Saturday, 17 May 2008

Life of an expat wife

My blog used to be called "Life of an expat wife". I've been thinking a lot about my life in Shanghai over the past year. I think people think that my life is either "really good" ("Wow, you must spend all day getting manicures and going to the hair salon - erm, no. I've been to the hairdresser twice and gotten a manicure only 3 times in the past year) or "really bad" ("Oh, I could never live in China, it's dirty, polluted, crowded, people spit..." - just deal with it, people!) but in fact it's neither. Like most people's lives it's both good and bad, and has ups and downs. I know I complain about random things in my blog (mostly my health problems or the weather, I think?) but if I really wanted to I could complain even more about random stuff, but who the heck wants to read that?

I just did a google search for "Life of an expat wife" and this (my) blog is the first link that pops up which is quite surprising! As well as that I found some other interesting links.

Hardship of an expat wife in Suzhou

Even though I don't live in Suzhou I could relate to almost everything single thing that the author (Linda Ho) wrote about. The English teaching thing is a good point. I don't know how many people have suggested to me that I teach English at an English school. Well, I want to just plonk them over the head! I look Chinese. I look like a local. They don't care that I was born in an English-speaking country and was educated for my entire life in an English-speaking country from pre-school till university. Or that I can spell better than most Caucasian English-speaking people. Everyone has the same story. They've either experienced it themselves or they know of someone who has experienced the outright blatant discrimination and reverse-racism when it comes to hiring overseas Chinese people for English-teaching jobs. It's hard to get a job and even if you get one, they'll treat you like scum and pay you less than a Caucasian person, even someone from Eastern Europe who barely speaks any English let alone can read/write and teach it! Ugh. Plus I didn't move to Shanghai so I could earn 1/6 or 1/8 of what I could earn back home! And doing something that would add nothing to my career at all since I hate teaching and have no aspirations to be an educator or anything like that. Really!

Another thing. we don't have a driver or a car, and the apartment we live in although deemed outrageously expensive by the locals is only 1/3 or 1/2 of what most expats are paying. Some expats would also be paying 6-10 times (or more!) than what we are paying.

I was coming home from somewhere the other day in a taxi and had a conversation with the driver the whole way home. He started asking me where I was from (and I really really hate that question because I don't know how to answer it, people always seem to have pre-conceived ideas about what they want to hear anyway) and I told him I'm from Taiwan (I'm not really of course, but my parents are). He said he thought I was Korean or Japanese. When I told him I'm 'Taiwanese' he said, "But they're Chinese too! They're the same!" Alas, I was too tired to get into some big political debate with him (LOL).

Then he just started talking and talking non-stop and seemed really bitter. I ended up telling him I was actually from Australia (usually get the 'huh?' look and the "But you don't look Australian!") and he said he had some friends who moved there. He said, "You must have a pretty good life here if you're bringing your Australian dollars with you." Erm yes, well, kind of. He said, "If you have money you can have a very nice life in Shanghai".. I said, "If you have money, you can have a nice life anywhere!" to which he agreed.

Then he told me he earns 3000 RMB/month (the average for Shanghai so I've heard) and has lots of health problems from sitting down for 12 hours a day, and stress from having to know all the roads/streets in Shanghai and dealing with traffic. I started to feel sorry for him and all the other taxi drivers because I (stupidly) thought that being a taxi driver would be an OK job to have, if I was a local.

When we were almost at my apartment, he said, "Do you live in... (apartment compound name)?" and I said, "Yes" and he said, "Oh I knew it. Because a local would never be able to afford to live there..."

Every single local we've spoken to says that our apartment is so expensive but hubby and I don't feel like it is! For one thing, it's only about half of what we were paying in Sydney for an apartment (similar size, 2 bedrooms) that was 45mins out from the city! And like I said, other people are paying 2-3 times the price and I don't think their apartment is any better, only the location is probably more central and maybe their building is slightly newer but their space certainly wouldn't be bigger and I doubt their view is as nice as ours. I'm very very happy with our apartment and love it. I also like that there aren't billions of buildings like some compounds that have 10 or 20 buildings. Like what the-? It's like a mini-city!

