Thursday, February 24, 2005


John always smirks when I mention that I'm going to some expat function or another. But I think that's OK, I can appreciate both sides of the coin: on the one hand, it's nice to hang out with people from the Western world because it's easier to communicate with them effectively, both in terms of language and a common cultural literacy, and also because they share a more balanced view of China due to their outsider status; on the other hand, it's also a bit lazy and ignores the wealth of new experiences that a person can be introduced to in Shanghai by a local, or Chinese national; and I get tired pretty quick when the conversation descends into complaining about "China" and the frustrations of living here. Anyway, that's the way I've always liked to be, understanding both perspectives. Like I told my sister over vacation, my ideal is not to below to any particular group, but to be able to move back and forth fluidly between them.

Not that I do this well.

In cany case, I had fun tonight at the February Shanghai Webloggers Meetup. Group organizer Fons was not able to make it tonight, but I got to hear the eloquent Wang Jianshuo and his lovely wife talk about their cats, and dined on pizza and Russian salad courtesy of the Trombly family. Afterwards, some of the guys went out together to Madame Zung's for Drum & Bass/Jungle night. (There were, 4 people on the dance floor? And maybe another 4 at the bar. Perhaps we were early. Great music.) Afterwards, we moved on to a a pretty cozy dive bar called something like "C's Bar" somewhere on Dingxi Lu (定西路865号? 685号, and they're listed on SmartShanghai), from which I said goodbye, traded contact info and headed home.

Things I should have brought up at the weblogger meeting:

  1. I don't blog for a bigger readership. I weblog for myself to read 20 years from now, and for my family and friends to keep up with me from the USA. As long as I keep seeing those's and's in the server logs, I'll keep writing.
  2. I'd like to do some recording of sounds around Shanghai to post to my weblog (not podcasting—waaaay overhyped), and I'm looking for a quality, portable, digital recorder that has high capacity (sorry cheap mp3 players!), high quality recording capability (sorry iPod with iTalk!), and no restrictive DRM compromising the music quality (sorry Minidisc recorder!). (A Slashdot reader suggests some options.)
  3. I'd like to talk a little about the technical side of weblogging. I think that Wang Jianshuo wrote his own blogging software, Michael does freelance web design, and Ms Trombly used to be a database programmer, so we should be able to discuss some of the issues from a techie perspective. Or maybe I'm just looking for a chance to show off my set-up.

Good night.


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