Stumble Upon Jack, Samson, and Terry

Wendy and I went to the Starbucks near our home (the nearest one which is 3 km away from our home) this afternoon. Then saw someone on the street – they turned out to be our friends Jack Gu, Samson and Terry.

Below: Jack Gu


Below: Samson Jian


Below: Terry


Small world – didn’t expect that we can meet on the street (in the middle of almost nowhere).

Accumulation of Friends

After the age of 30, I just realized I have accumulated many friends that we may stumble upon at any time, as it happened many times in the recent years. Microsoft, for example, easily gave me the opportunity to work with 400+ talented people and among them, I know 100+ very well in the last 7 years. That is a big wealth for anyone. So does university and middle school. I cannot imagine it but I do have many friends who I know since I was younger than 10 years old and we still hang around in Shanghai. Last time, when I was in Carroll’s tree trimming party, I found out she has some friends who kept coming to the part in the last 40 years. That was amazing. So I need to do a better job to get connected with old friends, and keep in touch for longer time (if life-time is too infeasible).

Meeting Place: Starbucks at Jinyan Road, Pudong

Meeting place is the introduction of the frequently visited places I have chosen to meet with my friends. I will describe the location and sometimes post photos of the area, so I can easily send out the link to my friends that they know how to find the place and what to expect. If it helps others for their meetup, that will be great.

Name of the meeting place: Starbucks Jinyan Road Store

Location: 219 Jinyan Road, Pudong, Shanghai

Map: see below:


Get There by Metro

  • Shanghai Science and Technology Museum station of Metro Line #2
  • Turn south and get to the back of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (the half circle white building in the satellite map above)
  • There is a pedestrian bridge over the Zhangjiabang River.  Go cross the river.
  • The Starbucks is just at the left hand of the bridge.

Get There by Taxi

  • Jinyan Road is at the intersection of Jinxiu Road

I don’t think there is anyway to get there by bus. The nearest bus stop maybe is the Pujian Road station of many bus lines.

Cake of Starbucks

Anyone know the name of this case? Pretty lovely – a very small cake. Wendy and I shared the small cake, and then, we looked at each other, and decided that we need to go back to the counter to get another one. It is very tasty. Highly recommend.

image image

The shape of the stores are very strange – slopes, leaning lines, and irregular windows.


This is the clouds of Pudong (previous photos).


Introduce Yourself

Inspired a post on Jim Boykin’s blog, I think it is a great idea to provide a place for my readers to introduce yourself.

For most bloggers, they don’t know who their readers are. I am luck, because many readers turned into frequent commenters, and during the years of conversation, I learnt more about them, such as where they come from, and I even met many of them personally.

So, here is the simple question:

Who are you? Would you please introduce yourself to the rest of the readers?

P.S. Today, the Olympic Torch arrived at the top of the Everest.

Photos of Shanghai in May, 2008 – Part II

I am based in Xujiahui, and I took many "landscape" photos of the area in the last few years. Here are some of the entries:

In those pictures, you can see the surrounding areas of Xujiahui (other district, including Pudong) changed a lot, but the core area of Xujiahui didn’t change too much in the last few years during my blogging.

I’d like to post the "repeated" photos of the area again, just to record what the great area is today, and hopefully some day later, people are able to take it as a "walk back machine" to see of Shanghai "at the beginning of 21th centaury".


Below: The white building with a arrow on the top is Shanghai Library.




Below: The library of Shanghai Jiaotong University.


The area of old house is always multi-million dollars in value, but the life in the houses still remains miserable – too many people in the same house.


The Boxue Building at the gate of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.


These are the high-raised building built in 1980s or early 1990s. At that time, as the very few skyscrapers of the city, people must be very excited about the heights of the residential area – a sign of development of Shanghai, isn’t it? But now, it looks ugly.


This is the east-ward of the Xujiahui.


Middle House of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.


New Upper House and Engineering Building of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.


Xujiahui – Metro city.


The Zhaojiangbang Road and the Tianyaoqiao Road.


Many cars. The Pacific Store is under renovation.


The Shanghai No. 6 Department Store.


Real Estate broker.



