Mar 20 2017

Trains

Public transit in Los Angeles. The Union Station.

    


Mar 15 2017

JetBlue at JFK


JFK terminal 5

After the security 🚨 check point, is the center of the terminal #5 which is the food court with seating and wide steps, where people sit to read, eat or listening to their mobile devices. It feels welcoming and relaxing. A few wine bars and cafes make people wanting to enjoy a drink or two.

 


Mar 15 2017

Volkswagen @ Santa Monica


2440 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
volkswagensantamonica.com
(424) 322-2756

Many thanks to Kenny, who picked us up from the airport and provided us with many local knowledge for relocation. He made the transaction so smooth. Really liked his manner and straightforwardness. I appreciate a honest salesman.

The dealership is well run – we only made a few phone inquires. During one call, when the lady on the phone heard that we’re coming from the airport she immediately offered the pick up – that’s a thoughtful service. I’ve a few car buying experience in the past and many bordering on indecent practices (at least in my limited worldly view).

This is my first leasing experience and wasn’t too crazy about the little pressure from the woman who did the paper work: she tried to sell us every thing! Lease protection that cost $355 a month on a 36 month period. It cost twice as much than the leasing amount. Hello!!!! Gosh, how does this business model work?? She kept on telling stories about VW sending bills for the smallest damages at termination time. I’m thinking while she went on and on … does VW want repeat costumer or they just want to screw you?
57935


Oct 24 2016

Jiuzhou Port 九洲港

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599, Qing Lv Nan Lu,
珠海市情侣南路599号
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

It opened in 1986, with limited routes, to Hong Kong and Shenzhen. I walked by it the other day from the hotel in the morning. It looks untidy but walking toward south, it becomes scenic.

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Inside, the station is spacious and modern, given the geo location. ¥290 ticket to Hong Kong airport. Each passenger gets 20 kg check in luggage allowance. Each additional luggage cost ¥4 per kilogram. I end up paying ¥48 for two small luggage. The  is allowed in the waiting area after the immigration.

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There are shops, as well as real estate agents. 翠湖香山 Lakewood Hills is one of a few. The bored looking agent said, the apartment/villa costs ¥10,000,000+ 1千多万 on 260 sq meter area. ¥200,000 in real estate tax (once). For golf, 高尔夫 membership it’s ¥400,000 for life/终身; only paying cart and caddy each time plays 每次打 交车费 球童费.

Departing from the port, passing by the hotel, we sail on the south side of the bridge, and break away at 30 minutes mark.

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Oct 24 2016

A mean girl

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A little episode on the HKG-JFK leg. Soon after taking off, dinner is served. The seat of 31C is spreader out. When the staff asks her to uplift the back (of her seat) so Lady 32C can possibly consume her dinner. However, 31C made NO MOVE at all. The flight attendant Mikki begins to help 31C to push the seat back up. This is when hell breaks out: 31C complains, complains and complains, to a point Gentleman 33C got up and says to teary Mikki “you did the right thing.”

I’m appreciative and satisfy of the service Cathay Pacific has been maintaining over the years. evian water, good food. Bailey’s … plenty healthy snacks. Not sure what the heck 31C has to complain about. Btw, our captain is a girl!!!

Mikki comes by before breakfast – toward end of the flight, asks me to write a comment, which I gladly obliged. Unreasonable customer is unavoidable.

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Oct 19 2016

Hong Kong airport ferry to Macau or Zhuhai

Going to Macau from Hong Kong airport should have been easier but I made a mistake by exiting the airport (my brain isn’t functioning!) So I’ve to take a bus (HK$40) or a taxi to the ferry terminal in the city. The ferry to Macao is HK$164, an hour long ride. HK$204 is about US$36.

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On the way back from Zhuhai to HK airport, I enjoyed its convenience. The Jiuzhou Port looks small from outside but it’s pretty spacious and modern, in relative to its geo location. The 70 minutes ride is smooth and convenient. Airlines are on hand to check in, without going to the main hall and lining up with the crowd for security check. The ticket cost ¥290 but HK$120 airport tax would be refunded by the airline once I checked in, and to be collected a few steps away. At the moment, Zhuhai-HKG airport route only processes transit passengers – ticket agent checks passport and airline ticket before issuing a ferry ticket. ¥290 – HK$120 is about US$27.