So anyway he pulls up outside my building and then said to me, "See that man over there?" (pointing to the security guard) "Well, he only earns 1000 RMB/month."I'm thinking, "OMG you're kidding!" I felt so bad. They work 12/hours a day too :(

Understandably, this taxi driver was quite bitter about the difference between the haves and have nots. I can understand because I've been there. Growing up we weren't poor poor but we certainly weren't rich. We had second hand furniture from garage sales in our house, my mother made our clothes, my parents DIY'd everything, our shoes were always bought way too big so we'd 'grow into them' (I'm sure that somehow contributed to my sister and I both having flat feet and having to wear orthotics later) yadda yadda.. we were never left without necessities though and overall I think we had a pretty nice life as kids but getting older these days it's hard not to feel something about the difference between the rich and the poor. Luckily most of my friends are middle-class like myself, I don't actually know that many rich or poor people, but in Shanghai it's everywhere. It seems everyone is either filthy rich, or dirt poor, you just can't escape it. It's so sad really.

Getting back to the topic, I also found two books about expat wives, which both look like good reads.

Emails from the Edge: The Life of an Expatriate Wife

This book sounds like a great idea for a movie!

Me a tai tai?

This book sounds hilarious. Even the cover pic looks funny (hey she kind of looks like my mother). I need to track it down somehow... :)

So in conclusion being an expat wife in a foreign non-English-speaking country has it's pros and cons, it's what you make of it, really. I'm glad I've had this experience which I wouldn't give up for anything. And it's really nothing like what you imagine it to be... unless you've been there and done it.


In other news, my husband told me he donated 2000 RMB to the earthquake appeal through his work. Woohoo! I was proud of him for his generosity (But I admit I also thought to myself that 2000 RMB would be the perfect amount for me to buy that flash I really wanted.. oh well, guess I'll have to wait a while, and those poor people need that money much more than I do). And, he's gone to Beijing today, for a week. I did get my photo fix though. I looked online for the thing I wanted and the prices were about US$60-120, and I got it for a whopping 90 RMB ($12.50). Yay for bargains!

Friday, 16 May 2008

Death toll 50,000 likely, damage $20 billion

As the death toll grows, the race to save survivors is on, with every glimmer of hope growing weaker... :(

apparently animals can detect things natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis



The belief that animals get advance warning of when the earth is going to shake has been around for centuries and is very much the stuff of legend. Scientists recoil with horror at the idea of extra-sensory perception or precognition. What is possible, they concede, is that animals have keener senses, greater awareness of their surroundings and are hard-wired to take prompt action...

In general, animals sense impending danger by reacting to what to us are subtle or abrupt shifts in the environment, says Dr Alan Rabinowitz, director of science and exploration at the Wildlife Conservation Society, based at the Bronx Zoo in New York. Aside from detecting vibrations, they may pick up electromagnetic changes in the atmosphere and there have been reports of luminescence in the sky before earthquakes.

There may even be an explanation of how this heightened sense emerged. In the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, five years ago, Prof Joseph Kirschvink of Caltech in Pasadena argued that a "seismic escape response" could not be dismissed out of hand on purely biological grounds. Over the past 500 million years, animals evolving in earthquake zones have had ample time - and possess adequate sensory abilities - to evolve earthquake-prediction responses. (Assuming, of course, Prof Kirschvink stresses now, that impending earthquakes actually produce precursory signals.) ...

Fascinating! Now where can I get me an elephant? ;)

China - world's second biggest exporter


China has beaten the U.S. as the world's second-biggest exporter, despite that the world's trade growth is expected to slow to a 6-year low of 4.5%, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Apr. 18, 2008 (China Knowledge) - China has beaten the U.S. as the world's second-biggest exporter, despite that the world's trade growth is expected to slow to a 6-year low of 4.5%, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The country's merchandise exports surged 26% to US$1.2 trillion last year, which made it pass the U.S. to be the world's second biggest exporter, just after Germany.

It is the first time that China's trade exceeded the combined trade of Japan and South Korea.

Last year, China made great progress in overseas prospecting and developing nonferrous metals and noble metals such as steel, copper, nickel, bauxite ore etc.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

1930s good wife test


Hahaha one of the funniest reads I've seen in a long time... I scored 7. I don't understand how one can get a high score, I mean the most you could score is 25 (I guess part of the quiz is missing, ie there were more questions). I have to admit I am guilty of the cold feet one! (no. 9 demerit).

Oh dear... to think that men who think like that still exist today is sad, sad, sad!!

