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


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.

Books I Like

DSC_0015, 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 rest was by Lin Yutang, and others.

I Just Paid for my Second Year of Flickr

I just paid 24.95 USD for the second year of my Flickr Pro Account.

Flickr is a nice service. I am a loyal user. I love Flickr, and willing to sponsor them for their wonderful service.

Flickr is a good “free+premium” or premium service, isn’t it?

P.S. This is the typical way we navigate (at lease my navigation on) the web.

I want to check my 24 Hours on Flickr photos, saw the notice – 6 days to renew my account notice. Then reviewed the limitation of the free account, decided to renew, and then paid via PayPal. After that, I even wrote a blog (this entry) about the change. When I finish everything, I almost (just almost) forgot what I originally wanted to do – to check my flickr photos…

This is a very typical way we use the web – do a lot of things randomly…

Faster Bullet Trains in China

I am too slow to react to this news. The 6th national wide train speed increase has been completed. Since I didn’t try the new train, it still didn’t impact my life yet. (The basic rule in this blog is to write about ‘events in Shanghai that affects my life and others. I tend to write only on something that makes an impact to me).

I know there must be some very good side about this speed-up. I will talk about it after I take the train. I just want to start the discussion about how it may change the landscape of city distribution in China.

Luoyang v.s. Zhengzhou

I remember when I was in university, I took train #1658 from Shanghai to Luoyang.

According to the old schedule, it took about 16 hours (16:32 – 08:14+1) to arrive in Zhengzhou, and about 20 (16:32 – 10:17+1) hours to arrive in Luoyang.

After the D-series train appears, the D82/D83 train leave Shanghai at 15:30 and arrives in Zhengzhou at 21:45. The same 998 km trip only costs 6 hour and 15 minutes – about 1/3 of the original time.

The bad thing, though, is the train to Luoyang is the same – or even slower. The gap between Zhengzhou and Luoyang jumped from 2 hour to almost 10 hours.

What does it mean to the second level city – Luoyang? Does it mean all people in Luoyang and other smaller cities should all migrate to bigger cities like Zhengzhou? Anyway, Luoyang is not too small – a city of 6 million population. There are must be many “smaller” city like Luoyang got left far behind during this railway speed up.

Nanjing to Shanghai

A side note: My first trip to Nanjing in 1996 took me 13 hours – the train of 6 hours delayed. 6 hours in 1996 are still OK, compared to the 18 hours to Luoyang at that time (even at that time, Luoyang was 18 hours away, instead of 19). The current D train arrives in Nanjing in just 1 hour and 58 minutes.

High Speed Train or Maglev?

Running at 200 km/h to 250 km/h, the new train on the existing system seems reasonably good compared to the 430 km/h Maglev. What is the fate of the Hangzhou-Shanghai Maglev train? Will it relally start construction or not?


The D train made a bigger jump in ticket price. For some trains, speed went up by 50%, and price went up by 400% or higher.

Questions after Questions

There must be a lot of questions and impact of the high-speed train in China. What are the impacts? How it further transforms China? There are many questions to be answered. Anyway, the trains have been running on the rail for some time, and it takes longer for people to really get ready to use these high-speed trains and see the impact it does to normal people’s life, or the future of cities in China.

Checking-in Luggage for the Train?

After my previous post about train, JC asked the following question:

Hi Jian Shuo,

I love train travel, specially after reading your blog about Z train report from Beijing to Shanghai. I did train travel in Europe for my honeymoon back in 1999: Leaving from flight SFO to Paris, then took train for the rest of the trip. Paris->Milan->Lausanne->Rome->Barcelona->Paris, then flew back to SFO. We will do again in 2009 to celebrate our 10 years anniversary.

My family and I are traveling to China(Shanghai and Beijing) for vacation. Arriving PVG from SFO(UA857) on May 11,2007, leaving from PEK for SFO(UA888) on May 26. Planning to take Z14 train from Shanghai to Beijing on May 18, can we check our luggage in Shanghai train station for the train we are taking? So, I don’t have to carry luggage and attending the youngsters(4 and 2 year old) at the same time while boarding the train? Is ‘Z’ train still holding up its standard? Thinking about doing day trip to Hangzhou via CHR train, any recommendation for transportation, place to visit and eat in Hangzhou?

We will be staying at service apartment ‘Regalia’ in Shanghai, any comment on this place?

Also, worth to mention that the adult air ticket is only $887.81, purchase on March 7 as multi-city SFO-PVG(outbound) and PEK-SFO(inbound), which is $200+ cheaper as to SFO-PVG-SFO!! Bought thru UAL website directly.



Posted by: JC on May 5, 2007 08:16 AM

This is a typical question: checking-in luggage for the train.

At Least, I Never Had the Experience to Check-in Luggage on Train

In my last 20 years of train experience, I never checked-in any luggage. The previous trains didn’t really provide the same kind of service like checking-in luggage. The best (and maybe the only solution) you have is to bring the luggage with you on to the train.

There ARE luggage service, it is completely separate from the passenger service. If you check-in your luggage, it is like the cargo service that you go to difference location than the railway station, and pay for posting the luggage (or cargo in their term). When the train arrives, you should go to another cargo pickup location – different that the passenger building, and wait for 4 hours (I heard) for the luggage to be cleared.

In short, in my past experience, there is no such a thing to check-in luggage when you travel with train in China. It is completely different from airline or U.S.

Again, this is just my previous experience. I don’t take long train trip as much as before, and I don’t have any luggage when I travel. The recent D-series, or Z-series train may offer something different.

