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Archive for January, 2010

TAIPEI MORNING

This is Sunday.
And it is beautiful out there.
Clear sky and cool breeze make it perfect.
But actually it was a disaster in my hotel area.

Power was out at 5:40 am.
The emergency light was not working in the room.
Luckily hall way was and most stair way too.
But there were 2 floors without emergency light.

And there was no marking for floors.
A girl got hysterical.
She was banging anything in sight.
It was wild and senseless.

I had my pocket flashlight handy.
Yes, hotel is not providing one.
Finally we reached the ground floor.
But I bang my head on the doorway.

Not hurting but obviously the low ceiling was illegal.
People came down in pajamas.
All were angry and frustrated.
But few sights got my attention.

A middle age lady and much younger man rushed out.
I had the first-hand look at the “little wolf dog”.
They are inspiration for sex craving ladies.
The couple ran out in a hurry.

OK, seriously, by 6:35 am, police, electric company and insurance guy showed up.
Police directed the traffic.
Insurance guy watched all going on.
But electricity guy did nothing.

Power box blew up.
That blacked out huge area.
But door to the basement power room was locked.
Police claimed no authority and had to wait for area civil administer.

There was no emergency contact number anywhere.
Time went by, and all were watching each other.
Finally they decided to break the lock.
That was 7:35 am.

Sky was then from dark to clear in bright day light.
All things back to normal.
The hotel desk guy was the one under all kind pressure.
And the assistant manager was running around to get all things back to normal.

Staffs hided on each floor did nothing.
Naked truth of human dark side was in front of me.
This city is full of self centered people.
None is capable to think for others even for a second.

OBSERVATION TAIPEI 2010

World Economic Forum is heating up in Europe.
And world is watching what Obama will say in his State of Union.
China is fully on guard to both.

Leaders attending WEF will all respond on direction of future.
US are limping and broke by USA Today.
China without doubt is the center and focus to all issues.

Avatar is the top in “all time” box office.
But the round in China is just warming up with sold out in next 6 weeks..
Regular theater ticket price of $160 was at $300 and rumors at $600.

Politics is in play to allow Confucius the movie to get on.
But the “Chinese Element” in Avatar is impacting China.
There will be new meaning in box office.

Australia Open has 2 Chinese woman players in the Final Four.
And it comes sooner than expected.
Many start wondering on power against subtle play in sport.

Mob is deep into high school in Taiwan.
Top recruit can “earn” NT $500,000 a month.
Celebrity’s kid is targeted front and center in the news.

Taipei International Book Fair is on with France the theme.
Million books are in display with 58 countries participating.
Digital is the one catching all eyes

India just celebrated Republic Day.
And Sri Lanka voted the Presidency.
Both are not in the print here.

Chinese New Year will be on Feb.14.
All companies are feasting with show and prizes.
Broadway show gets all attention.

Valentine Day faces stiff competition.
Traditional Lunar festival has the upper hand.
Only “creative break through” will make a difference here.        

DAVOS

Bankers lash out over-regulation at DAVOS forum.
They really are helping themselves in term of public concern.
The question is.
Are they really too big to fail?
That self righteous and blind confidence after such world crisis is scaring.
Obama will get more support in regulating them.

DEFICIT

US are showing the world.
They will be in deficit at US $1.35 billion in 2010.
No wonder the federal debt held by public may reach US $15 billion in decade.
Can that be a step close to bankruptcy?

GOOGLE CHINA

American by far had made the best example of importance of market share.
This is why and how they have been the best in the world.
Google made the threat of leaving China.
They after all did go in with full understanding of what they got into.
Now they are complaining of being hacked.
Isn’t all business and government doing just that in practice in real life to each other?
This crying baby maneuver is back-firing.
GOOJJE is in place.
Google forgot the copycat capability in China.
Now they really are in trouble.

Another move in the news is worth noticing.
Chinese leader is focus on energy.
The newly formed committee will aim at influence on international pricing.
They are in power position to act “my way or no way”.
Watch out Harper.

