Whole Day in Nanjing

There are some bulletin of ideas for today.

  • Whole day in Nanjing, half day in Nanjing Dongjiao State Guest House, and half day on Mouchou Lake.

  • Full day off-the-record. So as a blogger, I still cannot blog too much about it. OK. Let me talk about my personal stuff.
  • Nanjing is quite cold these days, especially in the mountains.
  • People were surprised by the fact that I never lived in other countries but can speak English. :-)
  • Met many great peoples, and many of them I have known for sometime by name (just read the newspaper or watch TV!)
  • Very late today. Need to go to bed today.

P.S. Anyone like the photos I posted about the amazing train from Shanghai to Nanjing?

Train from Shanghai to Nanjing – CRH (D)

They have a nice handle that you can use your foot to press, and the foot holder will restore to the original position. That is very helpful if you want to lay down and relax your feet.

This is the other side of the foot holder. Use your foot to press this handle, and the foot holder will release and you can relax your feet.

This is exactly what is before you – a big bag at the back of the previous seat – there are some free magzine there – full of advertisement, just like airplane. At the bottom are the place to put your foot on.

There are four seats in a row. So do your calculation to buy the tickets if you prefer a Aisle or Window seat. For example, window seats are number 36, 39, 40, 43…

On top of the window, the wind comes out. You an choose to close it or open it by using this switch.

This is the curtain! It is more fancy than those on the airplane. You can pull it down to any position, or completely seperate yourself from the outside world.

On the right side (or the left side if you take the Aisel seat), there is a small black button. Pressing it will release the back of your seat, and you can lean backward – just like the seats on an airplane. Very comfortable indeed.

On the right (or left if you take the aisle seat), you can find the small table hidden under the leather cover. The instructions show how you can unfold it.

This is the table, inside its rack.

This small thing is for hanging your personal light stuff – your coat, or hand bag.

Like this.

On the train, there is a mini bar with all kinds of drinks – strange that they don’t have coke. The price is relatively reasonable – 5 RMB for drink that is 3 RMB off the train. More expensive, but it makes sense.

The information of the compartment. As you can see, there are 8 compartment each train. It is numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 — 8. In most trains, like the one from Shanghai to Nanjing, they have two indentical trains, hooked up together, so they have 9, 10, … 16. Two out of the 8 are first class, and the rest are normal seats.

They have water. On the right is warm water – suitable for drink immediately, and on the left, is hot water – good for a cup of instant noodle.

It gave me the impression that everything is very decent. Look at the decoration above the water supply station.

?Water Tumed on by Senor?.

They have automatical Soap Dispenser on the left.

The most interesting thing I found out in the water closet is, they have the warm wind blowing from where you stand forward to your hand to dry them. Nice design

They do have electricity, but it is for Electric Razor only. I didn’t find any power supply throught out the cart anyway.

This was me.

This is a little bit surprise for me. They have curtains for the sink.

You can pull it over to cover it,

and the cubicle looks like this. You have the privacy to wash your hands or brush your teeth – by yourself.

There are two locations for you to put your really big stuff at the entrance. Most of people should put their luggage on the overhead cubine.

This is the standard class seats – three on the left and two on the right. As you can see, there are not so many people from Shanghai to Nanjing.

Another one.

This is the water station.

This is inside the Men’s toilet.

Push to exit – there is no lock inside – strange.

Another photo of the almost empty standard car.

They are very considerate to have Diaper Changing table for infants.

The toilet. Looks like clear.

The equipment in the toilet.

This is the first class – almost completely empty. Two on the left and two on the right.

This is the seat. Look at the place to put your feet on, and the pillow.

Everything is electronic – the LED displaying the cart number.

Along the trip, it showed the current train speed – 139 km/h.

This is the unfolded table.

Outside the train.

The train arrives at the Nanjing Station.

This is the head of the train.

At Nanjing station, you can take Bus, Metro, or taxi to leave the station. BTW, the taxi line was so long that we gave up and hired the illegal taxi (basically those people who came to pick up passengers but they are not taxi)

This is the entrance to Nanjing Metro – I have never take it before.

Diesel Shortage Caused Traffic Jam

Wendy and I was stuck in the middle of a traffic jam for about 10 minutes. It is due to the continued diesel shortage in Shanghai. Large trucks are partying on the road – long lines of trucks lined up from the other gas station (the one on the opposite side of station which just exploded yesterday) to the corner of the road and winding toward the road leading to my home direction. They occupied the right lane, so jammed the traffic for some time.

