jqian's Comments

There are 2 different readers (identified by email address) with the same nickname jqian. They are represented by different colors.

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171 Watching US President Inauguration

This is significant because it's the first time in history that a black person becomes the president of the most powerful country in the world. Well, some may argue that it's not as powerful as before the financial crisis, but from relative standing, it's so far still the most powerful. This event marks a milestone in human political history that a person from a group not long ago was predominantly slave is able to hold the highest power. Only USA can have open mind to achieve that.
Posted by jqian at 2009-01-22 05:51:35. More

170 Salsa Dance Place in Seattle

Salsa is not exactly ballroom. It's more a club dance.
Posted by jqian at 2008-09-25 08:48:24. More

169 Only J (Not P) Survives in US

To be frankly, people in US is far less busy than people in China. Generally speaking, working on weekend or after hour is relatively rare here than in China.
Posted by jqian at 2008-09-22 01:57:21. More

168 Surrounded by Negative News in US

I may want to serve a warning: China's housing market may soon undergo huge pressure. First, home builders are now at the brink of cash flow stoppage, similar to what AIG has been experiencing. Will Chinese government bail out these home builders? nobody knows. If Chinese housing market is completely like that is in the outside world, a free-trading market in which buyers and sellers decide the market price of land and the structures on it, China's housing market would have already experienced similar drop like that in the US started from 2006. But, Chinese housing market is not a free market for one important key: nobody owns the land except the government. Therefore, housing price has been artificially held steady, at least in places like Shanghai. Therefore, China's housing market is not a normal market. We don't know the future, but the warning sirens have been turned on.

If China's housing market collapse, the damage it would cause would be much much much bigger than the collapse of the stock market. We are at a critical juncture in history.
Posted by jqian at 2008-09-18 08:26:24. More

167 Don't Force Me to Write on Topics

Why do you think Chinese government care more about domestic people's opinion toward their own country?

Because the worst nighmare for Chinese leadership is an unhappy mass. Back in 1989, such unhappiness almost toppled the government. They are very sensitive about it right now. That's understandable.
Posted by jqian at 2008-09-18 08:14:19. More

166 Surrounded by Negative News in US

Jianshuo, To be honest with you, you seem to be out of touch with China's real reality. China today actually has bigger problems than the US. But the difference is, US government won't try to cover the problems up, all will be in the news and everybody knows about it immediately. But the Chinese government will cover it as much as possible. With the economic problems around the world, China will not be spared. Very soon, China will experience more big troubles other than the stock crash in Shanghai stock exchange. Housing trouble will soon come, which can wreak big havoc on Chinese economy and ordinary people's life.

Rimbaud, your suggestion is good. However, under the current world geopolitical environment, US dollar's dominance as the world currency is still not replacable despite USD's weakened position. Buying up Euros and Euro-dominated assets will actually cause Chinese government to lose more money. That's why Chinese government understands it and may be wise to buy up more US Treasury bills which they have already done in July.

Yes, Chinese GDP is largely dependent upon export to abroad. Unfortunately, that export is still mostly to North America. This situation cannot be changed overnight. That's why big trouble is brewing in China as the import from USA and Canada is shrinking fast. It's not that Chinese government elites don't understand the ideas you are proposing, it's really that they don't have much of a choice. Why? Chinese industrial base has been too much entrenched at the lowest level of global food chain - OEM manufacturing, at the same time, China doesn't really possess enough advanced skills to go up the ladder of the food chain. Therefore, China could experience about 10 years of recession, probably more severe than the one US is about to experience or experiencing. We may soon see.

In the mean time, American big companies will take the opportunity to further expand their equity ownerships of Chinese companies. In the future, the marriage between US interests and Chinese interests are going to be tremendously increased as more and more American conglomerates are infusing funds to buy more and more Chinese companies. Even Jianshuo is working for the Americans, that's a fact. Coca Cola is trying to buy HuiYuan, that's another example...

Rather than your vision of a separate Chinese and American economy, I am seeing a fully integrated economies between China and US. After 10-20 years, it may be hard to tell if any Chinese companies are really owned by Chinese or by Americans. The line will be blurring. From the way it goes, the end will be an economically "colonization" of Chinese economy by the American. If that trend is not stopping, soon, the central government may lose the control of this economy.
Posted by jqian at 2008-09-18 08:05:16. More

165 China-US Economy Discussion

Rimbaud said below, let me quote:
"why is the Chinese Central Bank being so tremendously stupid? You are essentially giving us Americans trillions of renminbi that you Chinese have earned from hard work-- just giving it to us, for free, even though we Americans spend way too much and save too little. We don't save for ourselves-- so, you Chinese (via the Chinese Central Bank) have been giving us your savings."

There are many clues to explain this:
1) What made people think that the leadership of these banks are standing on the same side as the national benefits for all people? If these elites would be hugely rewarded financially and personally from using public funds to purchase US treasury bonds, what could have stopped them?
2) What made people believe that Chinese leaderships might have enough leverage of not buying US tresury bonds even if their own concience told them not to? China's economy, having been locked at the bottom of the economic food chain, i.e., OEM manufacturing focused, is very hard to outdo its own limitation of not abiding by external forces. A mere threat of increasing tariff to Chinese products or reduction of imports from China will be enough to put a golden handcuff on the Chinese leadership. A threat of reduction of imports from China by western developed nations will lead to a drastically reduced GDP growth. Chinese leadership is fully aware of that outcome. What I meant is, Chinese leadership may not have too many choices that we thought they would have. After all, China is a very export dependent country.
Posted by jqian at 2008-09-07 07:00:12. More

164 China-US Economy Discussion

China is in fact facing three front battles from outside. The first is lowering USD valuation and rising RMD exchange ratio. The second is rising energy and raw material cost. The third is rising inflation and yet a weakening domestic consumption. China is currently on the suffering end of these fronts. I am not sure what will happen going forward. At least from the safe side, we can conclude that Chinese economy is going to go through a difficult period.
Posted by jqian at 2008-09-07 06:45:12. More

163 Killed 6 Policemen and Became Hero

meaning pressure in Chinese life is very high. Rich and poor divide is getting wider and wider. Also, legal system is not mature in China.
Posted by jqian at 2008-07-18 06:42:00. More

162 Earthquake is Much More Terrible than I Thought

The latest estimate: 50000 believed to be dead...
Posted by jqian at 2008-05-16 09:07:13. More

161 Stumble Upon Jack, Samson, and Terry

Interesting :-) These young guys all have English name. When I looked at the title, I almost got the impression that JianShuo was meeting some Anglo Saxans or Brits. I have to admire the American cultural influence.
Posted by jqian at 2008-05-10 20:51:56. More

160 More Accidents in 2008

Add one more terror: Crashing stock market.
Posted by jqian at 2008-05-07 12:30:31. More

159 1 USD = 6.9966 RMB

USD devaluation is not a good trend for the following simple reasons: More foreign currency will flood China. The flood will worsen the already bloated bubbles of housing market and worsen the already serious inflation. At the same time, it will squeeze the exporting sectors.
Posted by jqian at 2008-04-16 12:09:09. More

158 Mega-Projects and Raising Power of China

It will take a long usage of English to slowly get better at it. Like Mr. Wang jianshuo, he's been writing English blog for many years. I can see very big improvements in his writing skills since the blog was first launched.
Posted by jqian at 2008-04-05 03:51:38. More

157 Mega-Projects and Raising Power of China

Well, I am from Shanghai and was born in Shanghai and am very familiar with China's situation. What I said was from a neutral angle, not trying to badmouth China. I have observed a big divide between people from inside China and people who had lived outside of Shanghai and be able to see things at a holistic angle. I can sense that there is a blind optimism among Chinese about everything in China without thinking deeper. That includes many of my own relatives who have been doing well in either business and real estate investment ventures. Some of them told me that today is exactly the time to get into the market, either into stock or into the real estate despite my warnings. I agree that there will be a glorious future for China over the long term, but today we are seeing a bubble, a very big bubble that's steering our preciouse sweat money into fluffy areas that serve to boost egos than actual quality of living and long-term well beings for this country. Today's China reminds everybody of the 80s' Japan, an explosion of self-confidence yet an uncontrollable bubble accomanying it. ?Today's China doesn't need more buildings or terminals or bird's nest, these things won't raise this country's industrial food chain. Instead, China needs to steer spendings toward R&D and innovations so that we won't follow Silicon Valley, or having to manufacture Nike shoes with no profit yet enabling Nike Corp to extract huge profit from it. Despite that China has become a world factory, it has actually been pushed further down the ladder of global profit food chain. Chinese manufacturing facilities are being owned or taken over by the global conglomerates with the so called minor ownerships, further suffocating Chinese innovative capability. The most alarming sign is that many high tech or science major university graduates can't get a satisfying R&D jobs, in the end, they will be forced to accept a job that's not really using their trained skills. Currently, there is a huge waste from education systems. This is exactly due to the lowering of food chain for our industries.