China is already replacing US in Japan as their top exporting country.
DAVOS is at war with governments regulating and banks fighting back.
China will be seating pretty watching at side.

Arctic energy resource fight is gathering momentum.
Global Warming is clearly in all minds.
The siding of China will be vital. 

BRIEF GLIMPSE BEIJING 2010

Bone-chill cold in Beijing limited my mobility and mentality.
The long flight and my big body in small seat didn’t help.
In fact it hurt.
I need to lose weight if traveling long distance often.

That of course made arriving to walk the distance a suffering.
I couldn’t appreciate things around me then.
But at leaving, the grand of the airport was finally and fully registered.
I can see the pride of the Beijing Olympic moment now.

My brief stay focused only the full day in forum.
Arriving night was nothing but eating and drinking.
Dishes were plenty, an over-kill.
That Peking duck was the best if comparing to rest days.

But I had only two bites but heavy drinking in local courtesy.
That duck would be a great “take home” if in Van.
The drinking was too much.
But in good manner I couldn’t say no.

The local “white wine” was great.
I near lost my footing when back to hotel.
Age is catching up.
But that did help for me falling to sleep right away.

The hurt and suffering at “real” and back from flight felt no more.
But, the next day, reality was back.
I barely made to breakfast at 9 am.
Then I needed the rest morning to recover.

But luckily I was spared all activities for the day.
That allowed me to catch up with a younger friend working there.
He is doing really well in China at 47.
Salary says it all.

Clear after tax at US $10,000 a month makes him a king there.
After all, university graduate there gets only $3,000 local dollars at best.
That is less than US $500.
The difference is the ability and experience of being creative.

This group started with only 7 people.
But now they are 1,400.
As VP, he is directly over 340 people.
I learned all that in 5 hours.

I learned first hand the power of auto industry in China.
13 millions are a lot of cars annually.
That is making China king of the industry.
And the group is the best on internet.

The rest, as second day in Beijing, was unpacking and cleaning body.
Yes, I exercised too.
The whole process lasted to 5 am the next morning.
Rested to 6 am, I was up and ready for the forum.

Marriot is a 5 stars hotel.
But the management appeared to be weak.
Yet the business was good.
Place was packed like a market at 7:45 am.

Big wedding was in progress with long line of Benz.
The prosperity of the city was amazing.
8:15 am you can see and hear city’s leisure in display.
After all it was Saturday.

Our forum was all energy and excitement.
I made the closing remark at 5 pm.
They were in full attention and excitedly asking questions.
The following dinner ended with more bottoms up to me.

I managed better control.
And I turned down all following up activities.
Next morning, staffs came.
They took me to a local landmark restaurant for lunch.

I finally got great eat.
But the Peking duck is no match to the first night.
Yet this eating place is the best.
Over all, they do have the best Beijing styled dishes.

Again lot of hard drinking was in order.
We all were under the influence of hang-over from night before
But that is the ritual and life style of this booming city.
And I could see all eating places packed.

Reservation only was the case.
The whole buying and spending was like Xmas all the time.
The confidence and willingness to spend impressed me.
Economy is great there.

Arriving night I did see the beauty of Bird Nest and Cube.
In the dark, the color and beauty was total.
8:25 pm departure I finally have a chance to appreciate the airport.
It is truly age of Asia and China power.

China is in position to be strong.
But gentle at heart will make them great.
Confucius had spoke of “Great Society” in old China.
Now it is time for China to make that dream true.

OPPORTUNITY AND DANGER IN TAIPEI

Arriving Taipei was after middle night.
The airport is not “broken up” like last time.
The flight was full to benefit me getting up grade.

I appreciate the beauty of Beijing airport VIP lunge.
That allowed me to eat in style with view.
And the tour group from Beijing to Taipei impressed me.

Business and curiosity power over the politics.
I dare say.
90 millions will visit Taipei.

Sadly Taipei is not ready.
Not enough flight is one.
Hotel room is another.

It is obvious Taipei side’s confidence weak.
And many think only investing in big China market not other way around.
But that is the opportunity for the ones seeing it.

