31 May 2008


fried buns

A delightful afternoon with Mr V eating the famous 生煎包 from 小杨生煎 for the first time. I was truly impressed at how soupy the inside of the bun could be (it's as soupy as 小笼包)while the base still maintains such crispiness. And at 2 RMB each... I regret I didn't find out about it earlier.

It's funny, how memory of a place can be coalesced into a single taste. Of Zhongdian, it was the fluffy homemade 馒头 at the inn; of Shanghai, it would have to be 小杨生煎包.

Ciao for now, Shanghai

62538720 retires

Today is May 31. Key-handing day.

30 May 2008




26 May 2008

Another idiomatic equivalence

English: "Do you want to be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond?"

Mexican: "Would you rather be the tail of a lion or the head of a mouse?"

Altitude sickness

Above 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) most people experience a periodic breathing during sleep known as Cheyne-Stokes Respirations. The pattern begins with a few shallow breaths and increases to deep sighing respirations then falls off rapidly. Respirations may cease entirely for a few seconds and then the shallow breaths begin again. During the period when breathing stops the person often becomes restless and may wake with a sudden feeling of suffocation. This can disturb sleeping patterns, exhausting the climber. Acetazolamide is helpful in relieving the periodic breathing. This type of breathing is not considered abnormal at high altitudes. However, if it occurs first during an illness (other than altitude illnesses) or after an injury (particularly a head injury) it may be a sign of a serious disorder.

That was me when we stayed overnight in Zhongdian (3,200m) - I woke up in the middle of the night with a start because I couldn't breathe. A bit scary. It probably didn't help that I was already having a flu and the temperature was down in the single digits at night.

The Wangjianshuo blog article above makes a nice linkage between high altitude and religion. The very unfortunate incident that happened on his trip also makes me think that travelling with a large party to high altitude may not be the best idea. The »OA Guide advises:

Keep in mind that different people will acclimatize at different rates. Make sure all of your party is properly acclimatized before going higher.

Unfortunately in reality, most trip itineraries are pretty tight and people tend to say "I'm ok" so as not to be the one who slows the the party down. On the trip to Zhongdian, I was the only one (of ten) who was having altitude sickness when we started ascending the Blue Moon Valley. I had the luxury of a halfway station at 3,500m where I could say, 'You guys go ahead. I'll stay here.' Had I no such option and the party had to turn back for me, I think I'd have pushed ahead, to the detriment of myself.

Meanwhile, here is the walking trail and view of the Blue Moon Valley I missed:

{Awaiting photos from cousin J}

23 May 2008

I will miss my Shanghai bathtub

I probably take a soak in my bathtub only 10 times in a year*... But I like the possibility of being able to take one anytime, and I adore it each time I do.

An idea, a plausible one: perhaps the reason why I run off from Singapore often is not because "I can't stand it" (in words of cousin J, but which are not true) or because the pasture is greener outside, but simply because I like the possibility of taking a bath anytime.

I will miss my Shanghai bathtub.

*Mainly out of time and ecological considerations... Or maybe the luxurious feeling from one bath lasts me more than a month.

18 May 2008


2008年5月2日 | 早晨6点15分 | 昆明至大理途中


尽管这班列车晚上很吵(火车与轨道的摩擦声),我还很喜欢坐火车的感觉 —— 那清晨摇摇晃晃、渐渐被晃醒的感觉...

2008年5月5日 | 早晨11点30分 | 宝山石头城


One giant spider, two dancing worms, mountains after mountains, we are in Yunnan through and through.

2008年5月10日 | Banyan Tree Lijiang

A glass of wine, some chirping birds. No more clanging of metal and walkie-talkie.

What a queenly enjoyment to 发呆。