Category Archives: Holidays

Going to Hangzhou Again

After being in Hangzhou for three consecutive weekend, I decided to go to Hangzhou again, today, with Wendy and Yifan.

This is an action to break the laziness and make some difference in the normal life.

IF, I mean everyone can imagine the IF part, we set our home in Hangzhou, and we will commute to Hangzhou every weekend. I know many people, at least 10 of them, have their home in a different city and they have to do the same thing as we do today, for years. Many of them have homes in Shanghai but work in Beijing or Shenzhen, or Hangzhou.

IF, we can sometimes understand others life, some strange behavior started to be normal. Thinking is the process to make those abnormal to normal.

The New Year Holiday Ends

The last day of the three day holiday of the New Year. Enjoyed the three relaxed day before putting all my effort back to my website. It is shining here in Shanghai. It snowed a little bit when I was in the Liangzhu 良渚 area in Hangzhou yesterday, and I heard it snowed this morning (I found some evidence on my car), but now, it is sunny and pleasant in Shanghai again.

Looking back, I just realized how age, or the arrival of Yifan changed the family routines so greatly. The two-person family is filled of party, movie, afternoon tea, and friends. The three-person family is more of staying at home, or family gathering. It is kid-centric. I feel I am far away from this city – whether I live in Shanghai or other small town does not matter that much for a family, as long as there is kindergarten, and parks.

New Expressways

Yesterday, we drove back from Hangzhou. The misleading signs (“To Shanghai”) led the cars to a new expressway, named S13 练杭高速 near Hangzhou. It turned out it connects with S12 (申嘉湖高速), and S32 in Shanghai. There are basically no traffic on the newly built expressway. I was always amazed by the newly addition of infrastructure in the Shanghai/Hangzhou area. I often run into roads that leads to sometimes seems “nowhere”.

Xinyang Market

The third day of the new year, Wendy and I went to the Xinyang Market under the Science and Technology Museum. It is the closest replica of once famous Xiangyang Market. We bought some cloths, and shoes for the kid – a fresh new year.

The Art of Travel

The new year also started with some reading. I started to re-read Alain De Botton’s The Art of Travel, the book I desperately fell in love in 2005. I appreciate the sensation it helped readers to build in themselves in daily life. Isn’t it pleasant to start a new year with some good books?

Again, Happy New Year! I am happy to have enjoyed the first 1% of the near year (or about 1/3 of the new week).

First Day of 2011 in Hangzhou

I am at Farmer’s Paradise at north of Hangzhou with several of Wendy’s friends. The first day of 2011 is very pleasant, very different from the first few days of 2010, when Yifan got cold and it was completely a mess for the family. I sent SMS greetings to my close friends, and received many. New Year is a good excuse to connect with long lost friends, and say hi. That is social stuff (the reason the Poke feature was successful).

The Farmer’s Paradise is an interesting place. In some sense, it is even comparable to our experience in Disneyland in Hong Kong – the merry-go-around, and the facilities are the same (well, I mean that Hong Kong Disneyland was disappointing, and didn’t deliver much more than a normal amusement park. The show at 2:00 PM successfully engaged people to play games in the New Year. Pretty decent work.

Very relaxed and energetic after the New Year arrives. Shall I celebrate new month every 1st day to feel that type of refreshment?

Wendy, Yifan and I will stay in the Farmer’s Paradise hotel for one night, and head back to Shanghai tomorrow before noon. Good choice to come, and good choice to bring Yifan with us too.

Happy New Year, 2011

Happy New Year!

Days pass our lives quickly. When people got busier and busier, days pass even faster. The last day of 2009 was still vividly in my memory, when the bell of the year 2011 rings.

I read through all the posts I wrote in the year of 2010. It was a long year. The beginning of the year was not a good one – my ankle was broken so I could not walk, and Yifan’s forehead was hurt. The crazy Internet control in the winter of 2010 was depressing. That was not a very good start. I have my best hope for the year of 2011, and I believe the year of 2011 will be a very good and exciting year.

