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Old 29th December 2012, 20:45   #1
M35
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Default Live from China

Let me start this post with the worst ever and the most traumatic experience in my life:

On 12th May, 2008 at 2.30pm I was in a class room on the 5th floor teaching chemistry when I experienced the worst in my life, the deadly Sichuan Earthquake of 8.0 magnitudes. After the initial shock, as I was guiding my students to the ground floor, I made sure my wify too accompanied us with all that dust and horrifying loud sound all around.

2008 Sichuan earthquake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
We couldn't sleep not even stay inside our apartment due to severe aftershocks. Some of the open places in the campus were the only safer options for people to take rest peacefully.

After about a week long haunting moments, our company decided to send us back home for an early vacation. Our company managed to fly us via Singapore but with a 24 hour lay over time. We didn't have any second thought as we just wanted to get to a safer place. We had reserved a room in Ambassador Transit Hotel at Changi Airport, Singapore. On reaching there in the evening, we did have a well deserved peaceful sleep for about ten hours. Our next flight to Kochi was in the evening at around 20.00 next day as i remember.

Transit Hotel - Changi Airport

We woke up more relaxed in the morning but still had about 14 hours before our next flight. We got ready lazily thinking of how to spend the whole day in the airport and walked out of the transit hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast we decided to walk around a bit .The usual shopping places didn't impress us much.But what we enjoyed the most on that day was the pure magic of nature,thanks to the airport authorities to maintain it so well.


Live from China-image012.jpg

Live from China-image014.jpg

Live from China-image022.jpg

Live from China-image030.jpg

Live from China-image034.jpg

Live from China-image038.jpg

Live from China-image040.jpg

Live from China-image046.jpg

Live from China-image048.jpg


Actually we were based in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, about 80km away from the Epicenter of the earthquake, Wenchuan. Chengdu is hometown of the Giant Panda. The Panda is a national treasure, and has been lovingly referred to as the hermit of the bamboo forest because in its natural habitat, it dwells alone for most of its life. Panda is one of the world’s rarest animals.

http://www.panda.org.cn/english/


http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attr...rch-center.htm


A few pictures from Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center
Live from China-panda-2.jpg

Live from China-panda-1.jpg


Coming back to the EQ experience , it all started as some sort of banging sound. Initially I thought it could be a group of students playing drums but soon realized that it was something more dramatic and scary.The rattling sound got heavier coupled with everything around and the building as a whole beginning to shake.

It was a big and first time in life kind of Shock for me. Students started rushing out of their classrooms in panic. Some of them rushed to toilets in their respective floors. Within no time all the corridors were overcrowded and the mass began to move down the stairs. I saw my wify at the other end of the big building in the crowd. I screamed in vain to tell her to find the nearest exit to go down to the ground floor.As we climbed down the stairs, I saw the concrete getting ruptured and all of a sudden it became dusty around.

I thought we wouldn’t survive. We manage to reach the ground floor and run to the open area in front of the main building. we were continuously screaming to make sure nobody jumped down out of windows. But still I found some students doing that from the first floor and luckily they were unhurt.

What impressed me was that in no time the fire and rescue and some security personals arrived and got into the action and guided us to the safer place. Soon first Earth Tremors calmed down. The tents were brought and the restricted areas were marked but the telephone lines were disconnected [later I was told that it was intentional to stop people pressing panic buttons]. No telephone and no internet and no way to communicate with the outer world especially to our parents and relatives back home.

It was relieving to know that there wasn’t any causalities from our school. Within hours the Honorable President of Republic of China Mr. Hu Jintao and Premier Mr.Wen Jiabao lead the rescue operations in tandem standing there at the site [epicenter].The way they inspired the army and people at rescue work was commendable indeed, from an outsider point of view.
A pictures of the EQ from the Web.
Name:  800pxsichuan_earthquake_building_collasped.jpg
Views: 5548
Size:  132.1 KB

http://www.sustainablechina.info/wp-..._collasped.jpg

From the first day for a week we spend most of our time with our lovely students. During those days we did try pop in to our apartment and watched CCTV-9 to see the aftermath of the massive Earthquake.

