Friday, 9 May 2008

Stop clogging my inbox

You know how there are certain people that love to fwd you all the stuff that they get forwarded? I've told my father a thousand times that 99% of those things are hoaxes but he still doesn't believe me, and forwards me stuff in a panic about how I might get my kidneys harvested or some sh|t like that. I used to get so angry that noone would get the message when I asked them politely to stop sending me this crap but then I had to resort to using more forceful words and even capital letters. So thankfully I don't get many of them anymore ;) On another note - I wanted to see how long I'd last having a funwall or superwall on my Facebook. I think I did quite well.. lasted a few months but took it down recently as it was full of more of this forwarded crap!

Many many years ago I found and it was a godsend and my 'bible' to all things forwarded.

Anyway I was just searching google for images and came across this by accident. I wouldn't read it but I find the idea very clever and concept amusing. Someone has blogged about all the stuff they get sent!

stop clogging my inbox

Shanghai wages increase average of 11%


SHANGHAI'S average salary increased 11 percent on average annually from 2002 to 2006, the city's labor union said today in a five-year report on wages.

Workers in the service industry increased four times in the city during the five years, the Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions said in the report.

The number in the financial industry increased 65 percent while the number of real estate industry professionals has risen 36 percent from 2002 to 2006, according to the report.

The Shanghai Labor and Social Security Bureau stipulated last week that workers at all local enterprises, including those companies making losses, should receive a salary rise this year.

The labor authority also said for the first time that companies running at a loss can also increase salaries for staff members by a minimum of 5 percent.

The city's government raised the baseline minimum monthly wage from April 1 to 960 yuan from 840 yuan.

960 a month? OMG?!

Olympic torch in Shanghai

In less than 2 weeks the Olympic torch will make its way into Shanghai, and I'm excited! (and all the China haters can go and get stuffed =D When I go home I'll try to find and scan and upload my torch relay pic from the 2000 Sydney Olympics when they passed through my suburb and I got up at some ungodly hour to wait for them to come through).


You can track the torch's journey here

Shanghai will hold a torch-lighting ceremony on Donghai Bridge in Nanhui District on May 20 when the torch arrives from Zhejiang Province, said.

Torch bearers will relay the torch across Fengxian, Jinshan, Songjiang, Qingpu, Minhang and Changning and Xuhui districts. They will then take it to Century Avenue and Bingjiang Boulevard in Pudong New Area via the Nanpu Bridge in Xuhui District.

After that, the torch will be taken to the former Shiliupu pier in Huangpu District by ferry. It will then pass Zhongshan No.1 Road E. of Huangpu District.

Another ceremony will be held in Century Square on Nanjing Road E. at the end of the first day, the report added.

On May 21, the torch will be lit near the Memorial Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Luwan District, and then relayed to Jing'an, Putuo, Zhabei, Hongkou and Yangpu districts. It will be ferried to Chongming Island from Baoyang Road pier and then ferried to Baoshan District from Shidongkou pier.

The torch will then move into Jiangsu Province after a ceremony in Anting Motor City in Jiading District.

The journey, which begun on March 24, will cover 137,000 kilometers, the longest in history, and last 130 days and involve 22,000 torch bearers worldwide.

Unfortunately I can't find a close-up actual map of its path in Shanghai. If anyone has seen one I'd love to know, thanks!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Hack your Canon P&S camera

I was reading this article which tells you how to "hack" your Canon point and shoot camera. It covers these models: A450
A650 IS
A710 IS
A720 IS
SD450 (IXUS55)
SD500 (IXUS700)
SD630 (IXUS65)
SD700 (IXUS800)
SD800 (IXUS850)
SD850 (IXUS950)
SD870 (IXUS860)
SD1000 (IXUS70)

It looks really complicated to me but could be lots of fun for a geeky gadgety camera person!

Always traveling...

I've noticed that amongst expats in Shanghai everyone is always traveling - whether it be to a nearby water town village, or to somewhere further like Beijing or to another Asian country or back 'home' to Europe or the States or wherever.. it seems that most expats are on holidays for a lot of the time, several times a year! I think this is definitely one of the perks of living here. It's easily accessible to other places and domestically it's fairly cheap to fly (or you can go by train if you want to go super budget!)

I love travel and love looking and everyone's travel pics on Facebook and drooling over them with jealousy (I have to admit I don't like other subjects as much.)

