7 Year Anniversary of Wedding

Today is the 7 year anniversary of wedding for Wendy and me.

In 2003, I was admiring Kayne for 4 year wedding anniversary, one week after Wendy and I got married.

After 7 years, we are even more happier – than 7 years ago. Wendy and I am together since 1996, much longer than getting married – that is about 14 years ago. In 2003, I can still list what we did together in the last year. Now, I found it harder to make that list – it is easier to list what we didn’t do together in the last 7 years than things we went through together. All the sweet, and pains, we came along together. The same experience made us similar persons, and one family.

Thanks Wendy for the wonderful years, and look forward to the long, long future to come.

Yifan’s Second Day in Kindergarten

Yifan’s second day is not as sweet as the first one.

The day started with Yifan’s cry.

The teacher called in the middle, and told Wendy that Yifan kept crying. He even took the photo of other kid’s mother, and watched for a long time. He gave a big hug to a calendar showing three-person family, and told the teacher that is his mother.

When Wendy picked him up, he sit on the beach, leaning his head to a toy phone. The teacher told Wendy that Yifan has been calling his mom for a long time.

I asked Yifan whether he called mom. He said, “yes. I called, and you see, Mom comes”.

Hongqiao Airport T2 Opens

Tomorrow, the Hongqiao Airport T2 is going to open. I really want to go there and take a look myself, maybe this Saturday. I hope I can get some photos and report back to my readers about the new addition.

A quick overview of the new airport (before my more detailed report).

The Airport

The T2 is west of T1 (the old terminal). It is basically a new airport – 90% of the airlines will move to the new T2 (no wonder they didn’t made too much improvement to the crowded T1 in the past few years – makes sense).

They share the same run way with the T1 – there are already two runways before T2 opens.

It is 4 times bigger than the current crowded T1. My biggest wish is, find a better taxi solution!


Metro Line #2 will extend to the Hongqiao Airport T2, and other two stations further. The metro ends at 22:30 pm – late enough for most passengers. If you miss the last metro, you can still take the night bus – a new alternative to taxi. Please note: since the T1 is no longer an important hub, Metro Line #2 will skip T1 – you need to take shuttle bus between T1, and T2, before the Metro Line #10 opens this October, which connects the two terminal.

Another change worth noting: the shuttle bus #1 connecting the Hongqiao and Pudong airport will change its starting point from T1 to T2 of Hongqiao Airport – a natural shift that won’t affect most people.

The Service

According to Shanghai Daily, the new airport will offer 80 check-in counters, and 47 security counters.

I don’t know more details of this hub – need to go there to check out.

Transportation Hub

The new Hongqiao Airport T2 is not just an airport terminal. It is also part of the new Hongqiao Transportation Hub. The future Shanghai-Beijing high speed train and the future Maglev from Pudong airport will stop at the new Hongqiao Train Station. More metro lines will extend to this hub. The whole area has been well surrounded by newly built elevated highways (photos) – another mega project. In summary, there will be 30 new roads around this hub.

That is an amazing outline of the future.

G15, G50 and Hongqiao Airport

With the new naming system for the national highways, the intersection near the Hongqiao Airport becomes significant – the G15 and G50 runs west, and south of Hongqiao Airport.

G15 = Shenyang – Haikou Expressway – a 3715 km long expressway from the north most city Shenyang to south most Haikou.

G50 = Shanghai – Chongqiong Expressway – the 1900 km long expressway from Shanghai to Chongqing (near Chengdu) in the southwest.

Although people don’t do it, you can just imagine that people in west or north or south of China can conveniently follow a round all the way up to Hongqiao Airport — that is the power of a well planned round and an easy to use name. Putting Hongqiao airport to this bigger picture, it is more exciting to watch.

Yifan Started His Kindergarten Life

March 15 is not a normal Monday.

Yifan started his first day in kindergarten today. It is not the official kindergarten yet – that will start from this September, instead, it is 8:30 – 4:30 pm part time school. The official one needs him to be 3 year old.

We worried a lot for the first day – we heard the stories of kids crying for days to get used to the new life. We believe so since we tried to put him into some part time kindergarten before – does not work at all.

