Received Gift from Media Temple

It seems to me that anything with the name or abbr. of MT is a very good thing. First, MovableType (MT), then Media Temple (MT).

I have been 7 year fan of MovableType, and I am still using it. Most importantly, I got the opportunity to meet with so many great people in Six Apart and setup a deep relationship with them eve since. Remember the big 5 year of blogging party at Six Apart office in San Francisco they held for me? I am so flattered to get the honor, and the legendary story of Mena and Ben is very inspirational for me.

Then, recently, as you know, I moved my hosting from to Media Temple (to be fair, is still a very good hosting company, despite the fact that they forced me to leave). The experience of the last few days was wonderful: fast server response, more functionality, very kind and helpful telephone support (they know their systems very well), and finally, I started to setup some personal connections with the company, not just a customer and a service provider.

Quickly after I posted about Media Temple, Danialla from Media Temple shot me an email and mentioned that she/he may send out some gift from Media Temple to me. So, one week later, I got my nice Fedex package yesterday, with a nice MT T-shirt, 4 stickers with all kinds of MT logos, and a badge-holder.

I quickly pull out some sticker and stick it to my keyboard.

It seems to me Media Temple is a good company. My 5 years in Microsoft services organization told me, any company in the service industry (I think hosting can also be in this area along with customer service center, or financial services) can easily make a customer extremely happy or extremely dissatisfied. Unlike out-of-box software or other product, customers just touches the product, in service industry, customers have the human interaction with the company, its service, and its people. This can be very emotional.

I hope I am a happy Media Temple customer in the next few years, and if possible, I may be very interested to visit the company if I have a chance to visit the LA area. The office of Six Apart has been my fixed scheduled place to visit for my trips to SFO, since I have great friends there to see. I hope so for Media Temple.

Fireworks and Yifan

Today is the Latten Festival – the festival for the family to get together and have Tangyuan together. Our office closes at 5:30 PM, so people has the extra 30 minutes to get back home to have a great dinner with their family.

Today is also the last chance, maybe, to fire some fireworks. I have kept our fireworks, and crackers to today, and we sent the beautiful fireworks to the sky to celebrate the finally end of the Spring Festival, and the arrival of the year of Ox.


The most amazing thing in China for many of my foreign friends is the experience of Chinese New Year. The fireworks of thousands of households in the new year eve is not weaker than a small scale war – imagine most of the families in the high-density residential area all go out and fire something big.

In Shanghai, the order of the fireworks is interesting. Although there is no strict rules about when you should fire some, here are the general rules.

There are three major events (all according to lunar calendar):

1. New Year Eve, that is on the last day of the last year. This is the tradition of fireworks across China. In most places, this is the time when most fireworks appear.

2. Welcoming the God of Fortune, which is the mid-night before the 5th day of the new year. This is pretty special in southern China, especially in Shanghai. The fireworks of that night is even much bigger than the New Year Eve. This seems strange to me and many other people in China, but this is the tradition in Shanghai. It seems there is only one God of Fortune, and he will only arrives to those who makes the biggest noise. At that night, the sound of fireworks started from 8:00 PM and never stops until passing mid-night.

3. Latten Festival, which is the 15th day of the New Year. This is typically the significant mark of end of the Spring Festival. Most people come back from their home town. For me, I observed significant increase in traffic this morning. I would assume more than 30% of cars on the road.


Yifan is only 20 months old, and he is obviously very afraid of the huge sound of the fireworks. At the very beginning, whenever there are some large sounds, he cries, and jumps into Wendy’s arm. At the New Year Eve, the little poor boy cried for several hours. It IS horrible to see the whole sky is lit up by fire, and the sounds are so loud that Yifan could not even hear what his mom says to him. After few days, he started to get used to the "terrible" sound, and even dare to look up from Wendy’s shoulder, and carefully examine what happened. He is much more calm than the starting of this Spring Festival. Yifan grows up with the arrival of the new year.