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Random photos

Rail maps at People's Square showing the new lines.. crazy stuff.. the People's Square station has 20 exits!!

View of Cloud Nine mall through a taxi window

Some place I have no idea where but I liked the colour.

Qipu Lu

Gorgeous book cover of a children's storybook

Carrefour today:

If you translate "Spice girls" into Chinese and then back into English it becomes "Spicy Girls" so it's Chinglish I guess. I found it amusing because my mother calls that group the "Spicy Girls" too!

There was some crazy shoe sale going on. 10-20 RMB (about $1.50-$3) a pair! I did take a quick look and the styles weren't too bad but the queues were horrendous and the quality wasn't that great.. but the price is just unbelievable! Only in China, eh?

Something about giving away free bags. Carrefour's bid to help the environment. They are probably warming us up for when they stop giving out free plastic shopping bags. I feel so stupid now thinking it started tomorrow, when it started yesterday! (the 6th). I could've claimed my free enviro bag today but didn't :(

We got new kitchen taps! Yay for Mr Fang.

Some crappy dinner I made - lamb chops, fried rice and lettuce. The hubby liked it, though, amazingly.

I've also added photos to my Paul's post yesterday (the 6th!)

1 year in Shanghai

For some reason I've been out of it with dates since I got sick and hadn't been out much.. I thought today was the 5th! then after looking at my computer it told me it was the 7th. Then I realized that yesterday (the 6th) it was exactly one year since we arrived in Shanghai.

Freaky how time flies! But I've learnt so much and had a total blast :)

Canon G9 revisited

Related post

Last Saturday we took my mother who was here visiting to our fave massage place. I got into a discussion with my mother's massage girl (who I picked out for her) about my camera. Turns out that she had that same camera as me (Did I also mention that I noticed some girl at the Nanhui blossom festival also had the same camera - I had no idea it was so well-known and popular). Now, when I bought it it was a brand new model so the most expensive it'll ever be. It was more expensive than Hong Kong or USA, but cheaper than Australia. Anyway so this girl tells me she also bought the G9 and I was really shocked because to me it was a lot of money but to her it must've been a mega huge fortune.

Anyway, it turns out her 2 year old son threw it out a window!!! Can you imagine? He likes playing with things and throwing things.. I was horrified. Gosh this poor girl who spent her life savings on a fairly expensive camera (expensive for a point&shoot anyway, and very expensive for an average Chinese person). I felt so heartbroken for her. But he's just a little kid who doesn't understand so what can you do? :( My mother took it upon herself to give her a lecture on parenting and not keeping expensive objects within his reach. haha.

Anyway, I'm thinking of getting a flash unit. One that will be compatible with Canon SLR models too. The 430Ex Speedlite is the smallest unit (current model) with a rotating head. It looks hilarious and kind of stupid this tiny camera with such a massive flash on it though!

Here is a good article about flash units for the G9.

Stupid fashion

I've just had it with today's fashion. Nearly everything that is out there I dislike. I am sick of the baggy sack shapeless dresses that fall from the armpit to the hem. I am sick of empire-lines that make you look pregnant when you're not. I'm sick of strapless, I'm sick of plunging v-necks which I think are way too revealing and unflattering for both small and big-breasted women. I'm sick of tops or dresses that are baggy in some areas and lycra skin tight in others. Did I also say that I've hated hipster jeans/pants ever since they came out, and I'm so glad that that fashion trend is slowly dying... ARGH!

Why is today's fashion so damn hideous and ugly and uncomfortable? I'm not fat or pregnant and I don't want to look fat or pregnant! At this rate I may as well join the rest of the Shanghai locals and wear pajamas out in public!

On another semi-related note - what happened to Camper shoes? They used to be known for their cute, quirky and whimsical designs and comfort. Now they are neither that comfortable or cute and whimsical. Well I had a quick look at their website and hardly any of their designs are that interesting. They look like normal shoes you'd find anywhere! and with a high price tag, too!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Paul bakery - now available for delivery


The new Sherpa's menu came out recently. From 1 May you can order from Paul. We have the Hongqiao area Sherpa's (since we live in that area, duh - actually we live in both the Puxi and Hongqiao areas according to Sherpa's map) and I just ordered from them. It'll be sent to us from the Carrefour Gubei branch (which I haven't seen in person yet).

