Zhiyong and People’s Congress

Zhiyong as a Representitive of People’s Congress

One symbolic case is, Zhiyong run for a seat in People’s Congress in Beijing. I opened my eyes so widely when I heard about it. “How can it be possible?” I asked.

Zhiyong is a practical idealist. He is so “naive” to believe that it MAY work. He then run for it (not many people even think about it), and since he is the first independant person to run for it, and did some work to help people to know who he is, not surprisingly, many people choose him, because he is the only person they know. His initial idea is to become a representitive of the People’s Congress of Haidian District of Beijing, and then run for Beijing and finally be able to run for the National People’s Congress, but his attempt just stopped in the Haidian district level, since the Beijing’s People’s Congress Representitives are elected by the representitives like Zhiyong at district level. It means, they need many people like Zhiyong to make it really work, but now, there are just one person who are really elected in that district. It is impossible for other “appointed” representitive to elect him or any other people elected representitive.

Regardless of the result, I think he is doing the right thing to push the limit by the first step. If it is proven to be a feasible way, that is the most stable and harmless way to change this society.

Framework that Does not Work

The people’s congress representitive mechanism is a good system by design, but in reality, that does not work as it is designed. Instead of designing another working system by theory, but does not work in reality, it is more practical to work on improving the current system. No matter how hard it is, it is still a feasible approach since the same problem will bother all societies.

Another lawyer YLFer was involved in creating the Constitution and foundamental laws of Cambodia. After years of hard work, the system itself was pretty much in shape – in theory, it should work perfectly. But when I asked him about whether he is confident about democracy in Cambodia, he said no. That is the difference between a reasonable law (documents) and the reality.

To design a better system is 1 billion times easier than implementing a working system.

In that sense, I am feel Zhiyong is on the right path.

My Practice

Unlike Zhiyong, my profession is not a lawyer, and to do my best as an entreprenure is the best thing I can do for my users, and for my employees, for my investors, and my family and this country. However, I did push hard to at certain stuff.

The thing I devote most is the residential area democratic practice. No matter how big the change of national wide system is, all the house owners of a residential area need to find a workable way (The Chinese way) to collectively make decisions on the collective property. That is the lacking part. Without a working system, procedures, and even meeting orders at residential area level, I cannot imagine at higher level it can work. That is consistent with what Zhiyong is doing.

Under the Legal Framework

This is part of a series article named The Significance of Xu Zhiyong

What Zhiyong Accomplished

I am not a dedicated investagive journalist (and I don’t have the skills), so I won’t bother to list the accomplishment of Zhi Yong and his Open Constitution Initiative. Let me just provide several links to public media so you can read and get some idea.

It is really rare that People’s Daily website published a sympathic article (quoting Global Times): Baby milk powder victims lose legal proxy

New York Times report on the issue

Arrest in China Rattles Backers of Legal Rights

Most of the work are related to the civil right of the disadvantaged groups in China.

The Nature of Xu Zhiyong’s Work

The principle under which Zhiyong and Gongmeng (The Open Consitution Initiative) operate is, to follow the current legal framework. This is very different approach from others, and the approach I believe is the most practical one.

In the current China, there are tension from many corners of this society. It is hard to generalize and over-simplify it to be the rich vs the poor, the employers vs employees, or the city vs villages. The real situation is much more complicated than that.

There are many people complaining (including myself sometimes), and some people want to do dramatic changes to the system inside or outside the system. What Xu Zhiyong did was very different from other approach. He insist that many problems can be solved at the CURRENT legal framework.

People’s Congress

One symbolic example is, Zhiyong run for a seat in People’s Congress in Beijing. I opened my eyes so widely when I heard about it. “How can it be possible?” I asked.

Read more at a seperate entry here: Zhiyong and People’s Congress

NGO as a Company

Another thing that Zhiyong did was to register his organization as a for-profit limited company. Well. This is the only practical way to hand it.

Read more about this at a seperate entry here: NGO as a Company in China.

Gypsum is a Life Changer

Exactly as Carroll predicted, the unexpected loss of mobility changed my life a lot.

How Loss of Mobility Changed my Life

Waking up in the morning, and facing the reality that I cannot happily go to work, I told Wendy: if you really want a vacation, go to a hospital and put gypsum around your foot (eventhough nothing happens to it), and you get the peace you are longing for for many years.