The Help of a To-Do-List

From the early of this month, I started to create a to-do-list for me. As an ENFP type of person, I hate any kind of to-do-list. The life is just a flow of passion, and my focus is where my passion is.

Recently, I discovered a page on zenhabits: How to actually execute your to-do-list. I think that is maybe the most helpful tips I ever had on this, and now my to-do-list is long and my completed tasks are longer. It is very good, and thanks Leo for sharing the great tips.

Car Towing Services in Shanghai

During the Spring Festival, my car broken down on the road. It is the first time I called a towing service in Shanghai. With the popularity of cars, the demand for towing services may increase. Let me share what I learn from the experience.

The Tow Company

There are only two major towing companies in Shanghai: Anchang 安畅 and Jiuyuan 救援

Anchange’s phone number is 021-56995995

(995 in Chinese sounds like “Save Me”)

Jiuyuan’s Phone number is 021-54471005

My personal experience told me that Anchang seems to be much better than Jiuyuan from the customer service they provide over phone.

Fee Structure

Both of them use the following fomular:

100 RMB initial fee, with 10 KM included.

5 RMB for every additional KM.

You need to pay for any toll fees occured.

Distance is calculated based on the location of your car and the destination.

The Towing Car

The towing car is pretty professional. It is that kind of big car that put your car on top of it, which means it is pretty safe for the car being towed (compared to those smaller towing car as seen in the cartoon movie Cars).

Look, Goudaner is being towed!

I hope you don’t need this information. :-)

P.S. My RSS is OK now

My RSS didn’t work since I moved here, and I have just fixed. Let me know if there is any more problems.

I know the user’s comment page is not ready yet. I will do it the next week.

I had my Wisdom Teeth Extracted

This afternoon, I went to a dentist my friends recommended, and had my right wisdom teeth extracted. It has some problem because of dental caries. It is very painful for me. These days, it started to affect my dining and sleeping. So I have to get it out.

I hesitate a lot before the operation, and it turned out to be painless – it is my first time to do anything with my teeth except daily brushing. Now, 3 hours after that, everything is OK. It is just as before the operation. Good. Now I have 31 teeth.

Preventional removal of Wisdom Teeth is not a very common practice in China yet (or to people like me). The dentist suggested to remove the other side, but I don’t want to do it before it causes any trouble. Your suggestions?

A Jungle without a Toilet

I thought and talked a lot about the moral problems in China, and how and why people don’t follow rules, and why many times, rightousness fails. Here are some sample articles I wrote about.

What pullzed me was, why certain things worked like this (breaking of rules) and why it is not like that…

Let me tell my you my ineresting experience during the Spring Festival in Shanghai. This actually helps me to understand the gap between China and US on the understanding of morality, and rules.

In the Middle of No Where

During the Spring Festival, I drove my car (Goudaner) to west-most part of Shanghai. The car broke down on the road exactly near the Xicen Check-point. It is a policeman guarded check-point on the state road G318, which is a major road of Shanghai, all cars leaving Shanghai must pass this check-point, giving the police an opportunity to stop anyone who they don’t want him/her to leave Shanghai.

Since the car is completely broken, and I cannot start it, or move it, I asked my friends to pick up my family (yes, Yifan is with them) members who where are wanted to go, and I waited myself for the towing car to come. That was about 3 hours’ waiting time.

There are long roads connecting to the check point, nothing else. There is almost nothing along the road. You only see many cars running like crazy from and to the check-point.

Need to Find a Toilet

After 1 hour, I just feel that I need to use a toilet. I cannot see one, so I asked the policeman at the check-point:

Me: Excuse me. Do you have a toilet here?

Policeman: No.

Me: Hmmm… Do you kwow where is the nearest toilet?

Policeman: Go down west. There is one 5 km away in a factory, but I think they closes during Spring Festival.

Me: Hmmm… Is there any other places?

Policeman: No.

He saw me stood there, hesitating about whether I should try my luck to go there – it may take 1 hour to get there and back by walk, he came up and asked: “Do you just want to piss?” I said yes. He looked at me as if I were from Mars, and then said: “How come there are stupid people like you in this world.”, and left.