On the menu was "Ancien" bread but since there aren't any corresponding photos I have no idea what that is. A google search didn't find much either except for a link to Paul. LOL.

Ahh... how I love Paul's bread and pastries! drool!

ETA: Sherpa's just called me back and said they've run out of the Fougasse with olives.. d'oh!


Edited to add: pictures!

The gorgeous looking new Carrefour store. I love the interior design. It's just like being in Paris except with Chinese sales staff!

Monday, 5 May 2008


I'm having a real Garfield day. I wasn't going to post about him but since I came across more than one Garfield thing... I figured that maybe I should.

When I was a child and young teenager I loved Garfield. I collected all the comic books and loved to draw the characters, and every time I went to Sydney's Royal Easter Show I had to get the Garfield showbag. Strangely I never did get a Garfield plush toy, but my sister did. He was dressed in a red devil's costume, complete with pitchfork. Very cute yet evil. Hehe. I got an Odie dog which had velcro on his big tongue and he came with a plush white bone which would stick on the velcro spot. We also had a small Garfield clip-on toy. I saw a pic of a Garfield phone in a magazine once, as well as a fish bowl and obsessed about having them. Of course I never did get them. I guess I eventually got over that.

When we went to Taiwan my sister and I would get lots of stationery and stickers as in the 80s cute stationery was non-existent in Australia and I'd always collect the Garfield bits 'n' pieces. I have so many fond memories of Garfield and my childhood!

I always said that we had a lot of similarities. OK so I'm not fat, furry and feline but I love sleeping and sleeping in, I hate Mondays and I adore Italian food. I always have and I always will. Plus I liked to kick my sister up the bum as Garfield did to Odie (only kidding!). I remember watching this tele-movie about Garfield's life before he came to Jon's house which was really interesting. He was born in the back of an Italian restaurant, which started his love of Italian food.

So anyway, this morning my sister sent me this link to a Garfield comic site called "Garfield minus Garfield." I thought it would be a funny read but actually I found it quite sad and disturbing.

This is what it says:

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.

Then I found this article suggesting that Garfield died and I was like, "Wha-??!"

Anyway I shold end on a happy note and post this link. Instructions for how to make your own cute and yummy Garfield (and friends) cupcakes! (mumbles something about not having an oven...)

Do you mommy your husband?

# Story Highlights
# Caring care of husband can turn into mothering your spouse
# Some wives dress husbands, pack his suitcase, style his hair
# Experts: It can lead to treating husband like a child


I came across this interesting article.

She picks out his clothes before they go out, styles his hair, makes his lunches (complete with "I love you" notes inside) and takes it upon herself to apply the toothpaste before handing him his toothbrush each night.

And then there's bathing. "When he's in the shower, he calls me in to wash his back," says Rounds, a publicist.

Over-the-top behavior? Rounds says no way. "He loves to be taken care of."

It's a scenario familiar to many relationship experts, who say that first comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes the husband in the baby carriage.

A bad idea? "It can work for some people," says Les Parrott, a clinical psychologist, an author on marriage and relationship topics, and a professor at Seattle Pacific University. He describes one couple he knows: "She packs his suitcase for him and takes care of him like a little kid. But it works for them."

"As a woman who mothered her husband for too many years, I can report it's about the worst thing a woman can do," says Franklin, 55, a writer and lifestyle coach for female baby boomers. "It makes your man lazy, unwilling to be proactive in his own health care and for the most part a boy who refuses to grow up. It took me a long time to understand you can be compassionate and loving without being smothering and controlling."

I used to be like this (to a degree), especially in the early stages of the relationship (first few weeks/months) but now I hardly do anything and I get called lazy! LOL.

I have noticed in people I know that there tends to be a lot of 'mothering' type behaviour which can be quite over the top. I've never picked out my husband's clothes, told him what to wear, or packed his suitcase. I have packed his lunch a few times though (this was mainly to save money but then he decided he preferred to buy his lunch). OK I did used to remind him to take vitamins but I stopped doing that ages ago and what do you know? He takes them every morning by himself without being prompted or reminded!

For me and I'm sure most people it stems from the need the control and be controlling. The woman was probably brought up by (a) controlling parent/s and is now (unconsciously) exhibiting the same type of behaviours on her significant other.

I guess in the end though - whatever floats your boat!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Asthma drugs

Nothing about Shanghai or the world...

