with Chinese characteristics

I was in a pretty good mood today, despite it being 38C recorded when I left. That I had the choice to ride a bike to the nearby mall; or walk 300m to the air-conditioned Metro, for that 2km distance- which I did not have that leisure before February 2015.
The Putou government had delayed the opening of the Daduhe Metro because it was unforeseen if there would be sufficient demand for the new 7-building business complex or the larger 5sq km Changing Central Business District. So despite in winter 2012-13 there were shells of buildings completed around the parameter of the CBD, just no tenants- like Lujiazui 1997-2003.

Any day I go to the Apple Store for After-Sales service is a good- no, a magnificent day. Today is Thursday; and last I went to the Apple Store in Tsimshatsui, Hong Kong and premier xiaolongbao houses in TST Din Tai Feng— that was an absolutely amazing day!

I’m in dearth of continual positive stimuli. But today I made the mistake of selling too much today, when sufficient would have been sufficient. I used to ride my bike for that continual endorphin high!

I figured that if I went to Shanghai Disneyland that that would give me a fantasy euphoria like each time in the past 10 years going to Shanghai’s Lujiazhui amazing futuristic optimism!

At 15:30 after a most positive appointment at the Apple Store, I left the food court leaving my Mac there, in less than to minutes I ran back seeing the red bag there untouched.
After a while watching young girls jumping infant of the soccer display, I relieved myself.

Feeling less congested, I figured that maybe I needed to do something else than return to my residence and figured I could quickly check out Shanghai’s Disneyland.
The Metro ride was amazing, shooting thousands of passengers 60km to the Disney Resort Station in under an hour.
Once I got out of the station, instantly I was full of dread and depression. It was 38Celsius! And despite this being the countryside of Shanghai the congestion and the oppression of the muggy climate of the Yangtze River Basin did not lift.
It was 2/3 of a km to the front gates of Disneyland from the Metro Station, I thought “Where is the monorail? Or is Disney skimping to maintain the Chinese characteristics?”
Ripping off the customer, to those that can afford Disney Parks go to those in the USA. Anything else is a bastardisation of the true Disney experience.

I spoke to someone from Nanjing who was taking snap shots and not entering the Park, though he mentioned that he was there on the 2nd opening day, a few months ago.
Less than 1/2 an hour later, I was enjoying my first-550ml of well chilled pretty tasteless bottled water, but never-the-less that fits the humidity. And soon I am slumbering while the subway shoots through 60km of tunnels to bring me back to Daduhe Rd Station in an hour. There at Lawson’s (Japanese 24 hour convenience store) I am still fairly upset at the from from less than magical experience.

While chugging a few toxic Chinese Diet Coke lights, the Lawson girl asks me (or I told her) what a rip off Shanghai Disneyland is. She inquires isn’t that for kids one anyways?
Far be it for her to ever afford a ticket at her current pay scale. Then I add that the Metro is simply amazing and magical while the chilled beverages were affordable; unlike in the USA, or rather the San Francisco Bay Area, one has to coordinate antiquated different systems of public transportation that still uses technology of the last century, AND it takes a long time. And for refreshments that would be 3x the price and the public transportation 7x the price (mine was 12RMB for the Metro and 12 RMB for 2-550ml of chilled bottle water and 2-330ml toxic Diet Coke).
So after that I felt happy that I am in the right place.

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Life in Shanghai

If one doesn’t have a clean diet, they will suffer due to Shanghai’s weather.

I knew this for 18 years. And even this summer is more pleasant than the last. I am not taking that.

So I’m spending HK$5k to hopefully ease the discomfort.

That is more expensive than any of the Apple products that I have ever bought except the 1st Mac.

Sharing their pain.

Well I have gone through life largely as the migrants have for 15 years here and now I had enough!

After all they leave, this society is many dozens of times more prosperous than when I came.

And who can I say allowed me to share its gains, the Shanghai municipal govt!

Not the people, the Chinese Communist Party increased my well-being.

Stuff to think about.

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how do they afford rent?

Yesterday, one of my 2.1 liter canister’s caps was misplaced, I had bought that over 2 years ago for only 20 RMB, and then a few months ago I had bought two more for 26 RMB each. As since January I had been brewing my own coffee or tea, to save money.