The loss of mobility is a great thing. It does not make a lot of things impossible, it just made it inconvinient. Getting a cup of water? Easy! But you have to stand up slowly with the support of the chair and jump there, or you need to call Wendy to help. That type of inconvinience highly reduced what I want to do, and left enough time for me to watch the scene outside my window, and peaceful thought flows.


In the book Stumble Upon Happiness, scientiest Daniel Gilbert found out that people who are blind, or cannot speak, or lose a leg are not neccessarily unhappier than normal people. We thought that to be able to walk is so important to our happiness, but actually, it is not.

Disabled people also enjoy the peace of mind, and thinking, and like myself today, blogging.

This morning, I started to really think aboug the matter of the reality that I have to sit down quietly for 4 weeks. Well. Need some basic planning.

The Significance of Xu Zhiyong

I am starting to write a series article around the case of Xu Zhiyong. As my typical reaction to many event, I don’t want to jump to something that just happened without gathering enough information. Basically, facts are the hardest part in China, and after gathering enough facts, I still need to sometime to think about it, before I form something. Now, several weeks past after Zhiyong was brought away by the policeman, I want to start to write something. The series of article is called the “Significance of Xu Zhiyong”. This is the first article.

My Friend Zhiyong

I met Zhiyong for the first time during the 2007 YLF Nanjing trip, although I have known him by name for quite some time. As most people know him, I was so impressed and inspired by his belief that China can be better. When most of the people stopped thinking about the future of China (as forbidden by the government), he still dreams about the future. We spent wonderful three days in Nanjing, and the longest talk happened in the bar near the Nanjing University. When most of the YLFer went to dance, Zhiyong, Nick Yu, and I sat around the table to discuss legal/moral/democratic processes of China for the whole night. I will talk about it later, but the short version is, I found I am inspired to run for a seat at Shanghai People’s Congress the next round, because in December 2003, running as an independent candidate, he won the only openly contested election for a seat in the Beijing People’s Congress. He said the law gives everyone the right to run for it, and why give it up?

My Favorite Photo of Zhiyong

Among many photo I took during that trip, below is the best I choose for Zhiyong. I even don’t remember whether I have sent it to Zhiyong afterwards.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang, December 1, 2007 at Nanjing Zhongshan Memorial

Right behind his shoulder is “civil right”! He was so born in the county named “Minquan”, which means “Civil right” in Chinese, in Henan. That is what he fights for in the last few years.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang at Nanjing Guest House

In the next few articles, I want to comment more about why the way Zhiyong did and the case of Zhiyong were so significant to the modern China.

Broke the Bone of my Foot

Interesting. I fell down at the edge of the road, and my right foot was hurt. I thought it was not a big deal but after visiting PLA 85 Hospital and did X-Ray exam, it turned out the fifth right small bone was broken – well, not a serious broken, just a leak at the end of the bone.

Anyway, it is a bone break, and the doctor put gypsum around my foot, and ask me to stay home without going anywhere, and don’t step out of the room. It makes 4 to 6 weeks to recover.

Well. Since it has to be that way, it has to be that way. I am not a patient. My middle school teacher joked: all patients are very patient. He is absolutely right. I am very patient now. There are long “vacation” waiting for me.

Anyway, I don’t expect to stay at home too long. I suspect that I will appear at office next Monday afternoon for the management meeting. I am going to get a 300 RMB wheelchair from Baixing.com, and Wendy has been kind enough to agree to send me to our office building. I never feel so happy about the fact that we choose a building with wheelchair access path. My type of work is OK with just a computer, but I would rather stay in the office surrounded with friends. Face to face connection is also much more productive than facing computer alone.

Yifan’s Reaction

My darling YIfan saw me jumped out of hospital with one leg. He was so amused that he laughed very happily. Then he kept repeatedly saying: “Daddy. Walk. Differently”. We asked him to tell us how daddy walks. He happily jump around…

The Road

Well. Since I have enough time to spend, I can start to write more blogs about the society, and write down a lot of thoughts, including the recent arrest of my friend Dr. Xu Zhiyong.

The reason I fell was, there is a small difference in height between the edge and the road – the bricks part and the dark asphalt part. According to the standard, these two should be exactly fit each other, as in every road in Shanghai.

What brought my attention was, the owner of the news stand where I fell told me, he saw at least tens of people falling here, and many are more serious then I was (I didn’t know I broken my bones, because I still cold walk). I am going to report it to related government agencies and media tomorrow to rise people’s awareness. But what I bitterly aware is, it won’t have any effect anyway, and I am generally laughed at to be naive in the current Chinese society. If I insist on improving the situation too much, as Xu Zhiyong did, I may cause a lot of trouble for myself.

