# Awareness of Time Zone

We don’t need to take care of time zone issue when we don’t travel, and have no contact to the world outside our own.

But the world changes. We fly around the world, and we have conference calls instantly connect the both side of the ocean – effectively confusing us about the time zones. In this article, I want to share some of the useful tips about remembering time zones.

3 Hour Rules in Summer

United States uses day time saving. I am happy that China do not use it the confusing system – otherwise since they started on different date, it will be even more complicated. Think about Arizona! They are in Mountain Time Zone, but does not observes the Day Time Saving, so the time difference between California and Arizona changes from 1 hour in winter to 0 hour in summer.

In summer, it is easy to remember that watches of guys in US is 3 hours behind of China. PDT (Pacific Day Time) is actually 15 hours behind of China (UTC-7 vs. UTC+8), to make the calculation simpler, I just remove 3 hours from China time, and switch morning and night. For example, currently it is 7:10a in Shanghai, and it will be translated to 3:10p in California, today.

Special Moments

Other ways I remember the time difference is by remembering some key moments. For example, I always remember that at the time California people started to leave office, the people in Shanghai start to work. It is in well sync, without 1 minute of delay.

That is the moment of 6 pm (going home!) of PDT, and 9 am in Shanghai (start of a day’s work!)

Based on that moment, sometimes scheduling meetings is easier.

The other special moment is mid-night of China is the starting point for people in California to work – 0:00 AM in Shanghai maps to 9:00 AM in PDT.

Awareness of Time Zone

The most sensitive time to get aware of time zone is the time when I just travelled. For example, although it is just early in the morning, I have a sense that it is beautiful afternoon of California, with the Sun set few hours later. People are busy calling each other, work on Excels, at the exact moment. That becomes very real feeling, not just by theory. Basically people have the ability to live in another time zone if you keep calling people there, and keep constant connection by Skype or video conference. That is exciting experience for me.

Europe? I have never been to Europe and really have a hard time to establish that type of feeling of presence. By theory, Berlin, which I called most often, is 6 hours behind us at the current moment. So I always remember the best time to call Berlin is 6 hours after I started to work, which is 3:00 PM.

# Days Like This

I don’t know in the future, when Yifan grows up, will he live in the era like ours? What will he learn about the world we are living in in the October of 2010.

# Holiday is Approaching

Oct 1 to Oct 7 are the National Holiday in China. In the next few days, the nation will enter the holiday theme. Happy holiday, in advance.

# 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.

# Some Social News at Q4, 2009

Every 10th of the first month of the quarter is the date for me to wrap up the last quarter, and really start this quarter.

Today is a Saturday, and it is weird to just work for two days and there is a weekend tomorrow. Expecting to meet old friends tomorrow.

At bed room, we changed the direction of bed by 90 degree. Yifan was so naughty to fall from the bed to the ground – wasn’t hurt, and it is not a big deal, but we were scared again, and put the longer edge of the bed along with the wall.

Life has not recovered to pre-holiday yet. The 8 day holiday did simulate economy and domestic demand for almost everything, but the break (especially physiological break) needs some time to recover.

Oct 10 is the National Holiday of the Republic of China – I assume celebration will happen on the other side of the Strait. 98 years ago, it was the day of the founding of a republic – the first republic in China, and maybe currently, the closest to a republic.

The taxi fee in Shanghai rises again tomorrow. The start price will be adjusted from 11 RMB for the first 3 km to 12 RMB. Price per km rises from 2.10 RMB to 2.40 RMB. The monopoly of taxi companies had made the life of taxi drivers harder, and life of passengers harder.

From Oct 1, another ridiculous China Post law take effect. It forbids private carrier services to handle packages lighter than 100g. One week ago, you can safely ship important documents at 5 RMB, and it arrives at the door of recipient in 2 hours. Today, it costs 10 RMB to send the same package, but it arrives the next day (or later). The recipient has to take their national ID card to the post office to line up and take about 30 minutes to claim that package. For cross city package? One week ago, it cost 5 RMB for second day door to door delivery, and today, it cost 3 days, and recipients have to go to post office to claim it – I hate it. I will be very dissatisfied if any company send me something via China Post, since I sometimes have to take half day leave to claim it – post offices always close more promptly than anyone.

