keskiviikko 26. marraskuuta 2008

Come to China

I never carry my camera with me, and to be honest, these guys are better photographers than I am. So, check out some pictures of China: Go to China

I like these photos too. You should see them in proper size, printed on metal plates. I know they are no high-level art, but never mind. In my newly found love of China, I really, really like them.

And still you should have a look at these. The colors are so bright that I would not be surprised if Photoshop has been used, but non the less, gorgeous sceneries.

Five things you didn't know about...

I got this e-mail, challenging me to think of five things that my friends don't know about me. And then sending these five things to my friends. The obvious reason being, that my friends would know me a little bit better after that. Yeah right! I tell you: the real reason is, that if there are five things people don't know about their friends, they must be embarrassing things. Like truly, unbelievably embarrassing. And some, twisted soul (could have been me, but wasn't) has had an idea: this way we just might learn embarrassing things about our friends. Which can later be used to torture or blackmail, should the situation require such desperate actions.

Anyway, here are my Five things I think you didn't know about me...

1) I get really cranky if I sleep during the day. I mean, if I sleep late in the morning or take a nap during the day, it is best to keep out of my range for awhile, because taking a nap just ruins my day.

Doesn't apply to travelling, though: I never get cranky if I manage get some sleep on a plane, for example.

2) I hate it if my feet are too worm when I sleep. Actually I can hardly sleep if that is the case. Followingly, I never sleep with socks on. (Except if I happen to be sleeping in a car, airplane, or some other place not suitable for feet or other nudity.)

3) This is starting to sound like "What you did not know about my sleeping habits"... This is a new habit: if I am home alone here in China, I am pretty sure there is going to be a gas leak during the night. So, I need to open kitchen window, close the kitchen door and close the bedroom door. I have no idea if hat would do the trick, should there actually be a gas leak. Neither do I know why I think the leak would happen when I am alone, but not otherwise.

I guess I just revealed how seriously troubled I am inside. It is a good thing I live with a "certified health care professional".

(Just so you don't think that would actually help, this health care professional is strictly something other then the title would imply, has never worked with health care issues, not one day. And very unlikely that he would.)

4) I have at least three things in my bode that are not as straight as their should be:

- my wrist, which was broken almost 9 year ago. It works, but it's not straight.
- my nose, which did not have an accident, that's just the way it is. I might straighten it in a surgery, but then again I don't have extra money (there are so many more important things) and if I had the money I could still not do it because I almost faint if I think the sound that my nose would make when they would break iiiiit....
Sorry, a short loss of consciousness, but I am back now.

--> Hey, what ever happened to number three? I don't know, but it's my spine. There is a bend in it.

5) I don't always comply with Chinese toilet using instructions. (Yes, keep reading, you'll figure it out at some point.)

But when I listed the above, I started thinking that most of you come to this blog to learn something about CHINA, not to read about me, me and me! So, I'll give you:

Five things you didn't know about CHINA!
(or maybe you do, how the heck could I know what you do or don't know about China?)

1) Language
There are some word in the Chinese language that sound approximately same as their Finnish equivalents. Don't believe me?

Well, here are some that I have noticed. There are more, but I cannot remember at the moment.
Vauva = waa waa
Hi / hei = hai (yes, you should know by know that the most common is "Ni hao", but also "hai" is used as a greeting.)
Talo (rakennus / building) = da lou

2) MSG
Did you know that Chinese use a lot of artificial, chemical flavour enhancer (aromivahvenne) in their cooking. Also families, not just restaurants. Ok, so you might know this if you are aware of the news of the world, and weren't born yesterday. (Since I think the discussion of the subject was on the table some fifteen years ago.)

Some believe that the MSG is connected with obesity and some other health issues, but there is no compelling evidence for one way or the other. Some people say you get a sort of a "hangover" from MSG-food.

I can pretty much guess (after some practice) whether there is MSG in the food or not: the food tastes some how salty (but not exactly) and kind of good, in a way that all the tastes are stronger (yup, I KNEW there was a reason they call it "aromivahvenne"). Don't know how bad it is for health, though...

3) Retirement age
The legal age for women to retire in China is 55! Can you imagine that. And, if you continue working after that, you get to keep both your pension and your salary. There is a little downside though... I am not sure how many Chinese actually can afford to retire at that age...