 

 

There’s a couple of options for me to get to Zhuhai/Macau from Shanghai:

  1. By air
    When booking this leg of travel within my trip, NY-Pek and PVG-HKG-JFK  vs NY-Pek, HKG-JFK, the leg of Shanghai to Hong Kong cost only additional US$42, add on the ferry, would be around US$75. The actual flying is about two hours, which is pretty short and neat. But getting to the airport and going through security check takes additional three hours. Catching a ferry is another hour and the ferry ride is about an hour. Time wise, by air or by train takes about the same time: about 7 hours.
  2. By high speed train (map)
    Shanghai to Guangzhou is 7 hours and ¥793 plus Guangzhou to Zhuhai is an hour and ¥70 away; ¥863 is about US$130.

Because of the limited number of ferry departures from the HK airport, catching one is crucial. The advantage of the train route is you get straight seven hours of reading or writing time, uninterrupted, and the chance of delay is nearly zero. However I’ve to change @ Guangzhou. When all thing equal, I prefer train over air.

 

 

China travel: HKIA HK International Airport (HKG). It cost HK$254 (abt US$33) and travels about 70 minutes. Some info also on trip advisor forum.

  • Turbo Jet to Macau (has pictures, great for those who doesn’t read well)
    • depart HK: 11:00, 13:15, 17:00, 22:00
    • depart Macau: 07:15, 09:30, 11:30, 15:15, 19:45
  • Cotai Water Jet to Taipa, Macau
    • depart HK: 12:15, 14:15, 16:15, 19:00, 21:00
    • depart Macau: 07:15, 10:15, 11:55, 13:55, 15:55
  • Sky Pier, HK-Zhuhai
    • depart HK: 12:15, 14:15, 17:00, 20:10
    • depart ZH: 9:30, 12:40, 15:25, 18:35

 


Oct 13 2016

Xuzhou East station 徐州东

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Gulou District 鼓楼区
Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China

To the east of the city, 9 km from the Han Cultural Zone.

This is the smallest high speed train station I’ve seen so far: one gate to all train platforms.

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Once I got on the train, I felt a deep relief: I made all six train tripswithout missing a beat. Thanks lord. I’ve my train fill for the time being.


Oct 11 2016

Zhengzhou station East 郑州东

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Zhengzhou Dong, train station
Jinshui, Zhengzhou, China, 450046

Wiki has a page for it. It began to operation in Sept 2012, cost ¥4 billion to build.

Trains make Zhengzhou. The PA on the train announces. The cab drive says so too: all cargoes come to Zhengzhou then distribute to their destination. The new train station is only partially opened.

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No wonder the caboose was so empty from Zhengzhou to Xuzhou: they just opened this route on September 10, 2016. Bought a bottle of red wine

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They charge you ¥5 to pick up tickets that’s not start from that station. It seems to me, either the system is inadequate or they’re milking.

This young couple get on the train. The boy said, pointing to the business/first class: “Let’s sit here.” A moment later, the attendant chase them to their rightful place.

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Oct 7 2016

The train stations in China

I enjoy train travel a lot. Part of nostalgic, part of convenient, and part of its concise timing: leaving and arriving on the dot. Air travel in China, trends to be delayed and canceled.

With the high speed train mushrooming, each city is adding addition state of the art stations. To distinguish, the newer one always have the location/directional indicator in the name, such as Beijing Station South or West. Shanghai Hongqiao perhaps is the only exception.

  • Beijing Station
  • Beijing Station South
  • Beijing Station West
  • Shanghai Station
  • Shanghai Hongqiao
  • Zhengzhou
  • Zhengzhou N
  • Xuzhou E
  • Taiyuan South
  • Xi’an North
  • Jinan
  • Hefei
  • Dalian

They charge you ¥5 to pick up tickets that’s not start from that station. It seems to me, either the system is inadequate or milking.0

 


Oct 6 2016

Trained during the Golden Week

I must have gone mad to take train travel during the Golden Week in China. 大概是大脑进水了, 黄金周期间坐火车. CCTV 13 reports on October 7th, the last day of the long week, the passengers on trains has exceed 12 millions – hope I get the figure right.

  1. Beijing to Taiyuan
  2. Taiyuan – Xi’an
  3. Xi’an – Taiyuan
  4. Taiyuan – Zhengzhou
  5. Zhengzhou – Xuzhou
  6. Xuzhou E – Shanghai

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