Hello from Emei Mountain!

I’m at Emei mountain (峨眉山) now. Stayed for a night here and going back to Chengdu today. Holiday is coming to an end in 2 more days 😦

So far almost everything I’ve seen were so pretty! Those images of Jiuzhaigou I’ve seen on the net and from friends’ photos do exist. Okay, not all of them but the scenery is really beautiful!

We’re gonna visit the giant panda research centre today! So excited to see the furry black and white balls!!! 😀 I’ve never seen a real panda before (if I remember correctly) so I can’t wait! 😀

In the meantime, here are some pictures from the past days:

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The Chinese and their preparation for the big games

So we all know that China is doing such a preparation in welcoming the Olympics; from building western-style toilets to replace the Chinese-style ones (read: squatting-style), and I suppose they must be cleaner as well, to educating the citizens with English.

Just now I read an interesting article on it on cnn.com. The title was the one that attracted me:

‘Ha-pi-tu-mi-te-yu:’ Beijing welcomes the Olympics

When I first read the title, I was like o_O
What language is that? I was thinking of some foreign languages I do not understand.
Curious, I clicked on the sentence, and it direct me to the article in which later on I found out that the ‘Ha-pi-tu-mi-te-yu’ is actually ‘Happy to meet you’
Yes, it’s English. Lol

Anyway, I wanted to write down some of the interesting points here actually, but as I read to the end, the whole article is just interesting! Hahaha..so I guess I’ll just copy and paste the whole thing here :p

BEIJING, China (AP) — Faced with my blank look of incomprehension, the taxi driver took a deep breath and tried again.

Tourists and residents walk along Wangfujing Street in one of Beijing, China's main shopping areas.

Tourists and residents walk along Wangfujing Street in one of Beijing, China’s main shopping areas.

“Ha-pi-tu-mi-te-yu,” he intoned.

Wow, I thought, six years out of Beijing and a long-haul flight from Europe have turned my once almost fluent Chinese to mush.

Then, it hit me. This was English. “‘Happy to meet you?”‘ I asked.

He beamed proudly.

Give Beijingers this much: They sure want Olympic visitors to feel right at home.

In the seven years since the Olympic movement anointed Beijing as host of the 2008 Summer Games, China’s capital has undergone a transformation so thorough that “makeover” doesn’t begin to describe the change.

English-language and anti-spitting lessons for the masses. Entire neighborhoods ripped down and rebuilt. Cutting-edge Western architects let loose to create futuristic landmarks amid the forests of gleaming new towers. The ancient capital has taken on an edgy, neon-electric 21st-century frenetic feel.

You have to search harder, in back alleys that the wreckers’ balls have yet to reach, for the quiet, intimate village-like atmosphere that long set Beijing apart from more cosmopolitan Hong Kong and Shanghai. In smoothing the rough edges, some charm has been lost.

First-timers and those who’ve not been here for a while may, like me, find the new Beijing a bit of a jolt. Who knew that the world had so many construction cranes, or produced so much concrete, glass and steel?

The shock of witnessing such voracious change leaves an unsettling feeling about whether the rest of the world can compete with a waking power as hungry as China. The immense scale on display seems designed to impress; the new Terminal Three at Beijing International Airport, where many tourists will arrive, is the world’s largest.

The modernization makes Beijing easier to visit. Cash machines on many blocks. Cool art galleries in old Soviet factories. Hangouts for backpackers, swanky hotels for the well-heeled. Late-night shopping. More clubs than even the most insomniac reveler could get through in a weekend. Clean taxis. New buses. More subway lines. While the bicycle once ruled the roads, cars do now, and traffic is often snarled. If you’re brave, rent a bike. The city’s largely flat; you have nothing to lose but your chain.

The food: Don’t miss a meal. Restaurants are plentiful and generally clean, offering all varieties of Chinese cuisine and many foreign ones — a turnaround from a generation ago when food was scarce and eateries few and dingy.

A nice touch: many now display color photos of their dishes. No more point-and-hope ordering from menus that often used to be only in Chinese, and far fewer comical English mistakes. A favorite from the old days: a hole-in-the-wall that served fried carp, but got the “A” and the “R” in the wrong order. Like many old haunts, it is now gone, replaced by a new office building.

For sightseeing, new landmarks compete for time and attention with older marvels, like the sprawling and ancient Forbidden City — still a must-see.

The Olympic architectural jewel is the 91,000-seat, $450 million National Stadium. It’s a knockout to look at. Bravo Switzerland-based architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. Beijingers call it the Bird’s Nest because of the latticework of steel beams wrapped around the exterior. It will host the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events.

Visitors without Olympic tickets will only be able to admire it from afar. Venues and the areas around them will be sealed off for the August 8-24 games.