Both sides are weak in “details”.
But Taipei did have head start.
It is all competing with time now.

Hotel car picked me up.
It is a new one.
That reflects about hotel’s business.

But being positive and confident is missing here.
That unsettled feeling is obvious.
It is such contrast from Beijing.

Hotel front desk staffs and people in the street next day reinforced the feeling.
My full day activities allowed me to observe first hand.
There was no real smile to see all day.

I went to temple to pay respect to my departed Dad and Mom.
Next I went to government health department.
Finally I went to city hall.

That was the whole afternoon plus part of night.
Maybe it was the weather or H1N1 fear.
People all looked concerned.

Conversations were not cheerful.
There was no passion.
Mood and spirit were on the down side.

I was too tired.
Rest was all I need not dinner.
Unpacking was done much later.

Breakfast next morning surprised me.
Guests from China were in loud reflecting confidence.
Oversea Chinese in English conversation stood out.

Conversation was about last.
A TV show was about drug scene in pub.
Pushers are 14 to 20 with sex activities.

Old friend came to pick me up to lunch.
He is related to high place.
They are at best seeing things no more than 3 months.

I am blessed to learn more inside stories from him.
Too many things are not what appearing to be.
Vision and big heart are badly needed.  

INTERNATIONAL LEISURE INDUSTRY ANNUAL FORUM 2010

This is the reason I am in Beijing.
And the organization is growing.
Energy from participants was busting.

The leisure impact in China is real.
So many city Majors were here in person to promote.
Real estate groups are major force this year.

They are talking about $20 billion dollars investment.
But what strikes me the most is how young those Mayors are.
Central government officers are surprisingly realistic and practical.

They are professional in acting never bragging.
But it is obvious on their working too hard and losing passion.
One can not help but to remind them the on hand chance of a life time.

Foreign influence is no longer an issue.
That was in display with confidence.
Now they have to assure us the real understanding of the good and bad of Western.

Maybe this is where my kind helpful.
True living in two worlds is the advantage.
We can assist them to appreciate the good and avoid the bad.

Beijing still is a one dimension city.
That is 9 to 5 life style to all.
School and office people jam the street at same time.

Three shifts system is a solution.
That means only 1/3 people on the street at any one time.
It will work.

And it is perfect for a new leisure city in life style.
It will be an open city in 24 hours and year round.
Such government offices will benefit all citizens.

This is the advantage in relatively weak labor force in China.
Yes, it is ironic for the country built on labor power and support.
But it does allow the enforcement of policy easier.

Mayors promoted their cities in person.
They all used the same slow and long dragging presentation.
Yet they are young and well educated.

The depth in history and culture was obvious.
But they need new age presentation.
Disney’s America Beautiful can be a better suggestion.

Avatar’s visual magic is the hottest maybe the best example.
Beijing will be in gateway role.
That is where all to look in and looking out.

It is time for leisure China to learn from Olympic, Disney and Hollywood.
China ought to have its own as land mark in due time.
To think and think hard is a start.

And future best professions in next 20 years were suggested.
Industry can get a head start to prepare such future.
Local academic has a major role to play.

Mall event is a great vehicle for leisure industry.
Beijing is full of new malls.      
It is up to the industry “how best” to use them all.

Major rail infrastructures are booming in China.
And government policy is focusing in up grading village to modern community town.
The software in leisure is vital at this planning stage.

BEIJING 2010/1/21

I didn’t come to see the Beijing Olympics.
Even I really had wanted.
This turns out to be a make up trip.
And I have high expectation.

Yesterday at Van Airport was a disappointment.
The security could be more human with civilized warmth.
Beijing Airport had that before their Olympics.
That was friendliness with a smiling face.

Most passengers are not in airport daily.
Kind and helpful will make long last good impression.
That is civil and decent.
And it is the best to represent a country.

Big size suffers in air travel.
It is like in straight jacket for long hours.
The pain is real and bad.
To lose weight is the only resolution in mind.

It was an “80% full” flight.
Near all were Chinese and seemingly well off financially.
But public manner is not matching up.
Certain civil grace in education will be in order.