In the morning, Wendy talked all the way with Yifan. Yifan promised everything – he promised that he would not cry. He promised he would play nicely with other children, and he promised to be quiet in the music class, and won’t go out of the class room.

Of cause, he broke the promise as soon as he saw the new kindergarten, and cried out loud when Wendy sent him to the door. The teachers got him, and disappeared behind the door – with Yifan still crying loudly.

Wendy was very worried, and spent tough morning by herself.

At noon time, the teacher called and reported Yifan slept, but didn’t eat too much for lunch.

At 4:00, Wendy arrived early at the kindergarten. To her surprise, through the windows, she saw Yifan sat quietly on the little bench, and listened to the teacher to tell a story with other kids. Nothing went wrong. Yifan obviously seem to love the new place.

At night, I asked Yifan:

“Are you happy today?”, he said yes.

“Did you cry today?”, he said no. Never….


Yifan, my good boy!

Happy Birthday to Goudaner (6th Year)

Today is the 6th year anniversary of my little car – Goudaner.

I cannot believe it that I used the car for 6 years. I didn’t use it very much – just for commute from home to office. The meter only shows 78K km – 13 km per year. The statics shows I used the car less in the last 3 years than the previous 3 years.

When I celebrated the 3rd year anniversary for Goudaner (Happy Birthday to Goudaner (3rd Year)), I drove for 41K – in the last three years, I drove 32K km.

My Sadness

For a small car like Goudaner (FIAT Siena), 6 years seem to be pretty long time. Not only for the car, but also for the family. In the last 6 years, many things changed. The biggest change is the birth of Yifan. For a family like us, and especially for a naughty boy like Yifan, the safety features of Siena worries us. I don’t like Yifan to able to open the back door, and there is no child lock. Besides that, we need a generally safer car – maybe a mid-class car.

That means, I will inevitable come to a point to sell the car for a better one. That is the sad part of life.

I followed my readers’ suggestion to give my first new car a name – Goudaner. People say, when you have a name for the car, the car runs better, and has better luck, since you treat it as a friend, not just a car. That is absolutely true. In the 6 years, we have been together very well – we visited many places, and many memorable moments happened in the car, like the moment we drive on the Nanpu Bridge, moving to Pudong with the last few boxes of what we have in the back, like the moment we welcomed Yifan to his new home, few days after Yifan was born – it was a heavily rainy day…

I guess this is the last birthday Goudaner has in this home. I’d like to thank Goudaner for the wonderful change it brings to the family, and the nice service it provided. We are sad to see old things moved out of our home, just because everything is our materialized memory.

Yifan’s Parking Lots – Part II

After Yifan built Parking Lots with his glass balls, he started to add eyes to all the cars. Look at this:

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

More interestingly, Yifan fell in love with my new Google Nexus One, and quickly learn how to take photos. Among the 50+ blurred and dark photos, I still can find some very decent photo taken by Yifan, at his 2 and 3/4 year.

Photo taken by Wang Yifan (Hey! He is 2 year and 9 month old when taking this photo)

Photograph by Wang Yifan

Photograph by Wang Yifan

Photograph by Wang Yifan

Electronic Power Towers

I have a mixed feeling toward the electronic power towers.

It is obviously not pleasant to get close to it, but it is not completely lack of artistic feeling.

I don’t know how many of you feel the same as myself – I have to admit that I enjoy watching and shooting the scene of power towers when I am on the highways…

Look up! The World Above!

In busy days, we rush to metro, anxiously wait for trains, and leave trains without looking back. That is our life.

From time to time, we may want to spend some time to look at the world using a different angle. This time, I tried to —

Look up!

Above our head, there are ceiling, and above the ceiling, there are complicated air system, and fire prevention system, and there is a speaker there. Did we really think about where the sounds of background music, or train arriving information comes out in the station?

In metro cart, there are similar system. We can breath 10 meters below the ground because of them, but not many people notice their existence.

There are different type of ceilings. Like this at Jinxiu Road Station:

and this in Zhaojiabang Road Station:

The wire under the TV sets broadcasting train arrival information is pretty scary, and messy:

If you look closer, wait a moment, what is this?

and this?

and this?