Yet, many regular people are only seeing those ego-boasting skyscrapers, being blinded by this ego explosion similar to what Japanese was experiencing back in the 80s, remember, Japanese' confidence was much bigger than that for current Chinese psychology. One good development is that SSE's A share has been cut by half, that's a good waking up to the reality. A bust of real estate bubble will even be better for China over the long term.
Posted by jqian at 2008-04-03 03:50:40. More

156 Mega-Projects and Raising Power of China

One example to refute the needs for China's wild spendings on mega projects is the situation in USA. If you have visited the US, you will find that despite USA being a much bigger economy, it has refrained from making outlandish investments into ego-boasting mega structures. It only builds something as it sees the needs and approved by the state congress. The improved are mostly need based. I don't have problem seeing China investing in road and highway infrastructure because that's needed for oiling the economy. However, spending so much money to build so many tall office buildings in Beijing's CBD or Shanghai's PuDong district seems to be a waste, let alone numerous apartment buildings that can only be afforded by investors with expensive purchasing prices. For example, even though Shanghai has less population than New York City, it now has double the amount of tall structures as that in NYC. The real estate should not be where a still poor country invest its money. Rather, it needs to spend the money to raise this country's industrial capacity to top of the world's food chain. Unfortunately, China today remains as a big manufacturer of low-tech commodities for the world, and countless university graduates can't find a job when they graduate. There has been no incentive for young forks to engage in basic research and developments. Afterall, making money in flipping condos in Shanghai has been a better way to get rich... I don't think this is a correct path for China.
Posted by jqian at 2008-04-02 05:21:11. More

155 Why Things in China is Cheap?

Things sold in China are not cheap at all. However, things that are exported to other countries are often cheap. There is a big difference here.
Posted by jqian at 2008-04-01 09:13:17. More

154 Mega-Projects and Raising Power of China

I agree with Berlin-Olympic-Beijing-Olympic that despite Chinese income is still at the very low end in the world's ranking, its commodity pricing has approached to world class. People have to use their low income to buy products as expensive or more expensive than that in the US or Europe. Not to mention the forbiddenly high priced condos in Shanghai and Beijing which has surpassed pricing in USA for sure (with the only exception of Silicon Valley or Manhattan).
Posted by jqian at 2008-04-01 09:02:36. More

153 Mega-Projects and Raising Power of China

However, you need to be aware that much of these mega projects are not really needed in this still very poor country. I don't regard this as money well spent. It appears that most of the money derived from sweat money by China's poor class has been put into these wasteful mega cost structures, as well as into past 5 and 6 years' real estate boom. Money should be spent in basic research and development, or acting as venture capital to stimulate China's innovation and raise this country into the first layer food chain in global economy. However, unfortunately, China's industrial structure remain at the bottom of the global food chain: profit margin weak manufacturing. No wonder at one end, there has been massive factory shutdown and company bankruptcy in Guangdong province, at the other end, endless effort to build some of the tallest buildings and world's biggest airports.
Posted by jqian at 2008-04-01 08:57:12. More

152 Real Estate Price Keeps Crazy

If making money was the only goal back in 2003, one should have done one thing only: Buying couple of apartments and holding them till today. Where could you find better way to make money in China?
Posted by jqian at 2008-03-27 08:05:19. More

151 Real Estate Price Keeps Crazy

No doubt about it, Shanghai is much crazier than the US was. US price has come down since a year ago.
Posted by jqian at 2007-07-20 12:05:36. More

150 Happy Valentine's Day

Valentines' day is not even considered a holiday in the west. Only Chinese are most serious for this day, more than any other country.
Posted by jqian at 2007-02-15 09:55:55. More

149 The Scar in People's Heart

Exactly, the movie "To Live" (Huo2 Zhe4 活着) is one of the best movies to portray the sorrows of the past. It's worth to see it twice. You can rent it from Blockbuster.com or Netflix.com or almost any mortar based video rental stores in the US. I think this movie should be considered a classic. It's very heavy to watch that movie, a true human tragedy. And the sufferings can be so strong that westerners who haven't experienced such may find hard to imagine.
Posted by jqian at 2007-01-23 01:03:06. More

148 The Scar in People's Heart

Till today, people still don't own properties. They simply own the right to use such properties for 70 years.
Posted by jqian at 2007-01-21 23:53:03. More

147 Shanghai Jiaotong University

I just found out that Kijiji was moved to JTU's tech center building. Isn't it great to work in the same place that you went to school? It's a very making-sense move 'cause you are easier to recruit the best talents from the school. Best wishes for your success.
Posted by jqian at 2007-01-05 11:08:20. More

146 Shanghai Jiaotong University

JTU, it's kind of like UPenn, right in downtown. It was the school that I dreamed to enter when I was in high school, but didn't. Now decades later, no regret, I don't think my life would be a lot better if I did.
Posted by jqian at 2007-01-05 10:57:43. More

145 Happy New Year

Happy new year too!

A correction of grammar: You can't have a verb after "look forward to", it must be followed by a noun.
So the correct way to say it is: I am looking forward to having a great 2007. I used to make the same mistake many many years ago.
Posted by jqian at 2007-01-02 04:09:04. More

144 Shanghai is Coooold

Bush's intention was to strength American's global influence. By so doing, he helped to reduce that. Roman empire was finished by means and intention of glorifying it.
Posted by jqian at 2006-12-02 09:37:16. More

143 OOB to Take a Pause

No problem, JS, take a good rest!
Posted by jqian at 2006-12-01 05:07:32. More

142 Shanghai is Coooold

I find that the more vulnerable the psyche of a nation is, the more likely the people of that nation would declare "I am proud to be a member of xxx nation". After 911, American started to feel vulnerable and insecure for the first time after the Pearl habor, they started to say that line more often. Chinese has always been insecure about the state of their national being, they need more endorsements, so they say this line more often. I grew up in China. I remember that I have grown up under the mainline of needing to feel proud for the country, regardless the actually state of being. I think it's a gage to measure the psychological security level of a nation. I would really feel proud of China if someday Chinese don't customarily declare this line. Am I proud of America at this moment in time? No, it's in a state of mess, especially politically.
Posted by jqian at 2006-12-01 05:04:33. More

141 Shanghai is Coooold

I find it amusing. Chinese say "I am proud to be a Chinese..." too often. Americans don't say that. And sometimes it can be politically incorrect to declare "I am proud to be an American...". So, few people say that. Why do Chinese say that often? I guess that back in average Chinese' minds, there may be some inconfidence..., or insecurity.

ONE DAY, Chinese will not say that amusing line. That day, we know that Chinese can really be proud of themselves. Despite the recent material advancement, that day hasn't arrived yet, but it will one day.
Posted by jqian at 2006-11-30 09:44:00. More

140 Zhaoxiang Outlets

Every city in the US has this kind of outlet malls. They are not fancy, kind of like factory. Prices are so low that they can shock some people from Shanghai.
Posted by jqian at 2006-11-30 08:39:48. More

139 Rumors after Rumors - Part II

Yes, watching your back is a good advice. If it's a rumor, you may not have to say anything to dispel it. Sometimes, keeping silence is the best strategy.
Posted by jqian at 2006-11-26 10:56:16. More

138 Rumors after Rumors - Part II

Well, think of it this way, rumors can be good for you if you know how to make use of it artfully.
Posted by jqian at 2006-11-24 03:16:06. More

137 Rumors after Rumors

Unfortunately, South Ca is low tech and North Ca is high tech, I am just kidding!
Yes, Chinese food in SC is probably the number one or two (not sure about how it compares to NYC) in the US and A.
I am always amazed at the quality difference for Chinese food between bay area and Monterey park. Well, the only logic I can draw from this is that Bay area has too many engineers and LA regions has too many businessmen.
Posted by jqian at 2006-11-22 08:38:45. More

136 Rumors after Rumors

On the flip side, I don't agree with the above sentiment that "...your blog will be quicly kicked out the blogosphere...". I can assure everybody that is not going to happen even if JSW says something out of nothing. Let me explain it this way, I come to a site like this knowing JSW as a human being, like a brother figure. I have no tall order for him. I don't need education from him either. I view his blog and himself just a plain person like myself. And most importantly, I feel perfectly fine that a plain person has nothing to say, and say whatever came to mind..., it's human, isn't it. Feeling human is an important aspect why I love this site. I can reflect a lot of the feelings that he has. I can see how he is developing his perspective after traveling... Why does anyone want to place such an unrealistically tall order to a personal blog that ultimately belongs to JSW himself to express his own feelings, whatever it is. If you don't the the so called "quality" that he wrote today, why can't you write something of high quality so that we can all enjoy? Besides, I personally feel that JSW's sensitivity to rumors is a powerful feeling that he feels compelled to express. By expressing these very humanly feelings, I came to enjoy JSW and his sites ever more... enough said.
Posted by jqian at 2006-11-22 08:31:54. More

135 Rumors after Rumors

Well, keeping up a blog can be a big job, especially after years of activities. I am sure that JSW is feeling like it's his responsibility to keep it running. He might feel quilty not to write anything for a day or two. I don't know the solution. I just want to ask questions. Can a blog writer stop writing for a few days, or a few weeks? There are tons of blogs out there where the owners took a few rests and each may last an indefinite amount of time. I think it's perfectly okay to leave it alone for a while, only update it when something exciting or brilliant come to mind. As a frequent visitor, I have no issue with that.
Posted by jqian at 2006-11-22 08:20:32. More

134 Photo: Dog under Sunshine

Well, what does it mean?

Does it have to mean anything practical?

I guess not. I would guess it means a state of mind...

I hope I am right.
Posted by jqian at 2006-11-05 11:31:06. More

133 I am not a Big Fan of Hate...

Start a WWIII?
These kids must be kidding. They don't know how cruel war is. Sigh, young kids are living a too comfortable life.
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-30 02:19:29. More

132 Where are You - Part II

Amazing, US and Canada comprised of 50% of traffic on this site. I contribute a little bit too.
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-27 14:04:27. More

131 Suggest a Topic

What use English name in China?
Of course, you are right, there is no functional need. It's a fashion, stupid :-)
Anything western is still considered fashion, and it will probably remain so for the next 2-3 decades.
Those cool dudes in American movies would surely reinforce this "fashion".
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-27 14:00:59. More

130 Happy Birthday to Me

Only 29? Young! :-) I wish I can go back to that age.

Posted by jqian at 2006-10-19 08:29:20. More

129 2006 Asian Gaelic Games in Shanghai

You mean Soccer or foot ball? I see the ball in the above adv. similar to soccer (round) not American foot (not round).
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-15 04:03:18. More

128 Drive on the Right in China

The reason Shanghai started out driving on the left is that British influence was dorminant. The old picture above was actually taken inside British colonial district (now Wai Tan). I am not sure if that driving habbit could represent China as a whole during that time.
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-07 03:19:42. More

127 Drive on the Left in Australia

It's not a matter of sticking or not. It's a matter of unwilling to change the habbit inherited from one generation to the next. Humans are lazy in nature, without brute force, they don't change habbit. Why change? as long as the majority of Australian feel fine and comfortable, they are not going to change anything for a few thousand tourists.
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-06 22:41:59. More

126 Seagull at Sea

Indeed, it's clean. When you go to Nassau, or Cancun, you may find the water to be just as clear, if not clearer. It's hard to find such high quality beaches in China. Human activities probably has polluted its beaches.
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-06 09:38:40. More

125 Comment from Sarah Khider

Hmmm, I happen to love French songs and music. When I was in Paris, I spent lots of time searching for romantic French songs in music stores.
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-06 09:33:32. More

124 Remove Comments? Maybe Not

Correction: It should be "heresy" not "heresay".
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-05 23:11:37. More

123 Remove Comments? Maybe Not

Good policy for you! If you remove too much, the site will become dull and nobody would care to come here. Occasionally, I would like to hear some heresay just to keep myself excited. Occasionally, I may be the one generating the heresay, not to insist that I have to be right, but to stir the pot a bit and makes life more interesting. :-)
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-05 23:10:14. More

122 Shanghai's Weather is Like Sydney in Oct

Why Shanghai will be NYC and San Jose combined?