4) Toilet paper
Did you know, that toilet paper does not belong to the toilet in China? (And when I say China, I mean Shanghai :o) Yes, it is true there is no paper in many public toilets (malls etc.) but that is not what I meant. I mean, in many places they ask you to not through the paper to the toilet. In some places they don't, so I am not sure whether it applies in every where, but based on my observations, that is how Chinese act. Signs or not. I don't always comply. I am sorry. I really am. I am also sorry I brought up the topic.

5) Did you know that there is a KOTI-PIZZA in Changshu? (Did you know what is Changshu? It is a city, 120 km from Shanghai, and there is a "Special Development Zone", in which the company that pays my salary has two factories in. It is small city in chines scale, only 1,4 million citizens.) OK, so we all know that Koti-Pizza and Hesburger, those great Finnish gourmet/export-success stories have spread wide, but that there is one in Changshu! I almost could not believe it. But I have to, since I just got these pics from my colleague:

And now I have an unbelievable craving for Koti-Pizza... Do you think they deliver to Shanghai? Or maybe to the mill, it's only some 40 kilometres away...

Bonus 1)
This one you should know, if you have been good and diligent blog-readers. Many small children were pants that are open from the crotch, enough to show a good look of their buttocks. (Sorry, I have not yet get the courage to take a picture of such a child. I might get accused of inappropriate behaviour, or something worse.) Now, for example this week I saw a Chinese lady who herself had seen fit to put on a down filled, really warm coat (untuvatakki) and her child was wearing this kind of pants. So my question is, if adults needs a proper winter gear to manage, how come they don't come to think that these little kids might get frost bites to their buttocks?

P.S. Christmas - The Chinese Way - pictures coming on soon! Consider yourself warned!

maanantai 24. marraskuuta 2008

If I had lived in the...

I spent the weekend alone since the joy of my nights happened to be in Finland, and friends were away from town, too. Well, alone, weekend, rain... -> INTERNET! Oh, internet, how would I do without you? (Truth to be told, I also went to gym, twice, went to the fabric market, had a chinese lesson, and manicure and pedicure and did some window shopping and grocery shopping, too. And a lot of garllic-fumed cooking. And went to see a doctor. And read a book. And watched TV. Anyway, point was I wasn't clued to the laptop all weekend.)

I happened upon a site called "Yearbook yourself". What you do, is that you download a photo of yourself and start placing it in to someone elses hair and upper torso. Styles available from 1950's to 2000's, for boys and for girls. I think it was made for people like me, who'd never, not in a million years have the nerve to e.g. blonde my hair... (It would fall of after bleaching, I know, so I actually have a perfectly acceptable reason not to try it.) Soooo, you haven't seen many photos of me on this site, and I promise this will be an exception, but below some what might have been-shots of me.


If I had lived in the 1950's... (Although I don't know where half of my chin disappeared, 50's or not?) It actually slightly reminds me of my dear, dear grandma. And the expression is fitting, I think, as people seemed to be quite serious in the 50's portraits. I think.


And almost twenty year's later, Eeva a'la 1968. I kinda like the style, but in the picture my head is too bif for the hair. Which is funny, 'cause my head is actually too small. For anything.


Yup, 1972 rocks. I wonder how you keep the thing fluffy like that all-day long?


Eighties, oh eighties. I believe further comments are not needed...

And last but not the least...

This is supposed to be 2000... Don't know about that, but I think I sort of look like the deceased Armi Aavikko (Not trying to claim I looked like the admired Miss Finland from 70's, but that's what the photo brought in mind. Must be the hair.)

sunnuntai 23. marraskuuta 2008

Jotain silmässä

Heräsin tänään ihmetellen miksi tyyny on ihan märkä. Hmmm, muistaakseni näin jotain ihan mukavaa untakin, en muista että olisi mitään syytä itkeä sen paremmin unessa kuin hereillä. Tallustelin kylppäriin ja lensin melkein metrin taaksepäin kun näin silmäni! Turvonneen, punaisen, rähmivän, kamalan vasemman silmäni. Ja kuinka se kutisi. Oh boy, did it ever!

Ei auttanut kuin alkaa miettiä miten pääsisi lääkäriin. Ärsyttävää, mietin ensin, mutta hoksasin kyllä heti pian sen jälkeen että on ehkä parempi harjoitella lääkärissä käyntiä kun on silmätulehdus kuin jos olisi jostain syystä tuskaisen kipeä. Kaivoin esille töistä saamani numeron josta voi varata lääkärin, ja mietin että lääkäriajan jonottaminen pimpeli-pompeli-musiikin parissa lienee yleismaailmallinen ilmiö.