The cameras are everywhere.

I guess if we continue to take photos of worlds above us, that is a very different world than what we see today.

People Started to Wait at Red Lights

Taken at Guangyuan Road, and Gongcheng Road

Taken at Guangyuan Road, and Gongcheng Road, at 8:50 AM, rush hours

Look at this photo. That is a normal day in rush hours in the morning. People started to wait for the looong red lights to cross the pedestrian. That was something very new to me. That continued to build my confidence to this city, and this country. As time went by, people will start to learn how to live in a city better, and will form some rules that everyone started to obey.

P.S. If you want to claim that this is another Shanghai Expo PR, please read this entry, especially my reply in the comment section. If you don’t want to take the time to read, let me give you a tip of the direction I am going to send you: “Read the Blind man and the elephant story, again, before claiming that even the blindest man can see people cross the road at red lights, at any time, in this city”.

P.S. 2: This is another photo of people lining up at Metro Line #7 at Zhaojiabang Road.

Baggage Check in Shanghai Metro

The expo is coming. Everything is tighten up.

About few months ago, Shanghai started to check baggage at the entrance of major metro stations. The rule of whether a bag should be checked is not consistent.

I am wearing my black back bag all the time I enter metro. Most of the time, the security just ignore me, and allow me to enter without scanning, just like they treat the small hand bags ladies carry.

In other time, security asks me to put my bag into the scanning machine for security check. It is like this in most of the stations. The difference is, in bigger stations like Xujiahui, they tighten it, and in smaller stations like Jinxiu Road, they cover the big machines. Just two security guide using hand check.

This Moment, in Shanghai

I took metro to attend an important dinner tonight.

I walked over the pedestrian viaduct at the Chengdu Elevated Highway, and the Yan’an Elevated highway – the theoretically central point of the transportation system of Shanghai. If you have some ideas of the Shanghai’s elevated highway system, it is basically a few big circles, called Inner Ring Road, the Middle Ring Road, the Outer Ring Road (S20, formally A20), and the Suburb Ring Road (S30, formally A30). For the Ring Roads, there is one horizontal (east-west) back born road, named Yan’an Elevated Highway, and there is one vertical (north-south) elevated highway called Chengdu Elevated Highway. The intersection of these two highways is, naturally, the center of this big transportation system.

That is a mega project – there are two lane road for any possible connections. That is C(4, 2) composition problem – the answer is 6 different path to be built for this viaduct.

I took some photos of this viaduct via my new Google Nexus One phone. Here is the photo.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang at the intersection of Chengdu Elevated Highway, and the Yan’an Elevated Highway

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang at the intersection of Chengdu Elevated Highway, and the Yan’an Elevated Highway

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang at the intersection of Chengdu Elevated Highway, and the Yan’an Elevated Highway

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang at the intersection of Chengdu Elevated Highway, and the Yan’an Elevated Highway

From time to time, you can find some artistic moment and scene of this city – that is good thing for life. Hopefully everyone enjoys his/her own city this way.

In Market We Trust – Part II

xge made a very good point under my entry In Market We Trust. That is exactly what I am trying to say about the market – the difference is, xge just gave better examples. Let me continue the argument here.


The government decision makers are very likely to make decisions based on intuition, and the planned economy mindset. I, myself, made even more frequent mistakes when I make decisions about the market. I admit that I did several things wrong in my business without respecting the market laws. Here are some examples about the actions people take (basically using xge’s examples).

Hainan’s Land

The recent sharp increase in the real estate price in Hainan was a typical example. When the Hainan announced the “International Tourism Island” strategy, the house price almost doubled over night by the stimulate.

The Hainan government was scared because of the jump in price. Then, in order to control the price, they immediately announced to pause supply of all commercial residential lands. Not surprisingly, the price doubled over night again.

Train Tickets and Taxi

Train tickets in Spring Festival times are extremely hard to get because of the huge demand (2.5 billion people/time needs to travel in the 40 days), and limited supply (not enough trains). The price for the train tickets went as high as 4x of the original price in the escort market.

