Jun 30 2016

Exited EU messed up their hotel operations too?

I input July 14-17, 3 nights, 3/room at St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, and got this quote (@ 5:38 pm)

Junior Suite, Club lounge access, Suite, 1 King, Chambers Wing
The rate for this room changes on 07/15/16 to 370 (GBP) per night 499

An agent is dangling on the screen for a live chat, so I connected to make sure all taxes are included, and the last two nights cost £370.  The agent wrote: yes, the price will include taxes. However, an extra £50 for the child and

Thusday night will be 499, Friday will be 370, and Saturday night will be 389, for a total of 1,258 GBP.

I’m not please: the rate is for 3 a room – it didn’t ask the age of the third person, why now charge £50 for the child? Also, the site indicates July 15 and 16 is £370 – Ok, I’ll give them if it means only the night of 15 to 16, not July 15 and 16.  The agent told me to click blue Select to see the rate detail, did I know, no room for this rate is actual unavailable (at 5:44 pm).  I went back to refresh the price quote and I’m still getting the same rate (@ 5:48 pm). Unbelievable. WTH … exit EU messed up their hotel operation too?

为了准确, 俺和他们酒店网聊 才知道他们好烂: 税是包括 但是第三人需要加 £50/夜 (我明明点的三个人喔!!!!!) 第三夜是 £389. 更可恶的是: 这个价钱根本就没有房 – 这不是涮人吗? 浪费俺的时间 脱欧脱的酒店都糊涂了??

Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:32:46 PM): You have been connected to Matt P. How may I help you?
Me (6/30/2016, 5:33:20 PM): i need room for 3 – parents and 16 years old child, July 14-17
Me (6/30/2016, 5:34:06 PM): Junior Suite, Club lounge access, Suite, 1 King, Chambers Wing
The rate for this room changes on 07/15/16 to 370 (GBP) per night 499 – is all taxes included?
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:34:17 PM): I’d be more than happy to assist you with this. To confirm, you’re looking to stay at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, correct?
Me (6/30/2016, 5:34:28 PM): yes
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:35:55 PM): Thank you. This rate will include all taxes, though there is a 50 GBP extra person charge. One moment please while I see if your child is exempt.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:36:04 PM): Thur is 499, and Fri and Sat is 370, is this correct?
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:37:13 PM): Thusday night will be 499, Friday will be 370, and Saturday night will be 389, for a total of 1,258 GBP.
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:38:09 PM): According to the hotel, the extra adult charge will apply, bringing your total to 1,408 GBP.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:38:40 PM): … but I did input 3/room, and getting the rate … why it is different?
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:40:15 PM): This hotel does charge an additional fee for every guest over 12 after the first two adults. This charge is 50 GBP per night, for a total of 150 GBP.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:41:00 PM): what about the 370 per night on July 15 and 16? It’s on your site
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:43:04 PM): I am showing that the rate does change on the night of the 16th to 389 GBP. For a full breakdown of the rates, charges, and fees, click the blue “Select” button next to the rate you’d like to book.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:44:48 PM): no room available
Me (6/30/2016, 5:45:43 PM): wondering how and why am I even got a room with prices??
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:46:49 PM): It does appear that this room has sold out for these dates.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:47:28 PM): No, I just refreshed the page and is still showing as available
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:48:36 PM): If this room is still showing as available on your end, I would recommend booking it quickly as it is most likely the last one available.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:49:26 PM): Ok: the situation is, is shows available but when I click Select, your site shows NOT available. What’s going on????
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:50:48 PM): I would recommend clicking the grey “Find” button as opposed to refreshing the page to force the site to re-check it’s inventory.

Aug 19 2014

Pont Neuf, Paris

How many times have you crossed this bridge in Paris?



Pont Neuf, Paris, oil on canvas, 1872 by Auguste Renoir at National Gallery of Art in DC.


Aug 17 2014

Mike’s Bar & Crab House

3030 Riva Rd
Riva, MD 21140
(410) 956-2784


3:30pm on a Sunday, I thought we don’t need a reservation. We knew we were wrong the moment we were approaching the parking lot that’s filled to the brim.


Would you wait for 90 minutes?  The tables on the deck are used for the waiting crowds. We instead went to a Cajun restaurant Acadiana near our hotel in DC.

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Jul 19 2014


Getting the visa: paying more to a service/ticket agency for more but I ended up with a two year visa, the first time ever.

The building boom is still going strong, all the cities we visited, they were dusty and the sameness is evident. Sad. Many tourist attractions have decent bathrooms but no tissue! How much would bathroom tissue cost, in comparison to the structures?

The online purchasing is thriving but where the FedEx and UPS is in USA, it’s the little three wheelers in China; the bathroom guy. Brought two yogurt machine home but the yeast or fermentation agent is hard to find in USA IMG_8140



Jul 13 2014


The aerial view of FFM – Frankfurt am Main. The Lufthansa imprints. More pix on piwigo

My long trip starts from Frankfurt. Do I still feel the same way when I hear German? The language synonymous of power, competence, strength and, most importantly, prosperity?