Here are a list of posts I wrote in the whole year of 2010.

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

June 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

24 Hours in Flickr – Part II

This is the 24 Hours in Flickr for my May 5, 2007.

9:34 Waking Up

9:34 Waking Up, originally uploaded by jianshuo.

In the morning, 9:34 AM Bejiing Time (GMT +8), I wake up.

This is the typical time I wake up on weekend. I agree with some kind of imagination that there should be 25 hours a day – because everyday, I want to go to bed one hour later than yesterday, and wake up 1 hour later.

This is the big IKEA clock I have in my living room. The light reflection is from the direction of the garden.

09:33 Books I Like

Books I like, originally uploaded by jianshuo.

In the early morning (well, not so early, it was 9:30 AM already), I took the first photo of my 24 hour in Flickr. These are the books I like most – most of the books (the 7 on the right) was written by Alan de Botton. The result was by Lin Yutang, and others.

09:38 Soap

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This is the soap. I only have very few left. Need to go to the super market to buy a new one.

09:43 Red Leaf Trees

The red leaf trees in my garden – I know the Chinese name 红枫 but don’t know how to tell it in English. This is not a sunny day – why every weekend in Shanghai has to be a cloudy or froggy day?

09:43 New SMS on Wendy’s Mobile

New SMS arrives as early as 9:43 AM on Wendy’s mobile, and waken her up.

09:44 Clock #2

This is the old clock I bought 8 years ago, when I just graduated. The clock still works well. Time flys.

24 Hours of Flickr

I decided to join the 24 Hours of Flickr on May 5, 2007. It is an intersting program – to record a typical day (Saturday) in my life, and join thousands of others around the globe to understand how life differs in each city and each country.

There are several reasons I find it interseting.

1. To record the daily life, maybe the details of a single day is better than many days without details.

2. It is just like a precious record of a day that can be fully preserved and will be played back in the days to come. I can imagine how I feel when I check it after 10 years to see what the life looks like.

3. I always like the idea of justin.tv. I cannot do that (for obvious privacy and commerical confidentiality reason), and don’t have the cool equipment, but to use picture to record one day is good.

4. It is interesting to see other’s day also.

This is my plan:

I hope I can bring a camera with me at all time, and when I am awake, I will try to take a picture once every 10 minutes – one picture and only one. That means I have 6 picture per hour, or 60 – 100 pictures for that day, depending on how late I go to bed.

Then I will submit the picture to Flickr, so you can see it.

Let’s have fun.

Last Day of Holiday

This is the last day of the three day holiday. When life is wired with Internet (or wirelessly wired with Internet), there is not a big different between working and non-working days. I am still with the yy.kijiji.cn site, and the site is still running as normal days.

5G Shanghai

This afternoon, I went to 5G Shanghai, a forum to discuss about Internet, new technology, and new economy. It is more from a journalist’s’ view to comment on the current events. Typically, there are around 10 people there.

5G is the address of the headquarter of Donews.com, the China’s leading IT journalist community. 5G means room G on the 5th floor. There is a large IT journalist and industry experts gathering in the room on the night of every Friday. It lasted for years.

Almost one year ago, Henry Hwa, Mingliang, and I became the organizer of the 5G Shanghai. If anyone is interested in the event, just feel free to join.

Location: 641 Cafe, 2nd Floor of Zhong qu Plaza, 227 Huang North Road, Shanghai

黄陂北路227号2F中区广场二楼641咖啡厅

Time: 2:00 – 5:00 PM, every Saturday

Just mention that you came from my blog is OK.

This gather is special, since last Saturday was a working day.