Sain ajan iltapäiväksi, ja köröttelin taksilla paikalle. Mietin hetken aikaa olinko oikeassa paikassa, mutta kyltin mukaan olin. Parkay Healt, ja erilaisia kategorioita "urgent surgerysta" "pediatria":an, mutta mikään ei kuulostanut oikein hyvältä. Kiersin toiselle puolelle rakennusta, mutta sieltä löysin vain kiinan kielisiä kylttejä. Pistin kuitenkin pääni yhdestyä ovesta sisälle, ja pyöriskelin hetken aikaa käytävässä, ihmetellen kylttejä ja viittoja joista en ymmärtänyt sanaakaan. Ja kiinalaisia jotka näyttivät ihmettelevän mitä minä mahdan siellä tehdä. Sitten löysin oven jossa oli ymmärrettävää tekstiä: China Beauty Surgery Clinic. Jep. Voisihan sitä käydä suoristuttamassa nenänsä, tulisi ihan tarpeeseen, mutta jos nyt hoidetaan tuo silmä ensin kuntoon... Eikun takaisin sinne puolelle taloa mistä aloitinkin.

Ajattelin mennä kolmanteen kerrokseen jossa kyltin mukaan oli jonkinlainen vastaanotto, ja kysyä olenko oikeassa paikassa. Hissi piti niin pelottavaa kolinaa että katsoin parhaaksi kiivetä. Rappukäytävän näkymät eivät juuri mieltä ylentäneet:

Pahoittelen vastavaloa, mutta asia tullee selväksi.
Mutta perillä odottivat siistit tilat, ja asialliset, englantia puhuvat hoitajat. Ystävällisesti firmamme admin-ihminen jolta sain vakuutuskortin oli unohtanut kertoa että paitsi vakuutuskortin, tarvitsen myös "Guarantee letterin". No, rahalla saa ja luottokortilla vasta saakin.

Aikaa varatessani kuulin että lääkäri on Kanadalainen Gabrielle. Sukunimestä päättelin että hän on kanadan-kiinalainen. Siinä osuin kyllä oikeaan, mutta kyseessä oli mies. Gabriel. Onko vika vain minussa, vai eivätkö "Gabriel" ja kiinalainen mies vain kertakaikkiaan sovi yhteen? Eivät, sanon minä.

Koskapa laskuttavat melkoisen summan (kun otetaan huomioon että kyseessä on asia johon en tarvitsisi lääkäriä, vain antibioottitipat, joita en tietenkään saa ilman lääkäriä, eli siis loogisesti ottaen tarvitsen lääkärin) yrittävät myös tehdä jotain antaakseen vaikutelman että palvelu oli rahan arvoista. Niinpä, vaikka sokea Reettakin olisi nähnyt että minulla on silmätulehdus (jota säestin vielä kertomalla että niin on käynyt flunssan jälkeen ennenkin, itse asiassa siitä on tullut tapa viimeisten flunssien perusteella) ottivat verenpaineen, mittasivat kuumeen, katsoivat korvat, kuuntelivat keuhkot ja sitä rataa. Lääkäri kysyy myös olenko ehkä törmännyt oksaan, vaikka olin juuri kertonut kaikki yllä kuvatut oireet, enkä maininnut sanallakaan että olisin satuttanut silmän johonkin. Se on itseasiassa melkoinen taito: kysyä jotain jossa taustaoletuksena on että toinen on täysin idiootti, mutta niin, että se ei kuulosta siltä että ajattelee että toinen on idiootti.

Mutta en valita: palvelu oli hyvää, täsmällistä, ja lääkkeet sai heti mukaan. Kun silmä kutiaa ja kirvelee ja on punainen kuin paprika, sitä maksaa sen mitä maksaa täytyy. Sitä paitsi vakuutusyhtiöhän tämän huvin korvaa :o)
Tämä tässä ei liity mitenkään lääkäriin. Tämä on vain pieni pala ihanaa seitsemän varren orkideaani. Halusin vain näyttää sen teille ennenkö se kupsahtaa. Koska niin käy. Ennemmin tai myöhemmin. I know my skills with orchids...

lauantai 22. marraskuuta 2008

Allium Sativum

Allium Sativum. Sounds like a spell in Harry Potter, don't you think? Well, it equals garlic. Kynsilaukka. Valkosipuli. Valkolaukka. Heaven.

I love garlic. I think I always have, 'cause I remember a delicacy from the time I was just a little girl: toasted dark bread (jälkiuunileipää), fresh and uncooked garlic and tomato. The taste of pure garlic... mmm.