Anyway, you may expect more blog entries in the next few days before I get back to work.

P.S. I didn’t blog too much since I don’t have Internet access in the last few days, and after I leave office, I don’t have Internet access. The Internet service didn’t work and we called China Telecom four times, but no one came although every time they promise to come to fix it.

The City of Tongchuan

I am in Tongchuan – I am flying back tomorrow morning.

Tongchuan is a typical city in west China: it is not a capital, and it is not very small – the second (at least from the order of vihecle code – Shaan B) largest city in Shaanxi – just like Luoyang in Henan.

It has too major issues.

A City When Resource is Used Up

Tongchuan developed several decade ago because of the coal storage. The coal fields are the major economic source of the city. A large portion of the city population still speaks Henan accent, because the huge labor needs from the miner factories.

Now, as quick as the raise of the city, the mine of the city is used up. Can you imagine what it means to this city? New coal storage was discovered in north Shaanxi – in Yanan, and Yulin area, and wealth quickly moved northwards, living Tongchuan on its dying-bed.

The Detour of G210

Tongchuan, as the character Chuan suggested, is the only valley to the north of the Shaanxi province. There are mountains after mountains everywhere, but Tongchuan provides a road to access north area. Everyday, hundreds of thousands of cars and bus, and trucks go through the city of Tongchuan, making it the busiest town along the road G210. When I returned to Tongchuan in 1990 for summer, I counted the number of cars on the road before where I lived: it is as busy as the rush hours of Nanpu bridge in Shanghai. The difference is, the road is busy 24 hours a day.

Today, the new expressway were completed, and the road runs on the top of the hills, not the valley. It is exactly the story of Cars. Just like the detour of route-66 made the small town abandoned, the city of Tongchuan faces the same fate. Yes. No one still needs to visit Tongchuan. People in Yan’an can drive 2-3 hours on the expressway to get to Xi’an, without being aware that they have passed Tongchuan.

The Fate of Many Cities in China

With the raise of many cities, like Shanghai or Yan’an in Shaanxi, or Shangqiu in Henan, many Chinese cities like Tongchuan and Luoyang lost their position. I have unique feeling to these two cities, and feel it is a pity that they have to go to the direction they are heading today.

BossTown Tonight

I heard the BossTown of Kai-Fu Lee will be on air tonight at CBN at 9:00. I was a small potato in that show – one of the three observers to ask questions.

Update 11:41

It turned out that they misspelled my name again. My name is 王建硕,not 王健硕.

I cannot receive CBN in Tonghucan (just Oriental Satellite TV), but I watched it at http://www.smgbb.cn.

P.S. When I am in Tongchuan (near Xi’an), I feel even greater culture shock than I am in Shanghai. I have to remind myself again, that Shanghai does not represent the whole China.

I am in Tongchuan (Near Xi’an) Today

I am flying to Xi’an via flight FM9203 on August 8, 2009, and will be back on Monday. Maybe cannot access Internet during my trip, but will update when I am back.

I lived in Tongchuan 铜川 from 1.5 years to 3 years old (just in the age of Yifan these days) with my uncle. I treat it as my second hometown. I am visiting my uncle there. He is in hospital, and I hope he will recover very soon.

My Passion for Humanity

This article actually echos to what I wrote more than one year ago on my Chinese blog The Tragedy of Humanity, and Love for the Guilty. If you can read Chinese, I’d suggest you to read it. My thought about the guilty and humanity never changed since then, and I don’t know how to translate many of the words in that article. Here are some additional thoughts about it.

Crime is like Infectious Disease

When someone was got by flu, and he/she infects others, we know that we need to cure the person instead of kill him/her, even though the disease spread out from this person to others. Why we know it is the disease that we need to fight against, not the person himself? Because we know we are human, and all human are vulnerable to diseases. Besides curing the patient, we need to go further to build the facility to reduce spread of diseases in public places, and educate people to wash hands often, and stay at home when infected.

However, when it comes to crime, and the guilty, we tend to believe it is the PERSON who conducted the bad deed that we need to get rid of. We hate people who kill others, or who cheat, and who started a war. But the most dangerous conclusion I heard of is, they are different from us. They are bad guy, and we are the good guy. After killing them or putting them into jail for their entire lives, we solved the problem. No. They are not different from us at all, since we share the same thing: humanity.

