mcgjcn's Comments

45 Life in a Crowded World

local banks are always full of people... foreign banks operating in China are having too few branches so inconvenient either...

it really takes gut to visit a bank :-)
Posted by mcgjcn at 2007-01-15 12:48:19. More

44 Personal Income Tax in China

foreigners working in China for more than 180 days per year would be required to pay tax in China

in our company, all the expats are paying tax in Shanghai, while they get their salary paid from Europe
Posted by mcgjcn at 2007-01-15 12:40:38. More

43 IKEA, Xuhui Store in Shanghai

yup, noticed that the price was excactly the same in Chinese Ikea stores and in Nordic stores if we ignore the small fluctuation of exchange rates...
Posted by mcgjcn at 2007-01-08 13:42:16. More

42 Last Day of Holiday

yup, Ikea is full of people.

we got free parking before, now they charge 10RMB if the purchase is less than 300RMB...I figure Chinese Ikea stores might be the only places that are charging parking fees among all Ikea stores ;-)

their local sourcing has been very successful these years, which enabled them to lower their price.
Posted by mcgjcn at 2007-01-04 16:42:00. More

41 The Great Well in Jinmao Tower

I doubt the inside of the Shanghai World Financial Tower would be as stunning as JM Tower...?

Moi taas Miikka, I like Finns for the honesty and straightness... yes, not all of them are quiet ;-)

Posted by mcgjcn at 2007-01-04 14:49:05. More

40 The Great Well in Jinmao Tower office window used to face JM Tower, and it was so beautiful in the afternoon when it glittered under the sunshine :-)

Miikka, I am with Finnish company and have had Finnish superiors for a few years... very sensitive towards Finnish names :-D

Jian Shuo, mabye Miikka is the first Finn here?
Posted by mcgjcn at 2007-01-03 14:27:29. More

39 The Great Well in Jinmao Tower

yeah, it's quite impressive :-)

Miikka... from your name, you must be a Finn?
Posted by mcgjcn at 2007-01-02 13:42:46. More

38 Email as Gift

sounds a nice gift :-)... would it work on mobile phones?
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-12-29 10:46:07. More

37 Busy Recently must be annoying when people start to assume things about you without knowing the truth...
but take it positively, the increasing rumors would at least prove that you have performed well enough to arouse people's curiosity... getting famous does have a cost :-)

Happy New Year
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-12-29 10:39:58. More

36 Three Services I don't Use in China


with China Mobile, you can apply for "call divert" plus "voice mail box" service, which cost about 10RMB(?) per month... when you set your phone to divert your calls to the voice mail box, people can leave messages.

and you meant if they try to send sms to +86139xxxxxxxx, it does not work? I have received sms from Nordic colleagues, never had any problem?

Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-12-05 16:42:17. More

35 Getting U.S. Visa in China

interesting topic...

my Prof. father applied for U.S. visa for a conference and a visit to a school last summer, and his passport is today still in the consulate, they say that it's still under processing ;-)

this is a real life joke at home, I am not exaggerating... just imagine that my father had worked 2+1 years in the States during '80s and paid many short visits there afterwards...

rumours ==> they withhold quite many applications for people with profession close to physics lately (or since last year)

There came the invitation for the same conference again in summer, hehe, my father decided not to have that exercise again

I'd better spend my summer holidays anywhere but U.S., until such situation changes...
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-05-22 16:51:53. More

34 Diversity, Consistency, and Efficiency

Agree with Jianshuo, there is something to do with the cultural differeces.

R. R. Gesteland said "One group of the world's societies worships the clock and venerates their Filofaxes. The other group is more relaxed about time and scheduling, focusing instead on the people around them."

U.S. as Rigid Time society value schedule and discipline... may lack of flexibility.
China as Fluid Time society value flexibility... may lack of efficiency/consistency.
Globalization is causing culture mix, but it takes time.


... when China ranked 77 (U.S. ranked 17) in Transparency International CPI 2005, for sure China has a long long way to go to catch up with the Nordic countries ranked top ten.
Being a relationship focused society, we do have low system trust... not sure which one is the cause and which one is the effect...