# End of Long Holiday

This is another long holiday – the end of the 8th free day.

Wendy asked me “What we did in the last National Holiday?” Good question. I had no idea. Checking the blog entry of Oct last year, I realized that last year was just like this year – seven days of free time with no particular activities.

This is life – normal life does not leave any mark in memory.

The only different thing in this holiday was, I watched TV show “Soldiers” 士兵突击 (30 episodes) in the last few days. Hmmm… I was not passionate for about TV shows but to watch TV shows every day provides a framework to schedule the day.

I chatted with Wendy yesterday. I said I am surprised that I started to love routines, and scheduled. Without some fixed date and some routines, life is just like a boat floating on the surface of the Sea with no directions.

In some sense, it is great that I am going back to work tomorrow.

# Stay at Home During Oct Holiday

It seems the travel plan is just a plan. The doctor told me to keep the foot out of the ground for another two months. That means, I cannot use this foot to walk for three months. There is a Chinese saying that “any injure to the bone needs 100 days to cure”. That seems, unfortunately, true.

So, I am thinking about other things to do. The most possible thing to do during the holiday is to stay on bed, and really take care of the foot. The doctor also criticized me harshly about stilling going to work during the past month. He said what I need to do most is to stay on bed, and keep the foot higher. The X-Ray of the injured place does not look good either – the leak on the bone is still clearly seen.

:-)

That is life, isn’t it?

Tomorrow is Saturday again. Another day to stay on bed?

Flickr Travel

The other day to travel is to use Flickr or Google Earth, and Street View to travel to other part of the world. Look at the beautiful scene of Dubai!

The following images comes from Flickr. Credit is printed on the photos.

# Good Morning, Shanghai

Another early morning. Good morning, Shanghai. Or good afternoon San Francisco, and good night, New York. Ops. For London, I’d rather don’t say anything since it is late night and people are sleeping.

Just finished another conference call, as one of the hundreds of conference calls I had. I found it interesting to have conference calls – for people from around the world, having different time zone, and different places to talk simultaneously over the thick line of phone. Well. I should not have been amazed by the telephone technology in this Internet era, but when you really think about it, this is quite amazing.

A time zone does change a lot of thing. Do you have the feeling that although you are talking someone in another time zone, you feel you share many context in common, you still feel something strange. For example, you cannot great the other party the way you great people around you (physically around you), and you can sense a feel of sleepiness when it is early morning (like myself), or the energy in someone else after completing one day’s of work (like in San Francisco), and at the same time, you can imagine what a beautiful night and the scene out of the window of the office building in New York – sweet night in a great city! To mix these different background together in a small telephone line is interesting experience.

Address of a place sometimes acts as subtle indication. Yesterday, when I trying to write down the address of a place, I smiled:

1 Wall Street, New York, USA

It is the Bank of New York.

What that address tells you in a subtle way? It echoes exactly what the conference call and timezone reflects.

# Summary of First Half of November

Since Oct, we are working six days a week, and after about one month. The result is wonderful. We finally reached breakeven point. This is not my first breakeven I have experienced, but it is such an important milestone, especially in this winter. I am happy that the team will feel very warm in the cold days ahead.

Personally, I didn’t have too much time on this blog. It is understandable, isn’t it? I don’t have too much touch with the city – I just feel I started a business trip in Shanghai. I mean I get disconnected from the city, and don’t feel that I am a citizen in this city.

I am still taking bus to work in the morning. I am taking taxi, or drive car back home.

The physical winter is also coming to Shanghai. The leaf of trees flys out of the tree, and you can see the streets of Shanghai are covered by yellow leaf. You know the winter is coming.

Yifan is doing great. He is now a cute boy, who can understand almost everything you say. I just regret that I don’t have enough time to spend with him. Many times, when I go back home, he is already asleep. Sweet sleep.