Besides love, there are negative, dangerous, and disastrous factors in the humanity, such as fear, greed, and hate. Everyone has that inside ourselves, but most of us are so lucky that the fate hasn’t played a trick with us and put it into a situation that triggered this bad nature of humanity. However, many people are not that lucky.

Hate, for example, is very infectious. When Tim beats Jack on the shoulder, hate rises in the heart of Jack – exactly as the virus spread out from Tim to Jack. Jack will naturally go mad, and fight back and hit Tim on the face. A higher degree of hate infects Tim. If Tim or Jack cannot find justice from the society (a court, or police), they tend to rise the level of the conflict, and eventually, if someone is really driven mad, he will kill the other person. That is the typical tragedy in this world.

In real situation, things are much more complicated than this. I hate thieves. I obviously support to punish the thieves according to law, but we need to go further to understand why it happens. How the thought of the thieves were infected by greediness (“I am convinced that stealing is the quickest, and easiest way to be rich), or fear (“I will starve if I don’t steal. No one in this world really care about me.”)? They are the patient. To put them into jail is just like to put a patient into hospital. They need to be cured, in a hard way.

This is the continued discussion of my last article: I am a Rich Person?. I hate all kinds of bad behavior: the mason who laughed at me and blackmail me to give him more money (just 50RMB) by being bad to me, or the security guard who never thought about what service means, and who is the owner of the property, and I hate the movers who cheat, increase price 5 times during the move, and scratch my table without a sorry. I hate those behaviors, but I also need to understand that they were infected by diseases, just as I was often infected by mental diseases like thinking I am the center of the universe. We need to fight against the spread of the disease, not the patients where are infected.

The guilty and ourselves are the same – with the same humanity. We are programmed inside that we may lose temper. That is the nature of the human kind. The tragedy drama kindly remind us that we can very easily be the bad guy in real life.

Never think that we will not conduct crime some day in this life. We don’t not because we are different from people who conduct the crime. It is just because we are lucky enough that we were not infected by extreme hate. If you ask any of the people who killed someone, do they believe they will do it before they were triggered by something? They do it because they feel hopeless, they feel so angry, and they don’t believe there is any other solution to solve the problem. We are very likely to behave the same way – it is just the nature of humanity. That is the reason we need to work hard to prevent people getting into that terrible situation, and to offer help when they need it. That is to help ourselves.

I am a Rich Person?

It is a very tough topic, and it is surely controversial. But it puzzled me a lot and I take the courage to share it.

In the last few years, I wrote an article The World of Different Rules talking about my conflict with a mason, and another article talking about my conflict with security guards. The root cause for the conflict is, I think, my hope of a better country – a country with more respects, and with more rules – A country that people respect private property, and a country where people are eventually equal – not because being rich or poor, or the positions they hold. Everyone should follow the rules, and be equal. I saw so many injustices the rich people did for the poor people.

However, recently, I bitterly reflect what I am doing, and I started to ask the question: Am I seen as a rich people from the poorer people?

Obviously I won’t be naive enough to say I am still the poor. Rich is a relative term. My Ayi in Shanghai earns more than a middle school teacher in Luoyang, and an intern in my company earns more than most people I know in Luoyang, not to mention the rural areas. The gap between Shanghai and other part of the country is as obvious as developed country and developing country. Should I feel evil about it?

In Shanghai, after working for 10 years with pretty nice track record, I am relatively richer than people who just graduated, or people who are not fortunate enough to receive university education and are still doing labor intensive work in this city. Should I feel guilty about it?

When I use the newly developed standard of services and the sense of “justice” to judge people I often felt angry, and there are more and more conflicts between myself and other people.

I started to yell at drivers who don’t yield to people on pedestrian when they do right turn. I started to educate service people behind the window of banks to show respects to their clients. I even started to educate people in the government that they should pay respect to citizens, and should not yell to them, because they are not their slaves; I was even naive enough to mention to them that it is the tax payers money that supported their job (I was surely laughed at loudly). Anyway, there are so many situations that I feel I am right, and people are doing something wrong.

Until one day, Wendy said this to me: “Jian Shuo, how can you be so mean to them?”