Nevertheless, multinationals have to find ways to survive the vague environment before the most part of world reaches the 'right' level of transparency
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-02-24 11:40:26. More

33 The Last Day of Vacation

thanks shirley :-)

...although I did work very very hard on DVDs during the holiday, there are still soooo many left (crying for my attention)...sigh... I don't know if that's good or bad
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-02-10 09:58:11. More

32 Waited Long for Yuxin Sichuan Dish

I also got recommendation from friends about this Yu Xin, but never been there... actually I did try twice to book a table one day in advance, but both times the repliy was 'sorry, fully booked'... I don't have courage to try it again, or maybe I have to call one week in advance?
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-02-10 09:37:01. More

31 Welcome to the God of Fortune

When one of my ex-boss arrived Shanghai on Chinese new year eve in a skyscraper hotel, the firecrackers did take his breath away... but later he learnt to make fun of it...

on the eve, I managed to sleep after 2 a.m. when they stopped the firecrackers, which was still quite ok... but it was annoying that 6 a.m. they started again...
on the day to welcome the god of fortune, I wondered that would the god of fortune feel too risky to step into a door/window bombed with firecrackers, so choose to land in a quiet family ;-) ? a second thought, maybe the god of fortune already learnt to sneak through in between after all so many years...

I like the beautiful fireworks that bring up the atmosphere, not too much the firecrackers. But people are not crazy about the firecrackers everyday, it's not so bad to live with it if most of the people love that.
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-02-07 18:23:53. More

30 The Last Day of Vacation

is there anybody else who felt a jetlag like I did after the holiday, because of too early bed time ;-) ? early meant early in the morning... like 1 or 2 a.m. hehe
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-02-07 17:52:21. More

29 The Last Day of Vacation

Jian Shuo, hope this will never happen to your Goudaner again!
...but usually the tolerance increases with the number of the accident, hehe, at least I don't feel so sad anymore when my Polo gets hurt again... :-p

and, yes, eager to hear about your cats...
by the way, have you and Wendy thought to get a dog since you have a garden? I met a Labrador family (1 mother + 6 puppies) and a 4.5 month Husky during the holiday... they were so cute!

haha, carsten, so you didn't manage to quit driving ;-)
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-02-07 17:46:38. More

28 Credit Cards Offer Discount at Preferred Stores

yeah, there are quite a few banks offering discount to their credit card holders in designated stores... but in some stores, they might pretend not knowing such agreement unless you ask for it ;-)

Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-02-07 17:10:29. More

27 My Only Experience to Japan

I understand Chinese citizen can stay in Japan for max 72 hours only if he/she is on the way to a third country... i.e. Japan is not the final destination, right? If the trip goes like PVG-NRT-PVG, even a 48-hour-stay would need a visa? least, I always applies for one, no gut to risk that... hehe
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-01-24 13:19:23. More

26 Xiangyang Marketing will be Shutdown?

Teddy is right.
Language is only a tool for communication.
If most of us can catch what Jian Shuo means, it's not a big deal if Jian Shuo can find time to do a spelling/grammar check before posting.
All human being make mistakes.
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-01-09 12:14:27. More

25 I Don't Drive Well After Back from San Jose

see? ...carsten, there is something good about it, after driving here, you are fully qualified to drive anywhere ;-)

sometimes I would think, Shanghai might be a market with great potential for helicopters soon :-D but, but, it might not be nice to have occasionally pieces of helicopters falling from the sky due to no traffic lights...
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-01-09 11:57:48. More

24 65 SMS in One Day on Jan 2

-- fully agree with you, Jian Shuo.
you can't feel too much anymore if you have received from different people same standard long story many times on same day... and even some familiar story comes every year...
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-01-05 12:28:23. More

23 I Don't Drive Well After Back from San Jose

hehe, carsten... try to take it positively, without this one year miserable driving experience in Shanghai, you might not feel how nice it is to drive in Denmark ;-)

Without spending all my life in Shanghai, I wouldn't have felt so nice that a green light means a green light in Scandinavian... :-)

ok, I have to confess that being a local, I hate to drive here... even on sunny weekend day time :-p

my man often complains that I do not share his "driving-load" at all... and some weeks ago when I was again in a taxi in Nordic country, I sent him a message "I cound consider to drive this taxi now even on this snowing day"... he replied from Shanghai "hehe"...
Posted by mcgjcn at 2006-01-05 12:21:05. More

22 Beijing 2008 Olympic Mascots

Does someone still have a primary school book of 'Art' dated back in 1980s? I bet we can find a lot of characters look exactly the same as the new mascots... (I still remember the days that I often got very low points from the art teacher when we were asked to imitate those things), in that way we can prove they had nothing to do with the 'Japanese Cute'. Actually those kind of pictures we started to have already on kindergarten walls, so that's more than 20 years ago ...

