Warning: Not yet complete. I am re-importing the stuff previously published on my now defunct Lotus-Notes-Site.

A completely different approach…

July 14th, 2011 No comments
ATR 500 touching down in EDDL

ATR 500 approaching EDDL (actually touching down, but then the bun wouldn't have worked)

It’s not Lotus Notes this time…it’s just a “normal” WordPress blog like thousand others on the net. It’s long time to say good-bye to Notes and I’m trying options…

My good old server at Strato died a hardware defect after years of service. A welcome opportunity to switch to a way of less care-intensive a web presence. Other events take up more and more of my time, which I no longer want to spend on server maintenance.

If you liked my Asia reports: Thanks for your interest! I will try to get them online again in a static version. The ones you know were in a Notes database, which will not come alive again. But the content is not lost. Give me time.

Categories: Info Tags:

The Plum Rain of Shanghai

June 25th, 2010 No comments

Seeing today’s weather I was on the brink of just staying at the hotel. Luckily a shopping center with Starbucks, Coffee Bean, and a lot of restaurants is attached ;) But then I thought…maybe rain is a chance for some great shots and set out to the Bund to catch some tourists. It worked out. And pretty quickly. The Plum Rain is not heavy, but so fine that it blows everywhere. An umbrella is fairly useless. There is just 6 minutes between the first and the last photos shown here. Add 10 minutes on either side to get from a subway to the Bund and back and you have a good estimate of my time spent outside today ;) Read more…

Categories: Asia, China Tags: , , , ,

New Sights

June 24th, 2010 No comments

Surprising or not…Nina and I knew quite different parts of and views on Shanghai. So I got to know some areas I had not paid attention to before. Read more…

Categories: Asia, China Tags: , , , ,

Expo 2010 once more

June 23rd, 2010 No comments

After I had visited the Expo once to check out options Nina and I went there together once more, now with some ideas in mind. If you’re interested: A good interactive map is on the official Expo web site.

The basic impressions were the same, though, so just let the photo session begin:

Again, we started at the Pavillion of Future on the PuXi side:

Left: The explanatory aren’t for education but as a portrait backdrop. I’m absolutely sure the texts and diagrams will sink in when browsing through the photographs over and over again. (Pavillion of Future)

Center: Basic Needs.

Right: London Waiting Queue, two of these Expo passports on the left-hand side.

We scanned some of the surrounding pavillions, seeing Venice, the Chinese-run pavillion for future interieur design, London (pretty boring), and Bremen. Then already we wanted to set over to the PuDong side, which proved to be not so easy. While the visitor figures stated on the TV displays in the metro said something about only 90000 the number of actual visitors waiting in line or walking around the area was seemingly a lot higher. At the first two ferry stops lines were so long that we decided to move on, finally ending up at the last ferry stop on the PuXi side, which I had used some day before, too.

PuDong

Left: Looking once across the river onto the PuDong side. Paulaner advertises its location by “look for the crane”. I know now why this is an exact advice.

Center: No offense meant…not supposed to say anything about Peru or its pavillion (we haven’t been to it), we just happened to sit down across this neatly aligned collection of waste bins for lunch (a Burger King Burger ;)).

Right: While searching for Starbucks (it’s one floor above) we came across this pretty typical Chinese mass eatery, including its typical smell. Only for hard-core China fans.

Left: I had praised the many volunteers earlier and let me do it just again… Even we Westerners were approached by them when contemplating too long over an Expo map.

Center: Dutch Lambs - Probably saved from harsh treatment by visitors to a meadow of their own.

Right: 3 Layers – Expo Pedestrian Walkway, Evelvated Road, Residential Buildings

Left: Entrance to the Spanish pavillion. While writing this I read that the pavillion has yesterday greeted its 2-millionth visitior (while at about the same time the German had seen its 1-millionth “only”, usually having a lot longer waiting queues, but probably a slower throughput).

Center: These figures seem to have been created as a show right at the pavillion of Nepal, which was a nice one from the outside, with a huge stupa (see night photo later).

Right: Saudi Arabia was the most popular pavillion. Worst-ever confirmed waiting times we’ve heard of was 9 hours. These people here are waiting at the 4 hour mark. Queues close at 18:30 to be able to process all waiting visitors before the pavillion closes. We certainly didnt make it. Queue preparations had obviously been extended far beyond the originally planned queues. Here, in this extended area, groups of managable size are kept under control with the help of the army, so that there is some distance between groups for others to cross lines and, so we thought, for people not to be squeezed by the masses pushing from the back.

Left: Drinking buddha – Waiting in front of the United Arab Emirates.

Center: The Morocco pavillion was one of the smaller ones we just picked up on the way seeing no line. Espacially its central part was very beautifully made. There are more displays about life and business of Morocco in the surrounding hallways to the resentment of the Chinese who just wanted to hunt for the passport stamp but had to run a sign-posted route all the way to the end ;)

Right: Also the North Korean pavillion just happened to be there and we entered. Photos and videos were about modern cities and mass performances under the motto “Paradise for People”. On sale were pamphlets under Kim Il Song’s name like “The Songun-based Revolutionary Line is a Great Revolutionary Line of Our Era and an Ever-Victorious Banner of Our Revolution”. By now I deeply regret not to have bought any one of these papers. Propably quite entertaining.