It happened this way. There are three unlicensed moving workers who successfully cheated us to believe they are Qiangsheng Moving (a good moving company), and scratched the most expensive table we had in our home. Then they pour some oil onto the table trying to fix it, but only turned the surface to a complete mass. They believed as long as they didn’t do it intentionally, there is nothing wrong with what they did. I insist that they should pay for the damage. They laughed at me, and they insulted me for being stupid, and they even joked: “What a million dollar table you have! Why not tell me that the table worth 1 billion dollar!” It is the attitude they show that drove me crazy, exactly as the mason and security guard example. Obviously, they don’t buy in my ideology of a world of justice.

When I insisted to fight with them, Wendy said this to me: “How can you justify your table to worth one week of their hard work! Do you really feel good when they give you the money that they earn with hard work?” Unfortunately, I felt Wendy is right. We paid the full amount of the money they blackmailed (jumped from initial 168 to 700 RMB finally) in a mixed mood. It is the environment that forced them to do bad things. They are living harder lives than we do. Wendy helped me to stay humble and grateful to this world, and don’t be the King of the Universe.

I painfully realized the facts that I am stuck here. I never really thought about it, but I have to admit that I am treated as the “Rich People”, and according to what I did – so arrogant, and so self-centered, I am fully qualified to the “bad” rich people in novels I read when I was younger.

I had the conversation with Robert Mao many years ago. He was shocked when he returned to his hometown. He naturally stick to the habit to say “rich people are always bad”, as the propaganda in China educated people for half centaury, but only to find out that he himself became the rich people that his villages hated. Again, unfortunately, he IS the rich guy in his village.

When I think about it, I cannot justify the big gap between the rich and the poor. If you ask me, I won’t treat myself as rich people. I am just an IT professional turned entry-level entrepreneur in the last 10 years, but what I see myself does not matter. I found myself cannot justify why a cup of my favorite Starbucks worth about 3 hours of hard work of an Ayi, or several day of work for a servant in the city of Luoyang, or even worth, monthly income of people in my hometown. Again, should I feel guilty about it?

When I was poorer than today, I behaved differently from the person I am today. People who have less money don’t care about service quality as people who have more money, and they are the people delivering the service. How you justify your high standard for them to provide good service without giving them the money they should earn. (It is the market price issue. Overpay than the fair market value does not solve the problem, just like donating does not solve poverty issues)

The gap between the rich and the poor get bigger and bigger in China. The tension between the rich and the poor gets bigger. I feel so bad when I am classified to the rich camp. But is there anything I can argue about it when people really think so?

After painful reflection, I started to adopt another philosophy. I should work harder to build a society with more justice by thinking writing, and then actions, instead of being mean to the people who provide bad service. It is their fault not to provide the service they should (according to my biased standard), but the root cause is not their fault. Why this society does not provide good education, good compensation, and good fare ware for everyone? It is not impossible.

P.S. Please don’t be harsh to me when I brought to this private and sensitive topic. Let’s address the rich and poor conflicts in China, instead of discussing I am rich or poor – it is relative term. I am perfectly conscious that to be able to consume a cup of Starbucks does not qualify me to be on the cover of Fortune magazine.

Back to Blogging

Just a notice about why I didn’t blog in the last two days. Hmmm… I found out I even didn’t have time to open a web page in the last few days except web based application like gmail. Pretty busy days. The other reason is, network does not work in my home. Wendy got a new 3G netbook (Dell Mini). But the 3G didn’t work after she brought it back home. Another way to access Internet is gone.

I am exploring new way to update blog on my Nokia N78 now. It is brief, but better than nothing.

I will be back to regular posting frequency soon. Stay tuned.

P.S. I fixed the problem with MT-Notifier, so my newsletter subscribers won’t be bothered with old entry notifications.

Channel 9 Communication Explained

I wrote the article about Channel 9 of Flight Control Center. I posted the communication between the pilots and air traffic control centers. However, I am not sure of what the message is about. I sent an email to George, my friend who is actually a pilot of the United Airlines. Here is his answer. Used with permission and with little modification. The quoted text is from George.


Interestingly, although I heard it is required to use English to do the communication, most of the conversation in the audio is in Chinese. It is the same situation when we fly near Tokyo Narita Airport. They are using a language I am not very sure whether it is English or Japanese – I just cannot get a single word besides the numbers.

Good to hear from you; I am sorry I am so late in responding. Here are some answers to your questions; BTW you can use my comments.

English is the official international aviation language. International flights will communicate in English. Domestic flights will communicate in their own language.