As I was trying to figure what I wa going to do as I was leaving after 2PM. On my way out, I figured I would go to the neighborhood wet market and pick up two more and proceed to the newer mall 1 km from where I live and have 水饺 at the even newer 北东 eatery loaded with lots of crushed garlic!
As I was riding my bike, I intentionally missed the right turn to go to the wet market as the temperature was favourably around 26C, as the local newspaper advertised the longest spring weather (Jun 7, 2016
Shanghai enjoyed longest spring this year | Shanghai Daily
http://www.shanghaidaily.com)– it was damn hot when I came from San Francisco 19 years ago in 1997; and was proceeding to the wholesalers where I had a few days ago bought a bunch of odds and ends, such as ten beer bottle openers to attach my keys amongst other two specific other things.
This is a shoppers paradise, traveling principally between Shanghai, Hong Kong and occasionally to San Francisco.
Less than two weeks ago, I had bought an IPhone and Time capsule at the newest Canton St Apple Store, and then conveniently traveled on the Western MTR line from TsimshaTsui and a minibus that brought me to the Shenzhen border in 50 minutes, something unheard of a decade ago, or at least impossible to travel so far, making also those connections in modern transport in the SF Bay Area; as for the past 6 years the government can’t even get the High Speed Rail project proceeding, which I rode RT on the Chinese High Spped Rail from Beijing to Shanghai August 2011.
So I live in a resident motel near the unversity I resided when I first decided to live in Shanghai, now almost 19 years ago. And have had a unit in the suburbs since 2010, to keep the stuff I have stockpiled since 1997, typical American– too much stuff!

After only one km near a major intersection (actually the famous CaoAn Siuper Wet Market complex relocated North a year and a half across the street where there are now a dozen building cranes in the lot building a residential unit in that favorable location. Famous Cao’an wet market to close because Shanghai doesn’t have …

I decided to eat wonton and 粽子 at that cheapie restaurant, but I wasstill pondering why go there. When I opened the door a blast of cold air pleasantly greeted me. And I realized why I was eating there rather than better tasting or even cheaper alternatives.

At the cash register, was a lady customer complaining of the frigidness, while I complimented the management. They to supplement their income apparently make 粽子 there to distribute. So the restaurant temperature must be kept cold at that temperature.
After my order, a few more guys complained of the temperature, while I typed in total compliments to my Wechat account featuring the restaurant.
This is probably my fourth time coming to this restaurant in two weeks, after long not going to the Yunnan restaurant next door that I had discovered 3.5 years ago– enjoying their rice noodles until I had a few digestive issues– enjoying their most affordable wonton (considering the health and hygiene rules restaurants must obey in Shanghai) and more expensive 粽子.
The restaurant never has been busy, as I had always wondered how long they would last here and then succomb to the landlord.

After eating I rode to the wetmarket of my 唐阿姨’s late boyfriend. And then went to the nearby shopping center for some icy with my 1st cold coffee brew.

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More Evil, Most Evil

Today after I had bought two bamboo pillow cases, the old man said: you look hot.

Not that my sweating profusely is unusual for me during this time of the year, but I responded: I JUST GOT A TRAFFIC TICKET FROM THE [asshole] police, for the 2nd time, but this time going the other direction!

It was only 20 RMB, but the entrepreneur whom I have known for over a year understands the hassles of the Shanghai police.

This time I had argued more than last time, and the street cop in charge looks like Judd Nelson in  Billionaire Boys Club(1987) full movie – YouTube

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 19.22.05.png

▶ 3:08:11

Billionaire Boys Club, full movie. … Judd Nelson is back in the new 2016 remake as his character Joe Hunt’s ..

