Apple Store is the best!

Last Friday, December 12th, my newer Mac was acting like a Vista Basic Chinese computer, fairly dreadful.

I kept on having to restart it. Eventually the AC wasn’t lighting to indicate charging. Unfortunately, I had to do a visa run the next day, so I didn’t set an Apple Care appointment.

Also I had to drag all the computer, and Time Capsule backup to HK. With my duffle bag, that was the only thing I did in HK. An hour later, I took the E22 to Kowloon Tong and a short walk over to the Apple Store.

There there were no available Apple Care appointments, but I had my TimeCapsule back up drive to first back up this computer.

After a few Apple dudes, the second was able to tell me how to do the back-up despite my forgetting the password (reset). He spent an hour and a half with me (I also purchased 2 IPAD mini 2s and another AC cord as my original was still not working).

It took about 3.5 hours for the back-up, during which time I set-up the Mini and I called Apple IAPM Shanghai to set an appointment, but that was inconclusive as the person who answered the phone seemed to be missing a few.

It was past 4 PM when the back-up was done, then I immediately took off to Jordan to eat (looking forward to some Vietnamese food). Unfortunately, I could not find a restaurant and ended up eating at the Wonton house and Australian Dairy Company restaurants as I did the previous time.

After which I just went back to the airport,but saved HK$20 taking a local bus rather than an Airport one.

The next morning my body was in traction so I did no go to church.

On Monday, I took the bus closest to IAPM mall, and the Apple dude set an appointment for me the next day.

On Tuesday, my AC was charging, so I figured I would have them check out the looseness of the Thunderbolt and USB ports.

The most attractive Apple gal agreed that one of the ports was loose and said it would be serviced.

That evening, first I got a call for the password (which I had given the gal); then a few hours later, I got a call that my computer would not be serviced.

Which was ok, but what happened the next day utterly surprised me! There was surveillance blocking software on my computer!

As I started the VPN, the google page went to .com.hk rather than the VPN’s European location. Then news.google.com personalized was also blocked.

I contacted those I knew on Quora for advice (better accounts of the situation).

Quickly I learned that if I set two VPN accounts accounts.google.com was able to be registered.

Then near noon on Friday, I could no longer set my VPN. No google or other blocked sites was fairly drastic.

For 12 hours I was irritated, then I read some of the VPN directions and at least one VPN could be set, that means Twitter access was OK.

A few minutes later a VPN.ac technician over Skype contacted me. And for the next hour, she patiently led me to set a Chrome app for the VPN.

That is life in China victory over circumstances!

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is it worth it

On Thursday, I went to the Bible Study of my former Youth Group leader. I was young at one time.

Outwardly she looked run down, a lot older than a year and a half ago, when incidentally she had a motorbike accident.

In 1996-97, I was attending a Cn church at the premises of the Church in San Francisco I went to in my high school years.

There was a George and Betty Anderson who sort of guided me and Aldo. He had been an elder that was ejected from the Church in Berkeley during the late-50-60s.

They looked worn too.

A few years later, having moved to Oklahoma City, George had died. Betty responded, not affirmatively that he is in heaven, but that he was in a better place.

Teacher Jiang: Emphasized that with much suffering brings her closer to God’s Son.

That is something I definitely did not learn in Sunday School or in the American Church’s preaching.

Was it worth it? I don’t think so. …

And it gets rougher!

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off to Shanghai

Closure:

 

For the entire week I was looking forward to come back to the hostel so that we (me and Gary, a carpenter) could eat steak together. On Monday, I went to Costco and he went to Trader Joes.

So he showed me how simply it took to prepare a great looking and tasty meal. Saving me a lot of money in the future.

Today Friday, the Chongqing girl sleeping at my feet indicated that she was taking out her blender– as I wanted to grind all the tomatoes and the left over veggies from last night. I tore off the white meat from the Costco chicken bought yesterday and heated it in the tomato base on the stove.

After eating I was fret that this was a waster of time. But returning to my room I saw Gary and his friend. As he was permitted to take all his luggage that he left here.

That brought closure and meaning to the extra few days that I stayed in San Francisco and now can look forward to eating with my sister and perhaps her in-laws and be proud of what had transpired for me during the past three weeks.

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Fort Mason Hostel

Sunday evening after my devotions I really had nothing to do. I had watched a movie on the large screen Annie Hall, read over all my news and wasn’t even all that hungry from those 2 bagels and wanton I had eaten while watching the movie. The Yuen Biao movie was also boring.

So while walking about in the lobby, Gary an elderly man that I first met on Friday night took me to the kitchen. And before I knew it with many other people, I was cooking (kind of reminding myself of that awful Microsoft commune commercial from a year ago. First Gary was offering his humus and dips to everyone there; than he was carving off the white meat from my Costco chicken breast; while he told me to cook or use up the Nestle tool house cookie batter.

After he finished, we all sat down to eat, while the whole time I had been munching on Costco organic carrots, with anoN ther elderly gentleman from NE CA. After they were done, we were invited to eat with the Thais. Whom the son had done most of the cooking. We ate alittle, with Gary sharing his humus and large grapefruit with all (including the father who was not present).

