July 2008


Tuesdays in Beijing is half-price movie day. Every Tuesday my friends and I get together either to watch a movie or have dinner somewhere nice. Last Tuesday, red cliff Marco and I watched “Red Cliff” at Wanda Cinemas. Ticket price was 35 per person during Tuesdays and 70 per person on other days.

Red Cliff is currently the hottest movie to hit town. I remember two Saturdays ago, Richard and I were so frustrated because we can’t find a cinema which offers Hancock.

The nice thing about this movie is even though it’s in Chinese, the English subtitles are well translated. The movie has a star-studded cast with a world-renowned director. The movie is based from the famous Chinese novel “Romance of Three Kingdoms”.

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Lanzhou is the capital of Gansu province located at the northwest part of China. Nestled between mountains, the weather is perfect and the scenery is superb. As the city has a significant Muslim population, Muslim restaurants and fast food chains are found in almost every corner. No McDonalds nor Starbucks but several KFC.

The most popular food in Lanzhou is the Lanzhou Beef Noodles (兰州拉面). This IMGP1628 dish was first created during the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1875 – 1908), Qing Dynasty (1616 – 1911). It has five main features: clear soup, white radish, red pepper, green caraway and yellow noodles. The noodles can be wide or slim to meet different preferences. A bowl of beef noodles cost 10 to 20 yuan and takes only a few minutes to prepare.  According to a local, the best place to eat these noodles are in Muslim restaurants.

We had a chance to try this dish and it was huge and filling. It taste like any other noodles but maybe we just don’t know how to mix everything. Our guide put some vinegar on his noodle and spicy sauce so maybe that’s why he finished everything.

nkotb2I can’t believe my eyes!!  My ultimate favorite boy band is back!!  The band who produced hits such as “Step by Step”, “Tonight”, “Cover Girl”, “Right Stuff”, “Hanging Tough” & “I’ll Be Loving You” are back after a decade and a half of hibernation.  They’re not just back to sing their old songs but they’re back with a new album and a concert tour.

The 5 members namely Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight & Joey McIntyre will dominate our airwaves again and seduce us with their sexy voices.   I can still remember as if it’s yesterday singing Step by Step on my way to school.  I still have their songs on my ipod and listen to them every week.  I can still memorize the lyrics of their songs and I hope I’ll get a chance to see them in concert.  Hopefully the US consul will grant me a tourist visa and I’ll get to watch them the day after my birthday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

*sigh* I pray and wish!

chine-i-love-china_1208342980 On my previous blog, I’ve written ten things I hate about China.  Just like in any thing we shouldn’t just look at the bad in things but the good as well.  As such, here are things I love about China.

1.  Low Utility Fees – the government control the utility fees and for the past 3 years I’ve been in Beijing, I spend roughly 50 rmb for Electricity each month.  Water fee is also minimal and we don’t have any restrictions on how much you use.  I know I know.. I should conserve water which I do.

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train_old In my previous blog, I already mentioned the ins and outs of travelling by train in China. Getting the train schedule on the other hand is a bit of a pain specially if you don’t read/write Chinese.

In this blog, I will teach you how to use huochepiao.com’s train schedule. It’s still in Chinese but I will put some English translation on the essentials here.

Step 1. Using Microsoft Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, type http://www.huochepiao.com on the url field.

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71014_MoneyHappiness_vl-verticalWho doesn’t want to have a million bucks? I do and with the rate I’m going right now, I’m not exactly sure when will I reach my first million. It got me thinking, where does all my money go? Would I ever have one million at least in my life?

A month or two ago, Inquirer’s Finance Blog “Money Smarts” featured an article about “What does it take to be a millionaire?” It listed down 7 tips to help this goal and let’s see what have I been doing to achieve this goal.

1. Treat money as something to save and invest. The minute you receive your paycheck or a windfall (example, an inheritance or a bonus), think of how much you can put away as savings. Then look for venues where you can invest your money. If you think this way, you won’t be tempted to splurge money. (more…)

DSC_0895-01 It was a warm Saturday afternoon when 6 foreign torchbearers with their friends and family set off to a town a 100 kms away from Lanzhou. These torchbearers were armed with bags, toys, notebooks, pens and all other school supplies to share with 206 primary school students and 21 teachers of Gaolan.

The trip was long and bumpy but the scenery was spectacular and amazing. I was hoping we could stop so that we can take some pictures but we weren’t that lucky. When we arrived our destination, the students were waiting for us, waving flags, playing their instruments and chanting “welcome to our school”. You can feel the warmth and the joy in their actions and faces as they welcome their guests to their humble but quaint learning place.

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