Photos of Shanghai in May, 2008

I always take a camera with me wherever I go. The benefit is, I can record my life with photos. Here are some photos I took in May this year, about what the real life is like in Shanghai. So you can get an idea about what the life in Shanghai really is.


View of Shanghai from where I work in Xujiahui. You may notice that the highest building in Shanghai – the World Financial Center.


The photo above was taken from the small open space in our office, and you can sit on the bench (below) to see the wonderful view.


Here is directly north of the building – I have posted it before (on top of another building, and in the same building)


Photos of the Last Weekend

When I drove on the Nanpu Bridge, Wendy took a picture of a Mini-copper on the other lane. What is interesting is the big box by the side of the driver – Mini Copper is really "Mimi".


On the right side of the Nanpu Bridge is the construction site of Shanghai Expo. It is not shown in the picture very clearly, but you see the nearest building under construction? There are many of them growing up under the same pace…


This is the scene near my home – the high-voltage electricity lines going along the street.


The other day, I went to the Nanjing road again (after many years) with my friends from America. Nanjing road didn’t change too much in the recent years.


More Accidents in 2008

Update May 6, 2008 Changed the title from 2008, a Year of Terror to current title – just to be more objective.

With the approach of Beijing Olympics, I just feel that it is becoming a year of terror. Many bad things happened one after another, and news report says every single one is not related to terrorism, but…

Bus Explosion

Today, a bus in Shanghai exploded during rush hours this morning, killing 3 persons, and injured 12. The news used a term “explosive fire”, instead of “explosion”, but I never heard of the newly-created term before. Why not just say “explosion”? Again, Sina’s report (Chinese with pictures).

Train Collision

I just recorded the train accident within one week, which killed 71 people.

EV71 Virus

Just like SARS, the recent EV71 virus broke out in Anhui, and spread to Zhejiang, and Henan… 5840 people were affected along, 20 died, and about 100 are still in danger.

The virus seems to be only infectable by children. As parent of a kid, I understand how serious everyone is taking about it. Yifan has been highly protected, and his visit to supermarket or other crowded area has been restricted.

What’s next? Will it be another SARS in China? I am deeply concerned. More Report

Suspecious Stuff Found in Beijing Metro

Beijing Metro was just paused for 20 minutes because of suspecious stuff found in the metro cart. I didn’t find meaningful follow up news about what is found (or not found) after that.

What happened? It is so rare, since before, bad news like this is not reported at all. Is it a sign of improvement of news report, or just a sign to tell me that it is bad enough than I thought? More about this news.

Airplane Conflict

Another news is, two aircraft almost collapsed with each other face to face in Dalian airport. One of the airplane on the runway already ready to depart was forced to pull down. Otherwise, there will be another air crash. Again, the reason is unknown yet.

A Year of Terror

Bad news after bad news these days, and it all happened around 100 days before Olympics. Will the year of 2008 be the year of terror? Terror means two things. It may mean the real threat from terrorism, but it may also mean that even the fact is there is no terrorism at all, but if people feel that way, that is also a big problem.

On April 9, 2003, I wrote Panic Under Control. SARS May Not. That was three weeks before the head of Health Department was sacked, and the media report just repeat that there is no SARS at all, and ask people not to worry, and do whatever they want to do, instead of staying at home… At that time, people are trying to control panic, but not SARS.

Today, it may be another situation. I don’t know whether all these are related to terrorism or not. I completely have no idea, just as I don’t know whether there is SARS or not before May holiday of 2003. But how about panic? I personally feel it – I am really concerned with public transportation, and cares about my child, and so do some of my friends. What is the best way to control panic? I may give it a sub-title like “There is no Terrorism. Then How about Panic?”.

Look at Places I have Ever Been

Here is a list of places I have ever been – those places I stayed long enough so I have more than 3 blog posts to talk about. In this list, I didn’t put it in a hierarchy so China may be listed in parallel with Chengdu… I just listed those places other than the places with a category under “In China”, and “United States”.

