Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Good Hotpot

I went for some nice hotpot with friends over the weekend. We were at Hai Di Lao on Wuzhong Lu (near the Lainhua Lu intersection). The food was pretty good, with a nice selection of food, several complimentary items, and a very nice condiment bar, which is always good at hotpot restaurants for groups who have some who like spicy food and some who don't.

What was really interesting about Hai Di Lao, though, was probably all the other stuff that comes alongside the dining experience. There's free internet access, a small browsing library, and free manicures and pedicures! I enjoyed watching the serving staff with some of their antics as well, including a guy who had a whole routine choreographed around the making of one type of noodles. Another fellow was my favorite of the night, though. He wiped the tables with real flair. It looked a lot like the type of gong fu you'd have to travel to some monastery atop a distant mountain to learn. Pretty impressive stuff.

There are other branches of Hai Di Lao elsewhere in Shanghai, I think, all pretty much in line with the experience I had here.




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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chen Shaomei

I've recently posted a hub about Chinese artist Chen Shaomei that might be of interest to readers here.

Hope you enjoy!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

To the End

Shanghai's Metro system is pretty extensive, as you can see in this picture.




And, it is always expanding.

One thing I noticed when traveling to some of the furthest ends of the Metro line is that the area surrounding each station is just a little different, each having its own "flavor."  So, I decided to make it a project, and take the train to the end of each line.  I will post pictures and thoughts over at Tai Shan.  The first is here.

Watch for more coming up soon!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

St. Patrick's Day in Shanghai

I spent St. Patrick's Day at O'Malley's in Shanghai with friends.  Here's a short video clip.

You can read more about the place at Tai Shan.





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Friday, March 19, 2010

Travel in Argentina

For travelers looking for good information on Turismo en Argentina, you need look no further than the Explore Argentina website. With extensive information available about travel in the country, you can find out everything you need to know before you set out.

Along with information on tourist destinations, restaurants, and things to do, you'll see lots of good choices for accommodations. Just check the pages of Hoteles en Argentina, Hoteles en Buenos Aires, or Hoteles en Bariloche to find good lists of great places to stay at reasonable prices.

A trip to Argentina would make for an amazing holiday. Before you set out, make all your arrangements at the Explore Argentina website, and you'll be sure to find the best information available to help you plan the ideal trip.



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Monday, March 15, 2010

More Fun Stuff

My sister has still been busy posting some pictures and videos of her visit to Singapore last month. Check these out:

Dragon Dance Video — we were lucky to catch a dragon dance on the street just around the corner from where my family stayed when they were in Singapore; very fun!

River Ang Pow — the second time I've been to the River Ang Pow during Chinese New Year, and again... lots of fun!







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Friday, March 12, 2010

A Quick Recap

It's nice when someone else does the work posting pictures of what I've been up to the past month or so. Here's from my sister's blog:

Chinese New Year


A little cycling


A lot of driving


She didn't follow me back to Shanghai to keep you updated on what I'm doing here, but I did post a little something over at Tai Shan about what I've been doing since I got back.






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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Using the Kindle Reader Overseas

I got a Kindle ebook reader for Christmas. I've been eyeing it for years, but was waiting for it to become available overseas. When it finally did this past year, my mom got me one for Christmas.

It is the perfect device for a bibliophile who travels a lot. It is compact, holds tons of books, and is easy on the eyes. I also use it for working with files. I just marked a student's master's thesis while reading it on the Kindle. Had I read the paper on the computer screen, the 62 pages would have really worn me out, and left me in no mood for further reading for a little while. But with the Kindle, it was like reading it on paper, and as soon as I finished keying in the notes for the student, I went right on to reading my novel.

I have downloaded some great material for the Kindle as well, most of it free, though I did pay for a few books. I've got roughly 400 titles in it now. I bought a copy of the Lonely Planet guide to China, which I always like to have a copy of, and will find especially useful when I take guests to Beijing and Xi'an in May. The Kindle weighs less and takes up less space than the paper version of the book, and can carry all the other 300+ titles I've got loaded in it as well. I think it is the perfect way to travel. I've made plenty of trips in the past while carrying lots of books, and it can be very tiring. I hope this makes that easier.

I know that there are a lot of people who are not quite sold on the ebook readers that are out these days, and I understand the objections, but I do have to say... it's a nice fit for my lifestyle!

There's only one drawback I've found so far. The $1.99 download fee per book if you use the Whispernet network while overseas seems excessive to me. I believe that if they lower that fee, the device is going to become even more popular with users overseas.




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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Travel Memories

I just pulled out a video from 2005, when I traveled with my godchildren, their parents, grandmother, and my godsister to New Zealand. It was a good reminder of what a great trip that was. We really had fun.

One of the nicest spots was the Otago Peninsula, just outside of Dunedin. The place itself was absolutely beautiful, and the sea creatures who make their homes in the area were fun to watch. We were within two meters of a penguin when another swam in from the sea and walked up to where we stood and on to its nest just up the hill from us. It was an impressive sight that I will probably never get to see again. I was utterly amazed by the wildlife we got to see so close-up.

I don't think I have any desire to live in New Zealand, but if I did, for some reason, have to make my home in Dunedin, I could probably stand it. Either way, the memories of the day spent at Otago Peninsula are some of my best travel memories ever.




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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is rough, though it isn't serious, provided the patient avoids dehydration. In tropical regions, that is always the trick, as the direct sun can get you zapped, even without the addition of diarrhea and vomiting. Also, the hot, muggy weather in such places means that food can spoil more easily than it would elsewhere.

So, what to do when food poisoning strikes?

• fluids, fluids, fluids — isotonic drinks are great
• avoid all dairy products
• BRAT — bananas, rice, apples, toast (a water rice porridge is preferred here in Singapore)
• rest, and stay out of the sun, if possible
• don't wander too far from the toilet — you'll need it more often than you like!
• if you can't get the vomiting and diarrhea under control, see a doctor sooner rather than later


Even when you eat at places that are usually clean, you can still run across food poisoning. It seems to be most frequently encountered in seafood meals, but certainly not exclusively so. In fact, the doctor recently told me that it can even pass from person to person — information I'd not heard before. He warned that it is very important to clean all surfaces with disinfectant when anyone in the house has food poisoning, because it can pass to the rest of the household.

I hope you don't ever get struck with it, but if you do, don't panic. It's not serious, as long as you keep yourself hydrated. It is, however, decidedly uncomfortable.





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