Afterwards, we all helped clear the table and I specifically rinsed and placed all the dishes and utensiles in the smallish square drying racks. That was a most productive and enlighteniong almost 3 hours that would have otherwise been wasted.

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Airbus A380 Sq Air

I slept very bad as I fret over my travel demands.

Got to the Pudong International Airport at 6:25, had gone through check-in in 15 minutes.

I contemplated of why wasn’t SFO nearly as efficient as this.

The HKG airport bus got to Tsim Sha Tsui around 11:40, figured that there were no services until 14:00, so I walked through Granville Rd to Salisbury at the corner of Mody, Siberian Fur was boarded up, as were many other shops and stores either closed or boarded closed. I got my glasses fixed at Swiss Optical by the assistant that has been there for over 15 years, she seemed uncommonly happy today, when I finally asked her name, which was Connie.

After going to HMV and buying some DVDs, I went to YMCA TST to church and the service I attended was a Filipino one. They were having prayer intercession before the service. Also a half dozen people had greeted me before it began; whereas when I came to another service last time, the message was about getting the lost and none even acknowledged me, I was exasperated!

After the service I went back to HMV picked up some more cheaper DVDs then returned to the airport.

I was in the prayer room for less than 2 hours, while many Islam worshipers did their prayers.

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Sq Air A380

At the HKG gate, the plane looked fairly ordinary. It wasn’t until I got to SFO and taxiing and then seeing a diminutive UAL plane at its gate (too bad I didn’t take a photo). This impression could have represented the downfall of either USA might or corporate dominance globally and the emergence of Asians– (particularly the Sg’ians as the island state has surpassed the USA in many measureents).

Going onto the plane, the passengers entered the most excellent Sg Air business class! Though lugging my carry-ons, noted the aisle was less wide.

On the top floor, there was only one economy cabin. The seating arrangement was 2-4-2 on the upper level and 3-4-3 on the lower level. Unfortunately, the seats were not even as wide as Cathay Pacific [3-3-3], but seemed to have an ordinary tilt which the CX don’t that make those uncomfortable.

I sat in a comfortable aisle seat with only one extremely polite Asian kid next to me in the window seat, which also had a small counter for those to place stuff on.

The only things of note, the stewardess looked 25 or so, too young to flirt with. And the plane seemed heavy as it took off (a drag), I wonder how it felt on the bottom level, especially on the landing which seemed like a thud. The seat neighbor said: bad pilot.

I noticed that the food and the service were particularly excellent, even better than my last (HKG-SFO) roundtrip a year ago! And better than Cathay Pacific, which accordingly all other airlines I have taken over the past 20 years are far worse (for over 5 hour flights, which include United, Delta, Air Canada, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Korean Airlines, China Airlines). Also in the one cabin that I was on the upper deck was totally full, unlike a year ago (I worry how the best cross-Pacific Airlines’ economy class aren’t earning money, namely Singapore Air and Cathay Pacific).

When it was time for breakfast there was a noticeably strong healthy smell of roasted coffee beans, some smell I don’t even encounter at Peet’s nor McDonalds (don’t frequent Starbucks).

After getting off the airplane on the way to the luggage carousel did I realize more. I only watched one and a half movies, so that meant the airplane flight was far less noisy than any other smaller plane. I also noticed that my industrial quality ear protecters to increase the headphone noise by muffling cabin and engine noise was not needed, principally because the engine was so silent.

That also meant that I had almost no jet lag. Typically getting off a transpacific flight. I am so exhausted that I can’t wait to sleep.

But in this case, I didn’t got to sleep until over 8 hours after touchdown. Though I slept from 5:15-14:30 the first time, The next day, I slept from 3:45-8:30. So it seems the engine noise and rumbling contributes greatly to jet lag (typically for the last few years, it takes 2 weeks to redevelop a normal sleep schedule)!

The other notes was the bathroom was more luxurious and spacious than Cathay or older Sg Air planes. A lady who sat in Business Class mentioned of poor upkeep of the plane that she had to change seats. I thought: how old are these planes, at most over 1 year. She said that these Airbuses were in flight for 4 years, and paying so much, one would demand the best (my travel agent told me $6000 for a business class seat, as opposed to the $950 cost for economy)!

The whole time as I was waiting for my baggage at the economy carousal (there was also the business and 1st class carousal and then the other fragile and irregular items drop off), I was thinking: At the HKG check-in, this fellow traveler said Sg and CX were 1st checked-in, first out FIFO; and I check in early! Also I had been suspicious that the US customs may have delayed my baggage. After an hour since touch down my bags came tumbling off the carousal.

Today, the second day after arrival, I asked my travel agent how he felt about it– absolutely marvelous (he also sat on the upper deck in economy class)!

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bird virus 2 cn

Shanghai was barely afflicted by SARS 10 years ago, from Guangdong province. Nor has Shanghai been drastically damaged by bird flu. Though recently there was an epidemic of virused pigs in the local water and now bird flu 2.

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