Because in 20 years, Shanghai should have developed its financial prowess comparable to NYC and also have developed its high tech centers comparable to San Jose. Shanghai will be these 2 cities combined because Shanghai is planned to go in these two directions.
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-05 22:19:04. More

121 Shanghai's Weather is Like Sydney in Oct

I don't think Shanghai people are necessarily unhappy under a communist rule. Shanghai is still the most efficiently operated gate-way city in China. At this moment Shanghai definitely pose much greater long-term business development opportunities than laid back countries like Australia. In some sense, Australia may be more socialistic than Shanghai in terms of tax dollars, benefits people are getting, social security and etc. But one big difference other than social systems and pace of life is: Shanghai is booming and will morph into some place much more significant than any city in Australia.
However, in terms of choosing a place to feel relaxed and retire, I would definitely choose Australia.

To put it simply, there is no comparison between Shanghai and Sydney. Any attempt to compare them will always end in ill use of your time. Shanghai should be compared to Seoul, Korea, Singapore, or Tokyo, HK or even NYC, but not Sydney.
Let's enjoy Sydney, and focus on developing Shanghai, not into another Sydney, but into another city with NYC and San Jose combined.
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-05 22:14:24. More

120 Shanghai's Weather is Like Sydney in Oct

One big difference between the two cities: Life is much relaxed in Sydney.
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-05 09:00:43. More

119 Maglev Accident in Germany

I am afraid it has nothing to do with technology at all. This accident has everything to do with management and or human error. Regardless how advanced the technology is, it can't replace the need for better management and avoiding human errors. Sorry, I don't have confidence in Maglev made in China yet.
Posted by jqian at 2006-10-03 00:05:08. More

118 Brisbane, and Gold Coast

JS, don't worry. It's the best beach you can ever find in the world. Take your time and enjoy!
Posted by jqian at 2006-09-30 21:01:49. More

117 Jian Shuo in Australia - Day II, III and IV

Oh yeah, Austrailia is a great country. It may not be that great for career development, but definitely a laid back place for retirement.
Posted by jqian at 2006-09-30 00:57:56. More

116 Jinjiang Hotel

The significance of Jin Jiang Hotel is not its current rating, state of luxury, and all of the sorts of superficial features, but its rich historical presence in Shanghai's history dating back from 100 years ago.
Posted by jqian at 2006-09-25 01:53:08. More

115 Maglev Accident in Germany

No, not maintenance train. It hit a maintenance vehicle.
In 99.9999% of time, a maintemance vehicle should not be on the same track as the oncoming train.
I think this tragedy would only happen in this unique situation of a "test run".
When everything is setup for production run everyday, the chance of hitting a maintenance car is almost non-existent.
So, I don't particularly worry about this kind of accidents repeat again, ever.

Now the lesson to be learned: Don't take part in any test run or maiden voyage, even if they are offered to you for free.
I think everybody knows about the tragedy of Titanic some 100 years ago.

I may have strayed too far away from this particular subject, in business world, the same lesson can be learned: Don't be the first to adopt a new technology and bank your fortune on it. Otherwise, you could be a perfect test guinea big.
Posted by jqian at 2006-09-24 03:17:26. More

114 Jinjiang Hotel

Jin Jiang may now be downgraded to 3 star. But in my youth, it was once the best hotel in Shanghai. All gates were guarded by securities. Only foreigners or people from HK could get in or out. I remember my first experience when entering the Jin Jiang Club across the street(now part of Garden Hotel) for the first time: It was a totally different world inside compared to outside, I felt, with all the luxuries that outside world couldn't envision. This experience did help to stir up a teenager's mind quite a lot. People were segregated according to their nationality and visa status. Mao Ming road was elegant and quiet then. It remains so today after 30 years. Jin Jiang Hotel kinda defined the standard of luxury 30 years back then.
Posted by jqian at 2006-09-24 01:17:21. More

113 Jinjiang Hotel

Yeah, Jin Jiang Hotel has so much of my memory.
Posted by jqian at 2006-09-24 01:08:53. More

112 Swensen's in Xujiahui

What do you mean, carsten? :-)
I guess we are all a bunch of vulgar people...
Posted by jqian at 2006-09-23 07:03:47. More

111 Swensen's in Xujiahui


I think food is different. Food is something that to be eaten and digested and the next day you feel hungry again. Upper middle class or sometimes well-to-do people eat in McDonald or Kentucky Fried Chicken often because of convenience. However, in terms of buying furniture, they would shy away from IKEA because of the simple truth: Furnitures are permanent display in your homes and they show to the world your personal taste and your financial condition. A lot of upper middle class people may not want that impression to be made. Food is entirely different, I would go to the nearest fast-food place to save time. McDonald has pretty healthy food too.
Posted by jqian at 2006-09-22 21:23:57. More

110 Swensen's in Xujiahui

Baskin Robin in Shanghai? Then there must be Dunkin Donut too. I am not sure how Shanghainese would handle American style donut though.
Posted by jqian at 2006-09-20 21:58:33. More

109 Swensen's in Xujiahui

I never heard of Swenson in the US, then I found out it's headquartered in Singapore. But from all its looks and feels it's like a pure American exquisite fast-food restuarants. It's interesting, next time I go back to Shanghai, I will definitely pay them a visit.
Posted by jqian at 2006-09-20 21:56:17. More

108 Went to IKEA Again

To put it simply, Ikea is for customers with lower to middle class income. Upper middle class or rich people are usually not fan of Ikea.
Posted by jqian at 2006-09-20 05:55:27. More

107 Common Sense

Exactly right. Your common sense is different from mine. When you are frustrated and yell to me: "Why can't you see my point? Don't you have common sense?". Yes, I do, but unfortunately my common sense is different from you. Therefore, I still may not agree with you. My point is, a lot of people look at the world base on their own "common" sense, thinking their "common" sense is really common to everyone. Wrong!
Posted by jqian at 2006-07-17 04:22:20. More

106 Kijiji New Platform Went Online

Great! Jianshuo, you learned one thing right: Plain and simple. Your new design is exactly plain and simple and I hope it will help to attract more people to use it. People are lazy in nature. They dislike complicated things.
Posted by jqian at 2006-07-13 11:47:43. More

105 The World of Different Rules


It only means you are ignorant of Chinese situation to say that a Chinese mason is a Chinese decorator. You would have to live in China for at least a year to understand that.
Posted by jqian at 2006-07-13 11:36:53. More

104 Back to Blog of My Own

Shrek or Bellvue,
Whoever you are, everybody has been tired of you. I suggest that you find another place to vent your extremist view. Maybe one of those Saudi sites would be more fun to you.
Posted by jqian at 2006-07-10 11:36:55. More

103 Back to Blog of My Own

Jian Shuo,

I totally understand your frustration.
That's normal. Most of us are on your side and understand your sincerity. Although some of them appears to be hyper active on your blog, unfortunately, they don't represent the view of majority. Sometimes the best action is to ignore them. Enjoy your life. I like your blog, keep it going. The worst thing it could happen is allow yourself to be influenced by extremist ideology of certain group of people.
Posted by jqian at 2006-07-08 12:25:32. More

102 To Save a Young Life

I think "Peace"'s caution is good. Charity fraud is rampant in the US. In this particular case, I think JSW's intention is also noble. Although without verification, I trust that this is a true request for help. However, I do agree that before donating any money to anyone, you have to ensure its truthfulness.
Posted by jqian at 2006-07-08 12:15:42. More

101 New Jersey Government Shutdown?

Government shutdown is common in the US. The shutdown is not complete shutdown. They only shut down the non-essential functions.
Posted by jqian at 2006-07-07 02:10:03. More

100 "The Right to Refuse Service to Anyone"


The comments you expressed here resulted from your misunderstanding of American culture. Silicon Valley happens to be pretty much violent free in everyday life. I lived there for many years and I can attest it with my own life experience. All the impression you got is probably from American movies. They are just movies, make believe. Posting a sign like that only buys some legal insurance to the business owner. It by no means suggests that crime is so out of control that business owner has to do that kind of thing. I hope you can be like JSW, have a chance to visit this peaceful country and understand how different it is different from the "movie culture".
Posted by jqian at 2006-06-17 12:24:06. More

99 "The Right to Refuse Service to Anyone"


The comments you expressed here resulted from your misunderstanding of American culture. Silicon Valley happens to be pretty much violent free in everyday life. I lived there for many years and I can attest it with my own life experience. All the impression you got is probably from American movies. They are just movies, make believe. Posting a sign like that only buys some legal insurance to the business owner. It by no means suggests that crime is so out of control that business owner has to do that kind of thing. I hope you can be like JSW, have a chance to visit this peaceful country and understand how different it is different from the "movie culture".
Posted by jqian at 2006-06-17 12:22:45. More

98 "The Right to Refuse Service to Anyone"

Yes, I agree that sign may not be necessary. You can say it's stupid. All I have said is that the action by the owner to post this sign is legal. I understand in many cases that a legal action may be not be wise in business, or even stupid to hurt its business.

My gut feeling is that this sign does serve some purpose that only the owner knows. We from the outside may not know the reasons. The owner may have an enemy or he may have had some bad experience in the past. Obviously, I think this sign is not hurting the restuarant's business.

