Archive for September, 2012

China! – Part 2: Beijing

Again, I’m just going to give a short sketch of my adventure, emphasizing on the special stuff that I encountered. 🙂

Kev was irritated that I ignored his advice and adamant that I wanted to do this! His advice was that I should not buy anything unnecessary in China, because there are always hidden prices in the services somehow.

It is stated “RMB 10/photo”, but then after putting on the costume, the staff brought me to a corner, and mentioned this statement at lightning speed, “So I am gonna charge you RMB 10 for putting on the white scarf around your neck; makeup on your face; hair accessories and lend you the fan as a prop”. I couldn’t understand fully their accent and threw an SOS sight to Kev. Kev interfered and found out that I had to pay extra to get the full costume on. This surely was an annoyance because they did not explain in details what the extra charges are and allocate time for me to consider. Instead they just assumed I would feel ok paying the additional charges.

Kev stopped me from doing planking at Tiananmen Sq because he said this place is ultra-sensitive with people lying or sitting on it and he does not want to bail me out from the police station for being a bungler.

No clear blue sky… No cotton-candy cloud…

I observed many Chinese people posed this for photos!

Security checking is a crucial part in China!

This is the popular pose I mimicked before!

Q: A jar=4 glasses of melon juice, how much do you think this would cost us?

A: RMB 115 for god’s sake!!! Both of us were in dropped-jaw disbelief when we had the receipt. That’s half of the price of the duck!

This is surely another annoyance of the trip!

The story went like this:-

After ordering the famous roast duck and some other dishes:

Waitress: Any drinks for you?

Me: Do you have a drinks menu?

Waitress: Sorry, we do not have menu for drinks but I can tell you the choices verbally.

We settled with melon juice and who would have thought it’d cost this much? Kev was infuriated because we had a feeling like being duped! He bashed the waitress that menu should be prepared and in the absence of the menu, she should at least alert the customers to the dear price. So fellow travelers, please make sure you ask for the price before ordering!

I’m not sure if it’s due to my lousy Chinese or the calligraphy is illegible, I read it as 全泵德 on first look, when it is actually 全聚德! Haha!

This is very streetwise don’t you think? Utilizing the air-con and space of train terminal for jianzhi and badminton games! Even can save the cost of renting badminton court! Haha. And it explains why Chinese are superior in the badminton arena: because they can play anywhere! :p

Kang Kang from the Wada Hostel. I had this impulse to shout out the famous quotation from “The despicable me” when I met this cat:  it is so fluffy I’m gonna die!

Taking the subway during rush hours in Beijing=no fun!

Dingling of Ming tombs: the tour guide kept on saying that we shouldn’t be taking photos in the tomb because the deceased emperor and empress were annoyed enough that we disrupted their peace after death and now we still want to invade their privacy by taking photos of their bedroom! :p

A rare scene: clear blue sky and white clouds = a good day to visit the great wall!

Someone’s trying to bypass the firewall and access FB.

I like all the postcards sold in this 一朵一果shop!

The shop even offers the service of “a mail for the future”: you specify the date you want the postcard to reach the receiver and the staff will do the posting for you. How thoughtful!

I’m reaping the benefit of understanding Chinese: paying RMB 30 less for the audio guide.

The Temple of Heaven = my favorite place in Beijing so far. I like its solemnity, felt peaceful while I was there.

Part 1: Tianjin | Part 3: Shanghai | Part 4: Hangzhou | Part 5: The food! (a) (b)|


I spot you, creativity!

Series #9 Light bulb reuse!

Reflection of the day

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Inside the glass bottle…

“I want to walk tall, believe in myself, have the courage to ask for what I want and need, and live a life that mattered. I want to wake up in the morning with a smile on my face and know that I am loved and that I belonged. I am desperate to feel worthy and I am hungry for the opportunity to live my fullest potential.” - modified from "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" - Debbie Ford

Under the apple tree…

"If you are not spending all of your waking life in discontent, worry, anxiety, depression, despair, or consumed by other negative states; if you are able to enjoy simple things like listening to the sound of the rain or the wind; if you can see the beauty of clouds moving across the sky or be alone at times without feeling lonely or needing the mental stimulus of entertainment; if you find yourself treating a complete stranger with heartfelt kindness without wanting anything from him or her... it means that a space has opened up, no matter how briefly, in the otherwise incessant stream of thinking that is the human mind." - A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle

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Ich lese….

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The time keeper by Mitch Albom

The art of thinking clearly by Rolf Dobelli

The first phone call from heaven by Mitch Albom

Inferno by Dan Brown

For one more day by Mitch Albom

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

A study in scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom

Have a little faith by Mitch Albom

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

A Fresh Start by John Chapman

Inspiring quotes!

If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other? (God in "Evan Almighthy")
“To love another person is to see the face of God.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Aggie: "But what about the people who hurt you? Don't you ever want to make them suffer?" Norman Babcock: "Well, yeah, but what good would that do? You think just because there's bad people that there's no good ones either? I thought the same thing for a while. But there's always someone out there for you. Somewhere." - Paranorman
"机遇总是偏爱有准备的人"
“You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” by Walter Hagen
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, body totally worn out and screaming "WOOOHOOOO what a ride!" - by anonymous
When you travel, it’s not like you take a part of each place away with you; rather, it’s as if you leave a part of yourself there, like a part of you forever belongs to that place – the time, the people, and the things you saw; and over time, it gets burned deeper into your soul - by anonymous