And really I don't feel they look like the 'Japanese Cute', therefore no need to start a topic that when did the Japanese start to borrow our school art book characters ;-)

But, but, I don't like these mascots, because of the same reason that I didn't liked their 'brothers and sisters' in my school art book 20 years ago... they look so dull, not at all creative, no imagination.
I have to say that I am disappointed to see the mascots - I had expected some better design.

However, there must be a lot other Chinese who liked them, or I wouldn't have read that customers were queuing to get those?
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-11-18 11:38:47. More

21 Shanghai Taxi Tickets

电调费 didn't mean Electric Adjustment :-)
In old days they charge some fee on taxi booking, to compensate the empty taxi's non-chargable distance from wherever the taxi was to your designated place. As usually the call center asks the closest taxi to take the booking order, the fee is quite minor. I was once charged 2RMB, but that was long long ago.
To my understanding, they don't charge that fee anymore.
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-08-01 16:51:08. More

20 RMB Finally Goes Strong

Read from the news, the floating will be restricted within 0.3%. And at same time, the interest rates of USD and HKD are increased.

...the new system is not exactly a free floating system yet, I would more consider it still as a pegged system... difference is that instead of pegging RMB to USD only, now RMB is pegged to a basket of currencies including USD, EUR, JPY etc., and a bit more flexible with a restricted floating range.

Personally I think it's a wise decision to make small moves and test the consequences before any big change.
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-07-22 16:47:20. More

19 Shanghai is Hot

I have brought with me laptop and digital camera with me without declaration through the customs before without any problem, but now the new rule says if we don't have anything to declare, we have to declare in written that "nothing to declare".
And of course there might be consequences that if we signed on the form saying nothing to declare and they find out later we have things that should be declared...
The new rule starts from today, things with a value higher than RMB5,000 should be declared.

For example if I have to take my laptop for a biz trip out of China and will bring it back after the trip. I shall fill in two forms, they'll take one of it away, and I'll keep the other one so that when I enter China again with the same laptop, with that same form, I can go without being taxed.

I don't know how they deal with the laptop taken out before Jul 1st and will be brought back after... i.e. there was no form filled when the laptop went out of China... interesting
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-07-01 12:16:56. More

18 Shanghai is Hot

Instead of this OOB, you could post a notice to all the friends regarding the new Written Declaration System introduced by China Customs. The new rule starts from July 1st 2005, i.e. tomorrow.

Basically I see a major change that all the biz travellers that carry a laptop with them will have to at least tick one 'yes' on the declaration form and go to Red Channel (Goods to Declare).

I don't like this new rule, because everytime I will be traveling with either a laptop (in case of biz) or a digital camera (for holiday), this means I have to go anyway to the Red Channel.

Jianshuo, in case you need more info, let me know.
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-06-30 14:50:45. More

17 Spotlight from Top of Jin Mao

- suppose Jianshuo's intention was to provide the readers info of new highlights in Shanghai.

Different places fits different people, there are various readers in this blog, some might appreciate such info.

Even some readers do not like it, there seemed no need to bring the hatred here... as a Shanghainese, I wouldn't feel Jianshuo is looking down on me just by commenting the boat tickt price...

From this blog it's visible that Jianshuo and Wendy are living a better life than normal Chinese, nevertheless, they earned such life from hardworking, and we do not know what and how much they have sacrificed... people shouldn't be attacked just because of that...
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-06-29 19:26:38. More

16 Pressure is About Expectation

...this is quite true.

It's like a nighmare when step into the office after a holiday or a business trip, things are just piled up on the table and waving to you...

I have slowly learnt to educate myself that when I close the office door behind me, I shall leave the working part of my life behind that door too, however, it's not easy.

We work hard and get better paid so we can afford nicer life and more freedom to choose what we want ... on the other hand, we realize that we actually are lacking of time to do what we want... it's all about what we get at what price...