Me, left alone with my car in the middle of nowhere, realized what he meant. He, and everyone else just piss in the jungle. Embarrassed, I did the same.

Rules without a Facility Support

When people ask the question, why you do not follow the rules. There are many different situations, and many different answers. Among them, one of the situation is, there is no facility to help people keep the rule. In the situation where there is no way to keep a pretty high standard of rules, the rule itself is in doubt – it is maybe the wrong thing to have that rule in the first place, or people must make sure others CAN find a way to follow the rule.

It reminds me of my trip to Tibet. The first thing the tour guide taught us on the bus when we left Chengdu was, how to piss in the wild area – when car stops, all the men running to the left side, and women to the right. Sounds silly, right? The same behavior of pissing to the ground is not only neccessary in rural areas like Tibet, it is also moral to do it, isn’t it?

Taking another example of following rules: traffic rules. When you are presented in a situation that all the pedstrain sign are always red, will you just stops there for ever, or you walk at red lights. In this situation, it is no longer a moral issue to break the rule “no walk under red lights”, because we are talking about different thing.

In current China, the deeper problems are, there are so many situations that you cannot survive without breaking rules. There are definitely chance to fix it but we don’t have the political system to support it yet. What is your choice? Just like the red bag thta you have to give to doctors, or many other ugly things.

Understand First, Then Fix

So, my point is, I want to describe the environment we are living in and communicate it with my friends in other countries. Many times, the judgement standard is completely different (try to talk to someone who don’t have a toilet facility about do not piss on the street), and even it is the same standard, if there is no facility to support it, we should just talk about how to solve the facility problem, instead of pointing fingures to the person: “You are wrong. How can you do that!”.

At the end, let me quote the story of my favorite movie this year: Slumdog Millionare. You see a young man with integrity, with honor, with struggle and with hope – Jamal. I love the movie so much because the director put a good person into a tragic environment. He cheats, he steals, he is not professional at work, but meanwhile. he is still a good man. By changing the angle of how we see the world and from who eyes, we understand the world better. I would love to thank the director of Slumdog Millionare. At least, it taught me to love the beggar children on the street – they also have their love and hope. They are who they are today because of the lack of a better environment, just like lack of a toilet in the jungle.

Daily Cost of a Tourist in Shanghai

Today, I am going to reply this reader’s email about how much does it cost as a normal budget tourist in Shanghai. Here was the email:

Hi Jian Shuo,

I can’t find anything on your blog about how much per day it would cost to enjoy a holiday on various budgets. Maybe you can only do it for Shanghai but it would be good to see how much to expect to pay per day when I am there in March/April this year. Obviously accommodation costs vary so that could be excluded (with a disclaimer). I am talking about food and travel fares and apporximate sightseeing costs in general. I was thinking about $40US per day would be more than enough for my low budget holiday expenses, again not including hostels and souvenirs.



Here was my answer:

Hi Luke,

Thanks for your trust to ask me the question. It is obviously a FAQ – how much I need to plan to tour in Shanghai. Let me try to help.

As a normal tourist, you want to visit some places in Shanghai in a budget fashion. Let’s just try to describe what a day should look like for you, starting from breakfast.


If breakfast is included in your hotel plan, there are two possibility. Possibility #1: you stay in a five star hotel, like Shangri-la, or JW Marriott Shanghai… If it is the case, I don’t see any reason you continue reading this article. :-) Possibility #2: your hotel provide very cheap breakfast that they even don’t bother to charge, like a salt-egg plus some bread.

So, in most cases, let me assume that you need to buy yourself something to eat in the morning. You still have some options.