Shanghai is No Longer the Shanghai Years Ago

One typical indicator is IKEA. I wrote about IKEA many years ago (and was even quoted as an IKEA fans in Asia on Wired magazine). At that time, IKEA was small. Now IKEA is huge, and they are opening their second store in Pudong new my home. The store in Xujiahui is now full of cars. Their once-seemed-empty garage now is full. It seems their 1000+ car capacity is still too small for people in Shanghai. Yesterday, we drove their only to find out there is no parking lot.

IKEA is not long the IKEA years ago, not to mention real estate. Recently I took some personal time to check out cheap accommodation for my team members near Xujiahui, only to be surprised by how expensive the rent is.

Near Xujiahui, 3000 RMB per month seems to the most basic standard of living.

The Last Day of Vacation

Feb 4 is the last day of the 7-day long Spring Festival vacation. Tomorrow, all the business will resume. It is nice to have a pause and a lot of thoughts become clearer than before. As a book put it, the natural is full of working – and rest. The Sun, the moon, the four seasons and the tide of sea – there are almost no single object that keeps running but never pause. So to take a vacation meets the rule of the nature.

Today, I sent my car (Goudaner) for maintainance. Everything went on well, until at last, the careless driver drove the car to the washing room, but failed to brake. My poor car hit the wall and the head was crashed. How painful it will be if the car has a life. (Who told me, cars with a nick name lasts longer than those without a nick name?) I felt the pain. The FIAT service center promised to replace everything for free and lent me another white Palio Weekend until my car was fixed. OK. That is the best they can do and I can imagine. Of cause they also waived the fee for the maintaince. Well. Tomorrow, we will drive a different car. Although it is almost the same model as my Goudaner, I won’t call it with the nickname I have for my lovely car. This March 15th will be its second year birthday. Poor thing.

Overseas Chinese Get Back to Home

I never travel before the Chinese New Year on International (Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau) flight.

:-) International (Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau) is the standard term to discribe the type of flights in China. Although flight from Hong Kong is not international flight, passengers follow the same procedures as International flight. That is the reason it is quoted that way.

Every Spring Festival, transportation within China is a big problem, but I never imagine that international (T/H/M) flights are the same.

Besides me are two gentleman from Indonisia. They are going back home at a small village in Taijin. The flight was fully packed with people. Many of them bring children with them.

Then I realized how important Hong Kong plays a role as the connection between China and the world. Many passengers fly to Hong Kong first, and then transit to Beijing, Guangzhou or Shanghai. Hong Kong obviously have more connection to other Asia countries than any mainland airport does.

Taiwan and Mainland China

There is still no direct flight from Taiwan and any mainland city till now. If people want to go to Shanghai from Taipei, he/she needs to wake up very early, take flight to Hong Kong, transit there to Shanghai. It takes about 5 hours or more. It is the same for peopel to go to Taipei (if he/she luckily got the permit after a very lengthy procedure).

It is very inconvinient, especially at the Spring Festival. Some data show there are more than one million people from Taiwan are working or living in Shanghai (the official number is much smaller). It is almost impossible for people to get back to Taiwan for Spring Festival via Hong Kong.

This year, as the last few years, direct flights are provided between major cities and Taipei. As I know, there are Beijing – Taipei, Shanghai – Taipei, and Xiamen – Taipei flights. The ticket is around 4000 RMB.

At Pudong Airport, I saw many signs for the flight. This is one example:

shanghai-direct.flight-red.jpg

They have special lanes at security check for passengers at the direct flight, and there were intensive media coverage.

Vacation Ends

I feel embarrased for paused my English blog for three days. It was the longest pause in the recent year. Part of the reason is because of the May holiday, which was from May 1 to May 7, the other reason is the launch of my Chinese version of my blog.

When I just started my blog, English blogs get much more attention than Chinese one. Now, the situation seems to be different than two years ago. I wrote 4 articles, and all of them stayed in the portal of Donews (Alexa rank around 1400) and 365key (a Chinese version of Del.icio.us) for one week. The traffic to my Chinese blog raised from almost zero to 2000 page view everyday. Although it is still a small portion of my total traffic, it is quite surprising to me.