All I like to say is that we should not read too much into this. It's absolutely legal to do that in most civilized country, just like putting up a no-trespassing sign in your front yard. It's gonna alienate your neighbors, but nonetheless, very legal to do so...
Posted by jqian at 2006-06-17 02:01:05. More

97 "The Right to Refuse Service to Anyone"

Yes, I can see that. As a private business owner, I think they do have the right to refuse service to 'anyone'. But that doesn't mean they will actually refuse service to anyone. If indeed an incidence happens, the owner can be summoned to the court resulted from a lawsuit from a customer. The owner may win or lose depending on specific situations. But the owner won't win or lose because of this sign. The owner may even have a much higher chance of winning the case because of this sign. Nonetheless, this sign is legal.
Posted by jqian at 2006-06-17 01:43:05. More

96 Companies in Silicon Valley

Exactly JH. With the proliferation of high speed internet, many companies don't have to be in the valley to be a valley company. The equation is changed. But for now, due to the high concentration of VC capital and human capital there. Most companies can manage to operate there without having to worry about providing 2 million dollar house to their employee. But things could change when operating cost and human cost exceed some threshold in the future.
Posted by jqian at 2006-06-17 01:28:52. More

95 "The Right to Refuse Service to Anyone"

A sign like this doesn't offer any explicit or implicit implication of intention to discriminate. It only serves to state owner's right. Yes, under many conditions, the owner is legal to refuse service to anyone who may disrupt the restuarant's business. Or they can even refuse services to someone who the owner doesn't like. Nothing like that is against law. We are so accustomed to the concept that "Customer is the King...". But that concept is only a good business concept, it has nothing to do with legal system. Theoretically speaking, if the business is so good, the customer doesn't have to be the king. However, in order for a business to be good, the enterprise needs to treat customer well. This is only a good business conduct, but never a God endowed duty in any social system.
Posted by jqian at 2006-06-17 01:20:47. More

94 "The Right to Refuse Service to Anyone"

This is not against law. It simply stated their right under the law. I don't think it will hurt their business at all. As long as they provide good quality food and services, most customer will ignore such signs and visit them often. I bet this restuarant's business is pretty good...
Posted by jqian at 2006-06-17 01:13:15. More

93 Companies in Silicon Valley

San Francisco is a Latin word, Spanish to be exact. Thus, Cisco is very Latin.
All those great companies in one place, with only one problem: Who can afford a 2 million dollar house to stay there to work for them?
Posted by jqian at 2006-06-15 11:34:25. More

92 Water Mellon for Summer

I wonder why Wal-mart selected an undesirable location. With the money they have, and the saving they got from closing down the stores in Korea, they should be able to pay for a better and more accessible location...
Posted by jqian at 2006-06-06 12:20:56. More

91 Water Mellon for Summer

Yes, Wal-mart just failed in South Korea. They got out of that market altogether.
I also hope that Wal-mart can adapt well in China, rather than indulging in their god given American proud.
Afterall, Wal-mart is not McDonald.
Posted by jqian at 2006-06-05 08:14:25. More

90 New Rules to Push Down House Price

The result?

It could be a long and wide decline of the whole market. Interest groups and investors won't be happy. But regular working class will be cheerful...
Posted by jqian at 2006-06-02 05:57:38. More

89 City Life v.s. Village Life

This post has got to be the best post of the year!
Posted by jqian at 2006-05-23 08:47:03. More

88 Campus Tour of Shanghai Jiao Tong University

My little brother,

Well, this is a personal blog for JS, he is entitled to feel successful even if in some other people's eyes the so called "success" would involve more. There is nothing wrong about that. Everybody's standard of "success" is very different anyway. Picking on other's English is not a very productive way to deal with life anyway. In my opinion, his English is good enough to get the message across. He has been making a huge effort and some times personal sacrifices to keep this blog running. I admire somebody like that. A lot of people indeed are benefiting from all the valuable information from this blog. Well, Mr. JSW may not be more "successful" than some of the other people, and we all understand that he will have a lot more to accomplish in his life journey. This is his own business, not for you to judge. All I care and most of other people care is his service to the community, his honest, down to earth attitude.
Posted by jqian at 2006-04-29 04:31:52. More

87 Coffee, Chat and Metro Transition

Yes, right. When you see "Mocha", just think of Chocolate, then it will become clear to you :-)
Posted by jqian at 2006-04-12 10:27:19. More

86 Cultural Differences Between China and America

Yes, agree.
Posted by jqian at 2006-03-05 00:17:26. More

85 Cultural Differences Between China and America

I have to disagree a little on that. Although on the surface it seems that China is very similar to Japan in culture, at the same time, China is very different. China is a less conforming society than Japan. You would be able to see more individualism in Chinese culture. Certain parts of China, like Shanghai, is actually transitioning more toward American way of business conduct than all of Japan. China as an Asian country is sharing some of the same roots as Japan. But China is a much softer nut to crack as far as localization and integration of American business ethics.
Posted by jqian at 2006-03-04 13:29:03. More

84 Business of Zhending Chicken

The difference between a big business and a small business lies in how easy it is to grow and manage. Standardization of operation procedures facilitates such efficiency. Lack of standardization definitely hampers the business' ability to expand. Adding rules that requires double weighting of chicken, for instance, definitely add to the unnecessary complexity of operating the business. It may work for a while in a country with cheap labor, like in China. But this complexity of rules wouldn't be able to scale for the growth of the business. Any MBA students must be very aware of this. What works for a small business doesn't necessarily work for a big business.

Besides, standardization and streamlining of business operation doesn't have to come at a cost of losing customer touch and product qualities. Business can be streamlined at the same time of achieving Quality of Service. These 2 goals don't conflict at all.

Every MBA student must know that cost saving from streamlining and standardization of business model far outweigh the cost saving from cutting corners by charging 0.2 cent extra to sell freezed drink. McDonald or Starbucks Coffee can be successful exactly because of this standardization, not by endorsing such ugly policy of closing down the store early. If Zhending continues these policy, they can still be a good business, but they will never become a great business.
Posted by jqian at 2006-02-18 04:36:58. More

83 Business of Zhending Chicken

Zhendin chicken may be able to save a few money by setting up these strange rules. However, I don't think these rules or tricks are the key to make any business into a truly successful business operation. The best case study is McDonald rather than Zhending. The key to success is standardization and simplification of their operation, such as, producing the same Big Mac no matter where you go in the world. Standardization and simplification of operation makes them able to replicate their model easily throughout the world. More importantly, standardization and simplification make training almost hassle-free.
Ultimately these philosophy proves extremely scalable for a global operation and ultimately this scalable model provides the excellency in cost-saving.

However, the strange rules that Zhending are practicing may sound wise for cost-saving, but they are ultimately unfriendly to customers. And it could backfire if competition comes along. This aspect is not the worst. The worst is these rules' lack of scalability in terms of replicating its business operation, and it could also cause a nightmare in training and maintenance by distracting the management's focus from providing the ultimate in customer service. All of these strange rules simply created a culture in their store for cutting corners to boost profit.

No, this is absolutely not what a MBA should learn. Rather, their practice is what an MBA should learn as an anti-tutorial to avoid.
Posted by jqian at 2006-02-17 09:36:25. More

82 Meetup: MBA or Not, that is a Question

MBA is useful for middle managers. But leading a company needs visionarys not MBAs.
Most successful business leaders don't have MBAs. If they spent time in their life pursuing MBAs, they might not have become great leaders.
Posted by jqian at 2006-02-13 10:28:53. More

81 Beijing is Cold. Life is Warm

Actually, Beijing is like neither NYC nor SFO. Beijing is more like Washington DC. SFO is unique, with its open spirit, romanticism and balmy weather.
Posted by jqian at 2006-02-03 10:25:55. More

80 Jobs in eBay Shanghai

Well, to say it more directly, over the long term, if earning power is your concern, stay away from programming altogether.
Software development jobs have been shifting to low cost countries on accelerating speed. This specialty is increasingly getting commoditized.
Posted by jqian at 2006-01-23 07:17:02. More

79 Jobs in eBay Shanghai

In China hiring companies even assert higher standards toward working experience. They have no problems in getting cheap programmers, even from well known universities. There are so many cheap talents in China, hiring companies can afford to pick and choose. If you desire higher earning power over the long term, better stay in developed countries rather than competing with countless talents on the cheap.
Posted by jqian at 2006-01-23 07:13:09. More

78 Jobs in eBay Shanghai

This trend is very clear: All major US based software companies are rushing to China to hire with probably 1/4 - 1/10th of US salary. This is good for the companies, but unfortunately very worrisome to all the software engineers/programmers in the US.
Posted by jqian at 2006-01-22 06:33:28. More

77 Old Shanghai vs Current Shanghai

Actually, I love the old days, simple, innocent, and people are more happy then than today.
Posted by jqian at 2006-01-14 05:29:11. More

76 On Bokee (BlogChina) Staff Layoff

Cut 1/3 for a blogger? They should cut more. In the US, 400 people can form a company doing billions of annual business.
Yes, 400 people for a blogging company is simply unheard of and extremely crazy. Even a sucessful company like Juniper only employ about only 9 times more people than this no-name company does.
Posted by jqian at 2006-01-10 08:51:05. More

75 The 8-Day of Nightmare

Love to see you back!
I almost thought somebody is cracking down on this site. I hope that's not the case.
Posted by jqian at 2005-12-23 01:32:21. More

74 Craigslist's Success

Craigslist started out as somebody's hobby. It didn't set on itself to make money.
Only that much later, it happened to become a lot of people's favorite market place.

That's why it remains so simple. You can't feel a corporation behind it. Entering Craigslist makes you feel that you joined your community's bulletin board.