My suggestion for really curious visitor is to go to those eatery streets near where you stay, and eat as locals do. There are many places where vendors gather in the morning to sell breakfast – they normally share the same store-front with small local shops. When the shops open at around 10:00 AM, all the breakfast stores disappear. For example, my daily routine starts from the corner Tianping Road 天平路 and Guangyuan Road 广元路. If you are lucky enough to find them, 10 RMB (or 1.5 USD) can get you some nice delicious local food. You can buy some dupplings (Baozi 包子), or Toufu Milk (Duojiang 豆浆). You need to eat on the go – there is no place for you to sit down.

If you are not that adventous, find a local McDonald’s and the price for morning is also around 10-15 RMB. You know what you get. I would recommend KFC – the provide some varity from that you find in other countries in China.

In conclusion, budget 15 RMB for breakfast for budget travel. I bet that you can even save some money if you try.


Then after you are full, and you start your day by looking at your first place to visit. If you want to save money, take bus. They are 2 RMB in average if your destination is in Shanghai (I mean within the outting ring – a very large area). If you want to go to nearby “cities”, or “town”, that is another story. Or you can take Metro – one way cost you 6 RMB at most if you do not go to places like Songjiang or Minhang, or even between them… Most of the attraction of Shanghai is along Metro: The Bund? Pearl Tower? Xintiandi? Xujiahui? Where do you want to go?

So, I would say 20 RMB per day for transportation is enough for you, if you want to explore the city of Shanghai, not surrounding areas – that means you can take 10 times of bus, or maybe 5-6 metro ride. (To tell you a secret, I walked at midnight from the north-east of Shanghai to southwest, it only took me 4 hours. You get the idea?


Tickets are the major part of your day. Let me give you some example. To get to the top of Jinmao Tower, you need to pay 80 RMB. The higher WFC (Shanghai World Financial Center) cost you 150 RMB. Pearl Tower is 50 RMB. Most of the museums cost you 50 RMB (20 RMB is considered cheap).

So, let’s say, you want to visit two places in the morning, two in the afternoon, prepare 200 RMB in your pocket.

Lunch and Dinner

For lunch and dinner, you can try different styles. From the cheapest, visit any local noodle shop, and you can get a bowl of noodle at around 10 RMB. Be alerted that it is no way to the same service standard or cleaness standard of US. If you are adventous and want to try, please. That is a lot of fun.

If you want to be safe, and just want to have a cheap but nice lunch, visit the fast food stores. You already know McDonald’s, KFC, and almost all major brands in U.S (or international). They are likely to have an outlet in Shanghai. Or you visit the newer comers. My favorite is Ajisen Ramen. For all these fast food restaurants, their price is between 20-30 RMB.

There are of cause some decent restaurants that can easily charge you 150 RMB per lunch or 300 RMB per dinner (their entry level menu), but I think it is out of the scope of this article.

So, please 50 RMB for your lunch and dinner.

Anything else?

I don’t see any additional cost. You can always spend if you want, but besides food, and sometimes tickets, you don’t need to really pay too much.


A normal tour, as I described, cost you 265 RMB. For many people, I would just suggest you to take your time to walk on the Shanghai street. That is amazing, more engaging, and, free. I would not be surprised if a tourist tell me that he/she only spend 40 RMB per day for staying in Shanghai (excluding hotel). Believe me, the 40 RMB trip may be more rewarding than more expensive one.

Hope this helps, and I will publish my reply to my blog tonight.

Shoe Thowing

I got an email from a reader of mine who wanted me to post this message from him:

Dear China,

We wish to express American solidarity with China in sharing our disgust at the Cambridge shoe incident involving Premier Wen Jiabao.

We in the United States know how it feels to have a shoe thrown at your leadership, if you recall the Iraq incident involving our Former U.S. President George Bush.

Regardless of the messages intended by such actions, they are disrespectful and can convey rude posturing toward that nation.

So, as a single voice trying to convey the thoughts of millions in the Americas, I say that in the least we know how it makes you feel.

Hang in there, China. All our love and prayers!

– America.

Only after that did I became aware of the Cambridge Show Throwing incident. Then I checked Chinese news site, and video sharing site. The news is the top headline in Sina, and was mentioned by the CCTV News at 7:00 – 7:30 PM, according to the recorded video.