To maintain two blogs are not easy, but let me try it. The rule is simple: English one will continue to be the best first hand information on Shanghai – from the view point of daily life, and Chinese blog will focus on Internet technology and the venture I am taking – Kijiji.

I will keep the two blog balanced, with a little bit more focus on the English one – the one I have committed my last two and half years of my life.

P.S. Congratulations to the marriage of Hong-Wei, my former manager in Microsoft, and Grace, my good friend. Their wedding ceremony is so wonderful.

P.S. Shanghai holds the world champainships of Table-Tennis during the May holiday, but it didn’t affect my life in any way – I didn’t see a report on it (maybe because I am off town) from newspaper or TV, and I didn’t see any traffic from it.

Long Vacation Ends

End of Vacation

October 7 is not as pleasant as October 1 for me. It is the last day of the long vacation. I finally spent all my seven days luxuriously and tomorrow (Friday) is the first working day after the national holiday. As the cost of withdrawing my vacation deposit in advance, I have to work on the following two-day weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

I didn’t go out of Shanghai this time. I remember in the year 2002, we went to Daocheng. I just started my blog and I recorded the trip in my Daocheng category. It is one of the most interesting travel experiences I have. The next year, the year of 2003, Wendy and I got married we spent the seven days with my family who gathered in Shanghai. This year, I am happy that my family came to Shanghai so I can stay with them. I also worked a lot for many days. It is very exciting though.

Dark City is Better City to Me

Just now, I drove back from the downtown. It was already approaching the mid-night. The lights of all buildings were turned off. There are some seldom light windows on some buildings I learnt that all the scenery lighting system started to work at 6:30 PM till 11:00 PM. I happened to drove along the Bund around 6:20 PM today. The Bund was completely dark – even darker than the nights of the energy crisis, since the road lights were not lit yet.

At around 0:00 AM, when I was driving fast on the Nanpu Bridge, the city is completely dark. I could hardly find the Oriental Pearl and the Jin Mao Building, partly because I was driving so I cannot look for it in the dark night, partly because all the lights were turned off except the twinkle one on the top, so aircrafts do not hit it. The other buildings, near or far, big or small, tall or short, were all dark with shapes that could barely be recognized.

I love this face of the city. When all the colors that lights project on the buildings/towers/squares.. (no matter how you call them) fade out, the city become a better place for people. It is just like the small place I live when I grew up. The moon and stars come out, while they were completely covered by the light on the ground at other times. This appears more nature, more attractive to me than the modern city of Shanghai.

Drive Safely

On the Nanpu Bridge, I could drive at 80 km/hour. The speed limit is 60 km/hour, but other cars passed beside me one by one fast. There are not many cars on the road and it seems safe to driver faster and faster, until something really bad happens. So I always tell me self: the most serious traffic accidents always happen at night.

I am a very skillful driver now. I was very anxious when I changed my lane on the Nanpu Bridge at the begining. Now, I don’t worry about it any more. I am no longer an intern driver – according to my driver’s license. I have to renew the license since it is already one year. I don’t know where to go yet, but I believe I can find out later on some website.

Last Day of 2003

It is the last day of 2003. After 6:00 PM, I went out to dinner at Gino at the Grand Gateway. Nice soup and bread.

shanghai-dishes.soup-gino.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai-pot-gino.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Then we took metro to Hua Hai Road, hoping to see some special activities at the new year’s eve. Many buildings are decorated with lights. Here is the Rui An Tower.

shanghai-rui.an.tower-2004.eve.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai-shining.tower-huaihai.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai-x.mas.balls-huaihai.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Summary of the Year of 2003

The year of 2003 is passing by.