Strange happenings at Flickr

Ah yes how I love Flickr. I've gotten a few requests from people representing certain companies wanting to use my photos for an article. This, I think, is highly flattering considering that I think compared to the rest of Flickr my photos aren't even that great. But still, it's good for an ego boost I guess :)

Anyway just got a msg from a girl from wanting to use one of my pics for a strange but interesting story. Apparently Japan is using face recognition technology in their cigarette vending machines to determine if you are old enough (20 is the legal age) to buy them! Apparently it's accurate 90% of the time. The rest of the time they need you to scan in your driver's licence. Sounds pretty hi-tech to me although I doubt it would've worked for me considering when I was 28 I looked 18 (and now I look approx. 6-7 years younger than I really am).

In other news I did a pilates class. Naughty girl I should be doing this every week but only manage to do it once or twice a month. The class is nice and small (usually around 6-8 people) all housewives like myself ;) who else can attend a class at 10am on a weekday? Ah yes.. the life of a 'tai tai' who does nothing but go to beauty salons and manicurists. oh puh-leeze, we're too busy making sure our figures are nice and lean at the gym! hahaha. Well in the case of most women in China, it seems, most are naturally slim and lean anyway. Pilates is good for strengthening your stomach and back muscles and feels really good afterwards, but the next day I'm in so much pain.

Our apartment compound was collecting money on behalf of the Red Cross for those earthquake victims. I gave them everything I had in my wallet (I mean, how much money should one carry to the gym which is in/right next to my apartment anyway? Not much right... ) I gave them 150 RMB and felt quite proud of myself. There were donations ranging from 20 to 3000 RMB that I saw, most giving around 100 RMB.

Well I'm feeling good now, the weather is lovely, I now should make myself some lunch before heading out and doing something else to occupy my taitai life ;)

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Air pollution increases DVT risk



Air pollution increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) -- dangerous blood clots in the veins -- even at pollution levels the EPA deems "acceptable."

Harvard researcher Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, and colleagues in Italy studied 870 people diagnosed with DVT from 1995 to 2005. They compared their particulate air pollution exposure in the year before their diagnosis to that of 1,210 matched people without DVT.

They found that DVT risk goes up 70% for every 10 microgram-per-cubic-meterrise in particulate air pollution above 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air (the lowest pollution level measured in the study).....

Air pollution affects the heart and blood vessels even more than the lungs, notes Robert D. Brook, MD, a University of Michigan expert on the cardiovascular effects of air pollution. An editorial by Brook accompanies the Baccarelli report in the May 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Earthquake conspiracies

Ah yes the conspiracies start coming in...


As the death toll in China's Sichuan province climbs, the nation’s bloggers have joined together in the search for a scapegoat.

Broadband connections across the country are pulsing with rumours of "earthquake omens" involving toads or butterflies - all allegedly ignored by the authorities. Some even talk of a vast pre-Olympic conspiracy.

One blogger from Shandong province, in eastern China, wrote that more than a month ago, he went to his local earthquake resesarch centre several times to report that his animals had been disturbed and restless.

But, he wrote: "They not only ridiculed me, they accused me of making up stories."
Related Links

* British panda-watchers missing in Sichuan

* Foreign Office to launch traveller tracking site

Other blogs link to Chinese newspaper reports of bizarre natural occurrences in the past few weeks.

The Chutian Metropolis Daily reported that on April 26, 80,000 tonnes of water suddenly drained from a large pond in Enshi, Hubei province.....

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Hayfever hell

I was really really dreading this. I was hoping and praying that this wouldn't happen. I was very very grateful for all the times this didn't happen.

But right now - it's hayfever season. It seems odd that when the flowers were first blooming and blossoming I was totally fine (and often thought about how weird it was I didn't react) but now both my husband and are are having allergy attacks - sneezing, runny nose, and itchy watery eyes. Great. On top of that it's been quite dry lately and my nose has started to bleed again.


On another note most Chinese people don't seem to understand what hayfever (or asthma) is. I noted hubby trying to explain to his Mandarin tutor last night that he had it and I don't think she quite got it. I've also had the same blank expression when I've tried to tell people I'm asthmatic and that's why I can't tolerate cigarette smoke. It seems like nobody here gets it whereas it's so common in the west, well in Australia anyway it's (apparently) really common.

