The Changes The Changes

Let’s see if inserting an image from a url will work.

I’ve recently started to spend a lot more time on Weibo. Weibo is the Chinese version of Twitter, just as RenRen stands in for Facebook.
It’s a good way to practice Chinese reading comprehension , an indispensable look into the Chinese news world, and a great way to become better acquainted with Shanghai. There are tons of cool things about Shanghai that can’t be found in English language websites.
I’ve started following this amazing user “摄影师陆杰” who shares great old photos of Shanghai.

Here is a picture of East Nanjing Road overlooking the Huangpu River. Virtually unrecognizable from the Shanghai we know today (no Pearl TV Tower , Lujiazui is still all farmland!), and this picture is only from 1988! It reminds me more of Hanoi and Phnom Penh than anything (especially the red and green roofed houses at the bottom/center of the photo).

http://ww3.sinaimg.cn/bmiddle/6b9d9522gw1dtwt1mdrnaj.jpg

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Eh Kinda Back But Not Quite

I’ll start out with the obligatory “MERRY CHRISTMAS” greetings to everyone today! The grumpy cashiers may be wearing Santa hats , the shopping malls decked out with over the top Christmas trees , and haunting images of Santa follow my every moment down the street , but it doesn’t really feel like Christmas. This is most likely due to the lack of family and the fact I had to go to work today. Nothing says Christmas like a 7:30 am alarm and the trudge over to clock-in.

The technical issues that have been keeping me from even accessing wordpress have magically cleared up. I think my experiments with sacrifices of paper money to the internet gods worked! However, I’m still stuck with the original problem of the nifty wordpress 3.5 add media into your post being completely broken. My “Macau : PhotoTour” , my “Check out this photo of this nasty bruise I got when a Shanghai taxi ran over my foot” , and my “Wow, This Chinglish add claims there is semen in this drink” (Yes, these are all real) posts have to sit on the back-burner for Buddha knows how long. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE WORDPRESS FIX THIS!

Hmmpf , anyways here are the major updates to December 2012.

1. Yes, a taxi ran over my foot. I was less amazed by the fact a taxi ran it over than that by the fact that my ankle did not break.
2. My kitties had their girl parts removed. A week of moping around with cones on their heads ensued. (You need to see the photos to really see the pathetic state they were in)
3. Hopefully (fingers crossed!) I’ll be assuming the position of Social Media Editor for Sherpa’s food delivery service! Beijingers, Shanghaiers, and Suzhouers get at me! I can’t wait to do something not teaching related!
4. The subway wars are heating up! According to the exploremetro blog, “Beijing and Shanghai are fierce rivals. Both cities have dramatically increased the length of their subway networks in recent years, especially around Beijing’s 2008 Olympics and Shanghai’s 2010 World Expo.
Shanghai has 425km of track (excluding the Maglev and Jinshan Railway), making it the longest subway network in the world, while Beijing currently has 372km. Traditionally, the main metro networks in Mainland China open new lines in the last few days of December. This year is no different, with both the Shanghai Metro and Beijing Subway scheduled to open new lines in late December 2012. The metro operators rarely release information about exactly which lines will open until a few days before the end of the year, which leaves an intriguing conundrum: what will be the longest metro system in the world at the dawn of 2013?” Just recently on line 9 , the interior subway maps were updated showing a brand new Line 13 , a brand new Line 12 , the completed Line 11 , extensions to Line 9 , and a completely new Line 16. I’m kinda of a nerd. These things excite me! The new male English voice on Line 9 ,however, does not! Check out more info at

Man , it feels good to write again. I survived the Mayan Apocalypse , now I just need wordpress working right again.

WordPress 3.5 Problems

Anyone notice the new WordPress update that rolled in a few days ago?

It’s a pretty radical change and one that seems a hell of a lot better.

I really enjoyed using it for a day or two until the functionality totally broke. Is anyone else having problems with this?
Now if I try to upload images into a post the first image will start and then hang. I also cannot load the media library from inside the post. However, I can view my media library and upload things into the media library if I use the new Media section on the left hand toolbar. But I can’t put images inside my post!!

I’ve tried clearing browser caches and cookies to no avail. I’ve been scouring the internet for fixes and haven’t stumbled upon anything remotely helpful. What to do?!?!?

I want to keep on the blogging!

UPDATE – I should probably add that since I’m behind the Great Firewall of China I use a web based VPN service , Securitales , to access WordPress. This didn’t cause any major problems previously though.

Continuing Technical Difficulties

Well everyone , sorry for the lack of posts recently but my wordpress is on the fritz. The media uploader is not living up to its name and consequently I’m stuck with words and no pictures. Seeing as how a picture is worth a thousand words this is simply no good.

I’ll be posting with pictures as soon as I possibly can 😦

Anyone else in China accessing wordpress through a vpn having problems?

Wait a Second….

Hahaha , Shanghaiist says it right , ” high on ambition but low on creativity”. China is loaded with copies and fakes . Architecture is no exception. I’d say screw the European villa copying. China had mad style in the past. Make my house resemble the Forbidden City.

http://shanghaiist.com/2012/12/03/photos_jiangsu_city_has_four_fake_u.php

Interesting how the architects adopted the U.S Capitol building for their own court houses. Something is disturbing about seeing that familiar building with the red stamp flying the red flag.

Reality Check

Walking down the gorgeous , verdant , tree-lined streets in the former French Concession , one can sometimes forget they are in China. Yueyang Rd during the late evening/early night is a calm oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle. You still might be killed by a speeding car driving the wrong way down the street with headlights off, but hey , so is life in Shanghai.

Walking by the triple intersections of Yueyang Rd , Dongping Rd, and Taojiang Rd , we are greeted the smells of freshly roast coffee, pungent Mediterranean food being grilled, and people eagerly seeking out the warmth and protection offered by the bars from the damp cold outside.

Signs advertise a proliferation of animal named sports bars : The Camel , The Beaver. Really , where in the world am I? Not exactly the first images that pop to mind when one thinks of China. I’m yanked out of my pondering by the appearance of a strange man in tattered , beaten clothes ahead. There is something in front of him , pulling him forward. It’s on a leash and headed my way!

As we near each other , I lock eyes with the man. He grins, and as if he sensed my initial state of bewilderment , and sought to answer me , to calm my brain, he answers and confirms what we both know to true.

He breaks out in a wide grin and exclaims “MONNNNKKEEEY” and unleashing a deep , booming laugh. He has used one of the three English words that he probably knows , the others being “hello” and “money”. I enjoy this sight very much. Some of the novelty of living in Asia has worn off and I’m not amazed like I would have been a few years ago. I’m not lost in my mind thinking “Was that really just real?” but instead am wondering “Shouldn’t that monkey have a little monkey coat? It’s nippy out here!”.

The monkey spell is broken a few paces later as an older woman beggar with a rent-a-child implores us for cash. I don’t like how the children are used to try to whip up sympathy (it’s not her child) plus I’d already given my change to the old guys sipping on some instant noodles in the Lawson doorway.

Yup, reality check. Still in SH.