Mar 28 2016

A trip of a life time

My first ever journey with my dad, coincide with his 85th birthday. Given the fact that we had only lived under the same roof in less than four months in my entire life so far, calling this the trip of the century is pretty appropriate. To reconnect with him and his relatives.

Cathay Pacific took us to Hong Kong first where he could renew his Re-Entry Permit 回港证; we also did a quick trip to Shenzhen. Our second leg was Taipei to tree bury his mom. His birthday was celebrated in Shanghai. I went to Anhui to visited two maternal ancestors. We met up in Shanghai and went to JiNan, visiting his grandpa’s tomb. The last leg was Beijing, included a day excursion to Tianjin. This is the most enriching trip for my genealogy!

I take JetBlue to San Francisco to pick him up.

  • Cloth 衣: Hong Kong street
  • Food 食: Western table wine is, still expensive. Hosts are still over ordering.
  • Shelter 住:  EatonTaipei City HotelYaocheng HotelAnhui Hotel and Yuquan hotel, the worst.
  • Transportation 行: Drivers don’t seem to have common courtesy to others and their favored rendezvous spot. In Beijing, there are xianxing 限行 restrictions on cars: on certain day of the week, certain last digit of the license plate can’t drive.  According to 911, for example, for the month of March 2016, on Tuesdays, the license plates ending with 4 and 9 can’t drive from 7am-8pm within 5 rings. Even with this restriction, there is always traffic jams.

Some odds and endsChinglish in China and color of money. The trip is complete with a Taobao experience – the cups.


  1. 2.28 Sun, SF: JetBlueTrader Joe’sLake Merritt
  2. 2.29 Mon, Wellington St, Dimond park & Sausal CreekCX879
  3. 3.01 Tue, HK: the bridgeEaton
  4. 3.02 Wed, 延期 回港证; stores on Nathandine at Chateh; Taichi @ hotel
  5. 3.03 Thur, Shenzhen, lunch & shop, Jennie
  6. 3.04 Fri, TPE, a bank adTaipei City Hotel, gov 户政事務所, passport, evening mktfruits
  7. 3.05 Sat, temple 湧泉寺, NPM 故宫, Tamsui 淡水, MRT Shuangliana light tunnel
  8. 3.06 Sun, 101, DTF, Zhongshan; temple parade
  9. 3.07 Mon, tree burial; flight canceled
  10. 3.08 Tue Shanghai, 85th bday, lunch & dinner/wine
  11. 3.09, visit a factory
  12. 3.10, Thur, badminton; lunch & 浦之舟, Peace Hotel
  13. 3.11, Fri, dinner @ Lujiazui
  14. 3.12 Sat, my 1st trip to Dongzhi county
  15. 3.13 Sunday, visit my ancestors
  16. 3.14 Mon, Hefei, Lujiang, memorial parkAnhui Hotel/dinner
  17. 3.15 Tue, Jinan, Hefei stationYuquan hotel 玉泉 & dinner
  18. 3.16, g grandpa; 南水北调 village, lunch; Uncle’sDavid Beckham; JFL 聚福林
  19. 3.17, Thur, garden 万竹园 and to BJ
  20. 3.18, Fri, Great Wall; 2 media codinner
  21. 3.19, Sat, East, Xihe 羲和雅苑, Maan coffee
  22. 3.20, Sun, Bird’s Nest 鸟巢/Water Cube, Dadong w/ Zhangs
  23. 3.21, Mon, Tianjin & 河北工业大学
  24. 3.22, Tue, Fayuan Si 法源寺; Niuji 牛街; Kaorou Wan 烤肉宛
  25. 3.23, Wed, Juqi 局气, demo derbysuitcase & the last supper in 中关村
  26. 3.24, Thur, wine; elevator buttons; going home

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Mar 28 2016

The cloud

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Mar 26 2016

Western liquor in China, 2016

During my 2016 trip, western table wine is still an exotic thing. Sure, the wine lists are long at decent restaurants. But over all, the general consumption isn’t there and the customers are uneducated. These two French wines are also from China, this one and this one.

  • 2019, is getting better!

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This Cabernet Sauvignon, the right one (2014) is purchased in Shanghai for RMB ¥168 (about USD $25.79) and left (2013) is from New York US$8.99.

Ballantine’s (since 1827) Scotch whisky (on wiki) seems to be a popular brand in China, even China isn’t listed on their web site‘s pull down menu.