Earthquake toll expected to hit 50,000-150,000

Those people at Shanghaiist are champions :) They probably didn't sleep at all last night. The news just gets worse and worse :(


How you can help by donating

Account name: Red Cross Society of China

For those who want to donate in RMB: you can send money to the RMB account at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China branch below:
人民币开户行: 中国工商银行 北京分行东四南支行
人民币账号: 0200001009014413252

For those who want to donate in foreign currency, you can send money to the foreign currency account at the CITIC Bank branch below:
外币账号: 7112111482600000209

Hotline: (8610) 65139999
Online donations: Red Cross Society of China website:
Click the tab for online donations


I wondered which were the biggest earthquakes in the last couple of decades. Wikipedia didn't really tell me but this site did.


The worst earthquake in the 20th century (and the last 4 centuries!) was in the year I was born and it was in China too. :(

Date UTCLocationDeathsMagnitudeComments
1976 07 27Tangshan, China255,000
Official casualty figure is 255,000 deaths.
Estimated death toll as high as 655,000.
799,000 injured and extensive damage in the
Tang-Shan area. Damage extended as far as
Beijing. This is probably the greatest death
toll from an earthquake in the last four
centuries, and the second greatest
in recorded history.
2004 12 26Sumatra227,8989.1
This is the third largest earthquake in the world since 1900
and is the largest since the 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska
earthquake. In total, 227,898 people were killed or were missing
and presumed dead and about 1.7 million people were displaced
by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 14 countries in
South Asia and East Africa.
(In January 2005, the death toll was 286,000. In April 2005,
Indonesia reduced its estimate for the number missing by over 50,000.)
The earthquake was felt (IX) at
Banda Aceh, (VIII) at Meulaboh and (IV) at Medan, Sumatra and
(III-V) in parts of Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Maldives,
Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The tsunami caused
more casualties than any other in recorded history and was
recorded nearly world-wide on tide gauges in the Indian, Pacific
and Atlantic Oceans. Seiches were observed in India and the
United States. Subsidence and landslides were observed in
Sumatra. A mud volcano near Baratang, Andaman Islands became
active on December 28 and gas emissions were reported in Arakan,
1948 10 05Ashgabat (Ashkhabad), Turkmenistan (Turkmeniya, USSR)110,0007.3
Extreme damage in Ashgabat (Ashkhabad) and nearby villages, where almost all brick buildings collapsed, concrete structures were heavily damaged and freight trains were derailed. Damage and casualties also occurred in the Darreh Gaz area, Iran. Surface rupture was observed both northwest and southeast of Ashgabat. Many sources list the casualty total at 10,000, but a news release on 9 Dec 1988 advised that the correct death toll was 110,000.
2005 10 08Pakistan86,0007.6

At least 86,000 people killed, more than 69,000 injured and
extensive damage in northern Pakistan. The heaviest damage
occurred in the Muzaffarabad area, Kashmir where entire villages
were destroyed and at Uri where 80 percent of the town was
destroyed. At least 32,335 buildings collapsed in Anantnag,
Baramula, Jammu and Srinagar, Kashmir. Buildings collapsed in
Abbottabad, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Islamabad, Lahore and
Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Maximum intensity VIII. Felt (VII) at
Topi; (VI) at Islamabad, Peshawar and Rawalpindi; (V) at
Faisalabad and Lahore. Felt at Chakwal, Jhang, Sargodha and as
far as Quetta. At least 1,350 people killed and 6,266 injured in
India. Felt (V) at Chandigarh and New Delhi; (IV) at Delhi and
Gurgaon, India. Felt in Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh,
Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal and Uttar
Pradesh, India. At least one person killed and some buildings
collapsed in Afghanistan. Felt (IV) at Kabul and (III) at
Bagrami, Afghanistan. Felt (III) at Kashi, China and (II) at
Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Also felt at Almaty, Kazakhstan. An
estimated 4 million people in the area were left homeless.
Landslides and rockfalls damaged or destroyed several mountain
roads and highways cutting off access to the region for several
days. Landslides also occurred farther north near the towns of
Gilgit and Skardu, Kashmir. Liquefaction and sandblows occurred
in the western part of the Vale of Kashmir and near Jammu.
Landslides and rockfalls also occurred in parts of Himachal
Pradesh, India. Seiches were observed in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh
and West Bengal, India and in many places in Bangladesh.
1970 05 31Chimbote, Peru70,0007.9
About 50,000 people were killed - 20,000 missing and presumed dead - and 150,000 injured in Ancash and La Libertad Departments from the earthquake and a catastrophic debris avalanche of rock, ice and mud which buried the town of Yungay, which had a population of about 20,000.
1990 06 20Western Iran40,000 to 50,0007.4
Estimated 40,000 to 50,000 people killed,
more than 60,000 injured, 400,000 or more homeless and
extensive damage and landslides in the Rasht-Qazvin-Zanjan
area, Iran. Nearly all buildings were destroyed in the
Rudbar-Manjil area. Substantial damage occurred as far away as
Khalkhal and Now Shahr and slight damage occurred at Tehran.
Felt in most of northwestern Iran, including Arak, Bakhtaran
and Tabriz. Slight damage also occurred in southern Azerbaijan,
USSR. Felt (VII) at Astra and Lenkoran; (VI) at Dzhibrail,
Lerik, Mossony and Yardyshny; (III) at Baku, USSR. Complex event.


