maanantai 21. joulukuuta 2009


Lately there has been one story above anything else circulating in the China-blogs. Namely, the one of the Jason Brody. A young, british chap who disappeared in Beijing some weeks ago, and send a lot of material to his friend ( to be published if he disappears. Which he did.

Now, I am a skeptic towards most things I don't know, so it is no surprise I am not immediately convinced about this case. But strange it seems, in deed. There are suicides, murders, old chinese "mobsters", international business deals and what nots. Have a look at yourself and make up your own mind.

sunnuntai 13. joulukuuta 2009

Shanghai Fabric Market, aka South Bund Spinning Soft Material Market

One of the joys of living in Shanghai, for me, is South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market. Most clothing issues no longer require the tedious task of running through 15 shops before finding something remotely fitting. As, you can just go and order which ever style you desire. In your size. In your exact size. And in your color.

Surely, there may still be a problem of not finding the very same fabric you had imagined or the very same color you had wished for. But most of all, there certainly is the problem of... excessiveness. There is too much to choose from, too much to wish for, too many colors. And too many ideas, in my head. And it is inexpensive enough that you (and "you" is an inderct way of saying "I") could pass the opportunity.

Some shops are specialised in suits and coats, some in button-down shirts...

... some are specialised in certain materials, like velvet, denim, leather or silk... Or cashmere.

... or to dancing clothes and paljettes!

There are shops that mainly sell ties, scarves, pashminas...

... or hats, gloves and childrens "Chinese styly clothes".

And then there are shops that make the traditional qipaos (Chinese style dresses). Love them. I have two, though the opportunities to use are... scarce.

Now shopping at the fabric market requires certain skills. Firstly, bargaining. It helps a lot if you know where to aim at. But often you just have to guess, untill you get the hold of it. And still when ever buying something new, you don't know what is the "right price".

Secondly, you have to know what you want. Because you will get what you ask for. And other way around: if you don't ask, they propably won't read your mind and do it. Be specific. Show a picture. Make sure they write it down. Or make a copy of something you already like.

And thirdly, consider properly when you pick-up / try the clothes on. They will make the pants shorter, the skirt tighter, the blouse better fitting, but only if you ask for it. Be prepared to not have the clothes after the first due date, that way it is easier to leave them for a corrections. Just consider it a fitting. That's what you would have in any tailor in any other country, too.

And it helps to find you a regular tailor. Of each sort, that is. As mentioned above, they are specialised. Here are some that I like, but I will not give any promises on their behalf :o) They work well for me, put... And also, they are not the least expensive ones, as there are differencies. In some shops you may get a button-down shirt with 80 RMB, I happily pay 100 RMB when I know it will fit, the fabric won't loose color or change size in laundry, and, above all, that I my ironing is minimised :o)

Thai silk, normal silk: 289
For curtains, evening dresses, tops, you name it.

Chinese dresses: 120 or 264
Coats and suits: 284 Alan's

Button-down shirts: 378
Silk tops: 360 Wu Hong Xia

They often try to make too big tops, but after one correction round end results have been good.

Pants from strech-fabric: 318

Cotton (stretch): Second floor, will add shop number later. I've lost their card...
Make what ever: shirts, skirts, e.g.

Velvet: 170 and 172

(The first digit of the number tells in which floor the shop is at.)

And hit me with a question if you want more info :o)

Shanghai South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market

Address: LuJiaBang Road 399

陆家浜路399 (南仓街口)

You can just say to the taxi driver "LuJiaBang Lu, mian liao shi chang"

maanantai 7. joulukuuta 2009

Christmas decorations

I don't have any Christmas decorations, lightning fixtures or anything Christmas-related (except glögi and ginger bread) in my home in China. Therefore, I suck in all the nice (and the tacky, the excessive, the flashing, and the horrendous) Christmas things around Shanghai. So, you are forced to do that, too.

Here is the Swarovski "Christmas Three" 2009. I have no idea of the price tag, but if you remember, last year's version had a price tag of over 1,2 million euro.

Under construction. Hmm... What it's going to be like..?

It's going to be like this.

And then there will be 100 000 Chinese (and one Finn) to take pictures and stare at awe.

lauantai 5. joulukuuta 2009

Modestly in Beijing

I went to Beijing for a one night trip this week. No biggie, just some meetings. Everything was arranged for us, so ended up staying in a reasonably nice hotel. I love nice hotels. I know it doesn't make much sense to pay a lot if you only have time to sleep in the room. But the nice, plush bed... the soft slippers... the nice (clean) bath-tub with bathsalt... The room service that brings you the parma ham, brie and rocket bruschetta to die for... Yeah, I like it. I don't even bother denying I am spoiled. I've learned to live with that.

Mmmm, bathsalt and privacy.

A spoiled sissy, that's what I am. Unlike the buddhist monks, I thought. They promise to devote themselves to higher things than plush beds and crispy bed sheets. They aspire enlightment from things very much not related to excellent breakfast buffet (which, by the way, is all that it takes to take me to nirvana). They promise to live in modesty.

As I was checking out of this 5-star establishment, so was this buddhist monk. He even was in the Gold / Platinum Card line, indicating he was a regular of this particular chain of hotels. Seems monks can aspire higher... higher what-evers in very comfortable settings.

Of course, there is no absolute measure of modesty.... Live and learn!

keskiviikko 2. joulukuuta 2009

Am I fast or what?

I am running. Or trying, the very least. Thus, I have created myself a training programme at My Asics. I highly recommend, if you are into training programmes, running, and following your progress. No, they don't pay me for this. Actually, they might require some sort of compensation for publicly claiming I use their training helps AND suck this badly.

Except that based on my recent statistics I most certainly do no suck.

Look at this! For the last 100 km (give or, actually, take 3) my average speed is 37.2 km / hour. I dare you: try and beat me next summer!