EVIL and Intimidating! But unsuccessful in intimidating me he resolved to ask me if I had my ID, passport, where I was from and where I live. Tired of his malarkey- I then tried to shove 20 RMB to get it over faster, acting as if I were anybody. Then he was distracted to the next prey.
While the officer writing the ticket asked me to write down my name and sign it. Whom I conversely treated with the utmost respect, as I know such jobs are quite harsh.
In 2012, I got an illegal violation ticket in Belmont, which I took pictures and wrote a thorough account on Yelp https://www.yelp.com/biz/belmont-belmont.
Finally when I realized that it would be too hard to meet a day in court, I paid off the $240 ticket.
For three and a half years I lived in Beijing and despite never getting a ticket or any confrontation with the cops there. The intimidating, SWAT team and police presence is the most denegrating.
Migrants without permets would get confronted by 2 officers, who told them to leave, then a female or a lesser officer, would listen to their pleas for mercy and issue the ticket.
I have lived in Shanghai for the past 4 years and for the past 11 years previous to Septemeber 2008 when I left for my Beijing Ordeal.
I appreciate the ability of the street police to take the time to listen to the complaints of the ordinary folk.
Some people may call me a Commie suckup, that I may be but what this has to do is quality of life, where it is not in the San Francisco Bay Area, and fully realized in Shanghai [with regular day trips to Hong Kong].
Here in Shanghai with tens of millions have the dignity of life, traveling the most efficient subways or buses. How high one can dreams is the only limitation!
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Why I don’t get involved

Besides all the complexities in my family. Over 40, never been had a girlfriend.

I simply want to find a man who dearly loves me. Why is it so difficult?

As NPR’s Frank Langfitt, brilliantly illustrates some of the complexities in the younger sister’s life, there is deception, to government authorities, health records and even manipulation in the relations.

“Against the family’s wishes, Little Sister left school at 16 and moved to the city. With few skills, she fell into sex work.”

“‘It’s just for survival,’ said Big Sister.”

“Many women worked in factories. The brighter ones went into professions. Big Sister, for instance, became a nurse. Those with fewer skills, like Little Sister, sometimes ended up in massage parlors.”

“[Mpved to] Yunnan, she tried to reinvent herself — something that is becoming as much a part of modern Chinese culture as it is in the U.S. Little Sister studied business books to learn about investing. She looked into buying a bar and becoming a legitimate businesswoman.”

“[She] married a rubber farmer. After little more than a month, though, she left him. She told Big Sister that her husband accused her of cheating on him.”

The day they picked up their marriage license, in October 2013, the clerk asked her to produce a divorce certificate. Her husband-to-be was stunned.

“‘Before we got our marriage license, she had just divorced a guy, just a month earlier,’ he said. ‘When we were dating, she didn’t tell me that.‘”

A Forged Medical Report

“[At] Little Sister’s empty apartment,. Big Sister discovered medical results on a coffee table, showing that her little sister was pregnant a few months before she disappeared. Earlier, her family had also found a love note revealing Little Sister was having an affair with the handsome businessman — something he’d denied during our long lunch.”

There was something odd, too, about the pregnancy results. The little sister’s given age was wrong, making her seem a decade younger. Puzzled, Yang and I went to the hospital that issued the document and showed a copy to several doctors.

‘Where was this test done?’ asked one physician. ‘It’s not done by us. Our department doesn’t have a doctor by this name or an ID number like this. This report is fake!‘”

Another physician called up Little Sister’s medical records and found an earlier, legitimate pregnancy test, which had been negative. He said Little Sister appeared to have created the positive test report using a Microsoft Word document.”

“Why would someone forge a pregnancy test?”

“‘Some girls want to take some leave from their jobs,’ said the first doctor. ‘Others lie to a man, saying ‘I’m pregnant’ to get a sum of money.‘”

Little Sister didn’t have a job, but she did have some money, so Yang and I suspected there was probably another motive. What had started as a hopeful search was turning more ominous.

Yang and I called the businessman. We expected him to hang up. Instead, he spoke for 40 minutes and came clean about the affair. He said he and Little Sister had fallen in love.

‘She wanted me to get a divorce and then marry her,’ he explained. ‘But I told her when this all started, ‘I have a family.‘ ”

End of Empire • 15 hours ago
“Little Sister’s story of failed reinvention — with potentially fatal consequences — is a particularly Chinese one.”