Monday, 12 May 2008

Earthquake - death toll almost 10,000 and rising

This is just horrible. I feel so sad for all those people whose lives have been lost. I remember when a big earthquake hit Taiwan in 1999. I remember it clearly because my mother was there at the time (she felt shocks/tremors but was fine) and also I remember having a discussion with my friend about how this wasn't big enough news to report in the Australian media. I mean it was reported on, but it was deemed a small story compared to other stories as is usually the case with small countries.

I really hope the death toll doesn't rise anymore. This is just so horrible and can't even think of another word to describe how I feel. I'm sure there are evil minded people and conspiracy theorists out there who say this is God punishing China and all that and I'm sure there's someone who's going to say there is some prophecy about something bad happening in China in the year 2008 .. pfft.. whatever.. some people are just mean, evil and just suck.

Women and blogs


An article about women and blogging.

* Women are so passionate about blogging that large percentages of women said they would give something up to keep the blogs they read and/or write:

- 55% would give up alcohol

- 50% would give up their PDAs

- 42% would give up their i-Pod

- 43% would give up reading the newspaper or magazines

BUT, some things are sacred … only 20% would give up chocolate!

Well, personally, I could give up writing a blog, but I don't think I could give up reading a blog (or lots of blogs rather). I could easily give up alcohol (since I don't drink it anyway and can't even stand the smell let alone the taste), don't own a PDA and don't ever plan to, have an ipod but don't use it that much and could give it up however newspapers, magazines or chocolate would be extremely difficult! hahaha. I'm a total 'information junkie' which is why I almost never read fiction and I hardly ever watch tv these days. I couldn't live without newspapers or magazines really, and blogs for that matter. I love to fill my brain with as much crap as possible. I guess that's why (I think) I have a good general knowledge and do reasonably well in trivia quizzes.

Oh jeepers. Shanghaiist is still reporting on the earthquake and now it says that 3000-5000 have died in a certain area. That's just horrible :(

How to make a band-aid stick better

Hubby hurt his finger on Saturday and asked where me the band-aids were.. he went to put one on and said, "I'm going to do do what it said in that email your dad sent." I was thinking to myself, "What email?" Oh.. that's right.. the one I never opened/read cos I thought it was forwarded hoax stuff.

Well I finally got around to looking at it now and if you can read (traditional) Chinese have a read. If not, the pictures pretty much speak for themselves anyway!


(Picture from Xinhua news)

Woah... freaky... I was in an earthquake and didn't even know it!

At around 2:30ish I felt quite dizzy and light-headed all of a sudden. I didn't think anything of it since I have low blood pressure and have this feeling from time to time and as long as I'm sitting down I'm OK. It only lasted a few minutes.

Not long after I went out to Carrefour to do the usual grocery shop and then I came home around 5pm. It's now 5:20pm. Strange.. the tv was on and I never even watch tv let alone leave it on when I'm out.

Hubby was home (normally doesn't get home till 6pm at least) and he asked me what I was doing before I left. I said I was sitting in front of the computer (what's new?) He said, "Did you feel swaying or dizziness?" I said, "Yes.." He said, "Me too..." and went on to tell me how he and everyone in his office felt it (at exactly the same time I felt it, and they are on the 24th floor, and I was on an even higher floor) and then they went home, since it was ... AN EARTHQUAKE!

Wha-?? I was in an earthquake and didn't even know it? hahaha that is just crazy and weird.

Well luckily noone has been hurt so far (the epicentre was near Chengdu in Sichuan province. Chengdu is the 'home' of the giant pandas, and Sichuan is where the hot, spicy food comes from, for reference ;) . It's located in the central area of China).

I checked google news and news reports are slowly to come in from around the world. Shanghaiist has a minute by minute update on the news. I hope that's the end of it and it does not have any aftershocks.. woah, how scary!


A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan Province at 2:28pm today and the temblor was felt thousands of kilometers away in cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.

The strong quake rocked Wenchuan County, which is less than 100 km from Chengdu, capital of Sichuan.

It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties or damage.

The earthquake, centered 92 km northwest of Chengdu, was felt as far away as Beijing and Shanghai, where office buildings swayed due to the powerful earthquake.

According to a Zhejiang Province seismology monitoring station, the force of the tremor in Shanghai was equal to a magnitude 5.7 earthquake.

The Sichuan temblor caused a 3.9-magnitude earthquake in Beijing's Tongzhou District at 2:35pm, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the China Earthquake Administration.

Shanghai Daily reporters and other staff members were caught by surprise this afternoon when they felt their 38th floor office move on Weihai Road in Jing'An District.

"I felt dizzy for a few seconds and at first thought it was just me," said Marc Tessier, 37, a copy editor at "A couple of interns then asked me if I felt the building move. It was strange and a bit scary. I never felt a building move before."

People got up from their desks and were talking excitedly, and nervously. Some colleagues even left the building, Tessier said.

The copy editor said he asked a reporter to start making some phone calls right away to find out what happened.

It was a few minutes later that our reporter learned of the earthquake in Sichuan Province.


A powerful earthquake that shook southwestern China today does not appear to have caused major damage in the metropolis of Chengdu near its epicentre.

A reporter for state television news in Chengdu said people poured onto the streets following the 7.5-magnitude quake, but that public transport and electricity supplies in the city remained operational.

No one appears to have been hurt in Chengdu.

The quake struck 93km from Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province and a major population centre with more than 10m people, according to the US Geological Survey.

The quake was felt across much of China and as far southwest as Bangkok, Thailand's capital, some 3,300km away, where office buildings swayed for several minutes.

China's tallest building, the Jinmao Tower in Shanghai, as well as other high rise-buildings, were evacuated after the quake and aftershocks.

Many workers poured from their buildings in Beijing's financial centre, but there were no visible signs of damage. The subway system was unaffected.

Sources said there was no immediate impact to the Three Gorges Dam project, the weight of whose massive reservoir, hundreds of kilometres from Chengdu, experts have said could increase the risk of tremors.

In February 2003 at least 94 people were killed and more than 200 injured when a quake measuring 6.8 hit the sparsely populated Jiashi county in Xinjiang.

OK.. What do I do now? We live quite high up! Should I be scared? I have felt tremors before both in Taipei and in Sydney (when there was an earthquake in Newcastle, 2 hours north) but nothing major happened.

Another lady's personal account . It didn't even occur to me that what I felt was an earthquake and therefore it didn't occur to me I should take the stairs but there's no way I would've lasted esp. given I'm asthmatic. Once I walked from the ground floor to the 17th floor and nearly passed out. Oh it's shocking how unfit I am.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Horrible news - Grand Gateway

Oh Gosh.. I just read Shanghaiist which reported 2 young people (lovers) who committed suicide in Grand Gateway Mall. Luckily they had the good sense not to post the graphic photos on their site (you can still see them via a link though which I did NOT click on, I don't think I want to have nightmares as I get freaked out easily). Stories like this really freak me out and sadden me because they are rare-ish, and unusual, and tragic. Car or plane crashes or murders where people die are also tragic of course.. but those people who died had no say in the matter and those sorts of scenes are seen so often in movies I guess you kinda get desensitized to them... whereas suicide is another kettle of fish.. but not only that, to do it in such a (crowded) public place is also IMHO a bit selfish.. Now all those onlookers who saw them do it will probably need post-traumatic stress/grief counselling. :(

Something similar happened in Sydney in Chatswood Westfield (a large shopping mall in the north shore) and every time I walked near the spot where 'it' happened I felt chills run through my body and I could never ever get the thought or image out of my head no matter how much I tried. I just shudder thinking about. It's just horrible horrible for all involved.. :(

RIP to the young couple though. :(

Trip to Shanghai


I found a good 'essay' some woman wrote about her trip to Shanghai. I think it's very well written, informative, with lots of nice pictures too. Take a look!