8

stephen 8

DC 8

ben 7

Shrek7 7

502forever 5

ALi 4

joyce 4

chez 4

Jun 2007

stephen 15

Elaine 14

Давид 10

AussiePB 8

Shrek7 7

Carroll 6

jw023 6

cube316 4

Jennifer 4

Joe 4

ester 4

Michael 4

DC 4

ALi 4

swany 4

ZJ 4

Jul 2007

Shrek7 8

DC 8

xge 6

stephen 6

David 5

Claudia Frias 5

George747 5

ilya 5

Давид 4

AussiePB 4

shirley 4

bob 4

Herbert 4

ddjiii 4

Thank you!

Chat with Helen Wang on Chinese Dream

10:03

Helen is a great person. She writes blog at http://www.helenwang.rdvp.org/. Actually, she has two blogs. .One is Across the Pacific and the other is A Taste for Good Life. She seems doing similar thing as I am doing – to setup a bridge between China and the rest of the world. In her case, with America.

Helen is preparing her book about China – The Chinese Dream. Helen aims to profile the middle class of China. Our conversation started with the size of the middle class. We agreed that the middle class of China is not big, but it is almost 100% of who foreigners have access to. More importantly, this segment will grow to the majority of China (to 700 million according McKensy estimate). That is the significance of this group of people, and why it is a good idea to write a book about it.

Then we talked about the questions Americans concerns about China. I laughed where Helen talked about the little survey she did in on MySpace about the questions people have about China. They are exactly the same questions I receive every time I meet with first time visitors to China. To name a few of the FAQs:

  • Censorship

  • One Child Policy
  • Pollution
  • Communism
  • Human Rights

I laughed because these are the exact questions (and some in the exact order) the people in the Mayor’s delegation asked me during our dinner, and how the U.S. Congress Delegation asks. It seems the great way to tell foreigners’ knowledge about China is by checking whether they ask “censorship” as the first question. Why? Because if they have talked with someone from China, the chances are, they may already have asked this must-ask question.

Well. I would say there is nothing wrong to ask these questions. No offense. It is exactly the normal question to ask, but this reveals what is in the media in the U.S., because people will ask questions about what they see on TV.

We are the same. When we meet people in Japan, we ask about the text book, or ask about war for people from Iraq. It is just as natural as it is, but the problem is, there are much more than text book in Japanese life, or war in Iraq. In the Japan case, it is even out of the mind of almost everyone. That is the exactly the problem, just as censorship or human right is not the concern for most people in China.

Then, we talked a lot about my take to the following issue: one child policy, censorship, future of China, concerns, dreams, the moral standard in China, pollution, difference between U.S. and China, and my own story… (NOTE: Although I provided some links to the topics, my blog entries were written (maybe) long time ago, and my current thinking may change dramatically in the last few years.) It seems this article is too short for me to write everything we talked about. Maybe you can either wait for one year or two after Helen’s book comes out, or let me write more about these “sensitive” topics in the future.

10:25

P.S. Tomorrow, the National Public Radio will conduct a short interview with me on censorship. I hesitated and finally agreed, because I know the reporter long time ago. She interviewed me twice on the Bill Gates Murdered event and on my photo exhibition. I doubled checked to make sure I have enough time to talk, and the BBC’s interview situation does not happen. I am comfortable to talk about censorship but not comfortable for what BBC did for me – twice. Once broadcast 5 seconds out of my 30 minutes interview and the other time, cut one sentence out of my two page blog. Hope this time is better. Let me try.