桃園眷村，日月光廣場 September 29, 2016Posted by hslu in Chinese Food, Restaurants, China, Shanghai.
Tags: 日月光廣場, 桃園眷村
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勾魂麵 September 29, 2016Posted by hslu in Travel, Food, Chinese Food, Restaurants, Chinese, Shanghai.
Tags: 長泰廣場, 勾魂麵, 丁香豆蔻
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說得好 September 27, 2016Posted by hslu in Chinese, Chinese Food, Health, Life, Death and Yuanfen.
Tags: 吃喝玩樂, 人生
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看書 September 27, 2016Posted by hslu in Chinese, Life, Death and Yuanfen.
Tags: 山海經, 易經, 中國未解之謎
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Disney Resort, Shanghai September 27, 2016Posted by hslu in Shanghai, Travel, 浦東.
Tags: Disney Resort, Pudong, Shanghai, Wolfgang Puck
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This was actually an exploratory trip.
We weren’t planing to visit the resort because, even at 82 degrees F, it was still pretty hot under a bright autumn sun. We came here just to see the surrounding area and checked out businesses around the subway stations on the way to Disney.
We first stopped by the station prior to Disney but it didn’t have any restaurants and the entire area seemed like a light industry area. We hopped onto the next subway and continued to Disney. Walking to the resort entrance and Disney Town, shops and restaurants, from the station took about 5 minutes. We didn’t see shuttles running on this Monday at noon.
Shanghai Disney metro station.
The first thing we did was to find a place for a quick bite. I was hungry and couldn’t wait. There were several options, a food court serving mostly Chinese dishes, Cheesecake Factory, a more or less high end Shanghai restaurant called 小南國, a sandwich shop, a pizza join, a Japanese restaurant, Wolfgang Puck and a bar/restaurant called Blue Frog.
Before I decided to walk in, I asked the young hostess at yhe door whether the restaurant was normally busy. She said that they are usually very busy and often have people waiting to get in at dinner time.
It was a strange combo indeed:
A salad, four pan-fried dumplings, a 10-inch pizza and a bowl of fried rice. See for yourself.
Everything seemed different and strange from what we were accoustomed to in the U.S. The ginger-soy dressing was light in taste and not very salty with very little ginger flavor. There was a lot of cabbage in the middle of spring mix. Pork dumplings were nicely made and the dipping sauce was great: intense flavor. Fried rice was bad: it looked bad and tasted bad. It was soaked in soy sauce but didn’t have any MSG. But, 不是我吹牛，I can do a lot better job than what you see in the picture.
The BBQ chicken Pizza was too sweet and too bland to me. WP probably did it to cater to Chinese people’s taste just like Chinese restaurant in the U.S. use a lot of sugar and sweet.dauce to satisfy Americans’ taste buds. It didn’t have much chicken or anthing else for that matter.
In short, this Wolfgang Puck rendition of salad/dumpling/fried rice/pizza combo was totally off base: no harmony among the dishes and no balance on the tastes. Presentation of the fried rice was aweful and it looked like a product from a street vendor. Instead of a take-out box, WP Disney used a cheap white plate. The pizza/salad and the dumpling/fried rice combo shouldn’t be served at the same table. Not at WP Disney at least.
Bad choice on my part. Maybe it was me who wasn’t thinking right when I placed my order.
The Disney resort and the surrounding area were pretty. The lake, the boardwalk around the lake, the half-moon shape, glass-bottom bridges, the grand resort hotel and the Wishing Star Park all looked new, clean and well-maintained.
The resort hotel was closed for walk-ins. To stay at the resort hotel, reservations have to be made online before coming here. We couldn’t go there for a cup of coffee or a glass of beer because reservation has to be made on line first. The gate to the hotel is locked from the boardwalk and was guarded by a security personnel.
There were 6 exits/entrances to the metro station but visitors can’t enter the station from numbers 2 or number 4 in the middle of the station because they were exits. After we walked 100 more yards to the entrances at the end of the station, part of the access stairs to the station were closed off to visitors. An additional 50 yards were needed to enter the ramp to the station below.
No shuttle buses were offered to people who arrived at the resort via subway when we got there on a Monday. Maybe the restrictions we faced on a slow day will be relaxed on weekends or holidays when more vistors are here.