Life is a story. Everyone has different way to tell. Some times, when I read my friends’ blog, like Eric, Swing, Elfe… They are enjoying their travel, their hobby, and relaxed life. It is just different… I am happy that in my last 6 years of blogging, I have enough diversity in the life style I had experienced.

The best is yet to come…

# 10:00 PM

It is 10:00 PM. I decide to go to bed earlier than normal days. It is important to relax a little bit after working days and nights for some time.

No matter what, to keep the pace of “Life”, or “the body” itself is so important to me. My teeth hurts these days. According to Chinese medicine theory, it is because of the raise of “fire” in my body. Need to take some water (yes, physically drink some water), and some sleep to get rid of it.

House Price

Just to tell you something interesting. I saw an advertisement this morning, stating, “buy a house and get your renovation free”. It tells reader that they would like to deduct 3500/sq meter at the time you the house.

It is obvious that the house developer shy away from saying directly the decrease of price of the property, they stated in another way, but identical to direct cut in house price.

Yifan

Yifan has wonderful childhood time. He plays all the time from morning to night. He just regret there are just 24 hours in a day, and he has to go to bed after drinking a full bottle of milk at 9:30 PM. Now, he is already asleep.

# Day Like This – Another Day

The Day like This Category

From time to time, I write articles in this category: day like this. It is a very unique category in my blog, because for these entries, I don’t have a determined topic in mind when I write it. I just want to record this particular day in my life, as detailed as possible, and as nature as possible. This way, many years later, I can browse with easy mind to see what my normal day is like many years ago.

Normal Saturday – A long Waited Break

This is a Saturday – a long waited Saturday for me. I felt very tired recently. I don’t know whether it is because of the hot weather, or the cold air condition in office, or because of the tough decisions I have to make in my business, I just felt very tired. One other reason maybe because I have not been on vacation for a long time. The last vacation i gave to myself was still 2 years ago in Australia, when we just had Yifan in Wendy’s belly.

I just feel I am too tired and I want to get a break. A vacation is badly needed. Seriously.

Sleep is my Routine at Weekend

I slept until 11:30 AM – a normal behavior at weekends. My dream was interrupted by Yifan’s cry from time to time in the morning. Wendy is taking care of him, so I can continue to my sleep. I said, I am a sleepy cat. I am! If no one interrupt me, my first time to open my eyes can be easily beyond noon time. For me, this Saturday was cut off by half already.

Dishuihu

We planned to visit the Dishuihu, our only Shangri-la in Shanghai and planned to stay one night there. However, the plan was canceled in the middle, because when we are ready to go, it is already afternoon.

Dishuihu is not very far from the city but it gives us a feeling of being far away. There are not too many things there beside a lake, a coffee shop and a Jinjiang Inn (a motel).

It Rains Dogs and Cats

When it rains, we were on the Outer Ring Road (the circle road outside the Middle Ring), it rained so heavily that the road is turned into a river. Even the left most lane is covered by deep water, and cars are like boat. Everyone is worried about their car and the risk for cars to break down in the middle. We pull over to the other road very quickly.

Visiting Friends

Finally, it turned out that we just visited our friends who just had a girl 20 days ago.

That is what we did today.

# Attended Shanghai 5G in Our Office

Participated in Shanghai 5G today – a group I was part of since 2006 (for example, I attended this time).

From this week, Shanghai 5G moved to Kijiji office, and it was a wonderful beginning – about 20 people showed up, and the topic of this week is about Chenshi’s new book Joking about Shuihu 笑水浒… The book was just published and not available in most bookstores, but I do believe it is a very good book – at least to listen to what Chenshi described was very enjoyable. I think I will write a review when I read it.

Here are some photos I took, with my new Nikon 50mm 1.8D. You may have noticed that 1.8D is really better than the original lens – the picture is brighter and more suitable to capture people’s portrait.

The place to hold the meeting.

The bench on the 18th floor – do you like to spend some time on the bench? I do.

The view of downstairs I have showed many times on my blog – but it is still my favorite.

