Monday, October 30, 2006

Taipei vs. Shanghai

And so I'm in Taipei, and barely just had enough time to fire out my document prior to the deadline today. It was tight, mainly cuz of the big domain screwup (prev post). Anyways, here's some thoughts between SH and Taipei.
1) People: TP people are more polite, cute (girls only), and clean. However, they are less approachable and everything feels so 'business', I hate to use the term 'fake' but sometimes they give me that feeling. SH people on the other hand are more down-to-earth and 'real'; if they have something to say -they'll say it in front of you. Despite all this, I still enjoy listening to TWnese girls speak, very soothing and comfy.
2) Fashion: Of course TP people are more fashionable, there are suits and ties everywhere with good looking girls in fashionable wear. There are people who wears nice in SH too, but somehow ppl in TP gives you a more cleaniness feeling, sorta like Japan.
3) Efficiency vs. class: Things doesn't seem to be as convenient here in TP actually; it took me 10mins to find a light switch in my hotel (I'm living in Grand Hyatt already), walk 10mins to get a toothbrush, and wait for 5+mins for the 'walking' lights (altho not much complaints there as things are back to normal: Green for Go, and Red for Stop).
4) Systematic: Oh yeah, things are more systematic in TP of course, with more law enforcement (a cop stopped me for taking a pic of his bike), but was thrilled to know I was from Toronto and we had a pic together (there's something about pro-western). In SH, you see ppl walking into ppl, spitting, crossing through red lights, etc. Of course, there's pros and cons to both sides. Too much control makes you tired.
5) Cost of Living: TP is much more expensive than SH, the cost stucture is similar to more capitalized countries like Toronto/New York/EU countries/Japan. However, good thing is that you still don't need to tip in TW, and also taxes are included in prices so you do not need to worry about not having enough cash once taxes are included, like in Toronto.

6) Food: Food is good in both places but TP seems to be more clean, even with the street vendors - I just had them yesterday. In China, you are afraid of fake stuff ranging from eggs to softdrinks so have to be careful when you eat. In TP; you can just rest assured that things are safe and people take pride in what they are selling.

And, so; there's pros and cons and I bet I'll have more thoughts on this later this week once I get time to go around the city =_= So far, I would prefer TP over SH, let's see if i'm going to change that thought when I leave in a weeks' time.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The great corporate domain

Finally our company is officially merging up with AMx (using x to avoid legal issues, but you know what i'm talking about). So AMx likes to be safe, lots of firewalls, securities and tracking methodologies. IT was working on my laptop yesterday to make it 'safe' and comply with their policies. It was so safe that:
- They couldn't logon to the AMx domain after deleting my ATI account - IT folks had to download a hack program to get around security features so I can logon.
- And so, we can logon now. But the network was so safe that I as a puny user on the great AMx domain was without admin access and couldn't VPN and connect to my mail server and databases.
- Fine. At least I think I can use my webbased server to get around all this security at home. Oh wait, IT did so much changes to my system now that I can't even launch my ADSL client.
- Ok, I befriended the IT guys and asked them to give me admin password thinking I can at least configure a normal system not belonging on any domain (only as workgroup) so I can connect. Crap, tried reinstalling ADSL client several times but now it seems to be busted (I don't know why).
- Mmmmmm, I have a deadline due for Austin AMx folks; but oh well, no worries... I'll just let them know the document is completed, sitting on the desktop but I can't send it out since the network is so safe that I can't connect.
And so, I sat in front of my laptop 2 days straight with limited or no internet access (between office and home). I must admit, AMx does have such a safe network that nothing gets leaked, probably because work gets done at 1% of my capacity - but that's ok, it's only a little drawback so that we can be a lean, mean, process machine with absolutely no secrets being compromised.
Oh, BTW - I had to configure a test system at work to be used as my workstation since my latop is so security oriented now. And another thing, I now have another identity; I'm listed as with a 'Li' last name on the great AMx server, probably they want to hide my identity so nobody can send email to me. It's going to be soon that they figure out I still have my blackberry for communication and 'make it safe' too. My mind is now like an engine reved up to 6000RPM but car stuck running at 5km/hr. That's ok, AMx just wants me to relax and not to overwork myself. All's good, everything's safe and sound. How I got around the problem? Another long story for another time ;)

PS. I arrived at Taipei, and will be updating my blog soon with pics and more encounters once I locate a Card reader for my MSDuo (Mmm... it's too small that most readers have the Duo stuck in its' slot). Busy busy rushing for deadline now.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Travelling Tags.

