perjantai 30. lokakuuta 2009

Sure you can!

What's worse than waking up to find your money is gone? It could be finding out that the sexy lady you hooked up with last night is a "ladyboy."

Five Filipino transvestites accused of drugging foreign men in bars with the promise of sex went on trial in Shanghai's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court on Tuesday, accused of assault and robbery, the Oriental Morning Post reported Wednesday.

The five "she-males," aged between 26 and 30, used their curvy figures and feminine voices to flirt with male expatriates at cocktail lounges on Tongren Lu.

The girlie-men lured their victims to hotels, coaxed them to eat chocolates that had been secretly laced with powdered sleeping pills, and robbed them after the men fell asleep. The alleged theft of cell phones, credit cards and personal belongings netted the transvestites 310,000 yuan ($49,780) worth of stolen loot, the report said.

They said they came to Shanghai from Japan in February 2008 after the financial crisis put the sex trade on hold. After months of joblessness in the city, the she-male said he used his "good-looks" to become a street hooker on Tongren Road.

The bar owners told the Global Times that they couldn't do much to prevent their customers from being seduced by attractive cross-dressers. "Our door is open to everyone. We cannot say who can get in and who cannot," said manager Xie, at Malone's, a favorite expat hangout on the bar street.

Sure you can! Just take example of another expat-favored bar in Shanghai, Zapatas.

keskiviikko 14. lokakuuta 2009

In the Big World

My mom arrived in Shanghai this morning. She visited a year ago in November, but with a friend. Now she is here alone. I tried to prep her. I draw her a map of the airport, so she would find the taxi stand. I reminded her, that taxi from the airport to where we live costs about 160 RMB. (Although it may be a bit more now, after the increase in taxi rates effective last Saturday.) I told her to go straight to the taxi stand. And to call me immediately if she has any questions.
She is always telling that she is an experienced traveller, which, in a way is true. She does travel a lot in Europe. But not alone. And in Europe.
Well, this morning my phone rings. When I pick up, I can hear my mom talking with someone, discussing about prices. She, however, does not hear me, as she has obviously called me accidently, without noticing the call. "Three hundred" I hear a male voice say. "No! No no no no!!!! What are you doing! Mom!!" I yell, but with little use, as no one hears me, save for the nextdoor neighbours.
What is she doing now, I wonder, and close the line. I immediately try to call her back. The caller you are trying reach is busy now, a voice tells me in Chinese. I try again. Please go through, please... This time I get another chinese message, which I do not understand and don't care about. Third time I get through, and find out my mom is already in the (black) cab, on her way to somewhere, hopefully here.
- "No, but this IS a taxi" she saya, when I ask why she didn't go to the taxi stand I told her to go.
- "How much did you agree to pay?" I ask.
- "250 RMB, but they tried to ask for 350" she says. "I was strict with them" she adds. "I told him I don't have that much. When the man saw how much I have, he said, ok 250." Oh for Pete's sake!
- "And you paid already? But remember I told you two days ago it costs 160 RMB?" I ask.
- "Yes, and I remembered it was 140 RMB last year." she replies.
- "So why, oh why, did you pay 250?"
- "Well, I was going to the taxi stand, but the man asked where I am going, and when I said to the city, he said that those taxis leave from here."
- "But in which country do you pay in advance for a taxi?" I still try.
- "Yes, but if only I wasn't so tired from the flight, nothing would have happened."
What can I say? The monetary loss is insignificant, and we all make mistaked. But it is just the principle. The principle that I am not sure how I can let her go around and do things here alone. She is here for two weeks, and I am suppose to be working part of that time. We'll see...
For all of you not used to big cities:
- in a taxi, always make sure the meter is on.
- you don't show your money to anyone
- if someone tries to take you somewhere say NO!
- if someone tries to offer you something, say NO! No, I don't care if it sounds interesting, just say no. No no no. No.
And most importanly: listen to your daughters. They know what they are talking about.

torstai 1. lokakuuta 2009

Educational cartoon

Some days ago I went to pick up J. from the airport in Shanghai. I had time, and there was nothing interesting in sight. But then I noted they had an informative cartoon rolling in the telly. To prevent the spreading of H1N1-virus, or swine flu.

I want to share with you the most important bits and best practices I learned from the video. I apologize for the lack of music, but hopefully you can imagine a childish rap beat to the background. Because that's what the original had.


"The swine influenza comes from America."

Oh, in deed: "What a shame!"

"But it is not only my fault!" Says the pig. No, we have also the duck and the man to blame. H1N1 is mixed, you know.

"It "is very stressful to live in this situation", but still "remain calm".
"It is very important to have "balance of body and mind... no illness"

"Pay attention to you diet at home"
"The meal must certainly be boiled"

"If you have no business strolling outside..."
"...don't be around groups"

It is: "Dangerous"

"No stress, no bother", no swine flu. Also "take care of air circulation, you won't catch the cold."

I really want to do my part to prevent the spreading of swine flu. So, once more to make sure you remember the most important thing: