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To Sok Jip, Annandale, VA August 31, 2014

Posted by hslu in Food, Life, Death and Yuanfen, Shanghai, Travel.
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Yesterday was one of those days I took my wife to work in early morning and picked her up around 8 to 8:30 in the evening. A 13-hour day at work; most the time on her feet, wears out a person easily even if you have 鐵打的身子。A few times her day stretched to 14 hours because of emergency or unexpected complications. Well, I guess you call this ‘做一天和尚 撞一天鍾吧!’

We went to Annandale for dinner because I was tired of cooking and I picked ‘To Sok Jip’ out of Yelp because we haven’t been to this restaurant before. Yelp gives it four stars; not bad for a Korean  restaurant.


We have been  to this location before but the restaurant we’ve been to only had menu in Korean and waitress didn’t speak English. It was apparent that the new owner of this 10 table restaurant is doing well because we had to wait for a table and there were 4 or 5 parties ahead of us. It was about 9 pm on a Saturday night and most guests inside  and outside of the restaurant were young students and professionals. Most of them spoke Korean. We decided to wait it out.

The two young guys in front of us were going through the menu because the owner asked them to pick out dishes they wanted to order so that she could speed up the process of service. There were two parties of four behind us: all young Korean girls. As the young guys were deciding their choices, I was almost certain that they came from Taipei: perfect 普通話;台北 style dress and hair and not even a tiny hint of someone who grew up in mainland China.

My wife had the same feelings as I did and she asked them where they were from. One came from Maryland and the other guy was from Arlington, a few miles away in Virginia. After they have decided, it was our turn to choose. We chose dolsot bibimbap and seafood pancake; our usuals. I also wanted to order Bossam because it seemed to be a favorite dish by many reviewers. Well, our down to earth female owner had one comment: too much. Apparently, she thought that two dishes were plenty for us. Well, this was kind first for us: ‘有錢還不要賺.’ Well, 恭敬不如從命 besides it gave us a good execuse to come back later.

Slowly the restaurant became less crowded. Those two young Taiwanese guys were still waiting and soon it would be our turn. The owner soon came back and I thought she’d seat the two young guys down. She instead turned to us and them and said ‘share table?’ Apparently it was pretty late and there were some people still behind us waiting to get in. The young guys said yes and we accepted the unexpected offer too.

Since we already pre-ordered, our food came quickly. Panchan showed up too along with my Korean soju. The young guys also had pancake and they had ordered a big pot of stew with toufu, vegetables and fish? in a red-colored broth.

As we finishing our meal I turned to the young guys at our table and asked them whether they liked their meal. I also wanted to know what they have ordered so that we can try it the next time. They said they liked it but it was too much even for them. I them asked them if they came from Taipei. To the surprise of me and my wife, they both came from 蘇州 Suzhou, about 20 minutes from Shanghai by high speed train. The reason that they sounded so much like Taipei’s young guys was because they learned from their roommates who came from Taipei.

I quitely said to myself that 40 years ago, Taiwan wanted to defeat 共產黨 and go back to mainland China. Now Chinese students from both sides of the 臺灣海峽 Taiwan Strait share a big house together and exchange cultures on a day to day basis. How things have changed!

It’s great! Well, I digressed.

I then found out that one of them was working as a software engineer and the other guy is working on his business degree. Both had EE degree and came to the US for advanced studies.

I asked the business major when he will graduate. He said he’ll graduate after next semester. I asked him if he was looking for a job and he said campus interview starts soon.

I then told him about my son who also had a business degree, his one-year stay in Taiwan and his experience in looking for his job in the field of finance. I explained to him the process that my son had gone through and gave him a tip or two as if I went through the grind myself. For them, I found out that it would be even more difficult because they don’t have PR, 綠卡, or permanent residency.

After I finished my soju and our left overs packed, the business major guy asked me if he could have my son’s contact information. I gladly offered it to him and asked him to get in touch with my son. Hopefully my son can help him out in his quest for a job in the US. Unfortunately they have to go through a lottery procesd to get a working visa even though their employers wanted to sponsor them for a green card because there are limited number of working visas being allotted every year. Each year, they have a 40 to 60% chance of being picked by a lottery process depending on their field of expertise. They have either one or two chances to get one. If they don’t get picked by the computer, they either  have to go back home or go back to school. The software engineer didn’t get picked this year: it started on April 1st and notifications were sent out in mid June. He has one more chance next year. The business major only has one shot because his expertise isn’t deemed ‘necessary’ for the United States.