Anyway, out of coutesy to my comrades (also called collagues, but comrades seems firring here, where communism is still rocks. No it doesn't actually, but that's the officual truth anyway) and the poor garlic-smell hater I live with, I try to keep it down, on most parts. But as the mentioned person I share my life with, is currently enjoying part-sabbath, he's become more relax with the use of garlic. A change I have excepted with utter contempt, but without trying to make a big deal out of it.

I really think my drug of choice is garlic. Once I start using, it is very, very difficult to be without. And the daily dose just grows. I think if I had to choose whether to never ever have a glass of red wine again, or garlic again, the wine would be left for others to enjoy.

Like a proper junkie, once I get going, I don't see no reason to cut down on my garlic-usage. Quite the opposite. This week has been a particularly bad. Or good, which ever way you see it. Reason being, that my darling has been several thousand miles away. I've made pasta with tomato and garlic, "the best garlic bread ever" (by Jamie Oliver) (and carefully picked all the lovely roasted garlic pieces that didn't stick on the bread), tomato soup (of course with garlic), tzaziki with extra garlic and I have't had my heart's content. I am trying hard to figure out how I could have MORE garlic tomorrow. More that sweet, sweet taste that tingles on my tong...

Sorry, got to go now. Mission Impossible III is starting on HBO. It's not like I was planning to watch it, or anything, but Tom Cruise just told how great it was to shoot in Shanghai, and how gorgeous the city looked at night. (Didn't tell to me personally, of course but I happened to cath a glimpse of "Making Mission Impossible II & III"). Anyway, I have got to see how great Shanghai was at night with my own eyes. You should, too, cause I get to see the real thing, too, anytime I choose to :o)

PS. The chinese Cruise is trying on the airport check-in counter does not sound one bit like the real deal... Just so you know, next time you're watching.

PPS. Of course the gddammit HBO went to pixels just when they got to the Shanghai night scenes. It does that on a regular basis, dunno why. But were the Bund and Pudong mighty beautiful and glorious, or where they ever! Some of the bits I saw didn't look like anything I've seen here, but hey, it's a movie... And "Better city, better life" sign pretty much prooves they actually were in Shanghai.

Ain't it gorgeous?

PPPS. In the day scene the chinese have been dressed like Mr. M would still be in power... How dum and stereotypic.

sunnuntai 16. marraskuuta 2008

Shanghain Suomalaiset

Shanghain Suomalaiset on paikallinen Suomalaisten yhdistys, jos saatatte uskoa, vaikka nimi tietysti on kovin harhaanjohtava ;o) Hienoa että moinen on olemassa: järjestävät joulujuhlia, kuukausi-lounaita, kuukausittaisen vapaamuotoisen tapaamisen läheisessä Irkku-pubissa. Mahdollisuuden tutustua muihin Shanghaissa asuviin suomalaisiin. Ei ole vielä tullut oikein käytettyä noita mainittuja mahdollisuuksia, mutta hyvä että ovat tarjolla. (Jani kävi jo Halloween-juhlissa, mutta pyöri lähinnä vanhojen tuttujemme ja heidän tuttujensa kanssa. Sillä välin minä nautin China Easternin palveluista ;o)

Mutta. No, tiedätte jo kuinka tämä juttu menee, koska minullahan ei valituksen aiheet lopu ;o) Tässä kaupungissa on liikaa suomalaisia! Mihin vain menee, törmää NIIHIN! Lauantaina tulimme ulos ravintolasta, ja sinänsä ihan asiallisen ja kohteliaan oloinen nuori mies tuli esittäytymään kun kuuli kun puhuimme suomea. Siitä jatkoimme yksille siidereille läheiseen paikkaan. Needles to say, sielläkin oli suomalainen (nainen tällä kertaa).

Meidän taloyhtiömme toiseen taloon on linnoittautunut suomalaisia. Useampia, as far as I can tell. Käyvät kuntosalilla ja kaikkea. Ettäs kehtaavat! Alakerran salaattibaarissa saa varoa puheitaan, koska paitsi lounasaikaan meidän firman väkeä, siellä on toistuvasti todistettu käyvän myös tuntemattomia tunkeilijoita. Salakuuntelijoita, jopa.

Arvioiden mukaan tässä kylässä asuu 600 suomalaista. Ja vierailulla on varmaan koko ajan useita satoja (miettien että Finnair lentää päivittäin Shanghaihin AirBus 340:llään, johon mahtuu muutama sata henkeä). Tuntuu että mihin tahansa on viime aikoina mennyt, kangasmarkkinoille, syömään, tälle puolelle kaupunkia, toiselle puolelle kaupunkia ostoskeskukseen, mihin vain, aina siellä on suomalaisia. Voisi kuvitella että pieni kansamme on valloittanut koko maailman, tai ainakin Kiinan!