My wife told me that the CEO of Wanda Entertainment, the largest entertainment company in China, once said that he will beat Shanghai Disney in terms of attracting more visitors to their respective amusment parks in or near Shanghai. From my casual observation on a not-too-busy Monday afternoon here, Wanda’s CEO may have a point. Disney looked under-utilized but my opinion may well be wrong if I came on a weekend.I will look into this further on the web later.
I don’t think I will pay for the steep entrance price（～￥500/day for adult） so that I can see the castle close by and fireworks after sun goes down. Of course, I won’t do any rides and I don’t care much about the mice either. Then, Disney really don’t have me on their target list too.
花旗銀行，淪陷了 September 26, 2016Posted by hslu in China, Economics, Shanghai, Travel.
Tags: 花旗銀行, 陸家嘴, 支付寶
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中國人一般沒有用信用卡的習慣。一來銀行不相信中國的消費者。二來，中國人不喜歡付 15% 或 20% 的利息給銀行。三來，中國人習慣用現金，銀貨兩清，你不欠我，我不該你。四來，小商家不喜歡等一天或兩天才從銀行拿到錢。他們也不相信銀行。這也是為什麼中國的銀行通常只發借記卡給客戶，而不發信用卡。借記卡就是 debit card. 你用支付寶付賬，直接由自己的帳戶裏扣錢。兩不相欠，銀行高興，你也放心。皆大歡喜是也。
自照棒下的陸家嘴 September 26, 2016Posted by hslu in China, Shanghai, Travel.
Tags: 自照棒, 陸家嘴
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今天和太太去 Disney 的外面逛逛，因為太陽太大，熱的不得了，沒進去裏面。只在外面吃個飯，繞著湖邊走了一圈，在外面野了一整天。晚上去正大廣場吃便飯，在回地鐵的途中用太太的自照棒照了幾張相片。配上天上的雲霧，籠罩在這幾個高高的建築物上，倒還有一點特別的效果。不知道太太喜不喜歡。
Malaysia，Kuala Lampur and more September 25, 2016Posted by hslu in Restaurants, Travel.
Tags: 雄獅旅遊, Kualar Lumpur, Malaysia
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The last 2 days of our 5-day, 4-night Malaysia tour was in Kuala Lumpur. The hotel was a 3, at most 3.5 star hotel in a mid to lower section of the city. The surrounding area gave us creeps in the evening when we went out for a walk after dinner. A section of a street had several restaurants, all with dark interior and very few customers. Several people were sitting around on the outside with nothing to do. We decided to stay in our room and watch TV.
The KL twin towers is the headquarter for Malaysia’s national oil company, Petronas. It is also known as Petronas Towers, or Menara Berkembar Petronas to Malay people. I believe that the towers were built when oil price was high and Petronas was flushed with petro dollars. At current price of oil, a big building like this will be impossible to get it off the ground. Of course, being a national company, Petronas, for sure, had government’s support financially and politically.
It is an impressive building with stuning architectural design and eye-catching details. It was built in two stages: the first tower was built by a Korean company and the second one by a Japanese company. Our local tour guid told us that the bridge in between was used to stablize two structures.
In the base of the two buildings is a modern shopping mall. Almost every store we see in a typical American shopping malls has a presence here. When we were there one mid-afternoon in August, a fashion show was taking place but we couldn’t stay to watch models walking the stage.
Our tour guide took us to the old royal palace but we were not allowed to visit the inside because it is not opened to tourists. All we could do was to take a picture with a guard and admired the granduer of the palace from the outside. Boring. A bigger and more beautiful palace was built for the king and his wife. The more modest one was set aside for tourists now.
Three other places we were taken to were shopping stops: a 肉骨茶 shop, a coca shop and a tin trinket manufacture shop. 肉骨茶 is Bak-kut-teh in Fujian dialog which literally translates as ‘meat bone tea.’ However, the ‘meat bone’ dish dosen’t have amy tea in it. Instead it is a soup dish made.from pork bones, herbs and mushrooms. The coca shop sells Malaysia coffee while the tin shop wanted to sell us expensive tin cups, status, trinkets and useless displays.
Since a portion of tourists’ spending goes to our tour guide, we bought some to show our support. A few in our group bought large quantity of 肉骨茶 as gifts and many packages of coffee but no one bought anything from the tin shop. To generate interest in tin goods, the tin shop took us in for a tour and gave us a chance to make a small（5 inch）tin dish from a flat and round plate. We all had a good time but it wasn’t enough for anyone in our group to buy anything from the store.
