Blog | Dominik Mayer – Products, Asia, Productivity

The story of my life in China is here.

Two Pairs

An afternoon at the glasses market. It’s nothing new that I can’t decide which ones to take. This time I just got two of them. No problem for 150 Yuan (about 15 Euro) each.

Three to Six Months

I want to have a netbook. I want to have this netbook. I will have to wait. :-(

What's Really Important

I passed my first exam today. But it means more to me that I could read and sing some Chinese songs at KTV this evening.

Foam

No electricity in the middle of a Skype call. Maybe because of the foaming over washing machine. Always the same when washing the bright clothes. No problems with the dark ones. 房东明珠 is not so happy and told me about the different spoon sizes trying to convince me that I better don’t use any detergent.

I'm a Foreigner, I Don't Speak

The display at the checkout didn’t work. The lady didn’t even try to tell me the prize in Chinese, just took a pencil and wrote it wordlessly on the back of an old receipt: 109,8 Yuan. I would have understood that.

Finally. a Gate in the Wall

“Tor” is German for gate or short for “The Onion Router”, an anonymity network finally allowing me to access the world outside. VPN hasn’t been working for long. Again. Thanks to a great guide I don’t have to rely on it any longer.

Christmas VLC

When I played a movie several days ago I noticed that the VLC icon had changed:

Christmas VLC

A little bit larger:

Christmas VLC (large)

I Hate Chinese Internet

So VPN works now. Quelle surprise. Maybe because I’m using a neighbor’s Wi-Fi as our cable network gets disconnected every other minute. And I’ve read they’re going to censor more after the end of the Olympic Games. Great prospects. If I’ll be gone for the next four months, you know why.

R. Pausch

On May 18, 2008, Randy Pausch spoke to the graduates of Carnegie Mellon:

The professor, famous for his Last Lecture, died on July 25, 2008.

Be Honest

Wikipedia knows:

The Ba rong ba chi (Eight Honors and Eight Shames) (Simplified Chinese: 八荣八耻 Traditional Chinese: 八榮八恥 Pinyin: bā róng bā chĭ), officially the Core Value System or the Eight Honors and Disgraces, is a set of moral concepts developed by current President Hu Jintao for the citizens in modern-day China.

Namely (emphasis added):

  • Love the country; do it no harm.
  • Serve the people; never betray them.
  • Follow science; discard superstition.
  • Be diligent; not indolent.
  • Be united, help each other; make no gains at other’s expense.
  • Be honest and trustworthy; do not sacrifice ethics for profit.
  • Be disciplined and law-abiding; not chaotic and lawless.
  • Live plainly, work hard; do not wallow in luxuries and pleasures.

So what does that mean? Obviously not that you should tell the truth. Faked fireworks, a faked singing girl and now 55 faked children. They were said to represent the different ethnic groups inside the country but in fact were all Han.

A Chinese friend suggests that the organizers might not have found beautiful children in the ethnic groups. Let’s check Wikipedia again (emphasis added):

Besides the majority Han Chinese, China recognizes 55 other “nationalities” or ethnic groups, numbering approximately 105 million persons, mostly concentrated in the northwest, north, northeast, south, and southwest but with some in central interior areas.

So no beautiful children in 105 million persons? I admit that it might not be the easiest task to find the 3000 Lhoba, the “smallest officially recognized ethnic group in China”. But then be honest and don’t call it:

Fifty-six children from 56 Chinese ethnic groups cluster around the Chinese national flag, representing the 56 ethnic groups.

OpenStreetMap for Beijing

Wow, that was fast. So they came up with a great fourth option. I hope Shanghai will be next.

English Maps, Chinese Maps, Beautiful Maps and No Maps

Google has been offering a Chinese map of Shanghai for quite some time. Not at maps.google.com but at ditu.google.com. Ditu, 地图, is the Chinese expression for map.

Now I stumbled upon a new, English one:

It doesn’t only show the public transportation but also restaurants, banks, cinemas, theaters, … Here an example of the area around Nanjing Lu:

But the most beautiful maps of Shanghai come from edushi (E都市, E-City):

Bund, Pudong and Old City

Bund, Pudong and Old City (lower left)

Hongkou Stadium and Lu Xun Park

Hongkou Stadium and Lu Xun Park

They have already covered many Chinese Cities and seem to want more.

So why Yahoo, why, why, why don’t you make maps, buy maps or allow the use of one of the above mentioned ones in flickr?

The Police Called

And asked the woman if I use the internet. At least that’s what I understood. Very strange.