Naureskelin keväällä jollekin expatille joka oli asunut Shanghaissa muutamia vuosia, ja toivotti kaikki länkkärit (länsimaalaiset) sinne missä pippuri kasvaa. Ha, jo on hymy hyytynyt. Kaikki TE olette todellakin erittäin tervetulleita vierailemaan, mielellämme esittelemme Shanghaita. Ja ihanaa kun on täällä pieni piiri joiden kanssa saa puhua suomea, ja jotka ymmärtävät suomalaista. Mutta ne kaikki muut: menisivät jonnekin muualle pyörimään! Meidän kaupunkimme, ei tänne tarvita enempää suomalaisia. Ei mahdu ;o)

lauantai 15. marraskuuta 2008


You have got to check out this blog: I Spy Shanghai. It is seriously funny, with some pretty good capture-shots of Shanghai. And, right now, Ispyshanghai offers you a small portion of excellent chinglish. Would you like to try an absolutely delicious "Dyadic Bittern of a Tide Goose Movie"?

In the above mentioned posting (and comments) few opinions of the new 007 ([ling-ling-tsi], på kinska) flick. We went to see that too a week ago. Seems other people share my view: it is not a bad movie, in its genre, but it just wasn't "Bondy" at all. It was like watching any other action movie. The new Bond himself is not Bondy, I you ask me, so what can you expect then... Violence was not on short supply, that's for sure. Some non-Bond-friends seem to like the new Bond (Daniel Craig), but I would prefer something of a Sean Connery-Pierce Brosnan-hybrid.
In our movie theater the Bond was on about 30 times a day (actually more, it was on in about 7 screens, and all day through) and the only other english speaking movie shown at the moment was "To the center of the Earth", with "George of the Jungle" in it :o) Well, I wanted to see the Bond at some point anyway, so it didn't bother in that sense, but just to demonstrate the huge selection available.
There is also something else I need to grumble about: they only sell sweet popcorn! I had decided to get a huge bucket of popcorn already hours before, but sweet popcorn! No way. Out of the question. Next time I'll bring my own. It is, of course, not allowed, but since for example the couple sitting next to us brough with them two full bags of Kentucky Fried Chicken's offerings, and munched well over the first hald-an-hour, I will make big noise if I cannot bring my own popcorn.
I haven't figured out why James Bond got to come to China only one week after international premier, but Batman had to wait months... I guess this just shows James is a though guy, and would beat Badman if they ever had to figth... Of course they don't, since they are both goodies, and fight against the baddies, not each other. But good to know whom to turn should a need arise.


tiistai 11. marraskuuta 2008

Expat life is best in...

I recently brought up my mild enthusiasm about Singapore.

Well, it is NOT just me! An article published (already few months ago) by Forbes, presented a survey ranking countries from expatriate-point of view. And Singapore is number one, most desirable and pleasant place for an expat to reside. Below is an edited quote from the article, and some statistics below that. The bold texts are my comments, as you might have guessed :o)

Singapore has a reputation for being tough on its residents, whether it's for chewing gum, jaywalking or drugs. But if you're offered a job there, you might want to consider it very seriously. The tiny island country is the best place to live if you're an expatriate, according to a study conducted by HSBC Bank International, a Jersey-based subsidiary of the world's biggest company.

Overall, it's good news for those who get the opportunity to be posted abroad. More than half of expatriates are not only able to invest and save more, they can also spend more on shopping and socializing while abroad. The global expat population has continued to boom--according to the World Bank's Global Links Report 2007, the number of people living outside their home country has more than doubled since 1980 to 190 million--despite the weakening global economic climate, with companies continuing to bear the higher costs of foreign postings."As the world becomes increasingly globalized, companies want their managers to get a diversity of experience across the world, while employees want an opportunity to experience a lifestyle and culture different [from] their own," says Cornu."Particularly in financial hot spots, there is the potential to earn more and have a better quality of life."

The rankings are based on a study by HSBC Bank International, which surveyed 2,155 expats around the world. The responses were used to determine each country's ranking according to several criteria, including the duration the respondents stayed; their ability to command high earnings and save; having a more luxurious life than back home; and, of course, decent accommodation that didn't eat up all their earnings.