I believe that these are coca nut which are used to make chacolate. Inside the nut is a white-colored seed about the size of a ostrich egg. It is used to make white chocolate.
We also went to the Kular Lumpur Tower which is a 421 m （1,380 ft）high telecomm and broadcasting tower which actually appears to be taller than the Petronas Towers, because it is built on a hill. Amidst the city of Kuala Lumpur stands the Menara Kuala Lumpur at 515 m （about 1,700 ft） above sea level.
At the top of the TV brocasting tower is a revolving restaurant and a buffet lunch there is included in our tour package.
Other places we went to included:
A buffet dinmer at Muslin restaurant where I saw a mouse running around in the back when I got lost searching for a bathroom. The performance was entertaining.
For one dinner, we went to a famous Chinese restaurant because Jacky Chen went there once . It was crowded with many tourists but it had dirty table, broken and wet plates, plastic table cloth and messy floors. The food, I don’t remember any. I mixed some chicken broth with rice and ate it with some vegetables. It was on a narrow street filled with potholes, people walking along cars which was kind like night market in Taiwan. The air smelled rotten because almost every stands on both sides of the 400-yard street had at least one durian opened up for tourists to buy or to eat on the spot. Samples were given out and I was terrified because of that smell. Again, if I had a choice, I wouldn’t want to come there. Not for 肉骨茶 or the night market.
We also went to a bazzar in the city centet in KL. It has probably 200 stalls and shops selling cheap goods to tourists. Not my cup of tea. 逛逛而已.
On the way to the airport the morning of day 5, we went to the new administration ‘city’ for Malaysia’s federal government which is about an hour south of Kuala Lumpur by bus. The city built from scrstch was the brain child of the former premier of Malaysia who wanted to seperate country’s financial center（Kuala Lumpur）from the political center. The new city was carefully designed with impressive buildings, beautiful mosques, wide streets and gardens.
The mosque we went to opened to the tourists. Another one built by metal on the other side of the river was for Muslims only. Apoarently the tourists were good enough to be allowed.
The last stop befoe flying back to Taipei was lunch at a large（~200 seats, almost all were 10-tops round tables) Chinese restaurant which offered tranditional (as traditional as it could be away fron Hong Kong) Cantonese food. This was probably the only semi-decent restaurant that we went to when we were in Malaysia. But, our lunch was rushed, the taste.was okay and the service was quick. Every table in the restaurant, almost full at 11:30 in the morning, had the same food and the food was probably prepared before we got here.
The revolving buffet restaurant at KL tower was okay too even though I didn’t care their Indian and Muslin foods. It did have some western food which was not too bad.
All in all, it was fun and our tour guides and bus driver were great. Being able to visit KL was fun. Resorts were just okay if I had the right mind to enjoy the stay but I wouldn’t go there again.
Kuala Lumpur is a modern city with a lot of people, many skyscrapers and busy traffic. But a few hundred yards from the city was backward, not very clean and poor. The food we had was nothing short of terrible probably because I was too picky.
Well, there you have it.
求下聯 September 23, 2016Posted by hslu in Military, Taiwan.
Tags: 雄風3號, 馬英九
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棒！約翰 Pizza, Papa John’s September 23, 2016Posted by hslu in China, Food, Restaurants, Shanghai, Travel, 浦東.
Tags: Chamtime Shopping Center, Papa John's, Pudong, Shanghai, Zhangjiang
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Business was very slow on a Tuesday night at Papa John’s at the Chamtime Shopping Center in Zhsngjiang, Pudong New District in Shanghai. It was about 15 minutes away from my apartment by foot. We come here often to eat and to walk after our meals.
I was afraid that it might be in danger of closing its door soon. Maybe we should give it a try so that it could last a little longer.
There were a total of four two-tops including us the entire time when we were there. Other restaurants near by had people waiting in line to get in even after we had finished our meal.
We has a medium combo pizza, roasted mushroom and a large bowl of Jambalaya.
Pizza tasted like the ones we had in the U.S. but not as salty. Cheese was good. Crust was chewy. Mushroom tasted different even though it was roasted with lots of butter. I think it didn’t have enough spice nor it had enough salt. Jambalaya was great and I dare to say that it was even better than the ones we had.in the U.S.
Of course, we couldn’t finish what we have ordered and the left over would be our lunch tomorrow.
I don’t think we will come back to here again.