Summary of My 2008

  • Most memorable experience: the last 2 months with Baixing ? I just feel I returned to myself in 2000 ? hard working and getting great results.

  • Relaxing trip: with Yifan joining the family, Wendy and I lost the chance to visit any place further than Hangzhou. We brought Yifan to Hangzhou once, when Yifan felt asleep in the baby seat at the back of the car, and he cried loud at night.
  • Most memorable event: Feb 1, 2008, and June 20, 2008 ? the uncertainty around the business finally got lifted out, and we are at full speed now (switching gears three times during the year).
  • 2008 is a tough year for me. Combining the pressure of family, and business, and personal life, it is pretty challenging to handle. 2008 is maybe the most exhausted year for my (think about the sweet 2003, relaxed 2004, fresh and spring-feeling 2005, and nice 2006?)
  • Yifan started to walk and to communicate this year. The biggest shock I got during the 1.5 years of having Yifan was, he suddenly started to walk by himself.
  • Don’t have time. I felt my 2008 was squeezed by so many things, that I never had the leisure time to be idle… Hopefully I can change it in 2009.

For 2009? I have a dedicated plan for it.

Hangzhou Photos at the End of 2008

I cannot imagine how close Hangzhou and Shanghai is these days, after the D-Train (CRH train) connects the two cities.

The Schedule

The schedule for this trip is perfect – I would highly recommend people to use this schedule for a relaxed trip to Hangzhou. Disclaimer: this is by no means a good trip for first time visitor to Hangzhou. If you have been to Hangzhou for 4 times or more, and just want to relax during the weekend, this is a good choice.

  • Wake up late in Shanghai and have brunch.

  • Shanghai to Hangzhou via D665 (13:12 – 14:30).
  • Settle down in a youth hotel, or nice small hotel – talk or have a cup of coffee.
  • Visit a nice restaurant and have good and cheap dinner.
  • Hang out late
  • Wake up late, and have relaxed lunch.
  • Walk alone West Lake, or take boat for one hour.
  • Hangzhou to Shanghai via D670 (14:55 – 16:20).
  • Dinner in Shanghai and relax.

Shanghai South Railway Station

Shanghai Railway Station is now the middle point of Shanghai to Hangzhou trip. If you arrive at the South Station, you maybe have completed half of the trip. Me, as an example, took 1 hour to get to the train station via taxi -> Line #4 -> Line #1, and took another one and half hour to Hangzhou.

I know I have posted many photos of the big round roof of Shanghai South Railway Station, but every time I visit, I cannot help taking a picture again.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

The problem for the South Railway station is, the transition between Metro and Station is still too hard. I would rather give up the Shanghai – Hangzhou Maglev plan, and spend more time to make the transition smoother. That can save the total amount of time used on road.

On Train

The current D-train does not have electronic outlet. But the 1 and half hour trip is OK for many laptop. We watched a movie on the way.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Note: the laptop is not provided for your trip. :-)

In Hangzhou

Hangzhou always have nice places to eat and to shop. This is my most favorite restaurant.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

At the Wushan Plaza, here are some interesting stuff.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

West Lake

We cannot visit Hangzhou without a glance of the West Lake. Here you are. West Lake looks great even when it is raining.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

I do love Hangzhou, and I will be back with Wendy and Yifan soon.

Returned from Hangzhou

Over the weekend, spent our last weekend in Hangzhou.

Hangzhou is so close to Shanghai with the new D-train. I will post more pictures later after I upload them

P.S. Everytime I am in Hangzhou, and after my visit, I feel I should have visited Hangzhou more often.

Letter from NCUSCR

On Christmas, I received email from Steve Orlins, president of National Committee on US-China Relationships about a dinner we had with US mayors on Sept 12, 2008 – it was exactly the first day of my 7th year of blogging.

NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON UNITED STATES-CHINA RELATIONS

71 West 23rd Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10010-4102 (212) 645-9677 Fax: (212) 645-1695 e-mail: info@ncuscr.org

December 16, 2008

Mr. Wang Jian Shuo

18/F Haoran Hi-Tech Building

55 West Guangyuan Road

Shanghai 200030

People’s Republic of China

Dear Jian Shuo:

On behalf of the National Committee and the National League of Cities, I want to thank you for your terrific presentation to our delegation of mayors in October. My apologies for the delay in writing but the day after I returned we hosted a large luncheon for Premier Wen Jiabao and it has continued to be a very busy fall.