OK, this is the first time i'm responding a tag on blogger and it sounds pretty interesting. Here's the rules:
1) Name the person who tagged you. 2) 8 Things about you. (Pick Any Topic) 3) Tag atleast 4 people.

1) Ajeya: His posts are really enjoyable as Ajeya's writing posesses great meaning (sometime requiring some time to digest), very philosophical; and at times sending through that nolgistic and agreeable feeling.

2) 8 Travel Things about me:
1. Sometimes I also enjoy travelling alone. In groups is definately fun, but sometimes I enjoy the feeling of venturing out alone into that mysterious unknown.
2. I'm not really a person of schedule, but once I'm hungry - I must eat regardless of what cool things that I see when I'm travelling.
3. Pictures, I enjoy taking endless pictures so I always have my camera around. I even got a smaller one so that it can fit in my pocket anywhere... pictures of people, buildings, signs.
4. Food: I am open to any new food as long as they are clean and are not insects. This includes rotten tofu, super spicy pepper sticks, doggy meat.
5. I like watching people, especially pretty girls... ha ha, isn't that normal for all guys? Some of my friends jeer at me but what can I say? I like nice looking people :p
6. My dream is to visit some place in middle east, I have this facination of small white houses made of clay/mud, with small boats everywhere, and Persia. Maybe I'll visit UAE, one of the safer countries later.
7. Travelling anywhere, just going somewhere makes me learn something about myself and interacting / absorbing into the crowd makes me feel human along with understanding a little bit more of where we stand in the world.
8. Relax: some of my friends/family, like my sister likes to fill their schedule 100% when they are on travel, so it's somewhat like a marathon. To me, I need to rest and I like to take things slowly, even if it means spending more time absorbing into a place than seeing more things.

3) I tag: Corrie, Henry, Winnie, Andrew

Sunday, October 22, 2006

仙剑奇侠传 Game & Series

Just finished watching the series 仙剑奇侠传. It all began with a game that I played in 1998, a Chinese RPG game that had a great storyline with heros wielding swords and magic. By no means that this is any cheesy normal sword fighting game like the newer RPGs out there. The storyline was just beautiful, comparable only to the likes of Final Fantasy (there's none other than can really compare... really). After coming to SH, i learned that it was made into a TV series in 2005. Normally TV series changed some of the important aspects and introduced some fan service to boost up ratings (like Harry Potter); but this one stayed on the storyline till the end and I'm very impressed on how much it resembled the game, even with very hard to create CG scenes, along with a great cast that really fit into the role that they were playing. Even LOTR at times felt awkward since some things are better told in literature than in film, but not with this series. Damn, I shouldn't have got so obsessed in the series and completing 34eps within 1 week, now I feel so nolgistic and sad (because of the ending and completing it so soon) after watching it. Ah... but can't complain, it's just too good of a series, i'm thinking of replaying the game or even getting the authentic movie discs. Now I got the music stuck in my head: 一场雨把我困在这里 你冷漠的表情会...

Daytrip around SH

Was another off day myself yesterday and went around the city exploring new places. The weather here is still incredibly nice, with an avg of ~27deg. Was out on the street for 12hrs straight so was a bit tired afterwards.. ha ha. Anyways, here's some pics of Jinan temple, XianTinDi (foreigner's place) and the local mall district at XuHui, along with some pretty girls in events.
I still find that the place where I am living at is more convenient (XuHui) with everything you want to see here; ranging from upscale places to local environments. The scupture of the 'flying horses' looks more of starved dead horses to me instead :p The three buildings? it should look like a chair with the two armrest to the side, it does resemble that a bit... Okee, so enuf blogging for me today... back to watching China's CCTV model competition. Swimsuits coming up... gosh, they're so tall! v^_^... hee...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Next destination: Taipei.