Personal

In this year, I got married, held the big fat wedding ceremony. I didn’t have any long trip (like Daocheng of last year), but I paid short trips to nearby areas. It sounds crazy to cycle to Taihu, Chongming, Tongli, and Pudong Airport. I also visited some unuasual places like seashore, 30N 119E. There are still some Starbucks stores I didn’t visit this year yet. Maybe next year…

I learnt to drive and got my driver’s license this year. I had good time to drive in this large city.

Domestic

This year is a bad year for China. SARS, fire, the taiwan’s election and the blowout of natural gas… all claimed many people’s life.

screen-blow.out-news.jpg

Image courtesy of Xinhua via Sina.com

International

The year of 2003 is also a bad year internationally. The Iraq war, mad cows, the Iran earthquake… bad news after bad news.

screen-iran.earth.quake-news.jpg

Image courtesy of MSNBC.com

2003 is a year of change…. Isaac’s post confirmed that widely spread saying “2003 is a bad year”. I hope the new start of 2004 will bring more good news to us.

Holiday Schedule of 2004

The holiday schedule is released early for the whole year of 2004. According to the schedule, there are three 3-day holidays plus a new year’s day, making the national wide holiday 10 days. After shifting with nearby weekends, there will be three long holidays – 7 days for each plus a New Year’s Day.

New Year’s Day

Jan 1, 2004 is a Thursday. Take one day off.

Spring Festival

Holiday starts from Jan 22, 2004 to Jan 28, 2004. Jan 22 is the Spring Festival. The official holidays are Jan 22, Jan 23 and Jan 24. They are Thursday, Friday and Saturday. By moving the weekend Jan 17, Jan 18 to Jan 26, Jan 27, and Jan 24 to Jan 28, the whole week is holiday, but I need to go work at Jan 17 and 18.

May Day

The May Day is simpler. The official holiday is May 1 (Sat), May 2 (Sun) and May 3 (Mon). As compensation for the holiday on weekends, May 4 (Tues), May 5 (Wed) will continue to be holiday. At last, by shifting the following weekends two days earlier, May 6 (Thru) and May 7 (Fri) become holiday but May 8 and May 9 are working days.

National Day

The schedule for National Day is something like May Day. It starts at Oct 1 (Fri) and ends at Oct 7 (Thru). The following weekends (Oct 9, Oct 10) are shifted to the previous week.

My Holidays

I recorded my previous holidays in this category: Top -> Life -> Holidays:

I hope I will keep recording the holidays of 2004.

Merry Christmas

screen-christmas.2003-logo.jpg Merry Christmas!!!!

I am not sure when I should post this entry, on December 24, the Christmas eve or December 25, the Christmas day. Anyway, I cannot hold to tomorrow so I’d like to post my greetings today. Merry Christmas everyone!

Photographer: Wendy Fan. Send this picture as your greeting card to your friends.

This is Christmas card that I am uisng for this year. Many people asked me about this picture. As some may know, the picture is taken by Wendy in Munich. I believe the shining toys in the shop perfectly reflect my mood at the holiday. Best wishes to my family, my friends, my workmates, my old classmates and of cause, my readers.

Merry Christmas!

At the Christmas of last year, I posted my seasonal greetings to my friends here. This year, the list is much longer. Here it goes.

I’d like to send my greetings to all my friends this year:

To my family memebers: to my parents and my brothers and sisters and sisters-in-laws and brothers-in-laws. Many of them in Luoyang, Fuzhou, Portland, Cleveland, Torronto, Tongchuan…

To the younger generations of the family: Ting, Yue, Hong, Yuan, Anna and Beibei.

To the people I know at work: Steven, Eric, Linda, Yayi, Kenny, Grace, Wendy, Eddy, Eddie, Run, XGAO, yq… (don’t let me list the whole address book)

To my classmates: Ruifeng, Xiaogong, Jia, Tao, Peng, Yu, Jie..

To my best friends growing up together: Xiangfeng, Lijie, Chen, Jinping…

To my friends online: cuanyu, christina,

To my knowledgable friends: Yizhong, Hao, Isaac,…..