Is it a sign for future problems?

Above is the satellite map of the gas station (the gray box on the top), and the line went along the corner and extended to one road of the fork on the east side of the north-south road.

BTW, imagine what happens when this gas station explodes? Look at the high-raising residential buildings surrounding the station! They are at least 20 floors in height.

Yifan Starts to Sleep Alone

From tonight, Wendy and I arranged Yifan to sleep alone (with nanny). After Yifan fell asleep, Wendy said: “Is the nice time Yifan sleep with us over?” I know she feels lost, so do I.

As Joshua Allen told me in a comment, “We are worrying of the children’s dependent on us and worrying even more of their independent as well.” He is just less than 6 months old, and he is now independent enough to sleep on his own. Big step for him.

Also, today, he started to be able to use his two hands to grasp the small cup and start to drink by himself – just the beginning and could only drink a little bit, but it is also a big step for him. What people told me (especially Carroll) is very true – time flies, and before you notice, the little boy is almost starting to escape from our arms and embracing his own world.

Yifan, we love you.

Gas Station Explosion Near my Home

Just before I want to close my laptop and go to bed, I saw a piece of astonishing news on Sina: Gas Station Explosion Killed 4 and Injured 40 in Shanghai.

OMG!

They are the secondary gas station we went to. We typically go to the gas station just on the other side of the road, but sometimes, we also go to that station to buy gas.

The explosion at 10:15 AM today killed 4 people immediately, including one passenger who is walking 1 km away from the station. 40+ people were injured and now they are still in hospital.

According to the news, the cause of the accident was because of mis-operation of the workers in the station.

How terrible it is! That is the nearest station from my home. Life is so weak, and anything can happen – what if I went their for gas today? I just don’t want to imagine that!

Hopefully, those guys injured should be fine quickly. According to the news, many of them were hit directly by the stones on the head. Terrible!

Shanghai Guide in a Page

This is what I sent to the YLF participants. I just realized that I need a short simple page of necessary information (not a list of all my 2000+ articles on Shanghai) for visitors who stay just one night. Here it is:

One Page Guide

Hi, welcome to Shanghai! I am sure will try my best to help! I am based in Shanghai, so feel free to let me know if you need any help in advance, or during the trip.

Here are some of articles I wrote about Shanghai, and hope it helps you to prepare your trip to Shanghai:

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/20041105_youth_hostels_in_shanghai.htm (on top of the Astor hotel we are staying)

Transportation in Shangahi

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/transportation.htm

Everything you should know about Taxi in Shanghai:

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/taxi.htm

Maglev (highly recommend to take a ride). You can take taxi to Astor hotel from Maglev Long Yang Road Station.

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/maglev_train.htm

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/20030809_pudong_airport_maglev_in_depth.htm

General Planning Tips about Visiting Shanghai

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/planning.htm

West Meets East section – about culture shock you may observe.

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/west_meets_east.htm

If you bring your phone, maybe this Phone and Mobile section helps:

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/phone_and_mobile.htm

For information about the train you are going to take, check these entries:

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/by_train.htm

These are some photos about the Z train from Shanghai to Beijing. I don’t have pictures about Shanghai to Nanjing train, but the newer train should be much more advanced than the train I show on the picture. So don’t worry about the train.

http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/20040801_train_from_beijing_to_shanghai.htm

Hope these tips can help.

See you in Astor Hotel lobby!

Jian Shuo Wang mailto:jianshuo@hotmail.com http://www.wangjianshuo.com

Panyu Lu or Fanyu Lu?

George has a question regarding name of road:

Jian,

For the longest time I have seen people reference PauYu Lu as FanYu LU and vice versa. Some maps and business cards say FanYu Lu and some say PanYu Lu. Why the difference?

George

This is an interesting question, and I believe many foreigners may run into the same situation – people call the same road differently, and inconsistently.

Many Chinese Characters Has Two or more Pronunciations

This is the interesting thing about Chinese characters. Just as many words are with the same pronunciation (exactly the same, not just similar), there are many characters having different pronunciation. They produce different sounds in different contact.

In this case, the Chinese name for the road is:

番禺路

The first character 番 was typically pronounced as Fan, so people call it Fanyu Lu.