So, bring the luggage with you. The recent Z and D trains are very clear and comfortable, and the entrances of the train is at the same ground level as the platform, so it is pretty easy for you to get on board with luggage. Also, there are plenty of time – 30 minutes – at the origination station, so take your time to take care of the luggage and the kids.

Safe traveling!

Buying Furniture in Shanghai

Dan shot me a SMS and asked me where did I buy the patio furniture. I believe it is because of this picture I posted yesterday

I replied with the brief location. Since this may be an interesting question for people relocating to Shanghai, let me share the answers about where I typically buy furniture in Shanghai.


For the patio furniture – the four chairs, the table, and the sun umbrella, I got it at Hola. Here is their website: http://www.hola.com.cn/. It is at the Hong Qiao Area. This is their location:

上海仙霞店 Xian Xia Store

88 Xian Xia West Road (near Hami Road)

* 2004.12.12开业

* 营业时间:10:00AM-10:00PM

* 卖场电话:021-5219-1919

* 接驳公车:88、121、91、739、54、徐华线、74、807、


* 地 址:上海长宁区仙霞西路88号(哈密路口)

百联西郊购物中心 地下二层

This is the other store that I didn’t visit yet.

上海莘松店 Xin Song Store

* 2005.12.19开业

* 营业时间:10:00AM-10:00PM

* 卖场电话:021-6493-8000

* 接驳公车:91、756、953、150、沪莘线、鲁莘线、松莘线、


* 地 址:上海市闵行区莘松路855号百饰得装饰名品城1楼东南侧



Besides Hola, IKEA is obviously another option. I have many articles on IKEA.

Here are some:

For relocators, IKEA is a good option, although if you know places like Hola, you may prefer to go there.


B&Q is mainly for construction materials. They also have furniture sections, featuring low price and low quality furniture. The one I visited most is the one near the Long Yang Road Metro Station.

Other Furniture Stores

Besides these standard stores, the stores I visited most are local, big stores. Here are some:

JSWB, or 吉盛伟邦.


English: http://www.jswb.com.cn/en/

They offer some “serious” furniture – I mean the unique, and more expensive goods.

You can find their store locations at this page.

Near ever JSWB, there are many others stores. They are not famous, but offers good selections. You can try any of them – I am not able to name some of them though.

Hosted a Big Party

May 3, I hosted my friends in my company at home – 14 persons including me and Wendy. The house was under stress test, and so does the small IKEA seat. Pretty tired, but happy.

Let me get to the kitchen to handle all the rest of the fruits, and drinks…

It is nice to have party and we should host it more often…

When you see the picture of the bananas, they are all gone.

The trees at night

The flowers

The settings of seats around table.

Guess what’s this?…

More AdSense Code on Site

4 years ago (Oct 22, 2003), I turned on Google AdSense on my blog. Oh! Time passes fast! I didn’t realize I have been using Google AdSense for almost 4 years, and that this product has been around for 4 years.

When I put my first AdSense unit to the page, I was worrying whether it hurt my users too much. I asked the question and answers (I, II) were pretty supportive. So I kept the Ad Unit on the right for the next four years.

Today, there is another change. Every month (April and May), I receive an email from Google that reads like this:

May 2007 Optimization Report

Dear Publisher,

Here is your optimization report for the month of May. After an automatic review of your sites, we think you might be able to improve your monetization using the following tips:

Placing more than one ad unit on a page often generates more revenue.

Many of your sites only contain one ad unit.

How can I fix this? Dismiss this tip.

We hope these tips are helpful, and encourage you to experiment using different layouts and formats–no two sites monetize the same way!


Google Adsense

It seems not a bad idea to follow their suggestion.

Added Google AdSense Component

So here is what I did. I added an additional AdSense component to the bottom of the page, on the right, just on the right of “Other articles in this category” section.

In addition to that, I added a Google AdSense Link Unit at the end of the “Other articles in this category” section. You can see the change on this page.

Your Feedback

As always, I don’t want to pursue the path to make it commercial – it is promising (as many wrote me email), but I don’t feel I will be happy doing that. My decision is still: keep it as a public service for visitors and expats in Shanghai. No money involved.

I just checked the result. It looks still fine to me – not that annoying, especially the Link Unit – I found the content is interesting even for me (I cannot click on it though).

So what do you feel? I need to collect you, my reader’s feedback, and then compare with the additional monetization opportunity it brings, then make a decision (maybe in one week) whether to keep it or to remove it.

Conditional Ad Unit?

I am still looking for the solution to display the ads conditionally. I want to completely remove the ads (both top and bottom) for newly created content (say, the latest one month), so my frequent visitors won’t see ads at all. If someone comes from a search engine, or the content is so interesting that someone browse the historical blogs, they can see ads there.

Anyone knows how to do it? Thanks.

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.

Counting Coins with Weight

Read from Mvm’s blog about a totally new way to count the number of coins:

Put the 0.50 RMB coins onto the electronic scale, and weigh them. Enther the price as 132 RMB/kg and it will display the price of the coins.

For 1 RMB coins, the price is 165 RMB/kg.

This is pretty interesting. That means coins also have a price – it is much more expensive than banana, orange, or walter melon.

SJTU – No 565 in the World Ranking

Stephen provided an interesting link of world university ranking. SJTU = Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranked 565 in the world or 28 in Asia.

Majority of top universities are in U.S. with few in UK, and most Asia universities ranked lower.

It takes sometime for these universities to catch up. What worries me is, there is no sign of progressing in ranking, or more importantly, in the change in the universities so far.