Saturday, November 26, 2005


I actually got out of the house today and did some interesting stuff on a Saturday morning, and now I'm waiting for Jodi to get home from work, so let me write it up. This post will be half "life in Shanghai" and half "life of Micah".

Unfortunately, I couldn't avoid the morning lazies so by the time I got to the book swap down at Dante Cafe on West Nanjing Rd, I was running about an hour late. Luckily, all the kids were still there and I managed to give away three books and gain one (a collection of Thomas Mann short stories). I think it would be nice if I take a list of books that I would be willing to lend, but not give away, because both book swaps have been preceded by an excruciating session "oh, I wish I could share this book but I REALLY want it back." Big ups to John and Tian for putting on another successful book swap.

On the way to the book swap, I saw a huge set of posters along West Nanjing Rd advertising upcoming movies. One of them is "Perhaps Love", which I would describe as a Chinese "Moulin Rogue" from the trailer I saw last month at the Broadway Cinematheque in Hong Kong. It stars Chinese-Japanese heartthrob Takeshi YutakaKaneshiro, and features lots of singing and dancing. A must see! Coming to a theater near you, December 2nd, 2005.

I had to shuffle off a little early because I was already behind on my way to the Shanghai Perl Users Meetup. The address turned out to be the technical training center that group leader Joe Jiang works at, set in a quiet, charming little neighborhood of 3-story red brick apartments just two blocks down bustling West Nanjing Road from the Dante Cafe. The meeting consisted of 5 people, was conducted entirely in Chinese (naturally), and was composed of a short round of self-introductions, a talk by Joe about the POE Perl module which he had used in a project and co-translated the documentation for, and a talk by a dashing young graduate student about the use of Perl in the bio-informatics. Joe's talk was very technical and forced us to grapple with several dense pieces of code, and of course was a great learning experience for me in terms of specialized vocabulary. The Bio-informatics talk was non-technical, and covered everything from Tamiflu to the different Perl modules that deal with database formats for storing genetic sequence data. Afterwards, the rest of the group went out to dinner together, but I chose to wander home because Jodi is expecting me back for dinner.

Wandering home is great because I've tended to coop myself up at home the last few weeks, maintaining my morning lazy state all the way into the late afternoon when it's time to prepare dinner. Today, though, besides picking up a couple of movies at the DVD place by Hongkou Stadium—Asian-American culture clash comedy "Saving Face" and Korean horror flick "The Ghost"—and dodging scalpers and binocular sellers hovering outside the Stadium due to tonight's Malaysian All-stars concert, I managed to pick up a Shanghai Evening Post and get through a few articles on the light rail ride home.

Of the most personal interest to me was the article detailing recent revelations concerning public transportation in Shanghai. First off, we find out that the one-ticket-system that recently integrated Line 3 (light rail) with Line 1 and Line 2 (subway/metro) will be extended to Line 5 (light rail) by the end of the year. One amusing side effect of this decision that the reporter noted was that in some cases it will actually be cheaper to leave the platform and buy a seperate ticket for your Line 5 ride because the privately operated Line 5 did not follow the publicly owned Lines 1, 2 and 3 in raising their prices back in October. Also in the article, it is stated that when Line 5 joins the other lines in a single ticket system, it will also implement "满70元享9折", ie the "10% off after RMB 70" plan; in addition, the city will allow passengers to inquire at tellers how much they've spent that month, in order to know when they can start enjoying their 10% discount.

The second section of interest answers a question I've had for a long time: how do I know if I'm getting ripped off at the farmer's market? Come on, haven't we all wondered this at one time or another? So I was excited to find a chart in the "Metro Life" section called 疏菜批发价格, or Wholesale Vegetable Prices, which I reproduce below:

Chinese greens
0.7 番茄
1.7 什椒
0.6 冬瓜
Winter melon
Chinese cabbage
0.45 黄瓜
2.6 毛豆
Soy bean
1.8 豇豆
1.9 刀豆
String bean
Water spinach
(blank) 茭白
Wild rice stem
2.1 土豆

Source: 上海农产品中心批发市场经营管理有限公司 (Shanghai Agricultural Products Center Wholesale Market Operational Management Company, Ltd).

Pretty cool, huh? Just clip it and keep this cheat sheet with you next time you go shopping.

Here's one amusing bit in the Hotline section of stories involving the police and/or medical services:


晚报迅 昨天下午2点,家住四平路的苏小姐正在打扫房间,突然打了一个喷嚏。不料动作过大,腰部顿时动弹不得。她忙呼喊男友帮忙,后拨打120求救。


Sneeze Strains Sweeping Sweetie

Evening Post Wire Yesterday at 2am, Ms Su was sweeping her Siping Rd residence when she suddenly gave quick sneeze. To her surprise, although the sneeze was not overly powerful, she found that her waist was paralized. She hurriedly called out to her boyfriend, and then dialed the city's 120 medical emergency hotline.

An examination and X-rays resulted in a non-serious diagnosis: the woman's waist was sprained, and called for nothing more than bedrest and abstaining from strenuous activity for two weeks.

If would be funnier if I was a better translator.


At Nov 28, 2005, 2:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said:

The best thing about the "Perhaps Love" promotion is the adoption of the center dot · as the marketing gimmick. The official site lists all menu options using the dot: 看·片段, 新·消息 and so on. And the fact that the Takeshi Kaneshiro marketing machine is in high gear is not a bad thing, either.


Post a Comment

Post a Comment

« Home