Wooo, finally. I was waiting for something to change as I'm getting weary of all the daily road travel (yes, I just have to rant about it everyday)... ha ha. I'm heading to Taipei next weekend for 1 week. Will be there to meet up with ATI Taiwan folks and attend some Microsoft LogoFest event together. I have requested that the hotel room be extended for 2 more days so I can look around the city. Can't wait, heard that TW has more attractive things/people, along with better mannered people. I've asked my old-coops (TWnese) about good places to go, but if you know of any other places that are must-go, please lemme know so I can do some visiting around outside of work ;)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Journey to SH office

From XuHui to office in Shanghai
Finally gathered enough physical energy to take a DV clip of my average day commuting to work to the new office. It's hard, since there's oo much people and sometimes it's not safe to pull out a camera exposing yourself to theives and other crooks since the subways are packed with rude people everywhere. Ha ha, somehow I feel pretty proud being a Canadian; one of the local guys in my team was saying: 'Hey Ed, after your term, maybe you can apply for a Chinese citizen and stay in China' during one of our lunches - I automatically said 'Hell no!' without even thinking... ha ha (when said in Chinese, the tone isn't as harsh :p). China is a land of opportunities and it's good for myself to stay here and open up some doors while gaining exposure, but to stay in this place? no way man... it takes being away from home to understand how good it is (Toronto).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Toronto is a paradise to live in.

OK, our group was relocated to the Shanghai AMD at a new high-tech park called ZhangJiang. It takes around 1.5hrs /way to get to work for me now; this includes a combination of walking 20mins walking, 20mins of line 1 subway, 5mins walk to transfer to another line, then another 20mins of line 2 subway, and finally hitch some stupid shuttle bus to the office costing me another 15mins. What a waste of time! I don't work crazy hrs anymore and leave at before 7:00 everyday now since I don't want to get home too late. The conclusion? Other than getting lucky and getting crushed into some hot girl in the subway; this type of ancient commute way is just inhumane and thirdworld like; and my conclusion? Shanghai infrastructure sucks, and Toronto is absolutely a paradise to live in. Once I gather enough physical energy, i'll take a movie of what I go through every day just for you to feel how good Toronto is and for the Guiness book of records. I'll go find a closer place to live at this weekend. PS, now after getting to know about google video, any suggestions of programs to merge vid clips (mpeg) with mp3?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

New Digicam

Woohoo... finally got persuaded by a colleague to get a new digicam. I got the Sony T10 (just released) and am loving it already. With it's bold white colour, sleek body metal casing, big 2.5" LCD, 3x optical, slim and compact design (1/2 of my wallet size), and 30fps smooth video playback; it's enough to over satisfy a point-and-shoot user like myself. Ho ho. I'm thinking of posting some video clips of SH on my site later (like Danny's stormtrooper walkabout in Tokyo), but anyone has suggestions as to where I can upload my clips and have streaming connectivity? I can only think of UTube at the moment, but any other suggestions?

Time Flies!

Wow, it has been 2 weeks that I have been in Toronto already and it just felt like yesterday. Maybe it's becoz that I have been away for a while that I quite appreciate the beauty of home - Toronto. I didnt' update my blog in a while already; I'm not particularly busy and I'm not sure of why there's a decrease of energy - maybe I'm just lazy or too much flying around is finally getting to me. Anyways; it had been a fun two weeks - catching up with friends, Karaoke till 3:00am, game or B5 late into the night, washing and zooming around in my car, endless lunches/dinner reunions, and lots of Rblading activity as well! Mmm... strange eh? I find that I even meet up with friends and relatives more often than when I was stationed in Toronto... ha ha. Which brings me to another point - we always say how beautiful a foreign city is during vacation; but we rarely really explore our own city in where we live in. Let's say Toronto, how many times have we taken pics along Gardiner, enjoy the night view of the skyline illuminated by skydome and CN tower, or bar-hop along Peter street? Mmm... (Pics courtesy of Ka and Ivan)