To my friends met in Daocheng: caca, jingbo, laobing, yanlin, yehong…..

To my teachers and mentors: Tao, Mr. Kang, Prof. Ju,

To everyone I have every met but don’t know too much: Haoyuan, Qi….

To Flora, who really needs greetings and encouragement.

To all the readers of this blog: Carroll, Ginn, Xu, David, WilliamW, tutu…

To my Hong-Wei who is so important on my way to grow up.

To other great bloggers, Haily, leylop, dodo. I have a list of my favorite blog at my WWW/Blog directory

To those who helped a lot: Sebastian, Targ… There are so many.

Merry Chrismas to you all!

Unlike people in western countries, Christmas is not an official holiday in China. I still work full day today and tomorrow. However, Christmas has become an important holiday among young generations in Shanghai. The Christmas Trees and the gift exchange become the fashion.

I went to the Shanghai Film Art Center for the two new movie: Feng Xiao Gang’s Cell Phone and Taiwan’s Metro (or Sounds of Colors in English). Both are very good movies and I will recommend them to my friends.

Dongzhi – Winter Solstice

Today is Dongzhi – the Winter Solstice. My friend ACai mentioned the day on the BBS of my old classmates. I wasn’t aware of that till then.

It is a tradition in my hometown (Henan of Central China) to eat Chinese dumplings (Jiaozi) on this day. Children are told that if you don’t eat dumplings on that day, their ears will be frozen and drop down. Yes. All child believe in it. :-D I laughed when the folklore was mentioned on the BBS again.

Day time today is the shortest in the whole year and Sun is farthest south. I found very interesting explanation about relationship between this holiday and the belief of yin and yang:

This celebration can be traced to the Chinese belief in yin and yang, which represent balance and harmony in life. It is believed that the yin qualities of darkness and cold are at their most powerful at this time, but it is also the turning point, giving way to the light and warmth of yang. For this reason, the Dong Zhi Festival is a time for optimism.

Quoted from Hong Kong Tourism Board

According to this website, even the Yin Yang (or Tai-Chi) symbol comes are related to this special day.

Credit: Chinese Fortune Calendar

Read on in that article. I have to admire those who discovered this thousands of years ago. They are clever people.

National Holiday, 2003

National Holiday night is always the most crowded time in Shanghai. In 2001, I still remember the unbelievable night on Oct 1. At that night, Wendy and I went to the bund, but was only be able to reach the Shi Liu Pu port, which is still 1 km away from the bund, or Nanjing road. People were pushing each other. In the history before, the largest capacity in bund was 0.4 million, however, 1 million people gathered there. It was absolutely impossible to find a taxi or get onboard a bus. The metro was closed too. We walked all the way back to Xujiahui….

Today, however, when I went to the Huai Hai Rd. at 9:00 PM, it is not as crowded as before.

National Flag

The major difference for National Holiday this year is the popularity of national flag. Most of the stores are hanging national flag before their doors. This was not that popular the year before last year (I was not in Shanghai last National holiday).

shanghai-national.flag-crowd.jpg

&Copy; Jian Shuo Wang

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&Copy; Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai-ruian.tower-after.red.flag.jpg

&Copy; Jian Shuo Wang

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&Copy; Jian Shuo Wang

Transportation Problems in National Holiday

National Holiday from Oct 1 to Oct 7 is the first long vacation after SARS hit China in summer. Millions of people canceled their travel plan in May so it is inevitable that people will rush out these days.

In Shanghai, from Sept 30 to Oct 2, the intensive traffic control is applied. The Henan Middle Road. Station of Metro Line #2 and People Square Station, the conjunction station of Metro Line #1 and #2 will be closed to avoid traffic overload.

We originally plan to travel outside the city. But we were informed by the travel agency that all tickets for Oct 1, 2 and 3 to any possible destination were completely sold out. They suggested us to come to the ticket office before 8:30 AM next day to see if there is ticket for Oct 10 or later….