So, right now, when you wanted to emulate Craigslist's success, you have to realize that your psychology may be different as an owner.
Posted by jqian at 2005-11-27 23:16:14. More

73 Jian Shuo Wang in San Jose in Dec

Welcome to the giant traditional boring American suburbia. You will find thousands of worker bees in all of those 2 story look alike buildings dotted all over the place. Probably you might be amazed at just about any high tech companies, probably half of the faces are Asian. Well, unfortunately, except inside a few lucky ones like Google, the old zeal of boom times is no longer present here. The new silicon valley seems to be in Bangalore India.
Posted by jqian at 2005-11-24 12:02:47. More

72 Topics Selection Guidelines


If you are non-Chinese, no questions asked, you would love Shanghai over Beijing as a place to live. Because Shanghainese' ideology is much more aligned with the global community than any cities in China. As a city girl who loves big city bright light, there is no other place in China that can compare to Shanghai. However, if learning Mandarin is your only goal, then Beijing is good.
Posted by jqian at 2005-11-06 01:55:46. More

71 Topics Selection Guidelines

Jian shuo

Well said! If I were running the blog, I would do exactly the same. Unfortunately, not everyone can see this way, but it's their problems, not yours. There are always people who's perception systems can't meet the challenges of modern days, but they will learn, change and hopefully catch up. Luckily Ebay chose you to run their China venture, not some clueless guys who would suggest a personal blogs to act like a duplicate of People's Daily. And I am shocked that these suggestions came out of a mouth of a guy who supposedly should've understood the difference between a blog and an official political media outlet. I wish you all the success in your new venture. My suggestion to you is to think out-of-box, never fall prey to those "make sense", "conventional" wisdoms from clueless people. What made ebay, google different is their unconventional thinking. Doing business in China is harder than that in the US.

Posted by jqian at 2005-11-06 01:49:10. More

70 Picture in Shanghai

Ha, ha, everyone can claim they have a best blog, but ultimately the true measures to test is user traffic.
Posted by jqian at 2005-11-06 01:22:11. More

69 Picture in Shanghai


Whatever happened to you, in my eyes, they are very common. And this should not be anything that you should find unexpected. If you dress poorly, no matter where you are in Asia, be it in Tokyo, in Singapore or in Hong Kong, you would expect some less than ideal services. What you are decribing is more a culture difference issue than a real Shanghai or China problem. In Asian culture, dressing up is utmost important. In Shanghai, dressing up has become a necessity. To many people there, dressing up is sometimes more important than anything else. I live in the States for 20 years. During my first visit back to Shanghai, I also ran into similar situations and made lots of complaints, just like you. Now, I feel I am supposed to dress better if I have to attend a public meeting or go shopping in Asian countries. The service personel in a typical Asian shop has no way to tell if you are American or a local Chinese. All they see is your Asian face. Matter of factly, they will treat you no different from the way they treat the rest of local Chinese. If you happen to not follow the rule, then you have to expect some sub par services being rendered upon you. You can blame nobody.
Posted by jqian at 2005-11-04 11:44:27. More

68 Picture in Shanghai


Exactly, Jian Shuo Wang's blog being voted one of the best blogs by American media is no coincidence. It was voted the best because it is mostly aligning itself to the pragmatic spirit of true blogging which is considered a standard in the global society. We from the west comes to love it because of its simplicity, sincerity and out-of-box thinking. The worst night mare would be to come here one morning and find that it's saying the same thing as published in People's Daily. Unfortunately, some guys who's been brain washed by 50 years extreme leftist rule didn't understand that.
Posted by jqian at 2005-11-04 11:16:14. More

67 Picture in Shanghai

"If you are such a good psychologist, can you explain why the "Old Shanghai" would make one "depressing"?"

When did Jian Shuo say that? You must have cooked it up yourself.

Not all overseas Chinese are losers. But guys like you trying to turn a private blog into front pages of People's Daily do have "loser mentality". If this blog is customarily filled up with boring People's Daily style commentaries on National day, I guess it won't be voted as one of the top ten bloggs in China. Besides, please go back to read your own posts again, it takes no rocket scientist to see your obvious attempt to instigate regionalistic sentiment among Shanghainese and non-Shanghainese. You are wrong, symbolic events like National days are not important to the growth of China. There was a National Day in 1966, did it help China grow better then? What's important is pragmatism that the spirit of Shanghai culture is bringing about, not symbolic and castle in the sky patriotism.

Posted by jqian at 2005-11-04 11:01:59. More

66 Picture in Shanghai

farawaypanda having patriotism? Yeah, you give him too much. The reality is more like this, due to his out-of-date and ideological way of thinking, he is having a hard time assimilating himself into the society (American or Canadian) he has to seek a livelihood from. From the isolation resulted from this failure, he is living in a make-believe patriotic sentiment despite the fact that he is probably not officially a Chinese citizen from his passport. He is creating this new sense of patriotism into himself to hopefully shield him from his real predicament, imagine this as an escape. This psychological phenomenon describes why so many overseas ex-Chinese seem to be more "patriotic" and judgemental. Another way to say it: Reverse cultural shock.
Posted by jqian at 2005-11-04 02:34:56. More

65 Picture in Shanghai

From what sounded like, Farawaypanda currently lives in US or Canada, but he has a very pigeon holed view toward Shanghai, China that is making him frustrated. I met this kinds of guys a lot in the US. They don't socialize with Americans, they locked up in their small circle of friends day-dreaming the kind of China they wish to be. Talking about assimilation into US mainstream life? they have achieved nothing. And I find these kinds of guy are not very successful in their careers either. Probably they missed many opportunities in the US, getting very frustrated and wish for a Chinese miracle to save their butts. Obviously, he will not be able to find such miracle to cure his personal issue in this board. Jian Shuo Wang, keep on the good jobs, don't let these social parasites to let you down. And most importantly, be proud to be a Shanghainese with true open heartedness and spirit of pragmatism.

Posted by jqian at 2005-11-03 23:13:32. More

64 Picture in Shanghai

I think farawaypanda has prejudice against Shanghainese. He repeatedly ridiculed Shanghainese as "money, money" and "discriminating other people". How many times did he visit Shanghai and how much he really understand Shanghai's culture? He wrote these silly pieces to vent his personal frustration, one sort or another, against Shanghai. He sounded like a long march veteran who never visited Shanghai for the last 30 years. I guess he has more problems to fix himself.
Posted by jqian at 2005-11-03 23:03:52. More

63 Picture in Shanghai

You wrote: "Of course you would expect the "average" American to write something about July 4 and they only get a 3-day long weekend vs one full week for the China National Day!!!"

The above comments are complete nonsense. I live in the US for more than 20 years. I seldom see American bloggers or average people write a lot to comment on July 4th. I did see the movie "Independance Day" which deliberately portrayed a destroyed state of union aired to movie theatres everywhere couple of years ago on 4th of July. This is truly the outcome of American democracy, how assimilated are you into American culture to see that?

You wrote: "I guess they (i.e. the Shanghainese) must have long assimilated you into one of them - which are famous for 排外 (Chinese exclusion, if you will)..."

I think you were trying to stir up narrow regionalist sentiment between Shanghainese and Jianshuo Wang by making such inappropriate comments.

Posted by jqian at 2005-11-03 11:18:13. More

62 Picture in Shanghai


I think it's really inappropriate of you to make such irresponsible comments about Jianshuo and his blog. This is not a newspaper and Jianshuo doesn't have any responsibility to update any common events that mass media have poured so much attention already. And I don't expect to read anything that I can easily read from other media sources. From this site, many readers and I are expecting to read Jianshuo's unique comments. I am perfectly happy not to read another word about some major events that have been commented to the extreme on regular medias. This is a blog that many readers can find everyday life topics about China and especially Shanghai. If you expect to see any ultra-nationalism or patriotism sentiment that you may want to fill your void, I suggest that you find somewhere else.
Posted by jqian at 2005-11-03 11:03:56. More

61 Luoyang Trip Report

Looks pretty good to me at least from pictures.
Posted by jqian at 2005-10-13 23:59:50. More

60 Two Side of the World - Where Should I Stay?

Exactly! But building trust is easier said than done. Everybody knows that, but not everybody can do that. I hope you can. :-)
Posted by jqian at 2005-10-13 23:53:42. More

59 Do You Believe in Living Cost Index?

"So my conclusion is, living the U.S. way in Shanghai is much more expensive than living the U.S. way in U.S., but to live in the Chinese way in Shanghai is much more cheaper than living the U.S. way in U.S."

The best summary!!

Posted by jqian at 2005-09-28 06:24:30. More

58 Not Perfect English is Fine, So does Correction

It's okay. I can understand everything you are trying to say despite some grammer errors here and there. I know it's not easy. And I understand that it's not productive to try to take rid of most errors. The key is to get the message across to your audiences. In that way, you've done a fabulous job!

Keep on the good job, telling us the stories, information about Shanghai, that's most important.
Posted by jqian at 2005-09-24 08:28:59. More

57 Price Increase of Shanghai Metro

It should be "it is said..." not "it is heard...".
Posted by jqian at 2005-09-06 12:22:13. More

56 Do You Have a Calendar?

Very simple explanation: Chinese value time less important than that in the US. To do anything in the US, you need to setup an appointment.
Posted by jqian at 2005-05-28 05:38:19. More

55 Do You Have a Calendar?

Very simple explanation: Chinese value time less important than that in the US. To do anything in the US, you need to setup an appointment.
Posted by jqian at 2005-05-28 05:37:48. More

54 Vacation Ends

I guess the partial motivation for Jian Shuo to do such a good job is that he knows there are countless readers from around the world will come check this site frequently. Without readers, sure, it's darn hard to keep on. Am I right, Jian Shuo? :-)

The English site is very informational. But I feel better reading your Chinese blog 'cause I feel as if you come closer to me.
Posted by jqian at 2005-05-09 21:07:57. More

53 Lugu Lake

Excellent pictures! Just wondering if the traffic getting there is convenient or not?
Posted by jqian at 2005-05-03 04:46:22. More

52 When Jian Shuo Leaves his Car (in CA)

I have to respectfully disagree with the saying "SF is much more user friendly than New York...". But you may be right to say that SF is more new comer user-friendly, at least it would appear less intimidating at first look for new comers. Afterall, SF Bay is a small metro compared to NYC with only 1/3th of NYC's population.