Far Left: The South Korean pavillion was a huge fragile-looking creationg celebrating their characters. Haven’t figured out what it was about exactly. Inside was firstly a huge performance stage, but then also a queue of people wanting to enter into this cube.

Center Left: Dome of India. This construction was quite appealing. Also from the outside the pavillion was beautiful, its main attraction a stage for performances. The exhibits under the dome are so lala and the holo-like projection under it technically an interesting master piece but it’s content remained incomprehensible to me as the accompanying audio ran in Chinese only.

Center Right: The Nepal stupa was close to the huge Chinese pavillion and was also frequented by many visitors.

Far Right: The waiting queues (here: India) were mostly covered by umbrellas, either fixed installations or this movable type.

That’s it…I believe I’ve seen what can reasonably been seen without spending hours in lines, which I’m definitely not up to. Which means I won’t see the main attractions like the German or Saudi Arabian pavillion…but so it be.

Today’s Lesson: There’s a second Starbucks in the Expo axis!

Categories: Shanghai

Originally Created: 06/23/2010 07:17:37 AM

Last Edited: 06/23/2010

Categories: Asia, China Tags: , , , ,

Expo 2010 – Gigantism Redefined

June 18th, 2010 No comments

Today, eventually, was my first day at the Expo. My plan was to start in the late morning on the PuXi side, which supposingly was less crowded, and move over to the PuDong side only in the late afternoon, hoping that in the evening pavillion queues get shorter. Basically, I followed the area letters in reverse order, starting with E and planning to move all the way to A. The pavillions with the longest queues are all in A – Asia, which I would reach in the evening only. Than plan was good and I would recommend it again. I only spent a bit too much time in E and D, the PuXi side. Next time I switch over earlier. Read more…

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Along the Shopping Routes

June 16th, 2010 No comments

While I’ve never been much into shopping I have so much time that I can afford also checking out changes along the major tourist shopping routes, NanJing Lu and HuaiHai Lu. Only on my way back I learned from the news monitors on the metro that today there were “only” some 380.000 visitors to the Expo. So it would have been a good day for visiting the Expo, despite (or because?) it being a holiday. Now it’s too late…I will go tomorrow morning. Read more…

Categories: Asia, China Tags: , , ,

Shanghai cleaned up

June 14th, 2010 No comments

Shanghai…finally…I’m back again in this city I’ve lived in for 2,5 years. I’ve longed to see Shanghai again. And now that I’m back I have the odd feeling of not having been away too long. Maybe that’s due to wrong expectations: Friends said Shanghai has changed dramatically. So I had expected not to recognize much any longer. But in my eyes it’s not that bad: While there definitely is a lot of changes these changes are “under the hood” (actually mostly underground ;)). True…there are certainly some new buildings, but I don’t see them as a radical change: There had been a lot of high rises. And now there are a few more. Read more…

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Vientian – Capital City

September 7th, 2009 No comments

Along Laos’ highways are milestones marking the distance to the next places. The actual place may vary–the next village, or a major place further afar. When trying to make out the distance to Vientiane while on the bus I could never find “Vientiane” on the milestones…until one time we hat slowed down sufficiently for me to read one of the milestones saying “Capital City”. Apparently this is what Laos would like visitors to think of it. Reminds me of old pre-reunification signposts on Eastern Germany’s highways, reading “Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR”.

We’ve planned two and a half days in Vientiane, fairly many given our generally tight schedule–it’s about as much as we had in Hanoi. We thought it would be worth it. It wasn’t. But there are good coffee bars… Read more…

Categories: Asia, Laos Tags: , ,

Phonsavan – Plain of Jars

September 4th, 2009 No comments

We knew it before arrival: Phonsavan is not the most beautiful of cities. We couldn’t know that it would be so boring that the first thing we looked for was the fastest way out…and even accepted yet another night bus, simply because the next flight out of this incarnation of boredom was two days later only. In our original itinerary Phonsavan occupied three days: One day of bus travel from Luang Prabang to get there (that still took place on 30-AUG), one day for visiting the Plain of Jars (the main and for most tourists only reason you get here at all, 31-AUG), and one day to travel on to Vientiane. With the night bus option we could save that travel day and made it instead a travel night. Read more…

Categories: Asia, Laos Tags: , , , ,

Luang Prabang – Tat Kuang Si

September 3rd, 2009 No comments

Tat Kuang Si are a series of beautyful waterfalls 32km away from Luang Prabang. Tours are offered everywhere, and even any Tuk Tuk could bring you there. We had opted for a tour. Probably not so bad a deed as we where transported by van instead of tuk tuk. And it was an hour’s drive. Read more…