|Diary July 2005|
At this moment I am in China again for 3 weeks. Flight from Rochester NY to NY JFK about 1 hour. Then 13,5 hours from NY JFK to Beijing and finally 2 hours to Shanghai. I used China Air but never again. Got stock in the plane at the airport for 3 hours so spend in total 19,5 hours in the plane. No TV screens in the seat in front of me and only one boring moving for the complete flight.
After a few months in the USA I noticed that the contrast between USA and China is much bigger than between Holland and China. It must be much harder for Americans to live in China. The big differences are:
- Space and the # people for m2
I spend one day in Beijing and it is amazing to see how they are preparing for the olympics. Very impressive. One thing is for sure, China is going to get the most medals during these olympics and everything will be very well organized. They will be using the games to show that they are now one of the great nations in the world.
Before I came to China we found a nice, small restaurant in Fairport that is owned by second generation dutch people. It was so funny to be there. Tullips and windmills on the wall. We had a very strange menu: Kroketten with mustard and "olliebollen" for dessert. It cannot get any weirder than that.
I am catching up on updating the website so there will be a mix of US and China pictures this time.
Rochester is not well known for its beaches but they do have a few very nice ones. If I remember well this is Ontario beach.
And there is Hamlin beach a few miles west of Rochester. Hamlin beach is very large and has a large park where you can camp as well. We visited on a sunday and typically you see many families that brought all there food (enough for 1 week) and enjoying their weekend in the park. Also birthday parties are celebrated in the park.
The squirell is enjoying the leftovers. You can see he is a little overweight :-) In the back you can see the barbeques that are very popular in the US.
Wild turkey's you can see regularly.
Our pet is busy feeding his babies. Not afraid of us anymore. Although he watches us when we get too close he doesn't attack anymore.
We found another nice park a little south of Letchworth park. It is called Stonybrook park. We are amazed to see so many beautiful places around Rochester. We are certainly not new to Rochester but this place we never visited. Perfect place to cool off during a hot summer day since you can walk around in the water and take a shower in the falls. These places I love most in Rochester area.
During memorial day we saw a (very) small parade in a tiny little town called Hamlin. We know some of the locals so we were able to enjoy the free food and drinks :-)) Every little (and big) town has similar parades during this day at which all war victims are being remembered.
I haven't made many pictures yet in China but I made a few in Beijing. Can you think of a bigger contrast with the USA? I can't. These were all taken at Tiananmen square (Plein van de hemelse vrede). As usual it was crowded with police.
Preparations in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic games are ongoing. Very well planned and they will be ready for sure. 432 days to go.
This weekend a small XPS teamtrip was organized for the parents with small children. Although I scare most Chinese babies I was invited too. We went waxberries picking near Taihu lake (see below).
Yanhong's cute daughter.
These are the waxberries. I have never seen them in Holland but it seems they are sold as exotic fruit voor euro 1,- each.
For lazy people like me it is much more convenient to buy them.
My small twin (Ishikawa) . Although he starts to deviate a little now since he is growing more hair :-)
After picking, a lunch was organized at the house of Summer's parents-in-law.
After lunch the plan was that all the children took a nap but apparently also some of the parents couldn't resist :-)
VIP's visiting XPS Suzhou. Especially the visit from the Kodak auditor was important and quite succesfull. The second step in kicking off new business with Kodak. More steps to follow.
My three weeks stay in china was very usefull and we booked some good results but the trip back was in one word horrible. I have traveled for many years but never had a bad experience like this. The flight from Beijing to New York took over 20 hours!!! There was a vulcanic eruption in Kamschatska and no airplanes could even come close to this area. Ofcourse you cannot beat nature but the way Air China handled the whole situation was very unprofessional. This must be a state owned company or at least the state has a large stake in Air China because the service and skills of their employees is really poor. First of all they decided to change the flight from Beijing to NY to Beijing-San Francisco-NY without informing anyone. I found out after we left that the flight was not going to be 13,5 hours but at least 17 hours because we had to refuel in San Francisco.
If I had known this I would have stayed in Beijing and find myself another route. Anyway, during the whole trip no information was shared about what time we were going to arrive or what they would do with all the people that missed their connection (including me). Everytime you asked a question you were simply being ignored. Very annoying. Anyway, with all the delays in taking off, fueling and landing in NY the whole flight took more than 20 hours. A completely full flight full of chinese people that ignored all safety rules and even refused to obey the rules. Using mobiles phones, standing up during landing, opening the overhead cabins during take-off etc. I must say that the crew didn't really make any effort to correct them. The funny thing is that the same people already got into problems 2 minutes after they arrived in NY. They were using their mobile phone and making pictures in the customs area. Their camera's were immediately taken away by US customs.
Besides the 20 hours of course I already had a flight of 2 hours from Shanghai to Beijing and then another flight rom NY to Rochester. In total almost 25 hours in the plane. Right now I am in a hotel in New York City because I missed my flight friday evening. Anyway, at this moment I couldn't care less because this afternoon I will pick-up my new toy :-)))