Your remarks on topics ranging from nationalism to education to air pollution were not only interesting, but very valuable for the delegation members. Though we had many presentations during the course of the week, yours was the only one that offered the perspective of average Chinese citizens. Everyone appreciated your candor and wonderful sense of humor on these important topics.

It was a pleasure seeing you and I look forward to working with you again on future National Committee programs. In the meantime, if I can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Steve Orlins

President

I am very happy and flattered to receive personal email from Steve, and such a formal acknowledge letter from the National Committee. With permission, I am publishing this letter here (I admit I am feeling to “show-off” something I appreciate).

Thank YOU, NCUSRC

On Christmas, I would like to thank Jan (the first person I meet of the NCUSRC via introduction of Haisong at a lunch), Jon who helped so much on the first YLF I attended in Nanjing, and of cause, Steve, who helped to put all the great US-China exchange programs from the National Committee. I also want to thank other staff of the Committee. I almost have met with everyone working there. I feel I do need to visit the office of the Committee in New York, since I already feel it is a home for me in US (besides Carroll’s home in California).

Being involved in various activities of National Committee programs (like YLF), and delegation visits (this, this, this, this, this, and this) are definitely highlights in my life. I feel I can help people in China and US to communicate beyond the reach of this little blog. I had the opportunity to meet many US mayors, many Congress staff, and people from all fields from US, like journalist, and publishers, and teachers… I learn a lot during our conversation (I remember I asked silly questions like “How Congress Works in US?”).

As Jan said, we are all indebted to Haising to brought us to meet.

NCUSCR, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Christmas Eve 2008 at Xintiandi

Where did we spend tonight at Christmas Eve? We went to Xintiandi. We wanted to find some place with large Christmas trees, and with many cute lights, so Yifan will be very happy about. It turned out Yifan was very happy, but there are so many people (I cannot imagine Xintiandi having so many people, and the newly built tower (at the corner of Taicang Rd, and Xingye Rd, and is very ugly. What is the name?) completely changed the feeling of Xintiandi – made it like a valley.

I took some photos of what I saw tonight.

Merry Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas to my family and friends!

2008 has not passed yet (I am still waiting for December 31, 2008 to write about a summery of this year), but I cannot help thinking about the amazing year.


Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

2008 was a very remarkable for me, especially the last few months of the year. I know it is not a normal year in China (Sichuan Earthquake, Beijing Olympic, and all kinds of scandle at the end of the year), and the world (Financial Crisis, of cause), but it also means a lot for me, personally.

I spent most of my time on my business – you know the life of a startup, especially an engetic, young, and promising startup. I feel very happy about it, but I also feel I spent much less time with Wendy, Yifan, my family and friends. (I still mean relatively less time than 2007, and of cause, much less than 2004, and 2003). Hope everyone understand. We didn’t have too much weekend afternoon tea time, as we did in 2005, and we didn’t have big fat dinners together. Oh. The other reason is, we have Yifan, and we expected to have every dinner with Yifan, but often failed to do it in the first part of the year, and frequently (Mondays, and Tuesdays) in the later part.

This year has also been a very challenging year for me. I just feel a little bit the sense of what a “middle-aged man” means – stuck in the middle of work, family, and somethings health.

Looking forward, 2009 will be a very nice year for me. Hope I can learn to keep some balance.

I feel I am so fortunate to have many friends around the world – and around myself. I would put a list in my Happy New Year post.

Merry Christmas!

Related:

  1. Merry Christmas 2007 Dec 25, 2007
  2. Merry Christmas 2006 Dec 24, 2006
  3. Merry Christmas 2005 for My Friends and Family Dec 25, 2005
  4. Merry Christmas 2004 Dec 24, 2004

“I have a Name Card”

Mr. Wu is a vendor outside the Shanghai Jiao Tong University campus. He bakes corns, and sweet potatoes. That is very typical eatery in north China. Although people generally doubt whether the food is clean, it does not prevent people from lining up to get one.

The interesting stuff is, Mr. Wu, as shown in the photo below, recently moved his business to mobile based.

By request of his customers (typically girls in office buildings), he printed out some name cards, and started to distribute to potential customers.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang. Contact information in courtesy of Mr. Wu

On the card, it reads:

Baked Corns, Bakes Sweet Potatoes

Mast Wu

Welcome to try. Quality and quality Guaranteed.

Mobile: 131….