Hmm… It is not a big deal. I haven’t formed any oppinion yet. Just publish the message as my reader wished to first.

Hello! Hello! I am Back

If you are a daily reader of my blog and you are the traditional reader (not using a RSS reader, like Google Reader), you may noticed short outage of Wangjianshuo’s blog.

Sorry for that. As I explained in my previous post, bluehost kicked me out of their server room (due to performance issue of my blog), and I have to look for another host.

Although I am not happy about it, it forced me to take the chance to move everything I have to a new host provider, Media Temple. I am still at the sweet moon time with this new hosting, and everything here is wonderful. Please give me feedback about how it feels: the site getter faster, slower, or is there any outage in the next few weeks.

Whenever hosting issue happens, I just feel I am like a young person renting someone’s house. There are always reasons for me to move, no matter it is because of I cannot bear the environment, or the landlord feels I scratched his wall. Anyway, at any time, I just need to accept it, pack everything I have, use a transportation service to move all my boxes to another place, unpack all the box, and spend quite some time to set everything up (bookshelf, flower, and bed….)

Finally, I am back. I cannot bear the time without blogging. My dear readers, I am back! Wow!

Short Pause of Service of Bluehost

Bluehost is a pretty nice host provider. I am very happy with the service they provided. Although they generated many CPU Exceeded Errors for my account before, but I believe it is because of the low efficiency of my own script, not completely their fault. Actually, the ability to provide this threshold is a very good service to help keep others who share the same server with me from any problems the code causes. So, I am still happy about it.

However, to my greatest surprise, they disabled my account these days, and I have to contact the abuse department of bluehost to have my site restored. This may take some time since it happens on Saturday their time. Maybe I need to wait until their Monday to talk to someone. I just wrote an email to explain what happened.

Meanwhile, I just tried to transfer my files to my backup host, – pretty bad service, but a little bit better than nothing.

I am sorry that comment you post during these two days are not recorded, and have problems.

If you want me to compare ipower and bluehost, I think there is no any reason to use ipowerweb.

Hope my site gets back as soon as possible.

MediaTemple is Great!

Livid used Media Temple long time ago (two years ago I think), and when I try to find a new hosting company after bluehost, I started to think about MediaTemple.

The several hour of experience I had with MediaTemple was great. I once thought bluehost was the best, because it offered everything I need, but I just find out MediaTemple has everything bluehost had, and provided much more.

Even more surprising thing for me was, I made phone calls to MediaTemple to ask two questions. They answered the phone several rings later (as quick as bluehost), and the person who got my phone, Revon, knows exactly what I was talking about, and gave me the solution immediately. I even got an email like this after the conversation. This is completely out of my expectation. This is really great customer service, combined with really cool technology. I hope posting the email itself should be OK since it is a complement to MediaTemple, and I will be OK to pull it off, if for any reason MediaTemple don’t want their communication with customers being posted.

Jian Shuo,
Thank you for the phone call.  Here is a brief summary of our conversation:
Your call this morning was due to not being able to connect to myqsl via SSH. You also had a question on how to view your domain before propagation. To login to mysql while using SSH you will want to use this format.
mysql -u -h -p
During our phone conversation you realized you were missing the -h and that fixed your issue. With regard to viewing your domain prior to making a DNS change you will want to use your access domain. In using you access domain it will look like this
I hope this helped you out and I’ll definitely answer any other questions you may have. Just let us know!
Best Regards,
Media Temple Customer Support
Statement of Support:
User Forums:
<v> 877-578-4000
<f> 310-564-2007
During the course of support you may respond or update this request in the AccountCenter at the following URL:
Please note, this email is a one-way notification that your support request has been updated. All communication with the support staff is handled directly online through the AccountCenter web interface. Should a new unrelated support issue occur during the progress of this request, please open a new separate request inside the AccountCenter.

This package is 20 USD per month, three times of bluehost, but it surely provided the value.