The country is still breathtakingly beautiful and romantic, the quality that pulled me in in the first place. However, what’s wrong with Germany? Have their southern cousins Greeks, Italians and Spaniards dragged them down? How long can it sustain the rest of EU? The alliance eliminated the possibility of war, as some Germans think but seriously I don’t see any wars between or among them any time soon, prior the formation of EU. Trade war yes.

My gut feeling is Germany is at its wits end. It’s no energy nor mean to lift the sinking boat (of southern neighbors).

The security point (at the transfer from the flight LH 721 fm BJ to LH404 to NY) was rude. It’s an empty area, I was surprised to even find a check point. The women were just simply rude. One of the men harassed me with my two bags of sesame, asking if he could test it. As it happened, I have two separate identical containers in two separate bags. He tested one. To me, untrained in the national security, it looks like harassment to me. The public sector is faltering. The private side seems ok, although most businesses away from Frankfurt accept cash only.

我一直喜欢德国尤其法兰克福。但是昨天那一刻我真想告诉那不礼貌的女人,你小破国一个. … 直觉强盛一时的德国,不知道还能支撑南方的邻居多久?

The varied classes of Lufthansa. Renate came to pick me up at FRA. The escalator at the Frankfurt airport didn’t work and the trains were messed up between platforms. Renate was mad and cursed out loud! You go girl! We ended up taking taxi home. The escalator failed to work again when I returned to FRA from Beijing on the A380. Carrying the carry on climb the steps is not fun. Mechanical failures in Germany, seemingly odd given their reputation.

Went for a walk on Leipziger Str and dinner at Falkstr 45. Meeting their friends at dinner: Paul who knew Yue Xu (she married a French, last he knew). They all knew about the song the East is Red 东方红.

Breakfast at Falk Hotel on Saturday, 5/24; bike washer and walked around the neighborhood. I walked the Bockenheimer Str to town, passing by the Alte Oper. Getting wifi in the Apple storeFood fair n cost of pears, by the water. Falungong 法轮功; downtown, Roemer

IMG_4721More than 140 friends from over 35 countries – Yes, I’m the only one from the USA – come to celebrate Renate’s birthday and anniversary, includes the Maliks

Thank you for having me !!! It’s a blast !!! Our little after party ..

We went to Kassel, an of course stopped by the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, climbed up the Herkules Monument on Sunday, passing by Fritzlar on 5/25

The following morning, I went for a walk around the neighborhood. After the breakfast we did Fulda trail walk, which was a great pleasure. Less people use dryer outside of the USA (and the German engineering – toilets), which is the right thing to do – making our earth a better place to live. The Sunday newspaper on Wilhelmshöhe. We left Kassel heading to Hann Munden. First visited the point where Werra meets Fulda at Hann Munden: the covered bridge; the church; the town’s buildings; B&B and more.

Caught a concert at the Alte Opra, the old opera house.  Renate’s flowers, orchids. Visiting Elisabeth (1924-2011), the last day in Frankfurt.


Jun 27 2014

Germany, Paris, China

IMG_2975On Lufthansa, NY-FRA-BJ-NY $1,722.70

Jun 25 2014

Going home

在外招摇撞骗 蹭饭一个多月,激起民愤是溜之大吉的时候了. 非常感激亲朋戚友的热情招待 令我 好吃好住好玩好开心. 35年 弹指一挥间,有缘再见到好多童鞋,激动不已。友情万岁 微信万岁

谢谢难忘的一晚 友情美酒佳肴,人生顶峰,谢谢。纽约见?

Three pathways to the aircraft, to the same one that just landed (from Frankfurt that’s lands at 8:10am). We pulled out of gate at 10:25am. Waited for 30 minutes than take back to the gate, to repair a bathroom heater. Left the gate at 12:04pm. Finally take off at 12:20pm – scheduled at 10:30am. There is an annoying noise to the right side – 57K, window seat. Not full. We land at Frankfurt at 3:40pm – scheduled at 2:45pm. The Airbus 300 is pretty comfortable.

The 747 Frankfurt to New York route is decidedly shabbier and full. At 7:45pm – scheduled at 19:50 or 7:50pm, we land at JFK. The trend, I see regularly is the flight always arrives early. Don’t know if the airlines purposely extend the flying hour to hide the delays. Wait for a gate for more than 45 min. And another hour for our luggage.

Something needs to improve.

The airlines can hide delays .. but how can they deal with those delays?

Jun 25 2014

Aerial view of Frankfurt

July 24, from Beijing to Frankfurt, with 晶晶’s cell phone – my battery had died.
IMG_3203 IMG_3204 IMG_3231 IMG_3232 IMG_3233 IMG_3200 IMG_3201 IMG_3202

Jun 25 2014

The Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe

In Kassel Germany. Front page news on their local newspaper that weekend. A few pix on FB.

How did they get the water up the Herkules Monument back then?

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May 29 2014

The orchids

Renate’s flowers. Her advice is, put them under the sunlight. Plenty sunshine is good.
Oh well.

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