We were getting used to the those innumerable after shocks and the company decided to resume classes as some of our senior students were to take their exams conducted by Cambridge University. After a week we went back to the classes just to experience another big after shock. No more we could continue teaching .The students were sent to Nanjing to take their exams and we flew back home,only to resume teaching after two months.

to be continued..
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Old 30th December 2012, 12:52   #2
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Default Re: Live from China

Great to see you start immediately with your Chinese experiences, M35.

It sure must have been a harrowing experience during the earthquake

Looking forward to hear more about your life in China - the happy portions!!
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Old 30th December 2012, 14:28   #3
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@ Mallumowgli for those nice words.

I came back to Chengdu and continue to enjoy my stay there for another four years.

Time to move on. Today I am in Tianjin a city very close to Beijing. Its more to the North and further away from India.

Tianjin

Tianjin is one of the four municipalities in China.Tianjin bears a splendid historical background. It was invaded by nine foreign countries long before the foundation of People's Republic of China-Italy, Germany, France, Russia, Great Britain, Austria, Japan and Belgium. This marked an extremely hard period for Tianjin and her people and those imperialist countries left permanent marks in her body, most notable of which were thousands of villas. Today those villas provide an exotic flavor to Tianjin, enhancing the beauty of the entire city.

Enjoy some night shots taken a couple of months ago.

Live from China-1.jpg

Live from China-6.jpg

Live from China-4.jpg

Live from China-5.jpg

Live from China-2.jpg

Live from China-3.jpg

Live from China-8.jpg

Live from China-9.jpg

Live from China-10.jpg

Live from China-11.jpg

Live from China-13.jpg

Live from China-14.jpg

Live from China-16.jpg

Live from China-15.jpg

Live from China-17.jpg

Live from China-18.jpg

Live from China-12.jpg

to be continued..
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Old 30th December 2012, 21:19   #4
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I guess a first for China. Would be hooked on this one!

There are some wonderful photographs an I must say that the buildings are awesome. A spell binding start with a tragic incident.
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Old 31st December 2012, 14:58   #5
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M35, that's a nice start of the Travelogue and wonderful night pictures of Tianjin.
After my stay in Singapore for a while, i somehow started loving these Chinese cities.
Subscribed and waiting for the rest
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Old 31st December 2012, 18:52   #6
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Thanks TaureanBull and BulZire for those nice words.

continued..

Roads and Infrastructure:

I am shockingly surprised to see the way roads are built here considering the fact that it is a heavily populated country like ours. The land acquisition could be easier here compared to our country. But the rate at which changes take place here is amazing. Not just the roads but the traffic signal system, the frequency of under passes and over passes with adequate areas specifically made for people to walk around and relax. In the evenings people come out with their pets and walk around in those artificially made green parks and pavements in cities.

Now let the pictures speak. These were taken randomly over some years of my stay in some less popular and less heard cities like Chengdu, Chongqing and Tianjin.

A couple of shots from the apartment I stayed in Chongqing:
Live from China-cq1.jpg

Live from China-cq2.jpg

A closer shot
:
Live from China-cq4.jpg

A common sight on roads:
Live from China-cq-pk.jpg

A longer shot through one of the windows in the apartment:
Live from China-cq3.jpg

A few shots from Chengdu roads taken a few years back:
Live from China-cd-4.jpg

Live from China-cd1.jpg

Live from China-cd2.jpg

Live from China-cd3.jpg

Live from China-cd5.jpg

Inside one of Chengdu buses:
Live from China-cd-bus.jpg

Blue sky-a rare affair:
Live from China-cd-sun.jpg

Me and wify used to take this route for our regular evening walks:
Live from China-cd-walk-5.jpg