  1. Australia (15)
  2. Beijing (41)
  3. Boston (3)
  4. By Air (22)
  5. By Train (21)
  6. Chengdu (3)
  7. Chicago (2)
  8. Daocheng (28)
  9. Guangzhou (3)
  10. Hangzhou (7)
  11. Hong Kong (13)
  12. In China (7)
  13. Japan (6)
  14. Lijiang (7)
  15. Luoyang (12)
  16. Nanyang (6)
  17. New York (12)
  18. Qingdao (3)
  19. San Francisco (11)
  20. San Jose (33)
  21. Sanya (7)
  22. Seattle (13)
  23. United States (12)
  24. Washington D.C. (2)
  25. Xiamen (5)

I hope one day, I am able to add Paris, London, Tokyo onto the list.

Why I Listed the Places?

I just realized that I have been to many cities when I look back to my travel category. Look at how many cities I have been – most of the cities are in China. My readers often send me questions like: which city I should visit during my first visit to China? Wow. Such a big question that is not easy to answer. Let me summarize my favorite cities.

  1. Qingdao (3)
  2. Beijing (41)
  3. Daocheng (28)
  4. Hangzhou (7)
  5. Xiamen (5)

I posted many photos (over the period of 5 years!) and I hope the photos can be the first hand research resources for my readers who plan their first visit to China – There are many places in China (sure thing), but I have just been to this limited cities. Hope one day, I can plan for a trip just like Dan Washburn did in his around China tour. I guess I can double or triple my city list in two months.

Which category listed above do you love most?

Photos of Carrefour after Boycott

After boycotting Carrefour, this is the scene I took in Carrefour on May 3, 2008.

There are Less People, but Much Lesser than I Expected

This is the main "street" in the shopping mall.  It is rarely like this! It is almost empty in Shanghai standard. It is daily scene in many shopping malls in US, but in Shanghai, it is called empty.


This area is almost empty, with no customers. In the cooked food area, I counted, and found out the number of customers are less than the staff behind the food counter.



This is the checkout area. No lines at all.


Out of the 30 or so counters, almost half of them are closed with signs like this:


For the open counters, there are no lines.


This is the scene of the checkout counters – again, not many customers.


Well. What do you think?

Facts about the Photos

  1. The photos are taken in the Xinlicheng Stone of Carrefour, at the corner of South Yanggao Road, and Gaoqing Road.
  2. It was around 1:00 PM today on Saturday – typically the time has fewer customers than peak hours. The third day of May holiday may also contribute to the lack of customers.
  3. As any photo with intention, I took the photo to show how few people I saw, so I may wait for 10 or 20 seconds to take a photo with fewer people than random shot. Hopefully this is not too misleading. The point is, in normal days, it is even hard to take a photo similar to this scene.

In short, I want my readers to know that there are some errors in what is reflected in these photos from the facts. It does not seem THAT bad, although everyone should be safe to conclude that the business of this store is seriously impacted.

Contrast with Another Series of Photos

I don’t have photos of the same Carrefour before the boycott, but I do have some photos of another Carrefour in Beijing (near the Worker’s Stadium). The following photos were taken on January 28, 2006. The same Shanghai store is very like this, if not busier in normal days.

image  image  image

Slow Internet Connection in Early May

I am experiencing very slow Internet connection these days – even Google home page takes about 20 seconds or longer to open.

I guess many people are experiencing the same thing. Why?


I just realized that Windows Vista SP1 is releasing these days, and according to Microsoft, Windows Update on every Vista computer is busy downloading from Windows Update to get SP1.

I checked my system tray and realized that in the last night, it only downloaded 49% of the update, and the number does not change in a long time (10 minutes?)

If you also experience the slowness of Internet connection (not only in China, but also in many other countries), it may because of this. The last time, it was confirmed that the Windows XP SP2 patch was the major reason for slow Internet connection. Last time, it lasted for quite some time (few days).

Hope someone can calculate the money wasted on bandwidth because of Microsoft’s update.

Your Opinion about French Revolution

The recent events in France brought my interest to this country. Just as what I always believed, “seek first to understand before seek to be understood”, I started to read about the history of France, especially during the French Revolution around the year of 1793.

The chaos in the 10 years in France is so interesting to me since it seems very similar to me as the Culture Revolution in China in 1970s. In history book (my history score in middle-school is not so good), I remember all kinds of praises to the French Revolution, and concluded that it is such an important event in the history of man-kind, and the “revolution” is a great success. But my recent reading didn’t suggest that way.