Alice was quite right that a happy life is on our own judgement. Many times, it's a tradeoff...
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-06-28 11:53:07. More

15 May Holiday at Lijiang

...your pictures are terrific, I am considering a summer holiday there... did you book a airticket+hotel package from some agent, or you arranged everything by yourself ?
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-06-15 18:50:42. More

14 I Love Shanghai!

I fully agree with Jian Shuo.
There are nice people and nasty people in all places, we'd better think twice before we make a conclusion...

...and Raider, if I really hate a place, I would choose to move... nobody will force me to stay in a place that I hate...
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-06-15 12:27:12. More

13 Second Day of College Entrace Exam

... I didn't take a safe bet years ago, but chose a top school and top faculty
... something went slightly wrong, I didn't get in
... dropped to my second choice
... and I was unbelievably careless - I chose a faculty that didn't exist in that school... just because my score was a lot higher than that school's acceptance line, they decided one faculty that they thought might be good for me (or 'normally for girls'), thus I was informed I could stay with my second choice
... this was how I turned to be a finance majored student... hehe...

I can't imagine what I would be right now had I succeeded in my first choice, but really, I have nothing to complain about my life, especially my career now...

Jianshuo, did you regret that you went to SJTU?
I figure Tsinghua cannot guarantee a future as bright as you are having now, no school can...
Everything did go quite well with you even you were not able to get into Tsinghua... so you yourself make what you are, not only the school... you agree? :-)
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-06-09 12:30:03. More

12 Complicated Paying Process

bigbro, good comment ... sharrrrrp ... :-)
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-06-09 10:26:59. More

11 Complicated Paying Process

Joshua Allen,
in a way you are quite right, one of my Finnish friend was really worried about what kind of culture shock might hit her before she moved to Shanghai (some two years ago)... finally, she survived quite well, but I did hear from her that she encountered many things that never happened to her before in Finland, hehe...
btw, the part you painted above... the drunken Aussies cooling off in a Beijing jail ... did make me laugh, hehe, it's funny to imagine that... hehe
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-06-08 12:29:10. More

10 Complicated Paying Process

I admit this MegaBite (Dashidai) is a bit special... one reason (excuse?) I can find might be that it's better for us, customers, that they handle only plastic cards than the dirty cash, since same people (hands) will be handling the food!... however, how clean are those plastic cards, I do not know :p

errr, I ... don't think shopping experience in Shanghai shopping malls is more complicated than elsewhere... never been to the States, so I cannot comment on the shops there...

In many European shopping malls and Asian shopping malls that I have to go to a certain cashier counter with my credit card too... ok, maybe the casher counter is closer...

The big difference could be the long queue, since almost nowhere has such a big population :-)
However, haha, have you ever heard that people started to queue at Louis Vuitton and Galeries Lafayette in Paris? ...because of increasing Chinese tourist... :-D

well, Joshua Allen still makes the point about people keeping cutting in front of us... yes, it still happens, but let's be fair, the situation is improving... at least many local Shanghainese already learnt to queue... and even you happen to encounter someone who does not follow the rule, try to say 'please queue', most people will then go to the end of the line...

...if people just keep improving behaviour at the same speed as the GDP growth, hehe, it will not be too bad when '08 Olympics comes...
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-06-08 11:35:47. More

9 Celebrating 1000 Days of Blogging

it's nice to be here... now we can start to count the next 1000 days :-)
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-06-07 16:10:55. More

8 Do You Have a Calendar?

I'm local and I use calendar... printed diary books before, but turned to outlook calendar and mobile phone calendar recent years...
more convenient now! As paper does not talk but I can set alarm to outlook calendar and mobile calendar that 'talks' (...ok, beep only)
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-05-27 14:23:20. More

7 Thinking in English or Chinese

Shanghai Slim, you were right that foreigners are mixing Chinese with their languegues too... I can hear '...oh, just 马马虎虎' from our expats, some of them even use '喂' when answering the phone just for fun :-)

...I will not hate myself too much, I promise... ;-)

- "It's hard to catch the right word in Chinese!" - as Fiona mentioned above, is the reason why I feel ashamed for myself... what? I can't find a right word in my mother tongue?

