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2 April

Today was moving day. It involved packing all my belongings and pulling them from the Hotel Yuping to the Metro, through the Metro to Pu Dong and then more than 1 Km to the Home Inn. It went well.

I am pleased with the new location. Although not as elegant nor roomy as the previous places, it meets my needs well. It is quite new and very clean. The TV programming includes an English station so that I can see the world news.

I then went to visit ZhiTing at her office building. This was another occasion which shows how simple things can cause great difficulty. I used a pay phone to call her from the lobby. It was somewhat confusing as to how to use it. Then once I found where to put in the coin and place the call and she answered the phone I didn't understand why she kept repeating the the greeting. After two unsuccessful attempts I managed to get a woman next to me to place the call for me. Then I discovered that once the called person answers it is necessary to push a green button to make the connection. I thought I had wasted the two previous coins but another of the women reached into the coin return and gave them back to me. I should be able to use the public phones here now if required.

After the friendly conversation with Zhi Ting I went down to store in the Huangpu District to try to get my money back for the 64MB memory module that was supposed to be 256MB. This time a manager was there and after a period of difficult and heated exchange of words, I was given my money back and I returned the memory. It made me fell much better to have succeeded with the transaction. I doubt that many customers who receive the wrong product ever get their money back from this retailer. A great deal of luck, patience and fortitude is required. The only thing that permitted success this time was the fact that the memory card had a picture of the sales person inside the store on it proving that the card came from there. Every effort was made to prove that it was not their product but the picture made the sales person so fearful that they decided there was too great a risk for it to be used against them.

I then encountered a business man from Norway. We talked extensively about doing business with the Chinese. I broached the subject of the English language as the Chinese know it as compared to International English. He was very attentive to the conclusions I have reached regarding the uniqueness of the language and agreed that it explained the great difficulty his company was experiencing with communications for their business and the great deal of misunderstanding they find.

I spent the rest of the day relaxing and sightseeing, but found I had stripped the skin off the side of my little left toe from all the walking.

As a footnote, I am often saying to those I meet when current political hostilities are mentioned, that I can go far more freely and widely as a friend than any General can with all the armed force at his command.

3 April

Merely a day of sightseeing. I'm very disappointed with my visit to the Oriental Perl Tower. I asked for information in English to show what the various prices of tickets paid for. No one would or could explain it for me so I paid for a high priced ticket thinking I would be able to enjoy more than with a lower priced ticket. When I entered the Tower no further information was available and everyone went to the same place. It was nowhere near worth the money I paid. Avoid the tower unless you want to pay a lot just for a high view of the city. A postcard is likely a better deal. Also there is an endless assault by aggressive street vendors selling Rolex's, Mount Blanc pens, pictures and the like while getting to the tower.

Musings on Miscellaneous Moments

  • I've had a few opportunities to discus ideas of a spiritual nature with a number of people. The talk of such things is something I enjoy.
  • Why is it that I can think of endless streams of the most elegant things to write while I'm walking down the street alone but fail to do so when I get the chance to write? They flow through my mind and illumen serious problems with fine answers but escape me when I'm at the keyboard.
  • Why is it that every western person I encounter (with a rare exception) averts their eyes and turn away when they see me? I have no intention of causing them harm or discomfort, yet they react as though they fear my presence. Why would they be in a place like this if they cannot feel friendly?

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