Flight door seats usually are for the young and strong.
The young lady in such seat didn’t fit the bill.
Conventional wisdom would say special relation.
It reflects on airline principle and practice in respect.

Air China still provides no magazines and international news papers.
To represent a powerful and confident country, they can do better.
Respectable international airline ought to have such service.
On flight movies are there for the sake of having them not really to serve.

Other airline did impress me in my Shanghai trip.
It is the young service people with maturity.
To compare and to compete is the start of improvement.
Let’s wish them all the best.

Food is good but vague in name.
Pork really is meatball.
And seafood is shrimp.
This culture presentation needs lot work.

Beer in room temperature is not cool.
Adding ice is bad for flavor.
Red wine in paper cup is poor quality.
Even public didn’t care but pride a must.

The floor at the back of plane exit door was burning hot on the foot.
Mine was in thick sock still felt the heat.
Baby’s feet will get hurt if running there.
But stewards were indifferent when told so.

The immigration line up favors locals.
Foreigners have fewer gates and waited long.
Too many different nationals not truthful complicated the scene.
But big and powerful China can afford to be graceful and generous to all.

I was offended by this hard working immigration officer.
She was doing her job.
But she insulted me by demanding writing down my Chinese name.
And she “classified” me a Chinese Canadian.

This quiet yet powerful mentality will hurt China.
A real strong country can afford to be gentle.
It is the best for other to be willing on its own.
Free spirit will not take it period.

After picking up luggage, system changes to spot checking.
That shows confidence and saves people time.
But the airport is too big.
Both inside and outside are long in walking.

Lot rich ones were on the flight.
Those Chinese with bought Canada citizenship are worth in few hundred millions.
How to spend in comfort is all in their minds.
To give back is not in their system.

The biggest shock came from airport money exchange.
My Can $100 got only $558.
And my receipt printed $608.
Now in hotel, the exchange is $649.

This is like highway robbery.
And airport “official area” demands fairness and honesty.
Now it is not and no one seems to care.
Something is terribly wrong.

HAITI, A WARNING TO VANOC

Vancouver Sun’s columnist Craig is right.
Haiti is crippled by human failure in government long before the earthquake struck.
CNN clearly displayed the fact.
Law and order is the first priority before anything else.
And VANOC has to remember we are in quake zone too.

CNN compares Haiti to SF earthquake’s deaths at 60 some in the 80th.
Today’s Van Sun finally declares Haiti death at 200,000 and climbing.
This is from previous 50,000, 100,000 to 500,000.
Vancouver is in no way comparable to SF since I was there from 1963 to 1978.
I was bombarded by constant TV reminder of quake re-acting brain wash.

The joke is.
I became so good.
When back to Taiwan after married and had kid, there was quake.
My wife told everyone my getting to street from our 3rd floor apartment in seconds.
In comparison, in the beauty of “slowness of Canada”, 99% people here are not.

VANOC has to deal with terrorists too.
In the news, airport alerted to new threat.
Our Federal government is warning us of how terrorist will go to US through Canada.  
US are warning citizens on terrorist threat in our Winter Olympics.
With Obama coming, logically all terrorists will zero in.

We have no clear emergency earthquake procedure to the public.
For the first 72 hours, government told us to be on our own.
That makes a calm and workable message and practice must in place right now.
There is no “if” only preparing for the worst.
Government HAS TO BE RESPONSIBLE no matter on what level.

And dealing with terrorist, total residences’ involvement is the only way.
It is not a “big brother” situation.
We the people will do the watching to protect our interest.
Neighbors know who is who will get the job done.
It is all living in Great Van and Canada.

Vancouver through the experience will be a true global city.
People will know each other all over again.
Neighborhood with care and passion will win.
That can be done in 24 hours if we “just do it”.
All visitors will see that unity first hand here.

Call me a dreamer if you want.
But I do think it is the only way to work.
Paid security force will turn off people’s passion and warmth.
They will be best at back up.
Let’s eagerly be this all communities peace watchdog.