...language seems to escape just like that, if we don't use it enough...
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-05-26 19:36:29. More

6 Thinking in English or Chinese

... aileen, you studied Finnish? wow, it's a very difficult language... I had spent some five minutes :-) on it, sooo long words the Finns have...
and thinking Finnish, Swedish and French are totally different, you must be a genius!

working in English speaking environment for many years, I started to think in English... problem is that I realized lately that I started to be a bit slow when I try to think in Chinese... for example, I can communicate much faster in English on MSN than in Chinese, which is not only because of the typing speed... I draft document in English much faster than in Chinese too...

being a Chinese living in Shanghai, I hate myself that sometimes when I am talking in Chinese, some English word keeps popping up to my mind... I have to do something to change a bit, hehe
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-05-24 12:59:02. More

5 More Cats in My Garden

...just ran into a group of cat/dog lovers lately, and they have a small community to help the annimals, see
There are some fund raising activities now and then in Shanghai, I heard next one will be on May 24 18:30 at Zapatas, if I will be free that day, I might go there will some cat/dog food, hehe

Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-05-20 17:24:07. More

4 Hire a Taxi? Avoid Rainy Friday

problem is not only with raining Fridays, it's with all Fridays and all raining days, snowing days... just more serious on raining Fridays... thanks God that we have not much snow here...
I take taxi to go to work and back home everyday, it's really annoying sometimes have to stand long long time along the street waiting for an empty one.
Never dare to leave office before 19:00, as there will be no taxi unless I'm extremely lucky.
My boss, one expat, chose to lease the apartment close to the office in walking distance, so, no problem anymore.
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-05-19 13:05:06. More

3 Language Exchange Partners Wanted

almost all the Chinese at my age started with British English from school...
when I was in University I had planned to study in the States, so turned to US English with TOEFL test, :-)...
for past several years, I have been working in European company, turned back to British English again (at least I had thought so)...
but last month one Australian couple commented that I didn't have Any accent... (maybe because of too many changes in accent, and I had lost all, hehe)
still, now I feel British accent is more elegant that I wish I could have some... so... Lady Macbeth, please help our Chinese students if you feel like to.
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-05-19 12:56:49. More

2 Volkswagen Polo

Jian Shuo, have you bought POLO already?
I bought one in March, 1.4AT with sun-roof. I really liked it. I paid 135000 for the automobile itself, by the way.

Before the decision, I did some research to compare the price-performance among different automobile. Japanese, Korean and French ones are cheaper than German ones.

I talked to many friends in automobile industry around me, the conclusion from the insiders was - with Japanese & Korean automobile, every penny you spent can be seen from the appearance... while for German auto, the value is hidden somewhere in tech that you can's see directly from outside...

They showed me a series of pictures for hitting test of difference brands, since I don't have enough money to buy Volve, Mercedez or BMW... I felt safe with VW after seeing those pictures.

But still, I felt Polo was quite expensive considering it's such a small one... With that price I could buy some 1.6 AT or some 1.8 MT...
Then one thing happened that made me decide to buy it.
One friend who bought a Polo in January had an accident on the express way, she hit the left fense and then the right with quite high speed, the auto was totally damaged, but she walked out not at all injured...
I thought my life is quite important...

On the other hand, I did hear from those insiders that Bora and Golf are also good. Just I couldn't get so many choices in color with Bora and Golf, I took Polo.

(I was not allowed to post the comments, and the error message said I had 'questionalbe content c*a*r, now I changed those to automobile, hehe)
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-05-16 16:48:38. More

1 Why I Don't Have an English Name

Really interesting, this topic.
I am a Chinese and have an English name since 8 or 9 year old.
My father was then in the States for a long while and found me some little friends to start mailing each other. He thought it could be easier for me to communicate with those kids in an English name, so I got one which is very close to my Chinese given name in pronunciation.
I have been using it since then, although legally only the Chinese name is valid. Since I am not so famous, the branding issue is irrelevant to me yet :-) ... I believe I have a great Chinese name, and the English name is rather plain, but still the English name brings me convenience, at least no harm.
For foreigners that know some Chinese language or have been very close to me, I would explain to them what my 'original' name is and what does it mean.

Chris, I don't think I need to worry about losing my cultural identity, as people would be able to tell what cultural background I'm having by seeing my surname. Most of Chinese people who has an English name, I believe, is just for convenience in communication. There is truly no serious reason hiding behind it. Let's do not try to put it to such a high level, please.

bigbro, I liked your comments :-)

p.s. I do not know any Japanese around me who uses an English name, but I know many Koreans are using, especially those working in western companies.
Posted by mcgjcn at 2005-05-13 18:18:19. More