Chenshi and his new book:

Other participants:

To participate in the forum, visit this page:

Here are more photos (including those listed above)

# The Journey Starts

The journey starts.

Just press the button, and we are ready to go.

The journey starts.

# Wake up, Wake up

I am the sleepy type of person – I can sleep as much as the time you gave me.

This is the second day of the three day New Year holiday. As yesterday, I wake up by myself, at 12:10 noon time.

I always wonder why I like to sleep so much. Is it because of gene or just because of laziness?

I pull over my laptop on bed and check out what is happening on my blog (comment) and inbox (email).

Then I decide to wake up and make the rest of the day productive (productive enough to compensate the lost morning).

BTW, it is so sunny today. The sunshine pours to my bed and I am completely in the sunshine. Just as yesterday, because of the heavy wind, it must be very cold outside. Wendy wakes up early today, and disappeared – she is always like a busy ant to work on many things for the family – a little bit guilty, and need to catch up.

P.S. My friend Auren Hoffman posted a very good blog named: sunny people verses angry people, lovers verses haters. I love it a lot. I am trying (at least) to be sunny, and to love the world, although so many people choose to be angry and to hate.

# Went to Children’s Hospital – Refugee Camp

I went to Children’s Hospital on the Fenglin Road. Yifan’s ass looks red – should be very typical problem for children like his age, so we went to the Children’s Hospital today. The last time, I lined there for 3 hours to get a small cup of medicine – that worked very well. The medicine itself was 2 RMB, or 30 US cents, but it cost me almost the whole after.

The other day on the YLF dinner, Yong complained about the high pressure he had – waited in the Children Hospital for three hours for just some very small problems. I guess I was going to go through the same thing.

Many Many Many People

As always, there are so many people in the hospital – lines after lines of people. The hall way was complete jammed so people cannot move. It looks like exactly a refugee camp. It is not that terrible, but the nature of the children hospital does give me that impression. Children are crying, and mothers and fathers are shouting, and people pushing each other for their ways.

Time Worth Nothing in This Hospital

• At the registration counter, there are 4 lines with 30+ people each – half an hour for get a ticket.
• Waited in the line for a long time after get  a ticket.
• 2 minutes to see the doctor.
• Waited in the line to pay money – 40 minutes.
• Waited in another line in the other floor – 20 minutes.

We arrived in the early morning, and when we finished everything (including the real 2 minutes payload time), it is lunch time.

When we are leaving the hospital, there are not as many people as the time we went in. I said to Wendy:

"Finally, I am able to see the color of the floor". That is very true. It is the first time I am able to see the floor when the crowd went back for lunch.

P.S. The other very interesting thing. They medicine the doctor prescripted for me worth 27 RMB (that I spent more than 1 hour to get), but they also prescript another two medicine that the doctor told me that it can only be bought outside the hospital in a private drug store. That two cost 147 RMB. I gave the prescript to the store, and they kept it. I am sure they will do some revenue share with the doctor.

P.S. 2. Too expensive and too hard for health care is a very big problem now. With the increase in GDP, and CPI, the common wealth didn’t increase proportionally.

# Plan to Go to Beijing

Try some bulletin style writing (invented by Ren Liu) – a style to use only bulletin instead of paragraphs in article.

• I will be in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday of next week. All my old friends, drop me an email so we can meet.
• Special Olympics closes today in Shanghai. Big event, but didn’t have any impact on me – I also watch it on TV.
• Metro Line #8 is almost ready and will open soon. Good news.
• Attending very late conference call these days, and very tired (even failed to wake up at 6:30 AM). That is the reason of pause in this blog.
• Autumn comes, and T-Shirt, for the first time, does not work for me.

.

# Nanpu Bridge was Closed Shortly

This morning, when I drove from Pudong to Puxi on the Nanpu Bridge, I saw there is no car on the opposite of the Nanpu Bridge. This is very strange, since in rush hours, it is unbelievable there is no single car there, for that long.

When when I approach the Puxi side, I found policeman were there, and there are policemen to block the cars from all directions. In short, the Nanpu Bridge was closed for a short period of time this morning.

