Wendy Opened a Milk Tea Shop

I know this may be very surprising news for most of my friend, but it is not a joke. Wendy (if you don’t know her yet, she is my sweet wife) opened a Ding Tea (a Taiwan brand) milk tea shop at People’s Square in Shanghai. The grand opening is today (well, not an extremely grand opening, but a warm, crowded, and nice opening).

The Location

Here is the location of the shop:

211 Xizang Middle Road, Shanghai, China

It is at the corner of Xizang Road, and People’s Blvd.

It is opposite to Raffle’s City, and at the foot of the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum

It is also at the gate of the People’s Park and at Metro Exit #3 of People’s Square station of Metro Line #1, #2, and #8.

Why

This is an even more important question. Wendy always has a dream of opening a milk shop (it seems it is many girls’ dream), and I support her to do it with all my heart. Too often that people have dreams but don’t have time to go for it, and I am happy for Wendy to be able to do it. It is more about a hobby and an experience, other than anything else.

The next you visit the People’s Square, do stop by the store and have a cup of milk tea. If you have a Dianping account, you are welcome to leave your comment there.

My Identity in Community

I am participating in the Baixing community heavily, but not using my own identity – the CEO of the company. I am trying to build the community feeling from a normal community member. I am struggling in my thoughts whether I should use an ID like jianshuo in community, and let people know that I am the person (CEO) of the site, and the person to contact if they find anything wrong.

I wrote about the Real Human’s Voice Behind the Internet (Chinese) more than 4 years ago. I was basically arguing the current Internet is full of people with real identity. “No one knows you are a dog on Internet” is no longer cool. People need human voice behind each website. I am obvious a good candidate for that human voice. Should I jump out and tell people that the person’s identity who post most reply in the community, and doing customer service work?

I am planning to do it gradually in the next few weeks. What is your thoughts?

Failed to Bid for Shanghai Plate

My regular readers (I mean from 5 years to 6 years ago) know my struggle to get a Shanghai car plate.

Finally, I decided to join the tens of thousands of people to bid for a Shanghai plate. Unlike many others though, we are not very eager to get one. Our attitude is just to join the bidding, and if the price is OK, we get it. If now, we give it up.

Bid for a Shanghai Plate

On Saturday, Wendy and I joined the bidding for a Shanghai plate. The price turned out to be 33900 RMB. We failed in the bidding. Our price was 34400 RMB at the last second, but it is out of the +-300 RMB range, and was rejected.

The Way Bidding Works

The procedure of the bidding is like this:

  • You need to go to the government agency office to buy a bidding permit. That cost 100 RMB with 2000 RMB deposit to guarantee that you will pay the money if you win.

  • You install the software on PC and join the bidding at 10:00 AM on the last Saturday of the month.
  • You are allowed to place a price during the first hour (10:00 AM to 11:00 AM). At 11:00 AM, the first phase of the bidding closes. The system will broadcast the lowest winning price based on the bid it received. If you don’t place a bid, you give up this bidding, and can join the next month.
  • In the second phase, from 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM, based on the current lowest winning price, you can place your bid once or twice. It requires the offer must be within the +300 RMB and -300 RMB range of the current price. With the bidding going on, the lowest winning price goes up, and so can you raise your bid along with it.
  • At 11:30 AM, the auction closes, and announces the lowest bidding price

The trick is, you always need to place a bidding price higher than the lowest winning price + 300 RMB, since at the time you place your bid at the last minute, there is always a chance the price jumps up. So it is a fine art to hold the bidding as late as possible but still be able to enter it before it closes.

At 33600 RMB, we entered 34400 RMB (the lowest bidding price + 800 RMB) hoping that we can be sure to get it. But finally, when we hit enter, the price didn’t go that high, and we were rejected.

We will join the next bidding the next month and report back the result. It is a combination of strategy and luck – with luck as a very important fact.

Phone Works Better than Email

How silly it is. I finally decided to recover my oldest ebay account with ID jianshuo.