Once you get familiar with New York City, you will find that it's extremely user friendly. Being familiar with both cities, I love both cities in different ways. Compared with NYC, San Francisco is really a small small town. NYC is very convenient if you live there and melt into the city culture for a while, you will find numerous convenience that other city can't match.
But I understand that it's hard to get this impression from a few days visit because all you can see is the surface feature, not the inner quality. Some of the world's biggest corporation and world's largest financial operation are there, it can't afford to be less user friendly. But you do need to read a "user manual" for that friendliness to appear obvious for you. There are so many services that are so good and so inexpensive that you can't possibly find in other cities. But they are not advertised in newspaper.

I love San Francisco for its "small town" feeling despite a big city. I also love it for its laidbackness. Although Silicon Valley is nearby, San Francisco does offer that feeling of ease and relaxation. That's why that movie "Sweet November" (am I right in the name?) was filmed over there because this city is really sweet. However, one simply can't compare the two cities adequately, there is no comparison
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-29 04:11:53. More

51 I Feel Like a Rabbit when I Eat Salad

You probably can't find good burgers in fast food restuarants. They serve gourmet burger in many high-end family restuarants. Sometimes they can cost $7-8 a piece. In California, among fast food eateries, IN & OUT burger really stands out.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-29 03:30:33. More

50 I Feel Like a Rabbit when I Eat Salad

In California, I love "In And Out" Burger, fresh meat, fresh fries, just better than any fast food chain stores.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-26 02:38:55. More

49 Sailing in the Bay

Ha, good experience. I am not a sport type, never really tried that. I am sure sailing in the SF Bay is romantic. The whole SF city is romantic. It's totally different from other cities. I always get a Mediterranean feeling when I walk on the street of San Francisco, I don't mean the high rise district though. It is one and only in the US. I remember catching red crab near a peer close to Golden Gate Bridge, who would think you can do that in the center of a big city. But San Francisco by itself is not very big. It sometimes give you a small town feeling.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-24 22:44:19. More

48 I Feel Like a Rabbit when I Eat Salad

michael, absolutely! SF and LA sometimes can produce better Chinese food than even in Shanghai. Chinese in California are in the millions. And it's said to have the most Chinese population other than Mainland China. One can live in SF or LA metro and never becomes homesick.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-24 22:31:25. More

47 The Silicon Valley Spirit is Back

JH, you are absolutely right.

Right now, as I can see from DC metro side, government sponsored IT boom is in full swing. Billions of dollars are being invested to design new intelligent IT infrastructure to thwart future terrorist attack or infiltration. That explains that DC metro is currently a most booming town in the US with about 10% of total national new jobs being created by countless government contractors. I feel today's DC metro is reminiscent of yesterday's Silicon Valley, although not hot enough to the extent of creating millionare engineers.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-24 22:23:53. More

46 The Silicon Valley Spirit is Back

Highly recommend this article: Video is the internet


Until Broadband is versatile enough to carry video like current Broadcast TVs, internet will remain disposable.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-24 10:36:46. More

45 The Silicon Valley Spirit is Back

Will there be another Internet craze?

Maybe and maybe not, in my opinion. The most worrisome aspect of this may be globalization and commoditizing of software based web technologies. Now it seems that only an idea is needed, then everybody can do it. Bangalore people, Shanghai people, Russian people can all compete with lower pay. The critical mass that used to make Silicon Valley tech boom won't be there anymore. What is good for the world may not be good for Silicon Valley. However, there still could be some kind of boom again in the future, it definitely won't be "dot.com" look alike, it must be so innovative that will cause a flood of VC money and brains congregate into a unique regions, like that happened in SV. Without the critical mass of both money, non-commoditized innovation and brain powers, there won't be another boom in the valley or anywhere else. Yes, Bangalore is currently having a boom, but it's simply not the same kind of boom that happened in the Valley.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-24 08:52:03. More

44 The Silicon Valley Spirit is Back

Just another thought. We in the US may not have much SV spirit left but no doubt about it, we do have another kind of "SV spirit", that is the relentless real estate craze. Bay area is now having the highest medium home price in the US, and yet the price is still going up this Spring. Home has become so expensive that practically it makes no sense for new engineers or developers to move to the Bay area to make a living, he simply can't afford to live there. It's pretty much the same and probably even more stronger craze in the DC area where I currently live. I remember 5-6 years ago when we had a backyard party in some body's house, everybody was talking about stock, YHOO, EBAY, AMZN, CSCO were the must mentioned stocks in the discussion. Now, nobody is talking about stocks. You will be laughed at when talking about stock. Everybody is talking about house, and buying more houses. Couple of guys in my company has acquired their 2nd or 3rd home, and no doubt about it, the profit from their part-time house investment is more from their salay and bonuses.
What an interesting world, I guess money has to park somewhere, when it's not in stock, it must be in the house.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-24 08:42:35. More

43 When Jian Shuo Leaves his Car (in CA)

Boran, not exactly. Only NYC is the city that you truly don't need to own a car because NYC has the best and universal subway system in the world. NYC's MTA is not the newest and fanciest but it's unmatchable in its functionality. It's a life blood vein for the city. When I get to NYC with my family, I always lock up my car at the hotel and spend the weekend totally on subways.

However, it's not so for DC, Boston or anywhere else. Without a car in those cities, you will lose opportunites of all kinds.
DC and Boston, like San Jose and San Francisco are different in that their suburban areas may be more vibrant than urban areas. In the SF Bay area, as well as the DC area, a majority of high paying professional jobs are in the suburbs. If you don't have a car, it means you are shut out for these jobs. That's why NYC is still a magnet for low still, low income immigrant because they can make a living without relying on cars, there are numerous service jobs for these people who speak no English.

Shanghai in its current development stage, still emulate a NYC model where most people don't need to own a car. But America in general has long transcended itself beyond this model. Demography and economy has long shifted toward the great suburban area. Although San Francisco still retains its urban vibrancy, but south Bay's weight in overal economy has far outweigh the downtown area.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-24 08:26:54. More

42 The Silicon Valley Spirit is Back

Why there were Silicon Valley spirit? You may say it's engineer's pursue to advancement of computing, but from my real experience there, I have to say it's money, money and money. Countless engineers and software developers were in a mad rush to join an IPO, to retire early and be a millionare, realizing American dream. That was the driving force for so many to migrate to the Golden state. And countless folks have realized this dream. My friend working in eBay around late 90s told me that he basically worked around millionare techies, even the front door receptionist girl is a millionare. And that situation was not unique in eBay, but in Cisco, Yahoo and countless other successful IPOs.

Now the wealth effect is gone, probably forever gone, along with the so called SV spirit. Commoditized software developments are increasingly shifting to Bangalore and Shanghai with cheap engineers competiting the project. And stock options is no longer a viable incentive. Venture Capital is stagnant toward launching new IPOs. Most developers are feeling lucky to have a job. Many are still in bunker mode. In my opinion, globalization is reducing the appeal for existing development mode. Although companies like Google, ebay or Yahoo are profitable, but people at large still can't find an effective way to make internet a profit machine. Only ubiquitous broadband can make it happen, not yet.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-24 07:50:54. More

41 I Feel Like a Rabbit when I Eat Salad

Eating green leaves is a pretty way of life and when you get used to it, it may taste pretty good with salad dressings.
To answer "boran"'s question, I don't know why western food tastes bad in Shanghai. It puzzles me too. And the pricing is sometimes more expensive than that in the states. Could be because of low competition in Shanghai and ignorance of Chinese dinners to western tastes. So that management may get lazy in controlling the qualities.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-24 07:32:23. More

40 I Feel Like a Rabbit when I Eat Salad

I find it strange that American food in America tastes better than American food in Shanghai.
But that seems to be the case.

I would respectfully disagree with the above statement that "eating in western countries is not so good for chinese". Not so in places like Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York City or Los Angeles Metro. If Jian Shuo have a chance to visit numerous Chinese Plazas like Milpitas Square, Little Taipei Square in Fremont, he will feel much different and foods there are pretty good, although may not compared to Hong Kong or Shanghai quality but still pretty close. Second Chinatown in SFC's Mission District is also very good spot for excellent Chinese food, especially Cantonese style. Basically, Chinese restuarants are countless and everywhere in the Bay area, due to higher competition from Chinese eaters (1 million Chinese residence?) than other regions, the qualities are usually quite good.

Still nowhere can compare to LA's Monteray Park's for its authenticity. When I was living in Silicon Valley, occasionally, we'll drive down to LA to find the best Chinese food. It's usually worth the drive. I remember I once went to a Shanghainese restuarant in which they were serving one of the best little steam buns, full of juice and I have to admit, tasted better than the one I had in Shanghai's Chen Huang Temple restuarant.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-23 01:46:19. More

39 When Jian Shuo Leaves his Car (in CA)

Sigh, you forgot your license.

You should drive in San Jose and even in San Francisco. The whole Bay area is very different from NYC. It is designed for cars. Subway is only an afterthought and it's not univerally accessable so few people take it. Without a car you don't get to see much.
Bay area is large but if you compared it to LA metro, it becomes small. LA is outrageously and unbelievably large, it could intimate new comers a lot more.

NYC on the otherside most resembles Shanghai. We could say that Shanghai was modeled after NYC. Architects in the 30s and 40s got the concept from NYC and made Shanghai's HuangPu district a mini Manhattan. People from Shanghai love NYC, I love it too. The culture, the Broadway show, tens and thousands of specialty stores are unmatched in the world. Chinese food is great there too. And the best advantage of living in NYC is you don't need to own a car.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-22 05:43:27. More

38 Actual Speed of Maglev is 64 km/h

Continued on South Bay. I was there when the tech bubble was at its most inflated point, that was late 90s. I enjoyed my highest income as a tech contractor and every bit of time living there. That was really an exciting time. I remember it's so easy to get a job and every companies are hiring. Restuarants are always full of people and people, I mean real people with jobs are so well-to-do with their stock options ready to be cashed. No doubt about it South Bay was a boom town. I remember I was often grabbed by 2 companies competiting for my work because they have no qualified people working for them, many of their engineers had jumped ship to smaller companies lured by tens of thousands of stock options. When I accepted the project and started work for them, the manager who just hired me also jumpped ship, I was basically under no supervision for a while. That was a crazy time. Forks in Cisco Systems or Ebay were very lucky to have joined them early so they were able to cash out and afford that mountain top mansions.

