Parade Tomorrow

The 60 Anniversary Parade will be on show tomorrow morning.

But, I still don’t really understand the need for a military parade.

I understand that many people want a celebration, but what is the military function of the parade? Anyone wants to share some idea?

I am confused not only by the Parade tomorrow, but also the parade in France, and other countries. It seems there are just small number of countries still doing that.

Interestingly, there is no military blood in my body. I just don’t enjoy guns, and canons. That is maybe the reason I am not excited about the parade, but many of my friends are looking forward to it just as to the world cup. See? People naturally have different types. I am more of an IT guy, than a military guy by nature.

60 Anniversary of … Motherland?

Tomorrow is the so-called “60 anniversary of the motherland”. It was called 50 anniversary of the motherland 10 years ago, and people just let it go, but this year, with the popularity of blogs, and social media, more and more people are challenging the idea: Is the motherland of China just 60 years old?

I would support to change it to “60 anniversary of the regime”.

In 1 and half hour, the traffic control measures will be implemented in Shanghai. Several roads and buses are blocked. But we are much better than Beijing. Just had a phone call with my friend in Beijing, and they are busy moving out the building. The whole building near the east 4th ring will be shutdown shortly.

2009 National Holiday Schedule

In China, it has formed a tradition that every national holiday from now on will be from Oct 1 to Oct 7 – 7 days. This year, since there is a Middle Moon Festival during that period, the holiday is extended to 8 days.

So, the quick schedule is: Oct 1 to Oct 8 = holiday.

The complicated schedule is about the date before and after it. Since the holiday is just 3 days, and they tried to leverage the 4 weekends before and after the 3 holiday to make it up to 7 days, the national wide schedule is very wired:

Sept 25 Friday Weekday

Sept 26 Saturday Weekend

Sept 27 Sunday Weekday

Sept 28 Monday Weekday

Sept 29 Tuesday Weekday

Sept 30 Wednesday Weekday

Oct 1 Thursday Holiday

Oct 2 Friday Holiday

Oct 3 Saturday Holiday

Oct 4 Sunday Holiday

Oct 5 Monday Holiday

Oct 6 Tuesday Holiday

Oct 7 Wednesday Holiday

Oct 8 Thursday Holiday

Oct 9 Friday Weekday

Oct 10 Saturday Weekday

Oct 11 Sunday Weekend

Oct 12 Monday Weekday

Please note the two days marked as bold – people need to come to work on Saturday or Sunday.

THE Parade

The Parade will happen on 10:00 AM, October 1, 2009. I doubt any other media besides CCTV 4 will broadcast it outside China. Putting all the controversial discussion aside, the parade itself should be nice to watch.

Village Li – My Primary School

My school mate Nie Xiangfeng took some photos of the primary school we went to (we are both primary school, and middle school classmates). Very nice picture – obviously it means a lot to me since I have never been back since 15 years ago.

Below is the playground and the buildings of the primary school – how come after 20 years, it never changed a little bit?

Photograph by Nie Xiangfeng

The buildings of the primary school.

Photograph by Nie Xiangfeng

The main building. I think I was on the third story in my grade 5.

Photograph by Nie Xiangfeng

Photograph by Nie Xiangfeng

This is the junior middle school part.

Photograph by Nie Xiangfeng

More photos is on Nie Xiangfeng’s blog

Photo of Rush Hours

Wendy took a photo of rush hours on Huashan Road. Look at below:


Photograph by Wendy Fan


Photograph by Wendy Fan

That is the bonus of living in a big city.

The Founding of a Republic

Wendy and I went to theater to see the movie The Founding of a Republic – the politically important movie. It is about the beginning of the domestic war and the end between 1945-1949, a movie to celebrate 60 anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.


My comment? Well, better than expected, since for the first time, it tells the story from two side – the KMT side and the CCP side. For most of the time and event, I take it suspiciously. I am not for sure which part is fake, but my tendency of thinking is, there are many facts altered from the history. Just need to spend more time to dig into the details of that 3 years. Actually, the movie raised my interest in recent history again.

For my readers outside China, there is something so funny for the movie. The 135 minutes long movie accommodated 170+ celebrities in China, with most of them only have several seconds to show. Famous star like Zhang Ziyi only also have about one or two sentence in that movie. That added some humerus factor to this movie.