In order to keep the price low, the government requires all train tickets keep the cheap price, and crack down all the escort market, and implement Real Name system for train tickets – none of them touch the supply and demand. Not surprisingly, it is still hard to find a ticket.

For taxi, people complain that the taxi is expensive, and hard to hire in rush hours, so “illegal taxi” started to emerge to help them out. In order to keep the price of taxi low, the government tried everything they can to crackdown the illegal taxis, greatly reduced the supply. Not surprisingly, taxi is harder to get, and the government enforced low price (lower than fair market value) keeps taxi drivers out of the market. (Well. for the taxi business, the real problem is, the monopoly of government owned taxi companies get too high fee out of the pocket of taxi drivers, and use the power to keep private sector entering this market).

Supply and Demand

Finally, we started to understand the simple market rule: price is determined by the supply and demand. The only way to drive price down is to increase supply, and the only way to drive price up is either to decrease supply or increase demand.

In Market We Trust

The main take away from my Silicon Valley trip is the understanding of “market“. I know, the recent financial crisis can be used as a way to argue the other way, I am still talking about the relative older style of market (like the flea market, and fish market), not the financial innovation stuff.

Hotwire and Priceline

Websites like Hotwire.com and Priceline.com (how I found it) let me think more about how to use the market to allocate resource more efficiently. Without services like Hotwire, hotel suffers from empty rooms, and visitors suffers from high price. They are the bridge to allow those unsold rooms to be evaluated and priced – the price is lower than retail price, which is very likely to be the fair market value of the “unsolde” rooms.

“Market allow any tradable item to be evaluated and priced.”

Rental Contract

Another interesting thing is the rental contract I saw in my friend’s house. When their last lease period is going to expire, the landlord gives them a list of renew price. It is something like this (I mocked up the numbers)

1 month – $1710

2 months – $1700

3 months – $1670

4 months – $1640

5 months – $1610

6 months – $1690 <– Attention! Price raises!

7 months – $1710

8 months – $1720

9 months – $1840

10 months – $1700

11 months – $1640

12 months – $1600

The idea is, it is not the longer you lease, the cheaper it is. It is obvious that the 9 months lease is the most expensive lease. My guess is, it is the time most of the tenant in this area planned to move out (based on the existing contract and prediction), or the season where many graduate are moving in. The price of the house is decided preciously in a bid-offer fashion, not by some ideology (the longer you rent, the cheaper it is)

That is a vivid lesson for me to understand the market.


A market is the PLACE for buyers and sellers to trade.

Its function include pricing – market finds out the fair market value of any tradable item every minute.

The liquidity of the market is important. Liquidity means a seller can always sell something if they are willing to decrease the price a little bit above the fair market value, or the buyer can always buy something if they are willing to offer a little bit higher price than the fair market value.

“The essential characteristic of a liquid market is that there are ready and willing buyers and sellers at all times” – Wikipedia on Market Liquidity.

The market rule is only the price and item – for the same item, it is just the price.

The only way to decrease the price of an item is to increase supply.

The God of Market

It seems I need to spend more time to understand how the God of Market works, and its role in price discovery, and resource allocation.

China is a market economy, but in daily life, it is still not very market driven.

Lining up for Metro – Part II

This is the second post about lining up in Shanghai metro after I posted the first entry about it (Lining up for Metro?) three and half years ago.

These days, when I started to take metro again, I found out in more and more stations, people started to line up.

The Change Over Time

8 years ago when I started my blog, people never line up.

3.5 years ago, people started to line up in busy stations like People’s Square, and that was the only case I saw it.

Now, in many small stations, people started to line up – 5 persons a line. Look at the photos I took randomly at Jinxiu Road station of Metro Line #7.

The lines are not exactly that type of lines in armies, but people do start to honor orders. People will automatically make up two lines along the door, leaving the space for people to get out first. For efficiency, people won’t wait for everyone to get out to get in, but the door is wide enough for three lines of people, the order were kept and it is much more efficient.