So, my dear knowledgeable readers, what do you know about the French Revolution? What is your thoughts about the 10 years? I just feel that Chinese and French history are similar enough (for this period of time) for both side to join hands to do some reflection together.

P.S. I am reading piece of Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, and also found out something similar to China.

Generalization Plays the Trick

My reader wishing star quoted a poem about people’s confusing about the reaction of western world in this comment.

This morning, I received a poem entitled ” to the western world ” from a friend of mine. I have no idea where the poem was from and how many people have read this before. Anyway, I tried to translate it into English as the questions put forwarded in the poem reflect the real thinking of quite a lot of ordinary Chinese people.

Due to limited time, I was not able to polish my translation well enough. However, I tried my best to make it true to its original . I know some visitors to this blog have profound understanding of both English and Chinese languages. Your comments to the translation is welcome.

Here goes the poem in both Chinese and English:


During the opium war, when the opium smuggled from the Britain undermined our body and morality, turning us into ‘the Sick men of East Asia’, you called us yellow disaster;


When your propaganda portrayed us as “the next super power “, you said that we are a threat to all of you.


When we closed our door, you broke it through with your drugs.


When we embrace the free trade, you condemned us for “stealing’ your jobs.


When our territory was split into pieces, your armies marched in to share a spoon of soup,


When we tried to put together all the fragments back, you said we are impeding a free Tibet.


When we tried to pratice communism, you hated us because we are “communists”


When we tried to learn from Capitamlism, you hated us because we want to be capitalists.


When we possess 1.3 billion people, you said that we were destroying the earth.


When we tried to control the population, you said that we are violating human rights.


When we were struck by poverty, you thought we were dogs.


If we offer you with loans, then you will say we put your countries in debt.


When we establish our own industry, you said we are the cause to the pollution.


When we sell our products, you accused us of resulting in the global warming;


When we buy petroleum, you called that exploitation


But when you started a war because of oil, you called that liberation,


When we get lost in the chaos and confusion, you said we should rule the countory by law


When we tried to safegard the law and strike down the violence, you said we were violating human rights.


When we keep silence, you said we should be entitled to free speech.


When we utter our own voices, you said we were brainswashed or behaved too defensive


Why do you have such a bottomless hatred for us ? We asked.


No . We don’t hate you. You answered.


We don’t hate you either. But, do you really understand us ?



Of couse we do. You repied, You have AFP, CNN, BBC…..


What on earth do you want from us ?


Think clear before you make an answer …


Because all you have is limited chances


Enough. It’s hypocritical to say that we have the same world.


What we called for is one world, one deam and peace for all.


This blue planet should be big enough to hold us all.

At the first read, it seems pretty reasonable poem that it reflects the truth – the timing, the reason and the results seem all accurate. Then “What’s wrong with the western world?”

However, at second thoughts, you may found out the problem in the reasonsing there: generalization plays the trick.

I think, if you add just one term in front of “you”, the poem may reflect the truth better, and don’t cause too much problem. The term is:

Some of

Adding the term transform the poem to

When we possess 1.3 billion people, some of you said that we were destroying the earth.

When we tried to control the population, some of you said that we are violating human rights.

When we were struck by poverty, some of you thought we were dogs.

If we offer you with loans, then some ofyou will say we put your countries in debt.


To generalize what is happening in part of China as the whole China, or to generalize some of the many piont-of-views as the western world opinion can cause a big problem here. What I learnt was, be very careful to use the word of “China”, or “western world”, or “France” when we talk about somethi. Even if we have to use it to form a sentence, we need to understand by using the “big term”, it actually mean part of it.

That is the logic mistake I found out in the poem. It is just like the following one:

In a football game, when China wins, Chinese people are very sad;

when China loses, Chinese peole are very happy.

What’s wrong with this country?

To explain the confusing situation, we can better explain the same fact ths way:

In a football game between Henan and Shandong,

when Henan wins, people in Shandong is sad;

when Shandong loses, people in Henan is happy.

To describe “Henan” as “China” – the example of generalization – is root cause of the logic problem. However, it is very hard to find out this kind of mistake – the same mistake as the blind man claiming the elephant is a pole. That is also the reason in many debates, I found people are arguing whether China is rich or poor – a question that don’t have a good answer forever.