No. 1: Singapore (What did I tell you ;o)

Longevity: No. 6

Earn And Save: No. 2

Luxurious: No. 2

Accommodation: No. 1

The sweltering heat and sometimes baffling laws are more than offset by high-quality accommodations and the affordability of good private education, health care, and home help.

No. 2 (Tie): United Arab Emirates

Longevity: No. 7

Earn And Save: No. 4

Luxurious: No. 1

Accommodation: No. 4

With no income tax to pay, the largely young expat population is left with
plenty to spend on the opulent lifestyle available.

No. 2 (Tie): U.S. (This does not surprise me: it is the land of hope and glory! And now even a land of change ;o) Hell, I'd like to try it out myself)

Longevity: No. 3

Earn And Save: No. 5

Luxurious: No. 6

Accommodation: No. 2

Expats often get posted to corporate headquarters and command high salaries. Especially for Europeans, who are used to the high cost of living within the euro zone, life can get a lot more luxurious in the U.S.

No. 4: Belgium

Capital city Brussels, home of the European Union headquarters, tends to attract expats for long periods of time, while decent accommodations just a few metro stops from the city center is available and affordable.

No. 5: Hong Kong

- attracts the best-paid expats, with just under 50% earning more than 200,000 U.S. dollars a year. This allows them to save, despite the London-like cost of accommodation.

No. 6 (Tie): Germany

Expats in Germany often spent several years in their postings to corporate headquarters, but the high cost of living within the euro zone makes it a tough place to save.

No. 6 (Tie) Netherlands

Like the rest of Europe, expats in the Netherlands typically spend longer at their postings, as they tend to go to corporate headquarters.

No. 6 (Tie): Canada

- it comes to accommodations, Canada can be very affordable, with the cost of a luxurious, two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Vancouver costing $1,796 a month on average, according to Mercer.

No. 9: India

Expats in India can command high salaries while still saving, but the standard of accommodation falls short of other popular destinations.

No. 10 (Tie) Australia

Expats tend to have short stints in Australia, though it's a good place to save.

Hmmm, this has been a place of my dreams... Wonder why it is not higher than this...

No. 10 (Tie): China

Longevity: No. 13

Earn And Save: No. 7

Luxurious: No. 7

Accommodation: No. 10

Expats spend little time in China, though the relatively low cost of living and eating and drinking out still make it a good place to save.

Good place to save? Ha! Who cares about saving if you die of melamine overdose before you have a change to enjoy your monetary fortunes? But China made it this high anyway. There might be some magic in her anyway..?

No. 12 (Tie): Spain

8 The Spanish property market may be cooling, but the high cost of accommodation and tax rates makes the country the worst place when it comes to earning more and saving.

No. 12 (Tie): France

Having the whole of continental Europe at your doorstep is little compensation for extortionate rent and costs of living, reasons expats tend to spend a limited time in France.

No. 14: U.K.

High labor and accommodation costs make having home help--or luxuries such as
a swimming pool--unaffordable. All in all, it's the worst place to go if you're looking for a more luxurious life. English weather, one layered windows and the notorius english kitched? Boy, you can say that again ;o)

P.s. If you haven't seen the cooking-oil-face-lift-lady, check this out.

Kaa aa sua

Mainitsin jo aiemminkin taloyhtiömme tiedotteista, mutta otetaan vielä kertaus näistä opinnoista. Eilen saimme viestin, että tänään jostain kaupungin huoltotöistä johtuen kaasu on poikki iltapäivällä muutaman tunnin. Täällä paitsi ruoka (kaasuliesi) myös vesi lämpiää kaasulla. Hyvä kun ei sentään kaasulamppuja enää ole ;o)
Seuraavanlaiset ohjeet saimme tilanteen hoitamiseen (hakasuluissa olevat kommentit ovat allekirjoittaneen):

"We would like to draw all of your attention to measures could be adopted as follows.
1. With the period of suspension, please do not use the gas. [This may be a stupid question, but how could we? And how do we know it is over if we do not try?]
2. Ensure all valves be closed before suspension. [What fr**n valves? Would you show me where are the valves?]
3. After suspension, please DO NOT REUSE FIRE and remember, [WHAT???]
a) open all windows,
b) reuse gas please. "[WHAT???]

Pidän täysin mahdollisena että kyseessä on oma ymmärtämättömyyteni, ennemmin kuin heidän vajavaisuutensa kirjallisessa kommunikoinnissa, mutta mitä(!!!) ihmettä on tulen tai kaasun kierrättäminen (reuse) :o)

Mutta emme ole yksin: katsokaahan täältä lisää!

maanantai 10. marraskuuta 2008

Minä itte!