I guess there are two reasons for it. First is the abundance of resources. When more and more metro is built, there are enough room in most metro lines for everybody, and people don’t worry about missing the metro in most of the cases. Please note: it is not ALWAYS, but in most cases. Even if there are times there are more people that you need to way for two or three turns, as long as it is occasional, people still respect orders that they formed in normal days.

A half empty train cart in none-peak hours

The second is the ramp up of the city life style. Metro and the city life style itself are new things to the Chinese people. It takes some time for people to get used to it, to start to understand it, and form a set of rules. The interesting thing is, time will just help people to shape their behavior without too much external forces.

For the elevators, the same thing happens. People started to naturally stand on the right, and leaving the left side for people to pass. This is more and more trendy in Shanghai. When the trend is formed, it is hard to change, since everyone will be happy to do it to demonstrate their “fit” with this city.

P.S. I chatted about it with my friend RC who introduced the phrase “T.I.C moment” to me. He joked: “No! There will be one TIC moment missing in Shanghai!” I am happy that the TIC moments fade out while this city advances in civilization.

Metro Line 7 and 9 Became Full Time

After I am back to Shanghai, the Metro Line #7 became operating in full time – from 5:30 to 22:31. Before, it only operate between 9:00 – 16:00. That means, Metro Line #7 started to operate in real sense. At the same time, Metro Line #9 started similar full time operation. Both intervals are 6 minutes.

Look at this map I shot in a metro station – that is the current metro map.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

On this map, there are many small modifications – the staff used sticker to mark out some stations that are not open yet. Since the stations and even metro lines are going to open in the next few weeks, they didn’t bother to create a new chart. Those segments include the east extension of Metro Line #2 to Pudong Airport, and west extension to the new Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2.

When the metro system started to form a network, the feeling of a metro ride is very different from the time when there are just one line or two. You will encounter an interchange station for every two or three stations. People get off the train and get on the train much more frequently than before – you are not sure whether they get off the train because it is their destination or just transit to another metro line. The capacity of the metro system is also expanded – the bottlenecks are no longer bottlenecks, because of so many “load balance lines” there.

I am very excited to see the change, and enjoy navigating the city by going under it.

Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 to Open

Before we are aware of, the city of Shanghai expanded beyond the speed of thinking.

2 years ago, Pudong Airport Terminal 2 just opened. In just 2 years, another giant terminal – Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 will open on March 16, 2010.

Look at this satellite image. The T1 is small on the right, and T2 is much bigger on the left:

Map credit: Google Maps

According to news report, this terminal will be 4 times bigger than the current T1. I always complained about taxi, especially on Fridays, and they didn’t do too much about it. I guess this time, the taxi won’t be the bottle neck for the new terminal.

After the launch of the new terminal in one week, most of the domestic airlines in the current Hongqiao Airport will shift there, leaving the current T1 just serving Spring Airlines, and other few flights.

I remember there were discussion of abandon Hongqiao airport and shift all air traffic to Pudong airport long time ago, but the needs for flights are always higher than the capacity of Hongqiao and Pudong added up together. Then Hongqiao Airport was kept (some residents near the airport were too early to be happy about the news that the noisy airport will be closed). Now, when the Hongqiao Railway Station (the station connected to Beijing by high speed train) is located there, and Metro Line #2 and Line #10 extending there, the Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 is the new center of transportation stage.

On Sunday, I tried to drive to that area from Beidi Road 北翟路. The huge viaduct has already been built for the Beidi Road, and S20 (formally A20). That will be the main road reaching to the terminal 2. It turned out the adventure is completely a failure, since the Beidi road was completely destroyed for the construction of the elevated highway. I chose to make U turn after get into it for 500 meters.

I will try to visit that area again in one week, and report what the new terminal looks like. In fact, it is not just a terminal – it is the framework of a super transportation hub that has never existed in China.

P.S. Chris of Shanghaieye.com posted photo of the terminal on his blog.

Photo in Google, 2010

Everytime I am in the bay area, if I don’t visit Google, I feel the trip is not complete. So, I was in Google on Monday of my last week in Mountain View.

On the picture, from left to right is Yi Wang, Qiushuang Zhang, Jian Shuo Wang, and Meng Yang.

Photograph by a kind Googler using Nexus One