Thursday, January 19, 2006

Major news pieces (that might explain why I haven't posted in a while):

  • Jodi and I moved from Hongkou into a new place 5 minutes from the Jinjiang Park metro station, and 10 minutes from her work here in Minhang. It's an apartment with bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, and a study with lots of desk space (the previous occupant was a computer graphics designer). We have a date with the broadband install guy on the 5th of February. Why so late? Because...
  • We leave Friday for a umpteen-day Chinese New Year vacation in Hunan. We're taking Poopy. This time we're going by bus because train tickets are unobtainable, and plane tix are RMB 980 per person.
  • We got a new cellphone for Jodi, and the camera has much higher resolution than mine so look forward to better quality pictures on Flickr. Apparently Jodi was on a monthly subscription plan, so they had all her personal info registered. This was good, because after her cellphone was stolen she just called the company, had her number frozen, and today I went in to the service center at Shimen No 1 Road with her ID and mine, and got a new SIM card issued on the spot. Shweet. That's the silver lining to the loss of privacy that will descend on us all this year when registration-on-SIM-card-purchase becomes compulsory in China. Well, supposedly this year.

Things I'm supposed to write about when I get net access again:

  1. "Chinese-style" Tujia-minority pizza, and counter words.
  2. A series on my current core values and their application to real life.
  3. A review of the book I'm reading, 上海里弄的保护与更新 (The Conservation and Renewal of LiLong Housing in Shanghai).
  4. My visit to the American consulate in Shanghai.
  5. Missing Shanghai in Hong Kong.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I went to the train station to check for rail tickets for the upcoming vacation, and found out that: the Chinese New Year travel crunch officially starts on the 14th; the train station is not selling 10 day advance tickets; a special ticket selling operation was set up to sell 10 day advance tickets at Putuo (w00t!) Stadium east of the Caoyang Rd light rail station.

Jodi's last day of work is the 21st, so we'll be gone from like the 22nd to the 4th of February. This means I gotta run down to the ticket place on the 12th. Marking it on my calendar now...

From Jhumpa Lahiri's "Hell-Heaven," a short story in Dave Egger's "Best Amercan Non-required Reading":

But back then, he also confessed, he was so new to America that he took nothing for granted and doubted even the obvious.

A lot of times when I'm dumb or slow or naïve, it's just that I'm doubting the obvious. I'm still a newb in the world.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The second-hand electronics market by the Zhenping Rd light rail station (Line 3) is a place that has been on my "to visit" list for a long time. Today I finally got the chance, and I'm very happy I did. I found old game systems, a brand new pair of Sony earphones exactly like the pair I use, a broad selection of old Minidisc players and recorders, more DVDs and CDs (good ones!) than I've seen collected in one place in Shanghai, and lots of used stereo equipment including vacuum tube models. They've changed their name to 宜康电子市场 or something like that, and are surrounded by housing developments under construction, but haven't been torn down yet. Visit before it's too late.

To get to the (second-hand, let me clarify) Yikang electronics market, take the metro Line 1 from People's Square to Shanghai Train Station and switch to Line 3, the light rail. Ride south (towards Shanghai South Railway Station) to Zhenping Road. Exit the station at either exit, and cross through the apartment complex directly south of the station. You'll come out on the north side of the Suzhou Creek, where you should turn left and walk 3 minutes to the pedestrian bridge over the creek. The electronics market is attached to the bridge on the south side of the creek in a large, dirty factory-type building; and don't forget to browse all three floors.