9 days later I am still sick. I'm so over this. I have no energy and need to sleep all the time yet I have insomia and can't sleep. At night I cough non-stop and have to sleep sitting up at a 135 degree angle.

I'm pretty sure I'm over the non-descript URTI (upper respiratory tract infection) and it's progressed to its asthma-like state where I just cough and cough and cough and my chest, back and stomach ache like crazy. ARGH.

They say it's very common in Australia (asthma) but the strange thing is I hardly know of anyone with it. My grandfather on my father's side and my mother have it sort of, and I think maybe my cousin does as well but as for other relatives, friends, acquaintances, nope. Noone. Trust me to get the bad luck! :(

A few days ago I accidently stumbled across some news articles which said that the asthma drug Singulair has a suicide risk. WTF?? I thought. Thank God I've never taken that drug.

I'm on Symbicort which is strange in that I can't taste or feel a single thing (unlike billions of other 'puffers' I have tried in the past). I always worry if it's actually working and getting into my system. I guess it's working though because I only started using it yesterday and today I seem to be coughing less. I hope this goes away soon, it's really quite debilitating.

People making up sh|t about China

I'm getting really really tired of all the Western countries being ignorant and making up sh|t about China. It really is a joke.

I just stumbled across a Facebook group. This is what it said

Chat rooms monitored. Blogs deleted. Search results re-routed. Websites blocked.

Try to search for blacklisted sites like Amnesty International in China and you will get an error message or be re-routed to an authorised government site.

The same thing happens when you search for terms like democracy, Tibet, Taiwan or Tiananmen Square – timed out, connection reset.

The Great Firewall
That's Internet censorship, China's 'Golden Shield Project'. The Government is watching you.

Behind what has been dubbed the 'Great Firewall of China' citizens can be imprisoned for sending emails, posting blogs or passing on information deemed to be sensitive, a threat to national sovereignty or a state secret.

In China the Internet has become a new frontier in the fight for human rights.

Thousands of Internet police
China has reportedly employed between 30,000 and 50,000 special Internet police who, with the aid of Western-provided technology, read private emails, conduct surveillance, remove blogs and block banned websites.

On screen, Internet users looking at China's most popular websites will see a cartoon cyber-police officer appear every half hour. The cartoon officer reminds them not to view censored material.

In Internet cafés users have to give their full name and an identification card before a using computer. Many cafés, which are subject to random checks, have installed extra censorship software to make sure their customers don't break the rules.

New rules are regularly created to keep up with the pace of the Internet. In January this year licence agreements came into force dictating – in reaction to video-sharing sites like YouTube – that all video material on the web must be approved by a government regulatory body.

Breeding fear
There is no list of what is censored or what authorities are looking for – it's kept deliberately vague and is constantly updated – this instills fear and uncertainty in Internet surfers in the hope that, on top of all the other controls, they will censor themselves.

China is helped by the Internet companies – global giants Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft, and Chinese companies such as Alibaba and Baidu – who have signed a pledge with the Government, the contents of which have not been made public.

The pledge allows the companies to operate in China, but only under conditions that involve censorship of their users.

For more information, go to:

OMG. Please. Blocked or banned for writing about Taiwan or Tibet? If that were true I would've been banned many times already (rolleyes).

Anyone living in China for longer than 2 weeks and with half a brain would've already found a way to circumvent TGF by use of a proxy or VPN or other means.

China is NOT the only country with internet censorship (get your facts straight people!!)

I used an internet cafe when I first moved here. I also paid for in-room broadband internet in our hotel. They did not ask me for ID or a passport or anything. The only asked me for a refundable deposit.

Cartoon police officer? WTF? I've never seen this! Where do people even get this information from?

Yes YouTube has been blocked (and I admit that sucked) but it was never for longer than a few days at a time, it's never been constantly blocked. Right now it's working fine.

Yes I agree that human rights issues in China stinks, blocking/firewalling websites stinks particularly ones like Wikipedia or innocent blogs or Flickr (!!!) but geez, I just can't stand how the world thinks that China is the WORST country right now and all it does is BAD things and every OTHER country is so great by comparison and is 100% totally INNOCENT and GOOD in every way, shape and form.

PUH-LEEZE, people!

When I read dumb things such as the above example, all it shows me is the stupidity and ignorance of the authors.