That time was gone. Silicon Valley is still here but the frenzy is gone. I am gone too to find a better place where I can afford a big house and raise my family. But life on the fast lane in San Jose is definitely a fond memory. One thing that is still booming in the Valley, that is the housing price. Most house owners are now millionaires.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-21 05:14:42. More

37 Actual Speed of Maglev is 64 km/h

I used to work in San Jose. Now I moved to the DC area still working for the same big company headquartered in San Jose. Silicon Valley is now a very big town. It could even be bigger than Shanghai. You are right it looks very much like anywhere else in the US. If all of a sudden you are transported by Alien to Richardson Texas while you have a nap in your car, you may not notice the difference. How about DC suburban area like Fairfax country? The same except there are more trees. Big American suburbs are like models came out of a Hollywood movie studio, rows and rows of houses all look alike in planned communities with wide expressways designed only for cars. Life is quiet, air is fresh and the lawns are idylic. Life in suburb is now a main scene for the majority of Americans.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-21 05:01:32. More

36 Is 10,000RMB/Month a Ridiculous Offer?

I think the matter is simple. With a 10KRMB/month pay, few people who already got a professional jobs in UK/USA would relocate to China. And maybe China doesn't really need those marketing people anyway, so they are paid less. Ultimately, the market supply/demand will determine the fair salary.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-12 07:17:38. More

35 Jian Shuo Wang at Kijiji China

Kijiji looks the same as www.craigslist.com in the US.
Posted by jqian at 2005-04-05 05:31:05. More

34 More Cats in My Garden

Love to see some pictures.
Posted by jqian at 2005-02-24 02:30:32. More

33 Audio on Air and Photo to Print

Very good oral English!
Posted by jqian at 2005-02-07 12:03:28. More

32 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down? - Part III

Since we are at it, let me point out one more observation I had between Hong kong and Shanghai. Besides comparing Shanghai to NYC, people really enjoy comparing Shanghai to Hong Kong, let's compare one more factor - land supply between the two cities. In my opinion, Hong Kong enjoyed a housing boom not without reasons, she had very limited land supplies. Now look at Shanghai, land supply doesn't appear to be a long term positive factor for this city. Basically, land supply is unbounded around Shanghai. As long as public transportation can catch up, people will be happy to migrate out into the ever expanding suburbs. Geographically, Shanghai is not bounded by sea or water. Sooner or later, cheaper land will be developed to compete with the prices in close-in area, dramatically increasing the supply of new housing to the area. To me, this is not a formula for long term price escalation.

PC said it right, Shanghai is undergoing a typical emerging economy's boom->bust->boom cycle. Currently it's in a prolonged boom cycle, the first phase. Shanghai will run a full cycle just like other emerging economies. I don't see anything different.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-21 11:47:38. More

31 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down? - Part III

Agree with PC's comment. As long as human nature remains the same, no time is different. What goes up will come down, what comes down will eventually go up. Sometimes the cycle is very long, like 10-15 years, sometimes the cycle is shorter. I hope Shanghai is in one of those long cycles. But nobody knows when the peak will be reached. From the experience for prior bubbles in the US, the peak was usually reached when everybody all thought, I emphasize *all* thought, that time was different, or a new era was about to unfold, then the market was at its inflection point. The crash almost always caught most of everybody in surprise.

I don't think Shanghai has reached its peak yet, simply because doubters are still abound, including myself. :-)
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-21 05:44:09. More

30 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down? - Part III

After so much discussions, basically, I think it's unpredictable.

What makes more sense for most people is, if you need a place to live, then buy it.
If you already have a place to live, don't get too greedy buying too many. Ask yourself this question: "Can you withstand a sharp downturn?". If you can rent out your property that negates the mortgage payments, why care about the bubble? Just let it come. The only ones who needs to be concerned are those who borrowed too much money and extended their credits to the max. Those were the ones who got hit real hard during Hong Kong's crash.

Personally, Shanghai's market scares me because of the 40% investor ratio. Despite so much price appreciation in the US, most US cities enjoy less than 10% investor ratio. All I have been saying is not to predict an immediate crash in Shanghai, but intended to point out the risk in a market like Shanghai, Emerging economy, Super high investor percentage. Usually this situation rings an alarm bell to a sane investor. However, Shanghai may be different from other markets due to artificial government control or limited money flow (also a result of government control). But that's too complicated to predict.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-20 03:02:34. More

29 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down? - Part II

Further more, an equity-like property market is worse off than a real equity market (stock market). Why? Because real property are *not* liquid. When you want to sell it, you may *not* be able to sell to anyone for a long time. While in a real equity market, you can still sell stock at a reduced price, and avoid being bagged for a long time. But when bad times come, no body will be there to hold the bag for you until the next cycle start over.

The key to make money in a real estate market is how you can weather the bad times, quote Donald Trump's golden word.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-19 07:15:16. More

28 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down? - Part II

Some people love to compare Shanghai with some other influential metro areas in the world, like comparing SH to NYC. But they are not comparing apple to apple, rather they are comparing apple to orange. :-) Income level, demographic composition and underlying economic buttress are very different. You simply can't compare and hope to draw any meaningful conclusions. For example, NYC with her million dollar average price in Manhattan will sustain longer than Shanghai would, even if Shanghai's average price hasn't reached 1/3 of NYC level. Shanghai is *intrinsically* a much more risky market than that of NYC. Shanghai is now an investor driven market.

When a housing market becomes investor driven, it's transitioned into a market like Equity market. Simply due to the fact that investors can't bail themselves out when the real trying times arrive. When the bad times come, investors will react to it by ridding themselves of the properties as fast as they can. This was what happened to Hong Kong.
Thus, easily triggering a massive sell off.

I don't mean market like Shanghai will cool down immediately. God bless Shanghai it won't drop because if it does so, it's gonna a killing field. Currently Shanghai still have that buzzes. So the market will probably rise a little more, making more people anxious.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-19 07:08:41. More

27 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down? - Part II

Real estate market can be very irrational at times. Lack of RMB flow may be one reason, but personally I don't think it is the real key reason. It was reported that now 40% of property investments in Shanghai are from foreign money. I think this is a bad sign. Here is the my reason:

The risk of an investor dominated market (like Shanghai) is very high. When investors see that the trend is no longer favorable to
their investments, the houses in their hand are only money symbols rather than a place to live. Big investors will pull out their capital very fast, even at some loss. A few big investors will start to dump their properties at below market pricing to force a quick sale. They will trigger a domino affect to medium and smaller investor communities. In a 40% investor market, this domino effect will pull down price very drastically because there is very weak buttress supporting this market.

Residence dominated market (like most US markets) are much safer. Residents view their property as a place to live, not completely a dollar symbol. They usually don't sell when the market is getting weak, they simply pull their listing out of the inventory. This action will keep the supply and demand in check.
Barring a sudden, and big scale cut back of job creation, the risk of bubble in the US is quite low.

Look at US history, the worst crash, If I remember correctly, happened to LA in the 80s. That was a 30% drop. But when the same thing happened to Hong Kong, it was a 70% drop. Because HK was like Shanghai today, a high investor market. We need to notice that both LA and HK are high liquid markets.

Posted by jqian at 2005-01-19 06:47:40. More

26 Top Two Differences in China

I think you still supposed to pay tips to the door men in China's luxury hotel. Exception should be made there.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-13 01:57:47. More

25 M.I.T and Harvard

Good pics!

Techies love MIT. Lawyers love Harvard. It's always been like this.
In the end, the lawyers control the country. That's why Harvard is so much more important than MIT in American popular culture.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-12 01:19:22. More

24 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down?

This weekend, I just came across an article in a local free Chinese newspaper talking about Shanghai real estate. The author claimed that Shanghai's real estate appreciation can at least continue another 20 years. Astonishing! I would not claim he must be wrong because he does have some numbers to back him up such as China's GDP growth and Shanghai's limited land supplies. All may be true. But I am old enough to learn from the experience in LA, Hong Kong, Japan that such prolonged bubble (another 20 years) is not likely to happen. However, I don't mean to imply that the bubble is gonna pop tomorrow. I think the author's fortune telling capability is as good as the other media commentators who predicted the crash this year. As human, we simply don't know no matter who we are. And it's better that we don't predict anything.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-09 04:52:38. More

23 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down?

I was talking about US real estate market. Both China and US have bubbles. But it's a lot harder for US to pop than for China to pop due to their entirely different economic backgrounds between them. US is a mature market with real income level to support the bubble. Plus, during the current bubble, builders have not been making the same mistake that they made in the 80s by overbuilding. Therefore despite higher prices, supply is lagging behind demand in most metro areas. But China maybe a different story.

Personally, I believe Shanghai (including BJ and Shen Zhen)'s real estate market will be due for a fall because price rise has exceeded majority of citizens' affordability. This affordability issue will reduce domestic demand. The class of people that don't have affordability issues already owned enough properties, they are no longer the driving forces. Foreign capital is a wild card that may or may not float the market. At least the domestic driving force is slacken off, leaving only the foreign capital as supporting factor. However, personally, I don't think foreign capital alone is enough to keep it float, at least not the whole country. But one may argue that foreign capital may be able to keep afloat certain unique locations like Shanghai Downtown indefinitely. That's possible. But I remember in the mid 90s, NYC downtown properties did tumble terribly. Why should Shanghai be exempted?

Eventually, the market will adjust to a price range that would rekindle the domestic demands from vast majority of local residents who otherwise would not afford. But in the longer term, as income in China is going up much faster than expected, the long term trend for real estate market is very promising. But for the short and intermediate term, one just have to exercise caution.

Posted by jqian at 2005-01-06 04:59:42. More

22 Things to Prepare for Visiting U.S.

True, every stores (with the exception of some late night bars on M street) will be closed after 9:00 pm. Certain area of DC, i.e., the north east part of the town is not safe. It's not even advisable to walk on the street at mid night. But areas in North west part of town, Georgetown, Musuems areas, White house are very safe at all time. Chinatown is on the verge between safe areas and non-safe areas.