It is very common that for some “very important person”, police close a road or many to let them go. It is rare though for the whole bridge to be closed. I don’t know what happened, who are coming, and who the “VIP” is.

The policemen are using public resources, but without limitation of its power, currently, it seems it is their own resources. That is a problem.

This reminds me of my trip to Cambodia. From time to time – many times a day – our tour bus was stopped and pushed aside just for the VIPs to pass. This was very typical in China 10 years ago. Recently years, China has changed to be better. At least in terms of police guarded cars, China is better than Cambodia. We are often stopped, but not daily at least. However, there is still a long way to go – when the time will come when those VIP feel a little bit embarrassed to close the whole bridge in rush hours for several minutes they can save.

Please note: This is Cambodia, not China

# What Matters to Me Most Today?

When I write a blog, I often ask the question: What matters to me most today? No matter how big or small, it is something that matters. A good blogger does not only describe something, but also describes why it matters, and tell people the details. (I think I read about this tip from a article about how to write better blog 4 years ago).

Flowers

The spring comes, and flowers blooms. White magnolia (白玉兰) was full of flowers – one window in my dining room is full of the whitish and reddish flowers. That is so good.

5G on Internet Expo

Spent the afternoon in 5G. Struggled a lot about whether to stay at home and be with Wendy or attend 5G. Finally, I decided to have a quick attendance to 5G. The topic for this 5G Review is “China International Internet Culture Expo”, which will be held this Oct in Beijing. People shared a lot of suggestions about how to revolutionalize the expo to the next level.

Running in my Garden

Exercise does need a big playground. I found a route – short but decent in my garden – that I can even run for 10 minutes. This made me very happy. No excuse to lack of resources or time to exercise. The perfect place is exactly in my garden

Ping Pong Tonight

I paid for a Ping Pong mentor to play Ping Pong with me tonight in the primary school nearby. I didn’t play Ping Pong for a long time. I think it is a good idea to find a mentor to help me to play professionally. My mentor Ni is good. I paid 50 RMB per hour for the service, including the venue. I will be there every Saturday night and Monday night.

# Weird Policies, One by One

This is another day – a typical day in my life in Shanghai. It is raining hard, and I go to the other office and spent the day there.

Let me show me what happened.

Personal Income Declaration

The HR team sent out notice to everyone to claim their personal income. The local tax department has a list of people (with ID number) who should claim tax, and said everyone must claim it before the end of March, otherwise, the fine will be 2,000 RMB to 10,000 RMB.

It also stated that foreign citizens in China don’t need to claim if they can prove that they lived outside China for continuous one month or 90 days in total in the previous year. That may (or may not) be good news for many people. The good news is, someone don’t need to claim and the bad news is, expats may still need to pay the tax.

One Family, One House?

Besides personal tax claim, recently there are many policies coming out. Some sounds strange for me. For example, there is a proposal in the people’s congress to enforce “one family, one house” policy.

The proposed policy restrict that every family in China can only have one house. People will be punished for the second house. The idea is to lower the house price.

This sounds ridiculous for me. It seems people are trying to get back to the planned economy system.

Real Name for Bicycles?

There is another similar proposed policy. The National Public Security Bureau is said to plan to enforce real name registration for bicycles. That means, they want to set up a system for the 1.6 billion people that every people need to provide their real names (national ID) to buy bicycles. The idea behind this is, too many bicycles are stolen. The Public Security Bureau don’t have any good idea, so they think if every bike has a registered owner, and if they find anyone who ride a bike that is not registered under his/her name, it may be a stolen bicycle.

Well. I have no idea about how they can easily create a policy like this. Do they expect everyone to wear national ID with them, or forbid people to lend their bike to others? I suspect the cost to enforce it is higher than bicycle.

Anyway, the good thing is, the voice of different opinion started to be heard, no matter how weired it seems to me.

Fall Over

It was raining, and the floors and stairs are slippy. I fall over one step and hit the steps heavily. It was dangerous, and my back still hurt. Be careful in this big city, especially in rainy day. There are many shining floors that is as slippy as ice in the rain.