Overestimation of Bad Things

In my favorite book “Stumble Upon Happiness”, Gilbert described an experiment seeking for the answer of this question: “Whether people are happier to lose one leg, or winning 1 million prize in lottery”. The result seems to be obvious, but objective survey of people who lose a leg in car accidents, and people who won lottery after one year show the difference is not that obvious (with people losing a leg just slightly unhappier than the lucky winners). Why is that?

We often over estimate the impact of bad things, because when we think about it, it seems to be the whole of our world, but actually it is just a small part of it.

Breaking Angle?

Taking my recent experience as an example. I have my ankle broken, and the foot cannot touch ground for 3 months. I have to use crutch everywhere I go. Isn’t it bad? It is bad but not that bad. When I sit down at my desk, my foot, both feet, actually, is out of my conscious world. I can reply emails, I can write blog and reply comments, and you know what, I even can watch a video clip! At night, I enjoy good sleep without worrying about my foot, when I started my sweet dream. There is nothing to do with my foot 23 hours out of the 24 hours of my day. When I do have to pay attention to the foot (like at noon time when I worry about my lunch), I was taken very good care of by people around me. To me, it is not that bad.


Imagine what if someone got blind. Isn’t it bad? Yes. But we can hardly understand that the world is not just about seeing things. You have radios to listen to, and you still have thoughts going on in the brain. The kids are still talking with you all the time (so you want to shut them down with a button). All these happiness are actually has nothing to do with eyes!

Inspiring Disabled People

It is so inspiring to see people who don’t have legs and arms – I saw one, but he is still so happy! With a little bit help, he can still enjoy great DVDs, and delicious food, and become a thinker! I was so inspired to see sisters connected with each other – they share everything except two heads. They are still very happy people, because the great things normal people can do, at the end of the day, are just very small part of the life. The majority of the time was spent on something body actually does not matter too much, like talking or reading, or watching video, or just close eyes, and hmmm… sleep.

Loosing part of function does impact the other parts too much.

A Country with Bad Sides

As a country, it is the same. Just as the great discussion we had in the last few days. We see areas to improve on political systems, and we see the dark side of the country (along with great side), but what I believe is, never let the bad things destroy our hope and our happiness, and even further, do not stop improving where we live because of losing hope of the political system.

A democratic and real republic political system, or justice, and freedom are just one aspect of this country. Even with it, it does not help on many things:

There are still car accidents (no matter in capitalism, or socialism, democratic, or dictatorship, or whatever -ism countries). Improving the safety of transportation need people’s hard work, no matter what happens in Beijing.

There are still be unhappy people. Leaving along adults, kids are always unhappy if the parents put them into bed at night! Can democratic process solve this problem?

There are still economy problems, even art problems around. In a more fair society, people still need to compete. There will always be poorer people and richer, in whatever society. That does not solve that difference problem, too. Oops. We did try to make wealth evenly distributed across the country in China in the 50s and 60s. What a great success!

My Hope

If you read my recent discussion and comments, you may feel that I am not as hopeful to this country as before, and I am not happy. No. No. No… The impression is wrong. We need to understand the importance of improvement on political system, but meanwhile, there are many other ways to help. Running a successful classified site also means a lot. Multi-party system does not solve the problem that people cannot trade second-hands, does it?

In short, I am full of hope for China, and knows there are many things to do including but not limited to political improvement.

Nice Discussion on Politics

I’d like to draw people’s attention to the follow three thread where there is great discussion happening. I admire people’s thoughts in the comments section. Please join us if you are interested.

Does Policital System in Taiwan Work? 24 comments so far.

Millionaire Country Singapore. China? 12 comments so far.

Life in Beijing Must be Interesting 33 comments so far.

Be patient to read the long thread. There are some very nice thoughts in it.

Recovered Old Files on

My frequent readers won’t be able to notice the difference between two domains: and They are different in many ways:

History: started in 2000, and it is far before I started the blog.

Authoring tools: Between 2000 and 2002, I never heard about blog, and I was a FrontPage support engineer in Microsoft in early days, so I used FrontPage – not very good in today’s web 2.0 terms, since after you authorized the pages, it is static. I didn’t change the content for a long time.

Location: as implied by the name, started from a home computer in my reading room, and then moved to more than 5 different hosting services, before it now settled down at MediaTemple (very good so far).

