Monday, August 25, 2008

My Beijing Trip - part1

Stepping into the Olympic Village ( USING FAKE VIP ID CARDS ) ...... Roaming in the Olympic Atmosphere along with the different people from the entire world ..... Watching the Olympics Closing Ceremony Fireworks from the feet of the BirdNest Stadium ......A small business man chasing me to give my camera back, when I forgot it at his shop ....

I left Beijing with many touching memories like this after a 3 days trip. Just unforgettable ..

My Beijing Trip started with a surprise from China Railway. I bought a cheapest available Train Ticket to Beijing, only to find a bed with neatly washed Bedsheets and Pillows.

Almost like a descent Hotel.

I reached Beijing by 10AM Saturday. It was a festival atmosphere. Security arrangements were at the extreme level. Every public entrance has Metal Detectors and security guards. If we carry Water Bottle with us, Security guards used to ask us to drink water once. To make sure it is not Liquid Bomb or something ....

I could find 'English speaking Volunteers' everywhere to help the tourists. Their attitude towards tourists was good.

The city was so slean. I could see many workers always busy in cleaning the surroundings. A piece of paper which was thrown on road was disappeared almost in a couple of minits. So, you can imagine ...

After I reached Hotel, had bath and started my jouney into the Beijing City ..

My plan was to visit the "Forbidden City" on Saturday, "Great wall of China & Olympics" on Sunday. .not planned anything for Monday ...

I have noted down all the Bus numbers & Local Train routes with the help of Hotel receptionist.

So ... I started towards my first destination ....... "Forbidden City" ......

A palace city which was built from the year 1407 to 1420 by million workers.

By the time I reached this place, Football star "Pele" was inside. As usual, unfortunately, I came to know this after he left that place.

Find more details about forbidden city in this link .

Infact, I came to know practically...why that place was called Forbidden City, and not Forbidden Palace.

It was a group of palaces & houses. Its a big village.

So, tired of roaming inside.

Guess...what are these big coppor vessels ...

Obviously ..they are filled with water.

Not for drinking ... to use when fire accidents occur inside the palace (in those days). measure ..

In our office, we find Fire fighting equipment .. ryt ..
as same as that...

somewhere inside the palace..

The history of the Coppor vessels was written on a board there.

All of my photos looks like they were taken at a single palace.

There were many palaces in the Forbidden city with the same building design. there were many buildings inside that palace.

I met a Canada 100 metres Olympics Athlete there ....

I met some indians too....they are from nellore ... my native :)

My next post will be about my trip to Great wall of China .... see you soon.... Bye for now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympics Fever

Some of my frends asked me - "Hey... Were you present in the Stadium ...during Olympics Opening Ceremony?"

Infact, the direct price of the opening ceremony ticket was 70000 rupees to 450000 rupees.

I am happy to be in China during Olympics Time.

I am extremely happy to know that India got 1st Gold medal when I am here. So, whenever ppl discuss about India's first Gold medal, I can say I was in China at that time.

I was trying to be in Beijing during Olympics. But because of the expensive ticket price & accommodation ..I was stepping back.. But I kept on trying trying through my online frends and local people & my colleagues here ..

Finally, I got it. I could book a train ticket and a Hotel in Beijing for this weekend. So, I am leaving tomorrow evening to Beijing.

I have mixture of feeling with excitement and happiness. Inspite of my low salary, I am able to visit Beijing.

Because, I love sports. Olympics is the peak point in Sports.

Anyway, I will be visiting Great wall of China, one of 8 wonders in the world. But, nothing can dominate the feeling of stepping into the Olympic city.

Even the Statue Of Liberty, Nayagara falls, ..... nothing.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Trains in China

There is no Online ticket booking for Trains in China. Its unbelievable, but true.

We can book tickets only 4 days before. we can't book earlier than this.

I planned for Beijing Trip. I had to go to the Railway Station to book the Tickets.

One more thing is ... Shanghai to Beijing ticket can be booked only in Shaghai. And Beijing to Shanghai ticket should be booked in Beijing.

But the underGround Metro trains in Shanghai are thebest. The automatic ticket vending machine and everywhere the city Map makes the journey easier and comfortable.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cricket in China

Chinese people's favourite game is Table Tennis. They call it as "Ping pong ball". The Table tennis playes are treated as heroes here.

The Chinese Basket ball player "Yao Ming" who plays in NBA is very popular personality in China. We can find his posters almost everywhere in the city.

"Chinese people doesnt know about Cricket." - This was my opinion before coming here.

The fact is ....There is a Club Cricket Championship going on here (20-20 style). Almost 10 league teams are there. They participate in a 20-20 League Championship trophy every year.

So, slowly Cricket is coming up here.

South and North Indian Food In Shanghai

As I mentioned already, Chinese ppl know Dosa and Parota already. We can find several small carts selling Dosa & Parota. Not sure how they came to know.

There are very few indian restaurants in Shanghai.