No, it’s not. It’s not even a Chinese story. This is the story of poor women, the men who exploit them, and economic reality. Poor women have zero value in this world. Ask the women in the maquiladoras in Mexico if they recognize this story. Would a Rohingya woman think this was a Chinese story? Go ask girls in Moldova if they think this is unique. Heck, go ask women in Los Angeles or Chicago or Appalachia or anywhere in the US with large concentrations of poor if the abuse, murder, lack of options, and institutional apathy/hostility described here resembles their lives.
hmmm555 • 9 hours ago
Was there a larger point to this story? I’m sure an incident like this could be found in any US city. Why would you have to go to China to report on a story of personal drama. I don’t think it says anything culturally about China. What an odd piece of journalism.
ALL due respect, I have Shanghai friend who got married pregnant, then divorced. Then another man impregnanted her. Sister-in-law is still my friend

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WHAT mattered on Thursday, January 28, 2016

Today, was a dreary, darkened rainy day. But the temperature warmed up this afternoon.

On the way back to where I live, enroute to have 2 more soy milks and sweet pastry. I passed by a Qinghai Sunni family restaurant to pick up a 5 RMB tke out of their pull noodles.
When I entered the restaurant, I was astonished as the under 14 year old (probably younger fresh from graduating from elementary school) was cooking dishes  for the clientele. Previously, she was in charge of the bill (cashier).

After I finished my soy milk and pastry, I took the bus back to nearest where I live and went to pick up more pull noodles from the similar Islamic restaurant in my neighborhood.

I told the young manager that I was impressed as this girl has shown much more responsibilities than his niece, also just graduated from elementary school. That the first girl had exhibited skills that is 1) advertisable 2) her exhibited skills finds her a superior  marriage mate.

The young manager said his niece could do that also. I said, but I saw the other little girl working, but also in the rest of the world this is called child abuse (underage employment. Actually China has rules that minors under 15.5 can not work for companies or seek employment.

I told him yes his niece can do this, but I saw, the other girl doing those things. As the conversation wore on, I ended that I regret that when I went to school, I solely focused on the academic benefits and none of the other parts or involved myself to better develop other skills.


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2nd chances and redemption

Today, like almost everyday for the past 2 months I was at the corner restaurant that has higher quality soy products. It’s the sort of place I wonder how they earn money despite their competitive and low prices.





Unlike most restaurants big and small, people under 40 are the employees at such establishments– for their vigour and strength and health. So today I spoke to a 65+ year old worker as repress native of the majority of the employees.


First I asked her where she was from?

Anhui Province.

How long have you been here (I assumed she and her fellow employees had been here for decades but were passed over from the prosperity or opportunities).

Since July.

What did you do in Anhui?


What aspect of that?

I can’t describe it.

I could not understand that but assumed it was in the iron and steel industry, so I responded: so your collecting your pension?

No, I was a farmer.

What about your kids?

They are working here also.

Then it came together. That her child is one of the scholarly professional that works here.

During the whole time, I was reflecting on one of Billy Joel’s greatest dual CD hit albums bought in Hong Kong in the late-90s.

On one of his campus lectures, he mentions walking on the streets of Austria with his father, and asked him what is that elderly woman sweeping the streets.

His father replied that if one needs employment, everyone gets that. As oppose to the welfare-ridden USA.

And then he begins to sing “Song from a Vienna https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_(Billy_Joel_song) cafe. About redemption and overcoming life’s troubles and given a 2nd opportunity in life.

I reflect on my 2nd chance then and still wonder, I have been absolutely consistent on my fervent devotion. Where have I missed it?


Why did I pick Vienna to use as a metaphor for the rest of your life? My father lives in Vienna now. I had to track him down. I didn’t see him from the time I was 8 ’till I was about 23-24 years old. He lives in Vienna, Austria which I thought was rather bizarre because he left Germany in the first place because of this guy named Hitler and he ends up going to the same place that Hitler hung out all those years! Vienna, for a long time was the crossroads.

So I go to visit my father in Vienna, I’m walking around this town and I see this old lady. She must have been about 90 years old and she is sweeping the street. I say to my father, “What’s this nice old lady doing sweeping the street?” He says, “She’s got a job, she feels useful, she’s happy, she’s making the street clean, she’s not put out to pasture.” — Billy Joel, An Evening of Questions & Answers and Perhaps a Few Songs




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