The massive security Chinese officials are rolling out poses an Olympic-sized question: will it kill off the fun, feel like prison, seeing guys in uniform across the city? Could be. If you are not coming for the sport or for the Olympic experience, August may not be the most relaxed period to visit.

The upside is that if a police officer does ask you to move on, there’s a fair chance he’ll be polite and understandable.

A pre-Olympic “Good Manners Campaign” promoted courtesy and orderly queuing and frowned on swearing, spitting and littering in public. One of the Beijing government’s slogans, according to state media, was: “Spitting kills even more than an atomic bomb.” Paper spit bags have been passed out. In three weeks here in May and June, I didn’t hear anyone noisily clearing their throat in public — a once common sound.

Beijing authorities have also given English lessons to 400,000 people, state media say. Most taxi drivers, hotel employees and all Olympic volunteers have received etiquette and English training. More than 10,000 police officers received basic work-related “police English” and even some Japanese, Russian and Arabic training.

Among the phrases taught: “Welcome to Beijing, the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games. I recommend visiting the Great Wall; it is one of the seven wonders of the world.”

Got that right. It was among seven new wonders of the world chosen in a global poll last year that elicited about 100 million votes via the Internet and text messages. The wall — really a series of fortifications built over 1,500 years — makes for an inspiring day out of the city. Take good shoes and water, so you can hike at least a little way from the crowds. Admire the way the wall hugs the hillsides as far as the eye can see. Take a bus or taxi there.

The Badaling section is easiest to reach, and therefore the most crowded. Sections at Mutianyu or Jinshanling are farther away but offer more spectacular mountain scenery. Both have cable cars, for those for whom hiking is difficult or who maybe ate too much crispy Beijing duck the night before.

The Forbidden City is worth taking time over, too. Meander through its courtyards, some huge, others small and cozy, like secret gardens. Chinese emperors once lived shut off from the outside world behind the vast palace’s blood-red walls, amid eunuchs and concubines. A detail to look out for: the fierce Chinese dragons finely embossed on the copper window frames of some of the palace buildings.

Then leap from concubines to communism, by walking through the front gate of the palace to Tiananmen Square, where five-starred red Chinese flags make snapping sounds when there’s a strong breeze.

Mao Zedong gazes across the square from his portrait hanging on Tiananmen gate, at the north end, toward his mausoleum where his body lies encased in a glass coffin.

Tiananmen is a must-see for Chinese visiting Beijing. That makes it a great place to people-watch. Tibetan monks, ruddy-cheeked peasants from some far-flung village, southerners with singsong accents throng the square.

It’s one place you may also attract stares. Foreigners are still novelties for out-of-towners from China’s more remote regions. Not so for more worldly-wise Beijingers, who will likely be more than ha-pi-tu-mi-te-yu.

Bye2 Yui…

One of my good friends left Beijing today, back to Thailand (ermm…she’s paying Guang Zhou a visit first for a week or so, then only she flies back to Thai)

Nath and I cried when she was about to board the rented car…

I was trying to resist my tears at first, even when I hug her, because I didn’t want her to look at us crying and feel sad (Nath has already crying at this time)

But finally I couldn’t resist it anymore…(haiz..why am I so emo lar?)

*Hmm…this is the start of the friends-leaving season that will be start by next week…4th of June to be precise…Yuka is leaving Beijing on the 4th of June…She will be the second person leaving BLCC and I won’t see her again next semester as I won’t return back here…

And then one by one…we’ll all go on our own ways…*

Anyway, it’s been almost a year since the first time I knew Yui. She was my classmate in 初级二班 and in 初级七班 as well. Our friendship really began when we went to The Temple of Heaven (天坛公园) together with Nath last semester. This semester, you became Nath’s roomy and the I became closer with you 🙂

I feel so happy knowing you! A nice girl who is always there to help her friends whenever they need her. A kind girl who’s paying a good attention to her friends.

Well, although sometimes I feel a bit disappointed with your stone-headed behavior, but that doesn’t really matter, as basically you are a really nice friend 🙂

Goodbye Yui…All the best for you. Don’t know when can we meet again. Maybe on your wedding day? *wink* 😉

P’Ped, Yui, Nath, and I
Taken yesterday after our last lunch together…

Preparing for going back for good (for the 2nd time)

Today I’ve sent 2 boxes of my lovely stuffs back to Indo as, of course, I can’t manage to bring ALL of them at once!

And those 2 boxes weigh around 28 kgs…and it burned a hole in my pocket by spending RMB449.40… T_T

Nevermind. The most important thing now is…

It’s only 12 DAYS LEFT until I’m going back for good to Indo…

Yea, it will be my 2nd time of going back for good.

HSK


I had my HSK (汉语水平考试 – Hanyu Shuping Kaoshi) test today. For those who don’t know, it’s some kind like TOEFL for Chinese language.