People can call him, and he can provide delivery service.

e Commerce? Phone-Commerce

When we are moving our business online, we sometimes forget the basic principles of business – it is still business, no matter how you conduct it. It is just like Mr. Wu. He just catch up the tide of telephone based commerce. Congratulations!

It also reminds me that the whole society is involving constantly, but slowly.

BTW, his potato is very nice.

Bomb Threats in Shanghai

As always, Wendy, and I brought Yifan to the Super Brand Mall on Sunday. There are many interesting things for Yifan to play with, from the cute elecronic devices in BestBuy to toys in ToysRus, and the big shoes from Crocs…

However, there are something strange today. The undergrand garage of Super Brand Mall was closed today. There are two policemen safeguarding the entrance, and the entrance was blocked completely with big red road blockers.

At the very begining, I thought it was because the parking lot has been full. Without second thought, I drove on, took a U-turn and get back, and turned right into Shangri-la hotel – my favorite parking lot (although it charges the same as Super Brand Mall – 10 RMB per hour).

To my surprise, the same thing happened with that parking lot. Policemen are standing in front of the entrance, and the sign shows the parking lot is full, again.

I still didn’t realize anything. I thought – what a Christmas crazy time!

I drove on again, and turn right at the Fudu Road – the road along the Huangpu River in Pudong.

Again, all the cars parking long the roads are cleared up. There are five policemen there, and asking all the cars to move on.

I thought it is maybe because this place was cleared up that all the parking lot was full.

I drive on and on, until I reached the parking area under the garden of the Huangpu Park. In normal days, this parking lot is always full, and I didn’t expect they have space. Again, to my even greater surprise, it is almost empty – only 1/5 of the places were occupied.

How come?

When I drove back alnog the Lujiazui area, I found there are at least one policeman at every corner of the street. It is unusual.

Then I started to connect what I saw to the news Wendy told me: Ikea received bomb threat in the garage, and all the customers were evacuated at around 7:00 PM the other day. (Chinese news source).

From last year, people in Shanghai, or other big cities in China started to face the same trouble many countries had been facing for many years – terrism, and attack. It seems to be more and more common in the future. We just need to get used to it.

jQuery + Baixing.com

Shane said that if I enjoy JSON, I must be in love with jQuery. He is quite right. I played with it a little bit, and created small application below:

Auto Scroll

and

Picture Animation

Here is how you use it:

  • Drag and drop the two links above to your bookmark in Firefox.
  • Visit any listing page at Baixing.com, like here.
  • Click one of the two button, and see what happens.

Again, this is a pretty technical post, and for normal readers, you can safely ignore.

Update April 27, 2009

This is for Gary. Drag the following link to your bookmark folder, and click it when you visit any listing page to get average price of all items in that category.

Baixing: Average Price

Here is the source code:

javascript:(function(){s=i=cp=pages=category=0;tpage=1;j(“.skp:last”).each(function(){tpage=this.innerHTML});ss=document.location.toString();if(m=ss.match(“baixing\.com\/(.*)\/”)){category=m[1];}for(cp=0;cp

Drive on Nanpu Bridge for 3000 Times

This is a normal Friday in Shanghai. It is also around 498 days before the Shanghai Expo in 2010.

In the morning, Wendy and I drove along the Nanpu Bridge – how many times have we driven along this bridge? My rough guess is 2800 times. This is based on the following facts:

  • We have moved to Pudong in April, 2004
  • It has been 1700 days since we moved here.
  • Let me assume that I am visiting Puxi 5.5 days a week (some weekends, we still come to Pudong, but at as frequent as once every weekend)
  • That is around 1400 visits to Puxi from my home in Pudong
  • Since I am using Nanpu Bridge to get to Puxi 99% of the time, I am assume that I have run on this bridge for about 2800 times, which is likely to be 3000.

Is it a fair calculation?

The good thing is, recently, the scene on the west side of the Nanpu bridge is getting better and better. High-raising towers are countless (if you still think high-raising buildings are good things), and the Shanghai Expo site spreads behind it.

The China Pavilion has been structrually completed – it is a huge architect, with a big head and four big pole supporting it. I can see it everyday. However, it is not as beautiful was the picture shows yet – still about 1 year to complete.

For the Shanghai Expo, I am not as expected as to the Beijing Olympics. Actually, the Beijing Olympic turned out to be a short memory, and didn’t change China too much. Maybe we just need more time to understand the change.

Beautiful Xujiahui under blue sky in Shanghai.