However, 番禺 put together is the name of a city in Guangdong – Panyu. In this situation, it should pronounce as Panyu Lu.

That is the reason of the confusion. Since Panyu is not as famous as many other cities, people just pronounce it as Fanyu Lu.

In my opinion, and according to the bus plate, it should be pronounced as Panyu Lu. Although the other pronunciation is also widely used.

Chinese Middle Name for Erik’s Baby

Erik is a very good friend of mine in eBay. He is a typical American young man in my eyes – handsome, passionate, smart, professional, interested in many things, and open-minded. Most importantly, his heart is full of love. I enjoy working with him very much, and really love to have hosted him in Shanghai at the end of 2005. Erik was also curious enough to visit Victor’s home in rural areas in Jiading, and was happily surprised when he was greeted by tens of pigs in the pigsty.

Erik and his wife adopted two children from China and another two from Vietnam. They love children. I am happy to have a dinner with the happy new parents, and the two little kids, who are still too young to communicate in either Chinese or English, or Vietnamese. Anyway, I believe the kids are lucky enough to have so good parents like Erik and his wife. (At that time, the little girl really love to eat rice!)

The good news is, Erik’s wife got pregnant and in December this year, they are expecting their 5th children in the family ! I am very happy for them, and think it is a wonderful thing to have the 5th children join the other 4 and then form a really big family.

Chinese Middle Name Wanted

Erik wants the 5th children to have an Asian middle name as the other four as well. This is a good idea. So Erik dropped me an email and asked me whether I can suggest a Chinese name. This is the general requirements:

Do you have any suggestions for a Chinese middle name? My wife would love the name to have a meaning like Gift from God/Heaven or Miracle from God/Heaven.

I have some Chinese candidate characters in mind now, but I’d like to ask my readers to suggest a beautiful name for the upcoming boy.

Any idea? We should really help Erik since he had taken enough trouble (many times of trip in Asia per children) to help the four little children.

Trans-Bank System Finally Available

China’s bank is always far behind its peers in other countries, while businesses in many other industries are quickly catching up the international standard. I am so bored of waiting in line in Banks in China, no matter it is my least favorite bank, ICBC, or my most favorite bank, China Merchant Bank.

In 2004, I was happy to see Cross Bank Money Transfer Now Possible. However, at that time, it was via a middle-man called Central Bank announced that a trans-bank system for small-amount money is finally launched. That is very good news for me.

Before this, if you want to move, let’s say, 10,000 RMB from Bank A to Bank B, basically there are just two ways: A) cash, or B) a special bank note called “Benpiao” (I don’t know the English name). The second choice takes at least 30 minutes for the bank A to create for you. The first choice is my favorite, although sometimes I have to carry a large amount of paper (cash) and run from one bank to another. Not to mention the time needed to count and verify the money.

The New System

With the new Trans-Bank system, people can withdraw money or deposit money from one bank at the counter of another bank. Currently, only 14 banks (branches) in Beijing offer this service. This is the name list:

  • ICBC – Industry and Commercial Bank of China

  • Agriculture Bank
  • Bank of China
  • Construction Bank
  • Bank of Constructions
  • Everbright Bank
  • CITIC
  • Huaxia Bank
  • Minsheng Bank
  • Shenzhen Development Bank
  • Xingye Bank
  • Pudong Development Bank
  • Bank of Beijing
  • Beijing Rural Commercial Bank

Process

It does not happens automatically. You have to

  • Go to the bank where you opened the bank account.

  • Verify your identity with the bank and sign an agreement with the bank.
  • You will be given a 12 digits special account number.

Then you can use this 12 digits number to access your bank account in other participating banks.

Fees

Many of them charges 1% of handling fee with minimum fee of 10 RMB and maximum of 200 RMB per transaction. The fees charged are different between banks.

My two cents

I welcome this service very much. Recently the long lines in many banks have reached ridiculous level. It is not surprising to get a number with 100 – 200 people waiting before you, and it is not rare to spend the whole morning waiting inline just to get a transaction done. Many of the transaction can only be handled on counter (like claim lose of a card or get a new card). Hopefully with this service, we can cut many of the lines in half in the next few years, although this regulation introduced a new need for people to line-up in banks in the recent months – to sign the contract.

Disclaimer: As I stated, this service is only offered in Beijing, so I didn’t personally tried the service. Hopefully when it is opened in Shanghai, I will try it and report back later.