Friday, December 31, 2010

Warmly Welcome 2011

It's been a pretty good year. Jia and I both found new jobs this past year, and are living much more comfortably than at the beginning of the year. We expect everything to go a little smoother in the new year.

My first New Year holiday in China was spent in Guangzhou. Jia and I had been dating less than month and decided to take two days outside Shenzhen. Seeing as I only knew a handful of words in Chinese, Jia was my tour guide. She took me through the main sites--the Tomb of the Nanyue King, Guangxiao Temple, Chen's Folk Art Museum (where I purchased a miniature Statue of Liberty because it seemed so out of place), and Xiu Park.

Guangxiao Temple was a highlight of the trip. It was my first experience in a Buddhist temple. Unfortunately, when we revisited Guangxiao before leaving China, the temple was undergoing renovations and much of it was closed off. The first visit was much more memorable.

Monday, December 27, 2010

White Out

It was a pretty wild snowstorm we had yesterday. It wasn't much until around 4pm, but it dumped plenty of snow around the city. The wind was howling last night, creating some large snowdrifts. It was an adventure just walking down the street--the sidewalk in front of my building is dry, but a few feet away the snowdrift grew to almost two feet.

Fortunately, my car was not buried under two feet of snow like some others.

Both cars were parked next to each other for the entirety of the storm, and only one is completely buried.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Right Vote

That's one way to ensure a favorable ballot.

According to China Daily, Putian, a city in Fujian province, launched an online opinion poll asking netizens whether they were satisfied with government departments. It sounds like a great way for the government to see which departments need improvement. But, like most governments in the world, they weren't really interested in listening.

Netizens who voted "dissatisfied" for the majority of the 79 departments listed were met with a notice from the website stating that their vote "does not meet the requirement."

The Putian vote was definitely better than a previous online poll for a city in Jilin province that only provided the choices of "satisfied" and "very satisfied."

The lesson here is, if you're dissatisfied with the government, don't vote.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Exclusive Squatters

I'm surprised this exists in China, but I am surprised it didn't pop up in Shanghai or Shenzhen first.

A mall in Chongqing has introduced an exclusive restroom for its elite shoppers. According to the Telegraph, shoppers spending 5000RMB can have access to the toilet. The article doesn't mention if this is a one-time deal or if shoppers have to spend 5000RMB each time to relieve themselves in the harmonious toilet. There's also no word on whether or not it's a squatter.

Friday, December 03, 2010


Sometimes I discover photos I forgot I took.

Looking down from Buddha's head in Leshan wasn't the best idea. I don't particularly like heights and it was a long, slow walk down the stairs to the feet.

Along the way down, I encountered one of many coincidences in my relationship with Jia. I had just taken my parents to met her in Xinjiang before heading to Sichuan. In front of us in line to see the Giant Buddha was a woman and her daughter from Xinjiang. She spoke English, and we had a pleasant conversation on that slow walk down. While talking with her, I received a text from Jia--she met two people from New Jersey on her train ride back to Shenzhen.