I wished them luck in their pursuit of their dreams in the US.

As for the food, they were good: fresh, excellent quality, huge portions and fast service. The owner waited for us to finish our meals and by the time we finished talking, there were only four of us still there. I swore that she was more than ready to lock up the shop and go home. It must have been a long day for her too.





I was happy because I had a little more soju than I should have and I had helped him Probably just enough to get him an on-site interview. Whether he’s from 台北 or 蘇州 isn’t important. I wished him luck and who knows we might see each other some other time at somewhere else.

Chinese has an old saying: ‘有緣修得同船渡.’

We were equally ‘有緣’ to share a table on a Saturday night at a small Korean restaurant in Annandale which we randomly picked out from Yelp.

It was the female owner who actually made all this possible. Wouldn’t you agree? 這也是緣分。你說是不是?

We’ll go back to To Sok Jip again. We want to try Bossam and a few other dishes. May be we’ll meet other young guys or girls from China or Taiwan. Who knows, we may share the same table again.

Really? August 31, 2014

Posted by hslu in China.
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The most recent The Economist has this picture with the subtitle saying:

‘Not so black and white anymore’


Source: The Economist, 8-30-2014.

The article talks about Latinos taking over Jobs of being maids for affluent families in the US.

But what’s the real reason for showing  this picture with the story?

I couldn’t help but ask: Has America really changed for good? Or has the discrimination sentiment just submerged beneath the headlines of the liberal TVs and newspapers around the country?

It’s a sad day for America August 31, 2014

Posted by hslu in Cold War, Global Affair, Middle East, Obama, Politics, Taiwan.
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‘We are working with our allies on a comprehensive strategy to deal with the IS.’

That’s something one would expect an American president say when asked about US’s response to IS in the Middle East even though everybody knew he’s got nothing in his pocket.

Instead, that’s what America, IS and the world got:


Source: BBC

It was an open display on national TV for the entire world to see what a completely helpless, no self respect and totally useless small guy Obama really was.

I bet he’ll say the same thing on Ukraine too.

Yet, this guy was elected American president. Not one but twice.

How can the majority of American voters be so blind in 2008 and 2012 to elect someone with his calliper?

How can American voters be so naive to put such a guy with no credentials and no experience in the higest office in the land?

How can American voters be so stupid and not able to see through his empty words because there was nothing to Offer behind the teleprompters?

How can American people be so shallow and trust democracy to the point of puting American’s future in the hands of a guy with no experience at all?

No American company will ever do something like this yet America the country would defy logic and rely on a faulty process they call ‘Democracy’ to elect the guy who will occupy its highest office of the nation.

Look where an incompotent Obama has led the America to?

Look where an incompetent Obama has bought this world to?

IS is happy. America’s enemies are happy. America’s allies are paralized. American people must be tired of Obama. But all the regrets will do nothing to mend the mistakes by less than 30% of all American voters who actually voted for Obama in 2012. He’s got 2 more years to play golf and there is simply nothing American people can do.

America calls this ‘democracy.’

It is the same failed ideology America has preached to the world for the last 60 years.

Look what kind of mess it has created.

If you don’t believe me, just take a look of 馬英九 and what democracy has done to Taiwan.

Well, enough on the flawed process since there is nothing American can do now other than 發發牢騷.

But, ‘we don’t have a strategy yet’
got to be a first for America president who openly admitted defeat in front of the world.

I feel pity for Obama. It is a sad day for America.

Souzai, Atlantic City August 27, 2014

Posted by hslu in Restaurants, Travel.
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I like the setup of this cozy Japanese sushi restaurant at Atlantic City’s Pier Shops across the boardwalk at Caesar Palace: open space seating on the second floor, sidewalk cafe ambiance,  big ceiling to floor windows on the ocean side, sofa seats overlooking the beach and simple placesettings on the table made from trunk of a tree with a glass top.







Sushi were fresh but not particularly tasty. Since I had too much wine last night at Revel’s Mussel Bar, I asked for water to drink. My wife had mango mojito which was ordinary too.



If you look for a cheap lunch, don’t come here. If you want good sushi, try somewhere else. If you want a casual lunch with a relaxed atmosphere, come for the the lunch special. Happy hour specials look good too.

Souzai or 惣菜 is Japanese for side dishes.