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The Furuisi 福瑞斯 XO Brandy from Yantai is a lousy product. The seal is wet, the cork is broken as I was trying to open. It smells sugary/syrupy. I use it for cooking.

Mar 25 2016

Neue Galerie New York

Ronald Lauder’s New Gallery on 5th Avenue and 86th Street, on the Museum Mile, where his Woman in Gold by Gustav Klimt is displaying.


Mar 25 2016

New Leaf cafe

Fort Tryon Park – Cloister

A cute litter restaurant tucked away at Fort Tryon Park, near Cloister. Food and service are fine. Low key and straightforward. It’s their location makes them desirable. They’ve live Jazz on Fridays.

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Mar 24 2016

Saint-Leger Merlot Pays d’Oc Enclos Tonelle Doré

There isn’t any info on this wine. I wonder if this is a crappy wine that markets only to China, to the rather an uneducated customers. Let’s start from the labels 让我们从标签开始. The French:


  • Enclos Tonelle Doré – name of the vineyard?
  • 2010 (the red seal has 2012/06/28)
  • Pays D’Oc: country wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon area in Mediterranean France
  • Indication Géographique Protégée: Protected Geographical Indication 受保护的地理标志
  • Merlot
  • Mis en bouleille pour Frait D’union par les Celliers Saint Léger a 33540 Gironde – France

image中文标签 The Chinese

  • 图尔 珍藏干红
  • 产区: 道克
  • 葡萄种类: 美乐
  • 灌装日期: 2012年 6月 28日
  • 制造商: Trait D’union SAS France – no info
  • 中国总代理: 北京艾维浓贸易有限公司. 北京朝阳区望京西路48号3号楼606室 010-84780269
  • 由法国装瓶  原瓶进口

To the left of Chinese label, there is a little emblem Avignon, which is a commune in south-eastern France (wiki). This region is on the Rhône river, produces numerous wines, except Merlot.

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French wine grades – taxonomy:

  1. AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée)
  2. AOVDQS (Appellation d’Origine Vin De Qualité Supérieure)
  3. Vin de pays: country wine – There are six regional Vins de Pays:
    1. Vin de Pays d’Oc: the largest, from the Languedoc-Roussillon area in Mediterranean France.
    2. Vin de Pays de la Loire: a designation that applies to wines from the whole Loire Valley.
    3. Vin de Pays du Comté Tolosan (south-west),
    4. Vin de Pays de Méditerranée (south-east, Provence and Corsica)
    5. Vin de Pays des Comtés Rhodaniens (Rhone valley)
    6. ..
  4. Vin de table:  the table wine

So, after studying the labels, I got to nowhere. I think the most telling part is, Avignon doesn’t cultivate Merlot. During this 2016 trip, the table wine in China is still rather raw and expensive.

PS: tried, it tastes like garbage’s garbage.

Mar 23 2016

Zhongguancun 中关村

The area I once knew so well.

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Mar 23 2016

The last supper

I’ve my last supper with the Zhous at Yanmingyuan 宴铭园 in Zhongguancun, by Qinghua University in Beijing. Over all, people tend to order more food than necessary. There are always leftover food, at every meal.

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Mar 23 2016

Juqi 局气

14 Banbuqiao St, Xicheng, Beijing, China
西城区 半步桥

Juqi 局气, in Beijing slang means fair, just  公平, 公正, 守规矩.

From what I’ve heard and read, there’s a long long line to get a table. But when we showed up at its main shop – the original one, on Wednesday at 1pm, we got a table right away, in the main dinning hall. (TA)

The decor is all about old Beijing, or Peking, or Beiping. The service is good. The dishes are very decent, nicely presented and tasty. The three of us ordered ¥146 (about US$22) worth of food and we left with a huge dogie bag. The chopstick pack is stuffed with a few extras: aside from the chopsticks, it’s toothpick and chewing gum too. However, each pack costs ¥2. It seems ridiculous to me that a restaurant charges a fee on tableware.

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All the dishes have fancy names in Chinese and descriptive in English. There is a break between lunch and dinner.




Mar 23 2016


Who sleeps my bro this was seen in ZGC. Do they mean Who sleeps above my bro or Who sleeps with my bro? Why does a Chinese movie feel the need to have an English title?


No parking around this temple but ..

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