There are some nice content on the old site, but I just found out it is not accessible for many months today. So I recovered (a simple “CHMOD -R 775 html” did the trick).

Here are a list of the old files.

Look at how naive I was 9 years ago. As historical record, I just don’t want to touch it and keep them their as long as I can.

I have hosted blog for some of my friends. They do not update today, but the old files are still there.

Does Policital System in Taiwan Work?

This is a discussion in the previous article: Millionaire Country Singapore. China?. There are many comments on Taiwan and I liked it. Take the Wonton’s comment as an example:


Be very careful of what you wish for. I don’t want to go into details but in Taiwan, politics has degenerated into a bad soap opera. While it is true there is democracy, the system has open it’s doors to many fools and crooks. The voters have no idea who to trust. And the media is forever ready to pounce on gossip leaving the leaders no time to do what they were supposed to do. I don’t know what kind of “great hope” you saw in Taiwan’s “experiment”. Was it the wrestling kung fu brawl in their parliament ? There is no such thing as being “ahead” or “behind” in political processes. The only thing that matters is weather it works or not. Yes, while you rejoice in knowing that the crook president is behind bars, what about the 8 wasted years of screwing up the country ?

Politics is not entertainment. If we wait for the system to mature, the people would have starved to death.

Singapore has a one party show, Japan had a one party show for 54 years. As for the often repeated “one man” of Singapore, do note that the prime minister had changed twice. It just happened that the son happened to be in charge today. Please do not equate this situation with your North Korean neighbours. George Bush Sr and Jr. were seperated by Clinton, and nobody made a stink. The independant history of Singapore is only 44 years. While it is true that it should not, and cannot be compared with China, What the “infamous” man and party acheived is truely impressive and astounding.

When you have the lives of one billion people at stake, the last thing you want to do is “experiment”.

Posted by: wonton on September 22, 2009 3:20 PM

Here was my reply, and I would like to involve more people to discuss on the political system in Taiwan.

Regarding Taiwan, as my disclaimer goes, I don’t know too much details, but I want to share my thoughts based on the limited information I got from news (NOT CCTV news).

Re: fight in parliament. Fight is not a problem. If people don’t fight in parliament, they either fight on the street (violence!) or the rights of certain people are suppressed. I don’t believe it will be physical fighting for too long – it is just starting point.

Re: selection of CHEN Shui-Bian as president. The fake bulletin worked, and many fake promise worked to get him the way to power, but can we have a better way to educate the mass people about how vote works? People need education to excise the power in their hands. The education is not a easy to do – it takes centuries, and many generations. When history story like “President Chen” appear in the text book, people will learn how to vote. I don’t believe that people including myself will know how to do it without excises it many times, and make some mistakes.

Re: sentence of CHEN. The court only proved guilty for one former president, and people point fingers to them (especially CCTV and all media agencies in China by the order of central propaganda department): Hey! Look at what type of president democracy brought to Taiwan. The recent MA got very embarrassed because of the late response to earth quake. Shall we complain that Taiwan don’t have a “God” like Chairman Mao, or Chiang Kai-shek or Chiang Ching-kuo. Well. That is because they have put everyone who think they are bad into jail, and then they naturally became God. To have a graceful president means the president is above the Republic, and to have an embarrassed president like CHEN and MA, or Nixon, Clinton in US is no embarrassing, it is the hard fact that the Republic is above the individual, which is the goal of the founding fathers of the Republic of China.

Re: politics has degenerated into a bad soap opera, yes. It appears so in the last 8 years. But it is just like seeing a new born baby – you see it is on the track to be better – I am sure a second guy shoot is counter-productive for the next president candidate. There will always be new ways to fool the public beside what CHEN did, but people will be educated. I cannot imagine a way for people to progress without real practices like this. Between a dead-end road system that appears to be strong, and a promising system just like a new-born baby, I would like to generally classified Taiwan to the later. Did I see progress from LI, to CHEN, to MA? I think so.

Re: When you have the lives of one billion people at stake, the last thing you want to do is “experiment”. Yes and No. The hope of China lies in many people at least think about it and understand what the arrow of history is pointing to. Unfortunately, no one can possibly know the result of any change (or as you call it, experiment), including His Majority Chairman MAO, but I believe in natural evolve of human society.

A little bit long, but I’d be happy if someone educate me about a real Taiwan if what I am having is just an illusion. I never been to Taiwan or lived there, anyway.