I think it's a cultural thing. Even if store/restuarant owners open deep into the nights, there will be little businesses. American culture tends to stay at home with the family in the evening. While Asian culture is night life, hanging out coworkers and bosses, even conduct businesses in the restuarants, quite a contrast for people from China.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-05 23:51:12. More

21 Life in New York is Tough for Me

I think mean $190K annual pay. Yes, the average pay per capita in NY is way way higher than that in Shanghai. Things are supposed to be expensive. The most noticable sticker shock would be apartment/condo pricing. It's hard to find a nice apartment under $1 million USD there. To a NYker making the above mentioned pay,
$20 a meal is probably nothing.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-05 10:34:38. More

20 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down?

Bubble may not pop immediately. Bubble could last as long as a decade or even longer.
Look at Bay area, it has one of the biggest housing bubble in the US. I remember it all started in the early 90s. Despite a small correction in the 02-03 time frame, it erased its corrected value and powered forward and reached an all-time high of $643K medium price.
Bubble talk started way early in the mid 90s. Countless people predicted a crash in 96 and 97. If people believed in them and sold their houses, they would surely be very regretful today. Prices doubled since 97.

The worse thing than a bubble itself is to call it TOO EARLY.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-05 06:05:02. More

19 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down?

xge, No, not everyone will wish real estate price goes down in Shanghai/China. Most rich people who have lots of real estate investment don't wish so.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-05 05:56:49. More

18 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down?

The same condo in equivalent location in NYC would cost a lot more, $1 - 2 million. People like to compare Shanghai to NYC, thinking Shanghai would become a NYC No. 2. That logic has been partially behind and driving overseas investment in Shanghai. Only time will tell if that is the case.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-05 05:51:17. More

17 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down?

shanghai is a bubble, but bubble may not pop immediately.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-05 05:48:06. More

16 Life in New York is Tough for Me

It's very hard to compare NYC with Shanghai. You can find inexpensive amenities in both cities. If you consider looking for those family hotels in Flushing, they are very cheap.
But if you are not familiar with the place, you won't be able to find those inexpensive accomodations, $100 per night would be normal fare, as it appears to any non-locals. In general, I think NYC is more expensive than Shanghai. Just look at the Manhattan real estate prices, a normal high rise condos in okay neighborhood could run as high as $1-1.5 million per unit. Shanghai is far far behind this curve. So, things in NYC is supposed to be more expensive than that in Shanghai. But amazingly, one could manage to live in NYC on a Shanghai budget. This person must have lived in NYC for a while and knows the in and out of those cheap places, especially in Chinatown or Flushing.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-05 05:14:00. More

15 Is the Real Estate Cooling Down?

Alas! The train never stops for those who procrastinate! What is happening to Shanghai today is exactly like what happened to Hong Kong in the 80s. I hope this time Shanghai is different, especially the ending part of it.
Posted by jqian at 2005-01-03 00:46:32. More

14 I am in Shanghai

Just my opinion, I think the second route will reveal the NEW America, a very different perspective. The route you just took more or less represent OLD America, where the country got established, the original 13 states and etc.

One place I got to mention is Florida and Texas, it's a mini-route by itself. Florida and Texas should be considered part of New America because they don't resemble east coast or midwest at all. Orlando alone is good enough to keep you there for 3-4 days, so many entertainments all in one city. America is so diversed, a Chinese adage puts it better: understanding it is like a blind trying to feel out an elephant.
Posted by jqian at 2004-12-31 01:15:49. More

13 I am in Shanghai

Great! JS, you are home. I have been in the US for soooo long, leaving US might give me homesickness :-), only Shanghai would be one exception. When you have a chance in the future, plan a different route in the US would surely be interesting. For example, arrive in SFC, visit the whole Bay area including Silicon Valley, then drive or hitch a bus to LA, visiting Orange county, Hollywood, Monterey Park, Universal Studio, (can skip Disneyland 'cause you are all grownups) and etc. Then go visit San Diego an hour south of LA. You will find San Diego such a charming city, don't forget Sea world there. If you have time, ride some inexpensive bus to visit Las Vegas (I think this is the must go place if it were me) and Grand Canyon. This route would take about 1.5 week to 2 wks. Happy holidays!
Posted by jqian at 2004-12-31 01:05:51. More

12 New York Pictures

I don't know if you realize that Shanghai's Huang Pu district looked so much like NYC, especially before the construction boom. Some of the architectural ideas and street naming convention in old Shanghai were probably borrowed from NYC.
Posted by jqian at 2004-12-29 22:58:52. More

11 Cold New York

Ha ha, another "Jing" on the web. My first name is Jing too.

I have already suggested WJS to include Northern and Southern CA in its trip plan even before he started his trip :-) Maybe more than 50% of Chinese population live in these areas. I have to agree that Southern CA (Monterey Pk and surrounding areas) offer the best Chinese amenities in the US, sometimes better than SF Bay. Bay has too many geeky engineers. They tend to be less meticulous on foods. :-)

Happy holidays every one, Shanghai still the best in food!
Posted by jqian at 2004-12-29 05:20:33. More

10 Chinatowns in U.S.

Using Wall street as an example, many new comers went to WS and found it so narrow and small. But we need to realize that US financial machines are not entirely run from this street. This street has long become a symbol rather than actual functionality. Underlying financial operations are spread over a diverse areas of NYC and East coast cities. Fall out of WTC only caused limited damages to the infrastructure because US financial systems is one of the most fail safe systems in the world. Literally, Wall Street today may be able to run without Wall Street altogether.
Posted by jqian at 2004-12-29 05:13:48. More

9 Chinatowns in U.S.

NYC can never compare to Shanghai for its modern look and feel. Afterall, Shanghai's construction boom started only about 20 years ago. But NYC had been gradually built more than a hundred years. You can argue Shanghai's the same case but Shanghai was frozen after 1949 all the way till the 80s. Everything simply changed almost over night during the last 20 years. But can way conclude that NYC is not as good as Shanghai that new comers from Shanghai tend to think? I don't think so. The infrastructure of NYC, the people and cultural qualities are by far one of the best in the world. That's why it can recover so quickly after 911.
Posted by jqian at 2004-12-29 05:02:02. More

8 Cold New York

If I am not wrong, Flushing is only about 10 minutes from LaGuadia. Sometimes when I go to NYC, I will drive straight to Flushing to have a good lunch or dinner. I may even stay in Flushing's Sheraton for its convenience. Then I can use metro to get to anywhere in Manhattan or rest of NYC with ease. When the night falls, I would return to Flushing to find a nice restuarant. Monterey Park's China town is so big and vast, spreading out miles and miles. But I still like Flushing's Chinatown because it's small and cozy, everything is in walking distance. In Monterey Park, you definitely need to drive to go from one shopping plaza to the next. No too much complaint, I also have to say Monterey Park is one of best new Chinatowns in North America.

For those of you who have been to Vancouver, Richmond's Chinatown is also very good, the so called new Chinatown that doesn't have any resemblance to the old style downtown Chinatowns.
Posted by jqian at 2004-12-29 04:52:18. More

7 Cold New York

If you have a chance (probably too late :-)), ride the metro to Flushing, Queens district. The Chinatown there is much newer than Manhattan's. And you may enjoy some of the finest Chinese food there and lots and lots of Shanghainese. It looks as if every Shanghainese who immigrated to the US converged into Flushing. Nah, it may be too late for you now :-), next time.
Posted by jqian at 2004-12-29 04:39:58. More

6 Christmas Eve in New York City

You probably would have the same impression that Washington DC, the most influential capital city in the world, is also very small. White house is even smaller. I think the philosophy of American culture is making the country run as efficiently as possible. There is no incentive to overspend tax payer's money on anything more than necessary. However, US as a country is underneath a very powerful and rich country, but sometimes visitors can be perplexed at superficial impressions.
Posted by jqian at 2004-12-29 04:32:07. More

5 Chinatowns in U.S.

I understand where Jian Shuo came from when he made about US China Chinese buses. If I didn't stay in the US for couple of years, I would have made the same comments. Due to high expenses in doing businesses in the US, I think the way Chinese buses are run is perfectly suitable to the environment locally. They don't have all the unnecessary overhead to make them financially uncompetitive. They are one of the best and efficiently run Chinese businesses in the US. All of the savings from avoiding overhead costs make them able to offer us incredible price of $15-20 per trip.
Posted by jqian at 2004-12-29 04:26:28. More

4 Chinatowns in U.S.

If you know where to go, you will find some of the best Chinese foods in places like NYC, Flushing, Monterey Park, San Francisco Bay. The qualities are by no means much less than that in China. But you definitely need people to guide you. If you make your conclusion only after finding a Chinese restuarant across the street from your hotel, you are likely to be premature.
Posted by jqian at 2004-12-29 04:20:32. More

3 Chinatowns in U.S.

Jian shuo,
Your opinion on US Chinatowns are typical from those whose just stepped out of airplane and tried to compared them to Shanghai in every aspects. The reality is most Chinese work work in professional fields and had some education don't live in Chinatown. They live in vast suburban area around cities like Washington DC, for instance, Fairfax county or Montgomery county or Howard county. They rarely travel to Chinatown because certain section of suburban areas have become unofficial "Chinatown" where countless Chinese businesses reside. Chinatown in downtown is increasingly becoming irrelevant as days go on because most new investment from immigrants are into the new sections. For example, if you have a chance to visit LA, you will find new style Chinatown in Monterey ParK which wouldn't remind you anything of old China. Also, if you have a chance to visit San Francisco Bay area, you will pretty much find that the whole bay area has become a literal Chinatown. In Fremont, in Cupertino, you will find miles and miles of Chinese business district which may remind you of Taipei rather than old Cantonese town. Wealthy Chinese don't really live in traditional Chinatowns in NYC, DC or SF. I travelled a lot in the US, if you have chance next time, email me, I will put up a list of "NEW" Chinatowns for you to visit. :-)
Posted by jqian at 2004-12-29 04:14:25. More

2 I am in Washington, D.C

This is the useful site for the Chinese Bus on the east coast:

Posted by jqian at 2004-12-22 23:49:00. More

1 Two Cats in my Garden

First post here. Thank you Jianshuo for your kind heart!
Posted by jqian at 2004-11-05 01:59:22. More