Kiukuttelin tänään itsekseni kun kuski ajoi tehtaalta kaupunkiin yli kaksi tuntia. Kaksi tuntia. Eikä edes ollut varsinaista ruuhkaa. Naurettavaa. Oli nälkä, ja koska tiesin että matkaan ei KUULUISI mennä niin kauan, mietin viimeiset puoli tuntia että anna kuule minä tulen ajamaan niin hoituu tämä homma tästä kohtuullisessa ajassa. Etkö nyt saamari vieköön osaa edes autoa ajaa! Kysessä oli vuokra-auto ja vuokrakuski, ja molemmat vähän sinne päin...
Naureskelin sitten (ruokaa saatuani) itselleni kun mikään ei oikein näytä kelpaavan: jos kaahataan niin valitan ja jos ajetaan rauhassa niin valita :o) Mutta täten todettakoon että olen sopeutunut, joten mieluummin ottaisin sen firman vähän ripeämmän kuskin. Lisäksi olen jo vakavasti sitä mieltä että pienellä harjoittelulla täällä voisi kyllä ajaa autoakin. Mutta jätetään nyt väliin, ettei tule sanomista.
Varoitus, seuraavaksi seuraa mauton juttu:
Kävimme eilen syömässä kantonilaisessa ravintolassa. Siinä sitten kun oli kaikki ruoat saatu pöytään, huomasin kuinka naapuripöydän ehkä 3-vuotias poika seisoi tuolillaan. Ja pian myös pyllisteli meidän pöytäämme päin. Jani istui juuri siinä suunnassa, joten jos katsoin keskustelukumppaniini päin, en voinut olla näkemättä kyseistä lasta.
No, mikä tässä sitten on koko jutun juju, on se, että monet vanhemmat eivät pidä lapsillaan täällä vaippoja. Juu eivät, vaan housuissa on takasauma haaroväliin asti auki, niin että lapsen peppu näkyy. En nyt halua vaikuttaa nihilistiltä, mutta tässä tapauksessa jouduin siinä lounaan lomassa katselemaan vieraan lapsen kakkaista pyllyä. Se oli taas vaan niin kiinalaista, että ei voinut kuin nauraa ja kunnolla.

perjantai 7. marraskuuta 2008

Exit Poll

Maailmalle on saatin sitten valittua uusi presidentti, ja komealla marginaalilla. Hyvä niin, sillä puolen vuoden päivittäinen CNN-coverage asiasta alkoikin jo riittää. G.W. Bushista puhumattakaan ;o) Täältä oli 13 tunnin aikaeron turvin mielenkiintoista seurata iltakuudelta kun Chicagossa oli aamuyön tunteina saatu vaali-juhlat päätökseen.

Vaalien hengessä esitin lähdössä oleville vieraillemme muutamia Exit Poll-kysymyksiä, ja hyvin väittivät viihtyneensä. Ehdottomia vierailukohteita ovat kuulemma akrobaatti-show ERA, perinteinen kiinalainen hieronta, ja kangasmarkkinat. I agree.

Kulinaarisia kokemuksia matkaajat ehtivät myös kerätä jos vaikka minkälaisia: modernia kiinalaista, perinteistä kiinalaista, katukojujen kiinalaista, kansainvälistä keittiötä, intialaista, tapaksia ja vaikka mitä. Äidiltäni parasta Shanghain ruokakokemusta kysyessäni sain vastaukseksi että Janin tekemä pihviannos (hummerikastikkeen, kampasimpukan ja kasvisten kera) oli paras. Kyseinen ruoka olikin kerrassaan loistavaa, mutta vastauksen puolueettomuudesta en voi mennä takuuseen :o)

Siitäkin olimme kaikki samaa mieltä, että viikko ei missään nimessä riitä tällaisen kylän tutkimiseen. Niin paljon kaikkea jäi näkemättä. Plus että kun tänne asti tulee, niin kyllä sitä kannattaisi samaan (no melkein) rahaan käydä myös jossain muualla (Peking, HongKong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, esmes).

Kiinalaisen kuukalenterin mukaan perjantaina alkoi talvi. Tuntuu siltä, että tietävät mistä puhuvat, sillä sää on ykskaks kylmennyt aivan valtavasti. Taitaa olla itselläkin edessä matka kangasmarkkinoille takkia teettämään. Lisäksi tilasin jo kashmir-puseron mittojen mukaan.

