Friday, August 30, 2013

Concert Week - Metallica & Cir-de-Soli

It turns out that there is a rush of foreign bands playing in Shanghai.  Over the last year there has been Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Pet Shop Boys, to name a few.  My experience at concerts was in the form of Metallica.  I was not a big Metallica fan in my younger days but when the tickets ended up being free - what the heck why not?

I found out that GE has a luxury box at the arena that seats about 30 people.  We had 6 in our group and we met a bunch of other GE China folks - some I had met on other leadership outings.

From the street.  It is in the World Fair part of Pudong.

The VIP entrance to the GE Box, nice!

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The show started about 25 minutes late and went for two
and half hours.  4-5 encore songs.

Cool light show and they were rockin' in the mosh pit!

Lights on during the encore.  Some people had left already.

About $350 for the first 10 rows, $200 for middle floor and lower
seats, $80 for the upper deck.  $0 for the GE Box.

A few days later Yangmei and I went with another couple to Michael Jackson, Cir-de-soli.  It is a mix of Michael Jackson type dance and a little acrobats thrown in.  Much more dancing than we expected but lots of fun.  

We were straight on from the stage.  

Lots of lights.

About 20-30 dancers in all and they played most of his
good songs.

There was a main dancer who had the moves like the king.

These were lighted costumes.  A very cool effect and similar
to what Michael was going to use on this tour...

In the basement of the Mercedes arena is an ice rink.
For one of my team building events we spent a couple
hours on the ice together.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Zhu Jia Jiao - Watertown

Zhu Jia Jiao is about 1 hours drive from our home in Pudong.  It is pretty much due west of Shanghai.  During this week we borrowed an executive's minivan and driver so getting to the town was very easy.  These little towns were built many years ago along a canal to help with transporting goods and as a survival (drinking, bathing, fishing).  This town was 1400 years old.

It was stinking hot on the day we went, it was about 100 F and humid.  August here in Shanghai was very hot and humid this year with many days greater than 100F (40C).  Since it was so hot we spent only a few hours walking around, eating a little and buying a few local items.  
This was an art museum.  The paintings were beautiful.

Many scenes represented events or daily activities.

Baby turtles, hundreds of them.

Parkeets and other cool birds.  Somehow
I dodged the bullet of bringing one of these
loud beasts home!
A rice paddy.  Its the first one that I've seen in person.

Ok, here is one of the canals.  Homes built right up along the
edge.  Usually with little steps out the back.  It's no Venice...

This was the 1880s mail office.

Family picture out the back of the mail office.

Dad and kids resting after the mail room.  It had a little AC
in there but not enough to keep us cool very long.

The old British mailbox.

We stopped in for lunch at a hidden restaurant.  The building
in itself was like a museum.

Bridges are what make a water town the attraction.  This is
an old covered bridge that had plenty of traffic.

Some were tall bridges and some were big.

This was a large garden that had different buildings for resting,
meeting, eating, etc.

An ornate stairway.

Still in the garden.

Plenty of bridges in the garden.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Yings in HK - Day 3

Day 3 turned out to be beautiful and a great day for the beach.  We had heard from a friend that Stanley Beach was a nice, clean and a happening place. There were many ways to get there (taxi, bus, tour bus) but we took the taxi for about $15.  After a slow start from the hotel we left about 10 and got to the beach about 10:45.  It was a beautiful ride up on the cliff hugging the coast.  Hong Kong was much more 'green' than we expected.

Much better weather from the hotel room.

Stanley beach - the South side of Hong Kong island.

Nice sand, nice houses, warm and clean water.

People bury people in beaches all over the world!

Exploring the rocks for fish, crabs and shells.  

The water temp was probably about 80.  Warmer than
we thought it would be.

Happy as clams.
The water was mostly clean other than some debris that people 'threw' into the ocean.  
Worked up an appetite for a pizza lunch.

This was a view of the Ocean Park chair lift (Day 1).  A much
nicer day but I'm sure the park was packed with people.

All that fresh air and activity.
We got a late checkout from the hotel (4 pm) and headed into the city for a little bit then to the airport.  When we arrived at the airport we saw the biggest chocolate coins ever.  
After they put us on the airplane for a 9 pm flight, the pilot announced on the intercom that there would be a 3 hour delay.  Very frustrating at first but eventually it only became about a 45 minute delay.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Yings in HK - Day 2

Day 2 eventually brought better weather.  We woke up to rain and wind but by early afternoon it blew out and it was nice.  It was a nice day to walk around town and experience a trolley, some parks, the history museum, the ferry to Kowloon and the lights of Hong Kong.  
Hong Kong was great and not really what we expected.  It is hilly, tropical and very green.  We were amazed at the way that they built the city into the hills and all the elevated highways that kept the traffic off of the surface streets.  

The view of the harbor from the Courtyard Marriott.

Someone was up early.

Breakfast had an automatic pancake machine!  Push a button
and about 30 seconds later out came your 3" pancake.

The original transportation of Hong Kong
was electric, double-decker trolley cars.  For
all of us it was about $2.

Baba with a gotee on the trolley.

Steep stairs to get off.  You entered from the back and exited
out the front.  Paying on the way out.

This was a lookout tower in one of the parks.
We climbed it for a nice view.

View from the lookout tower.

Mark's building...  We bought him a 3D puzzle
of this building and had no idea that it was a
landmark in Hong Kong.  The Bank of China building.

Inside the BofC building was a dinosaur museum.  Small but

The first meteor that I've ever touched.  Neat stuff.

The Harbor Ferry to the other side.  A bit like the Seattle ferries.

Photo of Kowloon from the ferry.

A temporary show at the History Museum of the royal
costumes of the emperors.

Prehistoric History of Hong Kong, or anywhere...

Old cannon but lots of make-believe fun!

The English influence in Hong Kong.  A full-size
building, street and river scene.

Old trolley.  Many stores and scenes were on display.

Back on the street experiencing China-life.

Waiting for the sun to go down to see Hong Kong island
across the harbor.

This was a walk of fame and on it was this statue of Bruce Lee.
There were hand prints along the walk for famous people.

The Hong Kong skyline at night.

A landmark clock tower.

Day 2 was a great success.  We saw a bunch of things but left plenty of stuff to do on a return visit.  Things like the Peak Tram, the giant Budda and the fast-ferry to Macau.