I had it for free as I am in the HSK class in school. If normal class, we have to pay RMB250 if we wanna go for it. My classmates and I actually wouldn’t go for it if we had to pay, but since we got it for free, so why not? LOL xp

So kiam siap eh? No la, it’s because it’s not our main purpose. It’s not like we need HSK to apply for work or to apply in uni (unless you are applying for China’s local uni). Well, ok, maybe if I have a good HSK result, companies will consider me more? Hahaha

The test was held in BLCU (北京语言大学). All I can say is…the listening part is the most difficult!Although the voice is much clearer than the usual listening class at school, but there are a lot of new words we do not know. Not only us, the 初级班 students who said they are difficult, even the 中级班 students also find them difficult. Those who have taken the test on May this year said this one is more difficult than that.

I didn’t do any preparation before hand, anyway. LOL. Teachers do gave us some HSK exercises, but it can’t even be considered enough. Only Reading (阅读) and Listening (听力) teacher who gave us quite a lot…

The result will be out in a month’s time.

八家酔

Another all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant! 😀

I just loveeeeeee sushi!!

This one is located in 东直门 (Dong Zhi Men) area. Not sure about the exact address. It’s located in a business center (my guessing).



A small two-storey dining place with tables on the first floor and 4 VIP rooms (1 big+ 3 small) and 2 tables on the second floor.


Talk about maximizing spaces.


Anyway, this is the glutton team that day:

The boys:

and the girls:


In total: 7 Indonesians, 4 Japanese, and 2 Italians.

They have (if I’m not mistaken) 2 different prices here. We took the RMB118 per-person (RMB 120 after tax).

And I’ve been drooling at the menu the first time I flipped the first page…



So we started to order…

Most of the dishes were ordered at least twice. But a few of them were only ordered once, tho.

This one came first, as appetizer. Didn’t know who order this…but I don’t like it. It’s bone. Ermm..chicken bone. Sorry, bone is not my cup of tea.

The raw beef is nice! Yeap, those typical Japanese-style of raw beef. Well done on the outside and raw on the inside. Oishi! ~

Assorted sushi

And not forgetting the sake. We drank….I think at least 8 bottles of sake. LOL. Most of them were drank by the boys lar.

The typical kinda fish you’ll find in any Jap restaurant. Not really my type since the bones are so small and a lot!

Jap-style fried egg with eel. Nice!

Dragon Roll

Errmm…forgotten what kind of fish is this…

Not sure about the name of these sushi either..but it tastes nice!

Grilled beef. Nice.

I think this one is crab & cheese croquette? Not sure, but it’s nice

Fruit sushi! Since there’s no banana sushi like the one in Tokugawa, we tried this. Nice also!

My all-time favourite. Salmon sushi! 😀 😀

The tempura. The sauce isn’t nice. It tasted a bit weird. The tempura sauce in Tokugawa taste much nicer

Grilled eel. Well, it tasted kinda normal.

Assorted sashimi

Dunno what salad is this, but they got squid and fish roe inside. Nice!

Another of my all-time fave! Salmon sashimi!! 😀
Thick, but quite frozen as you can bite them easily -_-“

Grilled Salmon! OK, I really have a thing for salmon XD

Fried Squid

Fried shrimps

Grilled squid tentacles

One weird sushi I tried: Scallop with mustard sushi. Doesn’t taste really nice, maybe cause of the mustard and a little bit of wasabi inside…

California Roll

Teriyaki Chicken

Enoki mushroom and Beef roll. The one in Tokugawa is nicer, sumore you can see the mushrooms on the sides of the beef. This one they are packed inside and cut so neatly.

This is Yamaimo. The most disgusting thing we’ve ordered. No idea who ordered this. I think it’s one of the Japs. It was the first and last time I eat this. Thanks!

Yucks! Looks like phlegm…another said looks like vomit, etc… >.<

Grilled squid


Well, for me, the sushi and sashimi in Tokugawa are fresher. For the other dishes, some are good, but some are nicer in Tokugawa. They have set menu and bento as well, but we didn’t try them. But I heard the bentos are good.

Gotta try them next time 🙂

But they have wider selection of sushi.

干杯!

Hair transformation

My hair used to look like this…


After some time with medium-length hair, I decided to buang sial


Weeeeeee~ New hair!~


It’s been long since the last time I had short hair like this…I think the last time was when I was in the 1st grade of Junior High..Means around…ermm…10 years ago! Yeap, 10 years ago! Hahaha..

How’s it? Nice or not? *say it’s nice -big puppy eyes-*

Anyhow, I’m supposed to blog about my summer holiday trip, but I’m too lazy to choose and edit the photos since I took 2,259 photos in total during my 10-day trip!! This is the first time I shot so many photos in 10 days! LOL

Ciao!