That was an account created 7 years ago, and suspended 5 years ago. I submitted the online request. As expected, nothing happened – no reply – after few weeks.

Then I gave them a call: +1866-643-2959. It worked very well. They promised to send the activation email to my new email address.

Phone works better than email, always for large companies.

P.S. How embarrassing! A former eBay director still need to call the call center to have account released from a suspension 5 years ago.

French Concession and Shanghai’s History

Just when I opened a new entry before me and wondered what to write to day, Stephen left a comment, which can be a very good topic to start a discussion.

I was reading the website of the restaurant where you celebrated your birthday, to my surprise the restaurant features “French Concession” as a selling point. Since the Shanghai public concession has been abolished since last government, is people today still fond of the past history or they prefer the infrastructures left by the foreigners before the war?

Mixed Feeling about Shanghai History

Shanghai is a very unique city. Its founding was because of a treaty – the Nanjing Treaty, one was always referred as unequal treaty in China.

From the day one of the modern Shanghai since 1840s, the city was mixture of Chinese and westerns, and of cause the culture of Chinese, and western culture.

If you see Shanghai as a child, he has a Chinese mother, and a western father. The western culture is actually put into the blood of this city. The intimacy of this city and the whole western world is by culture blood line.

French Concession?

You see this connection easily by architect – the whole French concession was well kept, and the building along Bund. But most importantly, it is the way people in Shanghai behaves – the respect to contracts, hobbies about decent nice restaurants, and many westernized things. If you walk on the small streets in Shanghai, you can feel the deep connection.

The Painful Conflicts

After being in Shanghai for 14 years, I can see the struggle and conflicts in the mind of Shanghaiese. Just like an abandoned child with a foreign father, Shanghai cannot admit its connection with the western world in the last half century, especially the forming of this child is because of a rape.

People try to avoid that embarrassing history of this city, but the city itself is the evidence of that embarrassing history for China. On one hand, all students in China were taught to “hate” those countries who invaded China during 1840s to 1940s, and described that period of time as the darkest time of Shanghai, on the other hand, that was the most prosperous ages for Shanghai. Why so many people still loves the 1930 style of Shanghai?

Back to the French Concession

Today, many people in Shanghai is trying very hard to rebuild the elegance and gracefulness of the old 1930 times. But they did it without claiming anything, because it is something that you cannot claim in public. It is pride mixed shame. It is love mixed with hate. It is also a memory people try to pickup but avoid to mention.

P.S. I wrote a Chinese blog article about my observation: A mixed blood named Shanghai.

Sony CX500E is Wonderful

After using Sony CX500E for a while, I have to say, I am extremely satisfied with this camcorder. Just like the Sony P8 camera, this Sony product is perfect, and I always feel I am lucky to choose it. There are several reasons.

  1. The SteadyShot feature is amazing. I can take video when I am walking, even running a little bit, but the final result is just like the camera were mounted to a tripod – very clear.

  2. The 12X zoom is wonderful, and useful.
  3. The bright image it captures. It is much better than the dark image of Nikon.
  4. I didn’t have any expectation for the software coming with any hardware, but the PMB (Photo Motion Browser) was wonderful, even better than Picasa.
  5. The nightshot is a must for me – to record Yifan at night when Wendy and I was telling story to him at night
  6. The camera is relatively small to carry. With CX500E, I don’t need to carry cameras at all.
  7. The big LCD screen and touch screen feature – wonderful

I have recorded many video (12G of them). I still didn’t figure out a way to share them yet – I don’t feel comfortable to upload it to Tudou.com, or Youku.com. YouTube is blocked in China – troublesome for me. Will figure it out later.

If you are still choosing which camcorder to buy, I highly recommend this camera: Sony CX500E.

Here are some sample photos I took with the camera:

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang with Sony CX500E

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang with Sony CX500E

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang with Sony CX500E

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang with Sony CX500E

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang with Sony CX500E

P.S. Wendy is interested in Dingcha now.