Harry Reid is dumber than He looks August 27, 2014

Posted by hslu in Congress, Global Affair, Obama.
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I don’t know whether Reid is dumb or dumber but I know deep down in his bone Reid discriminates against Asians, Hispanics, blacks and the light skinned Obama no matter how many times he apologizes for being old and saying Dumb things.

Source: daily mail

Source: daily mail


Source: photobucket

Argentina vs USA August 27, 2014

Posted by hslu in Economics, Global Affair.
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A US judge told Argentina: you have to do this, this and that because so and so sued you for not paying back the loan they lended you decade ago.

Argentina to judge: So and so didn’t settle with me but others have. We have been paying interests to the others on time for the past 13 years.

US Judge: You have to stop paying those people now. Settle with so and so first.

Argentina: If we stopped the interest payments we’ll be in default.

US Judge: You heard my ruling. Settle with so and so.

Argentina: So and so insisted on the full amount of the original loan. If we settle with them, the others will demand the full amount too.

US Judge: That’s your problem.

Argentina: We can’t take the deal from so and so. We have the interest payments deposited already.

US Judge: You can’t make the payments.

Argentina: We’ll have no choice but default because of your stupid ruling.

Stock markets: yawn!

海參 August 26, 2014

Posted by hslu in Chinese Food.
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我從小就喜歡跟在媽媽邊上幫忙。家裡常常有客人. 一到月底爸爸的同學就會來我們家吃飯。媽媽在廚房忙著做飯炒菜,我就在媽媽邊上打雜切菜上菜端盤子洗碗。偶爾媽媽來不及我也能幫忙炒兩下。那時候臺灣家裡只有一桶一桶的煤氣兩個爐眼的火慢的不得了。炒個菜等半天。煮個菜燒個湯那要更久。 我們家的規矩是一個菜上完后再上另外一個菜好讓客人時常有熱騰騰的菜吃。這也可能是現實的限制吧。







陸版台積電:What will Taiwan do? August 26, 2014

Posted by hslu in China, Computer, Economics, Shanghai, Taiwan.
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I knew something like this will happen and it’s happening in 浦東 張江 now. It may take a few years for China to catch up but the questions for Taiwan now is what will Taiwan do to save this annual $2 trillion NTD industry?

China has to upgrade its economy and has to develop its own technology base. There is simply no othe way around it. The banning of Windows8 in China is a good example. The development of its own desktop software is another example. Other areas such as aerospace, deepsea research, fighter jets, aircraft carrier, and Beidou geo-positioning system are all important areas China is currently working on.

With shoe and shirt factories moving to Thailand and Vietnam, China is eyeing Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacturing as the next sector to move into.

Taiwan has enjoyed decades of  supremacy and dominance in this profitable sector. Going forward, Taiwan’s fortune is no longer guaranteed.

Taiwan’s THC has been defeated by Samsung of Korea and many smartphone manufactures in China. Taiwan’s Asus (華碩)and Acer (宏基) have lost market shares to laptops and PCs companies in China and other countries. How long can Taiwan’s semiconductor companies such as 台積電, 聯電 and 聯發科 survive?

2016 Election August 22, 2014

Posted by hslu in Congress, Economics, Global Affair, jobs, Middle East, Military, Obama, Politics.
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Although it is still too early to talk about 2016, many candidates have started testing water in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Many of them probably have already done interest group sampling to find out the issues voters care the most。

I believe it will be ‘inequality’ especially if Hillary is the front runner of the Democrat party.

People care more about their pockets and how much money is left after paying all their bills. Foreign policy issues are important and Hillary’s accomplishment in this area is nill but when push come to shove Americans care about whether they have enough money to take care of their families more than anything else.

Hillary belongs to the 1%. She can’t wiggle out of that perception than she  did on Benghazi that easily.

Chinese Version of Windows August 22, 2014

Posted by hslu in China, Cold War, Computer, Economics.
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China is still way behind the US in many areas and in the information space the gap is particularly wide.

It appears that China is doing something  about it.

Foremost, it has openly admitted that the gap is too wide and the lack of domestic development in this space too important to ignore.

Recently China banned Windows8 and it probably realizes that China is too dependent on information technology from America which, in the age of cold war and development in Russia, is detrimental to China’s national security.

An article from qq.com discusdes the pending  release of China’s own version  of desktop software to replace Windows XP for business users.



We’ll see how much progress China  can make in this area.

How much will MSFT’s profit be affected in 2 to 3 years?

Source: qq.com

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