Sunday night/ Dameisha

The attractive young people with their bubble tea say ‘Come to Taiwan!’ , on a Hong Kong subway billboard on the way back today.   I just might !

Then tonight I finally walked around Dameisha with my camera to capture some of the apartment buildings that had recently been fitted with lighting strips (my apartment has none).   The Yanba Expressway runs by Dameisha.  And close by is a real estate office called the Australian Villa Demonstration Centre,  kangaroo and all.   Hmm.   Australian-style villas in China?   Or villas in Australia?  I am not sure.   And just as a side note – a villa was originally an ancient Roman upper-class country house.

Thursday/ Shenzhen about to turn 30

The city of Shenzhen is turning 30 tomorrow, and has declared Friday a holiday.   So there will be no one here and we are not coming in to work – we will work from our apartments.      In my case I will work from the hotel in Hong Kong since I am going there tonight already.     It will be good to be able to work uninterrupted for a whole day.

These pictures from this link .   The city has certainly come a long way from being a fishing village in 1980.    The central government has also announced that two new districts are added to the Special Economic Zone for Shenzhen.  In an article from the Wall Street Journal, it is reported that China’s broader economy seems to have bounced back just fine from the great recession of 2008 and 2009 .. but that in its two most vibrant southern cities, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, one casualty is still struggling to recover: entrepreneurialism.

Tuesday/ 9 day traffic jam

Yahoo USA ran this report today on its home page :

Thousands of vehicles were bogged down Monday in a more than 100-kilometre (62-mile) traffic jam leading to Beijing that has lasted nine days and highlights China’s growing road congestion woes.

The Beijing-Tibet expressway slowed to a crawl on August 14 due to a spike in traffic by cargo-bearing heavy trucks heading to the capital, and compounded by road maintenance work that began five days later, the Global Times said.

The photo below shows early morning traffic crosses the Huanhuayuan bridge across the Jialing in southwest China’s Chongqing municipality on July 28, 2010.   China’s car production and sales will both exceed 15 million units this year, state media quoted an industry association as saying on August 4.   In the USA, 2009 sales of light vehicles (cars and light trucks) in the United States came in at only 10.4m units, the lowest level in 27 years.

Saturday/ HKCCF 2010

Here are a few pictures from the Hong Kong Computer and Communication Festival 2010 at the Hong Kong Exhibition Center this weekend.    The exhibition center is in Wan Chai district on Hong Kong Island.    It was quite crowded, even though it’s not too apparent from the pictures I posted here.

Most of the major hardware and software vendors seemed to be there – Lenovo,  Dell, Toshiba, HP, Samsung, Microsoft, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Brother, Epson – as well as lots of resellers that had little stalls selling cameras, keyboards, mice,  flash cards, portable hard drives, gadgets and gear.   Apple Computer was notably absent.   Some of the vendors that we don’t really know about in the USA were BenQ (notebook computers),  ASK Computer Technology (Google andriod smart pads and cell phones) and Hanvon Corp. (e-book readers, tablet PCs).

I was very intrigued by the ASK 711 SP Smart Pad that runs on Google’s Android system (picture below, website, but the screen was not nearly as nice and as clear as Apple’s iPad’s and I wasn’t sure what processor they used.   It only cost US $200.   The green ice cream picture is just for fun – it’s from Google’s Android website at

Friday the 13th

I’m going to Hong Kong for the weekend.    So is Friday the 13th unlucky in China as well?   I don’t really care since I’m not a triskaidekaphobe, but according to Chinese and Cantonese  superstition I would do well to steer clear of the numbers FOUR and FOURTEEN.  Bad news.

Some of the information here is from Wikipedia :

Number 4 (四 sì) is considered an unlucky number in Chinese,  Korean, and Japanese cultures because it is nearly homophonous to the word death (死 sǐ).    Due to that,  many numbered product lines skip the 4  such as Nokia’s cell phones (there is no series beginning with a 4),  and the Canon PowerShot camera G series (after G3 comes G5).  The Marriott Hotel where I stay in Hong Kong does not have a 4th floor.   Some high-rise residential buildings there literally miss all floor numbers with 4,   such as 4, 14, 24, 34 and all 40–49 floors !   As a result,  a building whose highest floor is number 50 may actually have only 36 physical floors.

Then there is number 14 – considered to be one of the unluckiest numbers.   Although 14 is usually said in Mandarin as 十四 shí sì,  which sounds like 十死 ten die, it can also be said as 一四 yī sì or 么四 yāo sì,  literally one four which sounds like want to die (要死).      In Cantonese, 14 sounds like certainly die (實死).    Not all Chinese people consider it to be an unlucky number as the pronunciation differs among the various dialects.

Friday/ hydrangea

I came back yesterday to find the hydrangea on my front lawn in full bloom.  We call them krismisrose (Eng. Christmas roses) in South Africa – I’m not sure why.  I slept OK last night; took a 3mg melatonin tablet before going to bed.  Sometimes jet lag really sets in only on the 2nd and 3rd day after arriving, though – so I will only then know if it helped.

Monday’s gone

It’s a long day if after 11 hrs at work, you still have to go to a 2 hr dinner.    The dinner was OK and we had some good conversation that was not about work, though.    NO SHOP TALK! as we say.   And hey,  I’m going home on Thursday,  so one of the t-shirts from a Hong Kong street market is what I will wear in Seattle.    Shorts and t-shirt, just right for Seattle’s summer.

Wednesday/ over the hump

What a day at work .. but it’s over and hey! Friday is coming up.  Guess where I’m going this weekend?   Right : to the Fragrant Harbor (that is of course Hong Kong, the English name derived from two Chinese characters Heung and Gong ).

These snacks are the ones I grabbed at the grocery store tonight :  Italian Meat flavored chips, a Sam Miguel beer, dried pineapple, peanut brittle with black sesame seeds and Miso soup.   And of course peanut m&ms.  (No, I didn’t eat all of the snacks, only some).