Thursday, 6 March 2008

Cheap Flights! March-April

I just got this email. Let me know if you want further details...

All prices are return economy, including tax.
Shanghai Pudong to:

CityAirlineFare (RMB)DatesNote:
SingaporeSingapore Airlines2850Mar.30th--Apr.25th7 days

China Eastern (MU)2895Mar.5th--Mar.27th30 days

Air China (CA)6460Mar.3th--Apr.30th 6 mth

China Eastern(MU)6480Mar.4th--Apr.21st 6 mth

Air China (CA)6320Mar.3th--Apr.30th6 mth

China Eastern (MU)6580Mar.4th--Apr.21st 6 mth

San Francisco
United Airlines5890Mar.1st--Mar.31st 30 days

Los Angeles
United Airlines4990Mar.1st--Mar.31st 30 days

Los Angeles
Air China (CA)4850Feb.19th--Mar.31st 30 days

China Eastern (MU)6850Apr.1st--Jun.30th 45 days

China Eastern (MU)6280 Apr.1st--Jun.30th 1 year

China Eastern (MU)6750Apr.1st--Jun.30th 45 days

Valid days means that the duration in the travelled city from departure time on. For example, if the valid day is 7days, and your departure time is April.1st, that means you must return before Apr.8th with this ticket.

When I first published this post there was a huge gap above my HTML table. I used this site to rectify the situation.

Domestic helpers (ayis) earning more than university graduates

AGAINST the backdrop of high unemployment among college graduates and lack of housekeepers, I suggest that more university graduates work as housekeepers.

According to a recent report in Information Times, the supply of housekeepers has failed to keep up with demand, with the gap in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, standing at 70,000.

Consequently, the pay for a housekeeper has been on the increase steadily, with some experienced people earning as much as 2,000 yuan (US$281).

By contrast, in Guangzhou the average monthly salary for a fresh graduate student is 2,100 yuan. While many may find their pay unsatisfactory, they are lucky to be employed at all.

Is there a proper way to solve the two problems at once?

Some of my friends' experience helped me find an answer to this question. Instead of working as a substitute teacher or temporary worker, they gave up their jobs after marriage and stayed at home, devoting all their time to domestic duties.

Apart from solving the two problems mentioned, there are other reasons why homemaking is a good choice for university grads.

For one thing, this can contribute greatly to family stability. For another, their resignation will leave a vacancy and opportunity for others who need a job badly. Unemployment disrupts the social stability.

Of course there are important limitations. While some can comfortably enjoy domestic bliss with high pay brought in by their husband or wife, some have to count every cent and penny to scrape along.

The government should improve the economic situation for those who choose to work at home as housekeepers or homemakers.

Many American women choose to stay at home after giving birth. The family rather than the individual is regarded as a unit when individual income tax is levied.

Well I've not nothing to say to that (make up your own opinions on this!) except that in Australia it's the exact same thing. I don't know figures but I'm willing to bet a full-time domestic helper or nanny would earn a heck of lot more than a university graduate, in any major!

Last night I dreamt that I was pregnant

First of all:

1. I am a big believer in dream interpretations

2. What happens in your dream has no bearing on what will happen in real life (ie I've had the common dream of your teeth falling out - it does not mean you'll wake up and all your teeth are gone!)

3. I do not have thoughts of becoming pregnant in this moment in time

So, with that in mind... these are some interpretations I have found which I think are very accurate :)

To dream that you are pregnant, symbolizes an aspect of yourself or some aspect of your personal life that is growing and developing. You may not be ready to talk about it or act on it. This may also represent the birth of a new idea, direction, project or goal.

For a woman, this dream forecasts a happy increase in material wealth

If you are close to delivery, this usually means that something you've been planning or thinking about is close to materializing in the waking world... Pregnancy dreams, like real life pregnancies are harbingers of change, creativity, and new life being brought into the world. Treat your life as you would treat yourself if you were pregnant and wait for the miracle you're already creating to manifest in your waking world!

Tacos in 10 mins

I'm becoming a champion taco/burrito maker. I just managed to prepare, cook, present/serve, clean up and eat it in 35mins. I need to do it quickly because I hate cooking. The quicker the better. Even better that my husband says it's good!

I buy the ingredients from Carrefour or City Shop. Only City Shop has tacos though. Carrefour only has burritos.

Sometimes I don't even have everything I need and I improvize. Ie I used soy sauce for the chicken if I don't have the proper flavouring thing. I also cook the taco sauce in with the chicken.

The chicken is the only thing that takes a bit of time. The rest is just chopping up: tomatoes and lettuce. The cheese comes shredded already.

Amazingly, the taco shells crisp up nicely in the microwave!
You can do burritos as well. The preparation/ingredients etc is exactly the same.

Phew, I'm so proud of myself I managed all that in 35mins (and I'm usually a mega slow eater!)

In other news I went to the Shanghai Center again. I had an appointment near there, 15 mins walk away. Since I needed to go to the supermarket and Paul's is in the same complex I couldn't not stop by. One day I will try everything in that amazing bakery! But for now I have to try to not cry at the prices.

So I had a Paul's danish for dessert. Effortless! :D

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

I got a job!

It's a not a 'real job' and won't pay the bills but basically I get paid to find stuff online and I figure since I'm sitting on the internet all day anyway I may as well get paid to do it. But don't ask me what I do exactly.. as I'm sworn to secrecy ;)

Monday, 3 March 2008

Sydney - Cost of living

This post has nothing to do with Shanghai so move along if that's what you were looking for ;)

I think most people roll their eyes when I tell them how expensive it is. They think I'm just another 20 or 30's-something-er whinging because they can't afford a house/mortgage. Well I'm not exaggerating or bullsh|tting at all. Sydney is freakin' expensive! And it's not just housing either but food, clothing, entertainment...

I was shocked to find this though. A bunch of people who think that Sydney is just as expensive as New York City or San Francisco - the two most expensive cities in the USA.

Food for thought.