… all safe and sound, and house pretty much how I’d left it – basically just the lawn needing mowing, floor vacuuming etc.

Flights home pretty uneventful really, but unfortunately I only managed about 3 hours sleep through the night, so the challenge now will be to stay awake until a sensible time tonight.

Slight mixup leaving Shanghai… Greg forgot to tell Mr Wang about going via MagLev so he dropped me right at the airport. Oh well… just something to check off the list next time !!!

Bye Bye Shanghai

Oh well – time’s up – now to start the trip back home.

Mr Wang should be here shortly to drop me over to the MagLev station to take it out to Shanghai Pudong airport…. when Greg told me there was a train that does 416km/h, decided I just had to get a go on that !!!

Next post possibly from Singapore, or if not will be back home in Brissie.


Miscellaneous Stuff

I probably should explain the rush of posts… I’m in the hotel in Shanghai, basically just killing a bit of time.

I had hoped to get to the Shanghai Auto Show before flying out… mainly to see the 2012 VW Beetle that they debuted there… but after arriving in at 1:30 AM and the resulting sleep-in plus Mr Wang coming to pick me up at 13:30 I’m unfortunately just out of time.

Anyway, onto the miscellany…

Chairman Mao Cultural Revolution Placemat. Picked this up for my friend Nicole… the best thing about it is they’ve modified the slogan from the original poster… it literally says “You finally have the cool guy’s certificate !”

Saw this car near the hotel in Anning. At first glance I thought it was just a Volkswagen Polo, but then realized it was a scaled down Chinese copy of a Polo… and that they’d missed copying one of the front wheels !!!

Note For the observant among you, yes that is an actual Volkswagen Tiguan in the background… Volkswagen’s are very popular in China, everything from Lupo’s, Polo’s, Sagita’s, Santana’s and Mk1/2 Jetta’s making up 70% of the taxi fleet, right through to the very latest Passat. There’s even a hybrid Toaureg that’s pretty common to see on the streets !!!

The restaurant district in ‘Anning Big Town’ We went to a seafood restaurant here… normally I subscribe to the “no seafood when more than 100 miles from the coast”, but the China guys assured me this place was great (and it was).

Private room 666 that we’d been given didn’t instill confidence, but apparently in Chinese culture ‘6’ means ‘smooth’… so this room was ‘smooth smooth smooth’.

And a very special dish… a very rarely seen serving of ‘Chicken-fish’. I assured everyone that I felt very honoured to be eating such an unusual dish. There was also ‘Goose-fish’ and ‘Beef-fish’ served, but they’re apparently more common than the ‘Chicken-fish’.

Funny Signs & Advertising, Kunming Airport Edition

So, a few weird things I noticed on the way back from Anning to Shanghai via Kunming Airport.

Happy welcome The English translation on the sign is very strict “IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM POLICE : According to relevant laws and regulations of People’s Republic of China, anyone who checks in should register the required information with valid and authentic certificates respectively.” Fair enough, but just a bit out of character with the friendly “Happy welcome to Kunming” message immediately afterwards !!!

Aiming carefully is an important issue obviously, tho this sign has an extra amusing aspect to it in that the Chinese version of the sign literally says “Take a small step forward, and civilization improves a great step”.

Chinese Lego copies So we all now about the Chinese thing of copying everything, and obviously that includes Lego kits. The interesting part I thought was the designs… an attack helicopter with ‘PEACE’ on it’s nose, and a rocket launching truck with ‘JUSTICE’ on the doors… I soooooo want the 3rd kit in the series to be an aircraft carrier named ‘THE AMERICAN WAY’ !!!

Although I’m sure my 4 yo nephew would’ve loved both of these, I didn’t get them as I don’t know his mother would have agreed… 😉

Sight in Anning

Other than work and dinners, one interesting thing to happen to me in Anning was having one of the lenses come out of my glasses… so a trip to the local optometrist to get repaired/replaced was in order. I thought this would be a real hassle… getting my eyes tested, dealing with language difficulties etc.

The optometrist was a little dive’y sort of place, more like a cheap mobile phone shop than an optometrist, with a room out the back with all the eye testing and lens cutting gear. The eye testing machine is completely automatic so no language difficulties. The eye chart was very interesting… instead of letters, it used repeating patterns of squared off 3, and I just had to point which way the opening of the 3 was facing… couldn’t have been easier.

Makes sense really when you consider the number of people in China that wear glasses… new ones are much clearer than my old spec’s, and soooo cheap compared to back home !!!

Anning Optometrist

Lens cutting at it’s finest

Anning Sights

So, correction to an earlier post… altho the town is considered part of the steel mill, it does actually have it’s own name – and that’s Anning. With a population of 220,000 it exists entirely because of the steel mill and related industry. Also found out the elevation is about 1920m… now I know it’s at that altitude I don’t feel so bad about breathing a little heavily after climbing 3 flights of stairs !!!

Hotel room in Kungang Binguang Not as swish as Shanghai, but comfy enough… bit like being in barracks really.

Lake by the hotel About the only real bit of scenery in the town !!!

Creative wiring, Anning style Check out the bend in the support staunchion !!!

Energex says : be prepared for storm season Obviously, Anning doesn’t get too many storms.

I call this one “spot the power lines”

Funny Signs & Advertising

Just a few things I’ve noticed around the place, either with a funny translation or just plain weird.

1. High Grade Condom. This is in the “mini bar” in my hotel room at Kun Steel. Not that I’m in need of condoms right now, but when I am I normally prefer to buy the low grade, crappy quality ones instead. The other two round things in front are compressed towels… the instructions on the back show pictures of soaking them in water before using to make them expand. Excellent… who wouldn’t want to buy a tiny, soaking wet towel when there’s two large dry ones already supplied by the hotel ???

2. FIREEXTINGUISHERCUPBOARO. OK a pretty simple mistake to make, but it’s properly printed on a very common piece of equipment that you see everywhere !!!

3. Slippery Floor. For this one, the sign itself is completely sensible and correct… the funny thing is that it’s directly above the toilet in the bathroom. C’mon… my aim isn’t that bad !!!

4. Limpid liquor and the feeling of happy-go-lucky. What the ??? This was an advertisement for the hotel bar in the elevator in Shanghai… no matter how many times I read it, I still have no idea what it means… and I’m normally pretty good when it comes to beer ads !!!