PuDong has both domestic (Chinese) and International flights. When the controllers communicate with us (United 857) they will do it in English. When the communicate with a domestic flight they will do it in their own language. As pilots we try to have good SA (Situational Awareness) by knowing what aircraft are around us and what they are doing. This helps us plan our approach and have an expectation of what Air Traffic Control might do with us. It is obviously harder in a foreign country when domestic flights are communicating in another language. Maybe you can answer this for me. In your tape are the domestic flights speaking in Mandarin or do they sometimes use Shanghaiese?

In the audio above, a brief transcript is like this:

  • “United 857, turn right heading 300” (The controller instructs United Flight 857 to turn right to a heading of 300 degrees. The pilot on UA 857 responds to confirm “Right Heading 300, United 857”)
  • The following transmissions were not in English and I find your translation interesting. It is a little different than we would hear in English but it might be because they are speaking to domestic crews and everything is in meters for them.
  • (Descend to an altitude of 1200 meters above sea level. I would have assumed the controller would have said “descend to 1200 meters” and the pilot should have responded the same way but I am not familiar with the Chinese Domestic communication requirements. In America, ATC (Air Traffic Control) might instruct a flight to “descend and maintain one two thousand (which means 12000 feet)” and the crew might respond with an abbreviated confirmation as “down to 12”)
  • “247D 2400” “247D keeps 2400″(I would assume maintain 2400 meters)
  • “MU2155 turn left, to 070” my guess is, they want them to turn left

    and heading to 70 degree? (Yes, you are correct. All headings are given in three digits, so 70 degrees is Heading 070)

  • “MU2155 ..” This is the flight from Yinchuan to Shanghai via Xi’an. They are scheduled to land at 12:15 PM.
  • “FM92142 down 600” I guess this means lower down to 600 meter level, and if this is the case, the previous 12 may mean 1200 meter altitude. (I assume it is to descend to 600 meters, but the terminology is a little different than I am used to)
  • From the communication above, I have the impression that all the planes are lineup as a big circle surrounding the Pudong Airport, and gradually lower the altitude to land. It turned out that we finally landed at runway 16 – the runway east of the T2, near the sea, from the north to south.

    (You are basically correct. We do line up to land but not necessarily in a big CIRCLE around PuDong Airport. Remember that aircraft are coming in from all directions. If they came in without any organization then there would be chaos in the space around PuDong. PuDong Airport controllers know how many miles they need between aircraft to sequence them safely to the airport and what ATC does is adjust our spacing as we arrive. Actually, our spacing starts as we leave SFO but that is another detailed story. The last controllers we speak to are typically the Japanese (assuming our flight path was across the Pacific, and not over Russia). As the Japanese controllers transfer us to the ShangHai controllers they space us a certain amount, then the ShangHai controllers will space us more accurately as we approach the airport and transfer us to the airport controllers. It is PVG Approach Control that needs the most accurate spacing and that is probably what is on your recordings. They achieve the correct spacing by instructing specific aircraft adjust their speed. If that does not work then they will instruct aircraft to change direction to increase or decrease the spacing. What I described is only for aircraft coming in from the east. Remember there could be aircraft coming in from the north and west. All these are sequenced using similar procedures. BTW there is very little “circling” around the airport, except in poor weather condition. But that too, is another story. For the record, the FAA requires that you turn off electronic items for takeoff and landing. At United Airlines our policy is to remind you passing through 18,000 feet.

    Below is another clip I recorded at the time when we were at range of control center of Japan. Anyone can understand any word from the conversation? I cannot.

    In fact I am sending this to you from NRT (Narita -Tokyo). I find the Japanese controllers one of the hardest to understand and have on occasion had to confirm their instructions several times. However, after gaining experience with a certain set of controllers it gets easier. You might find it strange that I find the London controllers hard to understand at times and they speak my native language, but that’s another story. Now for the translation:

    Controller: “… 671, fly heading 250 for spacing, …” (Not sure of last part)

    Singapore 671: “250 Heading, Singapore 671.”

    Controller: “Northwest 72 descend to reach one one thousand (11,000 feet) by Natch (a place).” I did not understand the rest but I assume it was the altimeter setting based on the pilot’s reply

    Northwest 72: “OK we’ll descend one one thousand at Natch at. Is that correct, Northwest 72?”

    Controller: “Northwest 72, affirm (affirmative), cross Natch at one one thousand.”

    Northwest 72: “Cross Natch one one thousand, two niner eight two (29.82 is the altimeter setting), Northwest 72.”

    Hope this helps,