...in China! (...在中国!)

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Had a nice dinner last night with a few students. (School's, not mine) It was a pleasant little get together after we interview students hoping to join their association (BUPT-SICA). I was there to help grade their english proficiency, and perhaps be a little scary. Managed to make 3 new frieds by the end of the evening. (Props to "Dan", "Michael" & "Sally"!) I had a very nice evening. Enjoyed some good food, some more Tsing Tao beer. Then called it a night. Today has been a bit slow however. The Sunday before the beginning of a new week. It is the last week before the National Day holiday week. So when this week is over I can finally get around to seom fun siteseeing. Plus I have company coming from Chicago, via Korea. So it should be fun!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Beijing Kaoya and Mooncakes...

Beijing Kaoya. Something that every Beijing traveler will likely try. It is also know as Peking Duck. I had it for the first time last night. It was not bad. A hint on the dry side. But the sides that go into the presentation made up for it. Eating Peking duck is a straight forward enough task to anyone that has ever had a fajita. Wrapper + meat + sauce + vegetables. Roll up. Eat. Evening beverage was Tsing Tao Pi Jiu (beer). (Interestingly available in cold and non-cold states. I recommend cold!)Over all I rate the food as pretty yummy. The food was good, the company made the evening! (Thanks "Amy"!)

Wednesday evening I had mooncakes for the first time. These are small (Hostess Ding-Dong sized) dessert type cakes. My company and I had 3. The first 2 were good. The last was, ODD. The first was Cheese and Chestnut. Not bad! The second was Wine and Plum. Good! The last was Beef and Tea. Huh? Did you say Beef and tea flavored mooncake? Yes, yes I did. This was the one that was not to my liking. Don't get me wrong, I like beef, tea and cake. When they are separated. But together? Hmmm. Just too odd for my western palate. Again, food was good, but the company made the evening! (Thanks Chan!)

Chinese Apples, it's kinda about China...

Dear Apple Support and/or Steve,
I bought a new white MacBook at the Chicago's Michigan Ave store the week it was released. On Sept 2, I moved to China for a year long contract to teach English at a local university. The very day I got here my super drive failed. After some searching I found an apple certified repair location in the Beijing suburb of Chao Yang. There my MacBook has been sitting, for nearly 2+ weeks, as it awaits a replacement super drive, that has yet to even ship from it's origin. I know the MacBook is a very popular item in high demand, but to not have enough parts for basic repairs is somewhat irksome. I suspect this would take less than 24 hours in the states, perhaps only an hour or two at the Chicago Apple Store. I miss my Mac. I hate using this awful Lenovo PC, but I have no choice currently. I need to prepare for my students and their needs. This is all made more complex and difficult by the fact that English international support is, a bit lacking. I had to search the Apple.com.cn support site to find a repair location. Another difficult task since I'm only a being beginner student in the Chinese language.

I am sorry to complain like this. But what's taking so long? Sadly I suspect that the answer is the following:
A) Part has to be made, probably here in Asia.
B) Part is shipped to Apple, USA probably.
C) Part is shipped to Authorized repair locations, back to Asia.

Can there be a better way of handling international repairs? Surely!!! Ideas:
A) Multilingual International Support.
B) International distribution of repair parts.
C) International contact numbers on your website that are accurate. (800 810 2323 # Within China).
D) Email Support. (ie, a place to send emails like this.)

Thank you kindly for listening to this rant. Keep making wonderful products.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Great Walls N' Such.

Ha! Thought you were going to see some snazzy photos of me and or a garden gnome posing in front of that Great Wall here in China. Well not yet. 2 things are stopping that from happening currently. 1) I haven't made it to the Great Wall yet. Interesting sidenote: One of the students that met me at the airport and helped me out has lived here (in Beijing) all his life and has never seen it. I am sure it is like Chicagoans that have never been to the top of the Sears Tower or been to a Cubs game. 2) Is the other great wall here in China and that is the Great Firewall. I have yet to figure a way of posting or uploading photos to Snapfish, Flickr or Yahoo Photos. As soon as I do I am sure the will be a glut of photos to look at. Worse case scenario I won't post any, and I'll give everybody one of those awesome boring ass Vacation Slideshows. Those are fun right? (There will be beer!) Those are fun right? That's what I thought.

I start teaching my grad students this coming Monday. (11.09.2006) And then my undergrads on the following Monday. (18.09.2006) I have only a total of 12 hours of teaching. None of which is on Wednesdays. In fact I have enrolled in 20 hours of Chinese language courses. 4 hours per day. (Less six that are at the same time as my English classes) So I teach 12 hours of English, and attend 14 hours of Chinese. Sweet deal eah?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Ni Hao Ma! 你好吗?

Well I have finally arrived. I got here a few days ago. I have mostly recovered from jetlag, though I still get an overwhelming desire to take a nap at about 4pm. All is well here so far. I will have a much larger post in the coming days once I get a more consistent internet connection. In the meantime, let me share the phrase that has been bouncing around alot in my head. Holy crap, I'm in China!