My life in a blog

IMBA Chinese Track student at The University of South Carolina, Moore Business School, I'm currently living in Columbia, SC and traveling all over the place

Check out my other blog: My life in pictures or better check out my Flickr account

Saturday, June 30, 2007

computer problem 电脑问题

In a computer era where everyone is using Internet and the computer for almost anything, the worst it can happen is to have your computer crash when you don't have a back-up to it.

Well... this is what happened to me and kept me busy for the last three days. But I guess there are worst things in life than be data and information naked. Life is still good and now I've recovered about 85% from the old configuration and personalization.

The word of the day is computer : 电脑 (diànnǎo)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Beijing problems: air (北京的问题:空气)

Beijing has been terrible lately. When you move into a new country, you are firstly absorbed by a multitude of new information and experiences. And when it comes to Beijing, China that statement is even stronger.

The new views you get used to fool your brain in ignoring other kinds of information such as the bad aspects of a place or deeper meanings of the daily life. One of these is weather... mostly the air quality. It's now worldwide known that Beijing has a big problem with the quality of the air inside the city.

According to “that’s Beijing” magazine the authorities are investigating a solution to this problem, as they’ve started the “Green Olympics” program. It sounds crazy, but according to the same source, a recent study revealed that much of the pollution in the city primarily comes from Outer and Inner Mongolia and Western Siberia and only secondarily from coal factories and cars in Beijing. This whole new research will make the problem even more difficult to be solved by authorities.

This picture was taken yesterday morning and reflects the air quality and non pleasant landscape in the city. During such days, the atmosphere inside the smog bubble becomes hot, dirty and difficult to bear at mid-day.

Even with this huge problem, Beijing remains a very interesting place with every day the Olympics come closer.


Monday, June 11, 2007

one night on the Great Wall 在长城上睡觉!

This past Saturday started like any other day of the weekend, tired after going bar hopping on Friday night. I did my weekly practice of badminton with the local Chinese people, had Sichuan style food and returned home late in the afternoon.

What made the day so special was our decision to do something different this weekend and go outside of Beijing. Best place to go.... The great wall to sleep overnight. The trip was planned by Joe, a French friend and together with Mourillio, from Brazil, Malte and Sarah started our adventure.

We had a driver waiting for us just outside of the east gate.
We started very late, close to 5pm and got to 司马台长城(SiMaTai Great Wall) around 8 o'clock. Once there we found out that the wall access is permitted only until 5 pm. Also found out that sleeping is out of discussion with no exception. At first, a little deceived, I tried to call my Chinese friend and try to get some indirect negotiations through the phone. Failure, as the authorities said we can't get in. As we were heading back to our car, I asked the driver if he could try to talk our way in. More indirect communication started and bingo... We just paid our first direct bribe in China on our own. (Sorry to the authorities who might block my post but is true)The funny part is that we still received tickets for entering at 9pm :)

We were in, starting to climb the Great Wall as the dusk was already set in. As it got darker and darker we got to a check point where a flash light accompanied by a man stopped us. More negotiations started. First that we can't go any further cause it is illegal and then as we started the chat we started bargaining over 5 cold cans of beer in the night. Finally, we talked about Chinese and foreign women and went on with our journey.

We managed to climb for two hours in complete dark and reach the highest eastern accessible point (Tower 13) just using a book light.

There... Oh my God, complete relaxation. No noise. Just stars open sky. Wine. Food and friends. And chill out music. In the morning we woke up to see the sunrise and them had some Chinese visitors to jump over our sleeping bags and shout around.

We slept on the Great Wall. What a Unique experience!!

Long Time No See... 好久不见!

Originally a Chinese expression, it was completely adopted by the English language "ad-literam" even though it is not grammatically correct. The Chinese expression is grammatically correct: 好久不见!

So, it's been a while since my last post... but here I come back with new stories.