There is a Punjabi Dhaba here. We will be surprised to listen the latest Hindi songs in this restaurant. You can speak Hindi and find few Indians here. Surprisingly, people from Germany & England regularly come here for weekend parties.

And also, there is a pakka South Indian restaurant near by my hotel called "Indian Kitchen". Owner can speak very good Tamil, all the south indian dishes are available here, but very expensive.

There is a Gujarati people's house near by my office, where they serve all kinds on Jain food. So, few Jain people in Shanghai come here regularly for their Lunch.

People In Shanghai and Their opinion on India

I wud like to share one incident with you.

Hope u all know that Chinese ppl eat using Chopstics. I learned using Chopstics after coming to China. But I was not so good at using them. Felt extremly difficult to enjoy my food.

But I thought that people may think bad if I use my hands. Oneday, I decided to eat with my hands in the restaurant where I have my Breakfast everyday. I started eating using my hands.

Surprisingly, No one stared at me or nothing like I am doing something different. They just carried on with their work. People are easy going and very friendly.
They know very well about how to welcome a foreigner. Infact, they are very keen to help Indians. In their opinion, India is a very beautiful country & Indians are cool and Intelligent.

Most of the Chinese people are always smiling, active and Healthy. That may be because of their food.

Chinese people call India as "Indu".

Friday, August 15, 2008

Food in Shanghai - A Delicious Experience ...

'Chinese Food' is well known in the world. I was lucky-enuf to taste the Chinese food in China.

Most of Chinese food includes wide range of Vegetables. No much oil is used in most of the items. The Non veg items wont contain salt & Masala(very few salty chicken items were available) . So, the taste differs. It takes time to adjust to the taste, especially for a typical south Indian ( like me) who prefers more masala & chillie.

There are few INTERESTING kind of restaurants in China. Those are called 'Houghfou'...means 'Fire Pot'. Here, we need to cook by ourselves and eat. This is entirely a different experience (eventhough we have a few of this kind in India..).

They provide us a Pot with Water,Chillie and different kinds of flavours and Fire under it. They also give a plate-ful of Lamb's Meat which is sliced into very thin pieces like chips. We can cook the meat there itself and eat.

Sliced Meat

The meat can be cooked & within a few seconds (as it is sliced so thin..), and extremely delicious as it is cooked in the Pot with chillie and other flavours. A Delicious Experience ...

Dosa & Parota are surprisingly present in China. Chinese ppl know these dishes already. Not sure whether they learned from India or vise versa..

Pork is one of the favourites for Chinese ppl. Most of the dishes include pork. They sprinkle small pork pieces on egg fried rice also. So, pure vegetarians must be careful always, to make sure that there is no pork in the food in any form.

Chinese ppl can eat rice using 'Chopsticks' . We cant eat even egg, with them.

TV and Internet in Shanghai

There was a big Hair Television in our Hotel in Shanghai where we stayed.

I went and switched on, found 40 odd Chinese channels (more than 50% of them are news channels...) and BBC & CNN.

There were 2 to 3 english channels which telecast China Tourism details. The remaining channels were like Doordarshan (TV serials in Chinese...).

Almost all the Hotels provide Broad-band internet connection in Shanghai. But most of the websites are blocked like Googlepages ..etc. I heard that it was to stop the people to publish their opinion across Internet. Don't know how far it is true ..

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First Crush ...First Abroad Trip ... always sweetest

Shanghai .... An exciting city .. all tall buildings...average building height is extremely large.

Because of the Olympics season, a thourough checking was done in the Airport. They didnt allow us to take some of the food items which we brought from india Dal ..etc.

My Chinese colleague "Bill Luo Ming" was waiting for us at the airport. He took us to the Fastest Magnetic train (reportedly at that time...) which travels upto 430 kmph. we reached a staion called "Longyang Road".

From there, we took a taxi to the hotel where I am going to stay. Taxi driver doesnt know even "Ok", "Yes" or "No" words in english. (But most of the young people like Students,employees can understand English. but not everyone even among them ..)

We reached the hotel "Pent OX Metropoliton"...has 33 floors.It is in in Pudong district of Shanghai.

Nice view from my hotel room window ...I can see the Huangpu river, which divides Shanghai into two parts. Old Shanghai and New Shanghai.

Chennai To China

After a 8 months of Day & Night hectic effort, It was time for me travel to Shanghai, implement our software in the Client's Place.

Our Client is none other than Panasonic. A Technology Giant... also Official Sponsor of the Olympics.

Had a very good journey in Singapore Airlines .. My first trip to abroad ... First time travel in a plane... so u can imagine the excitement ..

Camera was busy though out the journey ... not even leaving the seats of the plane.

Heard a lot about the Shanghai.... Streets of Shanghai... Robberies .. pick pocketors .. and Luxurious life..

It took several hours to reach my dream place in reality ...

At Last .......... I arrived Shanghai.