Steve's China Blog

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


When did express mail become an oxymoron? My parents in the US sent me a package via an express mail service, that shall remain nameless (starts with a "F" and ends with an "X"), and thanks to the internet I can track it as it sits in Beijing... for days and days and days...

Dec 13, 2006
8:37 PM Left origin BALTIMORE, MD
Dec 14, 2006

2:54 AM Arrived at FedEx location MEMPHIS, TN
5:22 AM Departed FedEx location MEMPHIS, TN
7:55 AM Arrived at FedEx location ANCHORAGE, AK
8:24 AM Departed FedEx location ANCHORAGE, AK
Dec 15, 2006

7:41 PM In transit BEIJING CN Package available for clearance
Dec 18, 2006

1:27 AM Clearance delay BEIJING CN
Dec 19, 2006

10:43 PM Clearance delay BEIJING CN
Dec 20, 2006

7:41 PM Shipment exception BEIJING CN Delay beyond our control

Isn't bureaucracy fun?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Winter is definitely here

The weather this week was not too bad... until Friday. Low tempatures and high winds. When I got home from work my feet felt like they were frozen. Saturday I awoke to find it had snowed during the night. Not too much though, but it was cold enough to stick. I went out for lunch and also bought a new cell phone, and the weather was pretty bad especially with all of the snow and ice, but it got even worse as the day went on. I was going to go out on Saturday night with some friends to a party downtown, but since the weather was so bad I decided not to go.

The party sounded like a lot of fun too... They had three guest DJs (one from the US, one from Russia, and one from Japan) who were going to be playing a lot of new stuff. This town needs some new sounds. The few places they have that play dance music (and there aren't many) have been playing the same old stuff for the last two years now.

Anyways, I stayed home and watched Gone with the Wind, which was appropriate since the wind outside was howling so loud it sounded like a jet aircraft had parked itself on top of my apartment. It sounded like the windows were going to break in all night long. Today it is sunny but still very windy and cold (the high tempature will be -4°C), so I am going to just hang out and relax at home today. I think it will warm up a little tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Good pasta and petty crime

I have not posted in awhile... pretty busy with work. The weekend before last I spent either working or sleeping. It was too cold to go out anywhere. Last weekend I had to work, but I had to get out some and wanted to try a new Italian place that opened in Dalian recently by the Shangri-La hotel called the Olive Garden (not the same as in the US). Phyllis was nice enough to go with me, and the food was very good! Phyllis had a pesto linguini dish with shrimp and I had lasagna. When I was eating I realized I could not remember the last time I had lasagna... not in China anyways.

On Sunday evening I went to Peace Square mall to have dinner at a fast food place, and do some grocery shopping afterwards. While I was eating dinner some guy sat down behind me, and reaching around stole my phone from the pocket of my jacket that I had hanging on my chair. What was strange was that there were people all around us, and a lot of them had to have seen this, but they said or did absolutely nothing! I still can not get use to how uncaring people here are towards others. It just amazes me. When I tell my co-workers that crooks are sometimes chased down by normal citizens in other countries (such as described in this story) they are amazed. People seem happy that there is no violent crime here in Dalian, but I think it's just going to get worse since the police don't do anything and the people don't care. I can not imagine how bad it will get after the the economy eventually changes.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Rough week

This sure has been a rough week... mostly due to my jet lag. I've been back five days now, and my sleep schedule is still messed up. Luckily it is Friday and I will have time to relax and get some good sleep this weekend.

Not too much else is going on. Trying to catch up on my work since I was away for a week, and trying to finish up a lot of stuff before I go on vacation in 3 weeks. The weather has turned pretty cold, and we have had a few snow flurries. I am looking forward to going to ChengDu where it is a little warmer and the winter not so long, hopefully next month.