Tulin kaupunkia esitellessäni siihen tulokseen, että tämä on oikeasti(!!) aivan mieletön kaupunki. Aivan valtava, ja aivan valtavan täynnä kaikkea näkemisen arvoista. Kaikki siis suunta tännepäin :o)

torstai 6. marraskuuta 2008

Tai Ji

Oli niin ihana papparainen tänään aamulla ennen klo seitsemää tekemässä Tai Ji -harjoitteitaan,

lasiastia pään päällä vilkkaalla kadulla, että piti jakaa se teidänkin kanssa. Joka aamuhan näitä jumppaajia on liikkeellä, mutta ryhmissä ja puistoissa tai pihoilla. Niin, ja ilman lasipurkkeja.
(Kuvien laatu on heikko, mutta kun en taas kehdannut kännykkäni kanssa jäädä ihan viereen kuvailemaan.)

sunnuntai 2. marraskuuta 2008

Happy life in Shanghai

As earlier mentioned, our first visitors were planned to arrive on Sunday. The thing is, one of them suffers from acrophobia. Well, related to that, she also fears flying (which kind of makes sense). They had a connection in London, where she had decided that she will go back to Helsinki. She just cannot fly to Shanghai! Nevermind that I have managed to find a hotelroom on Saturday evening and all ;o)

Well, they arrived as planned, and I went to the airport to pick them up. (I think that was about 10th time with las two weeks I visited an airport. At least.) Well, at that point everything was already fine and noone was going to return to Europe without checking out what Paris of the East has to offer.
We had a full days work trying to keep them awake, otherwise they wouldn't stand a chance getting used to the time difference. I felt a bit like a nanny trying to keep both of these 50-somethings in sight in Shanghai's busy Sunday streets and shopping malls. I was so exhausted I didn't even wake up when the alarm went off on Monday morning. This far they have, among other things, managed to get lost (couple of times), lost some of their belongings (couple of times), drank tap water, which has some heavy metal particles in it (only once) and enjoyed Shanghai's abundand foodstalls' offerings, ordered a suitcaseful of tailormade garments and got entranced about traditional chinese massage (going to go everyday, apparently).
Lots of more to come, like pearl market, river cruise, the new 400-something meters high Shanghai World Finance Tower (maybe not for the acrophobic), tea market, chinese acrobats and so worth. Let's see how well do at the end of the week...

I criticised our flight to Singapore some days ago. Well, on the way back I actually found some humor about flying with a chinese airline.

Our flight from Singapore to Shanghai left at 00:55 last Friday, so it was actually on Saturday. To me, that is night, but chinese crew wished us "Good Morning" as we prepared to take of. After we were airborn, they happily announced that they will start serving breakfast after ten minutes. I decided to decline the honor, and managed to sleep almost the whole way through.

Once we were back in Shanghai, the purser of course firstly stated it is very important that everybody will stay seated untill the seatbelt sign is switched of. Well, this is a standard procedure, although this time it came with a bit more emphasis than usually, and I don't wonder why. But after that, they wished all the passangers happy life in Shanghai! What more is there to be said? That's what I hope too :o)


Taannoin tässä vakuuttelin että joulu tulee ihan pian, kun molemmat kaipasimme Ida-koiraa niin kovasti. Jos viimeisiä kuukausia miettii, niin äkkiähän nuo ovat menneet, ja äkkiä kai menevät seuraavatkin kaksi kuukautta, mutta en ollut silti ihan varma uskoinko itsekään ettei jouluun ole enää pitkää aikaa.

Singaporessa ollessani sain kuitenkin konkreettista vahvistusta sille, että joulu tosiaan on jo aivan nurkan takana. Siellä +32 helteisissä tunnelmissa joka puolella kaupunkia pystytettiin jo joulukuusia. Ja mikäs se varmempi merkki joulusta kuin kuusi :0).

Sielläpäin alkaa näköjään näyttää jo muutenkin ihan joululta!

Ai niin, tänään saapuvat ensimmäiset varsinaiset vieraamme Suomesta. Heiltä oli vain unohtunut kertoa sellainen pikkuseikka, että toinen kärsii pahasta korkeanpaikan kammosta. Paitsi että olimme tietysti suunnitelleet vievämme heidät uuteen Shanghai Toweriin, mutta isompi ongelma on se, että asuntomme on 21. kerroksessa. Nyt siis viime hetken hotellihuoneen metsästyskäyntiin... alle viidennestä kerroksesta! Voih, tämän kaupungin asiallisten hotellien huoneet alkavat yleensä kerroksista 5-7, joten ans kattoo kuin käy!