Live from China-cd-walk.jpg

Live from China-cd-walk3.jpg

Live from China-cdwalk2.jpg

Live from China-cdwalk4.jpg

A shot taken from the apartment in Chengdu:
Live from China-cd-h1.jpg

More recent shots in Tianjin:
Live from China-t1.jpg

Live from China-t2.jpg

Live from China-t3.jpg

Live from China-t4.jpg

Max Speed 40km/hr in this Tunnel:
Live from China-tradar.jpg

The bullet train -just about 30 minutes to Beijing:

Live from China-tbullet1.jpg

Live from China-tbullet2.jpg

Some useful links on the transportation in China:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_in_China

http://www.chinahighlights.com/trave...ransportation/

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/greentransport/

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel...na-TG-C-1.html

to be continued..

BTW it is snowing here in Tianjin these days and can't enjoy it any more..


Last edited by M35 : 31st December 2012 at 18:56.
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Old 31st December 2012, 19:10   #7
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No one owns land in China. It is leased to the person by the state for a hundred years at a time.
India may never ever reach the same levels of infrastructure development at the same speed ad China.
Might as well accept this if one lives here...


Quote:
Originally Posted by M35 View Post
Thanks TaureanBull and BulZire for those nice words.

continued..

Roads and Infastructure:

I am shockingly surprised to see the way roads are built here considering the fact that it is a heavily populated country like ours. The land acquisition could be easier here compared to our country. But the rate at which changes take place here is amazing. Not just the roads but the traffic signal system, the frequency of under passes and over passes with adequate areas specifically made for people to walk around and relax. In the evenings people come out with their pets and walk around in those artificially made green parks and pavements in cities.


_

Last edited by benbsb29 : 31st December 2012 at 21:49. Reason: Fixed broken quote tag.
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Old 31st December 2012, 22:32   #8
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Wow, amazing pictures and I am eagerly looking forward to the rest of the article. There is no way India can catch up with China and its a fact that all of us must accept. Days are not far away when China would be have the best of everything in the world(If they haven't already) . Be it the tallest building, longest bridge, longest tunnel, biggest dam, biggest building(this again is in Chengdu and I think it was opened recently) and the list goes on. Hats of to them, its a pity that even though we are their neighbors we have not been able to emulate them and establish a better relationship.
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Old 1st January 2013, 08:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillout View Post
Wow, amazing pictures and I am eagerly looking forward to the rest of the article. There is no way India can catch up with China and its a fact that all of us must accept. Days are not far away when China would be have the best of everything in the world(If they haven't already) . Be it the tallest building, longest bridge, longest tunnel, biggest dam, biggest building(this again is in Chengdu and I think it was opened recently) and the list goes on. Hats of to them, its a pity that even though we are their neighbors we have not been able to emulate them and establish a better relationship.
Our country won't be able to catch up with China especially in developments and infrastructure. The main reasons being the less complicated land acquisition process [as the individuals don't own land here as said by Shankar.balan in his post],cheap labor, availability of resources and difference in the political system who execute the plan.

We Indians don't have to complain for the fact that our neighbor is growing faster. Instead we citizens of India should see the root cause within ourselves for the slow progress especially when it comes to development of infrastructure in our country.

Last edited by M35 : 1st January 2013 at 08:58.
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Old 1st January 2013, 15:04   #10
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Time for some more refreshing shots- this time some wild life:

A few friends from Chongqing Zoo:
Live from China-cq2.jpg

Live from China-cq1.jpg

Live from China-cq3.jpg

Live from China-cq5.jpg

The king

Live from China-cq4.jpg

My favorite
Live from China-1cq0.jpg

Live from China-cq11.jpg

The more familiar ones
Live from China-cq9.jpg

Cuties
Live from China-cq12.jpg

Live from China-cq13.jpg

The tower
Live from China-cq8.jpg

Live from China-cq7.jpg


From Chengdu:

Live from China-cd6.jpg

from Chengdu Panda breeding and research centre:

Live from China-cd-pan15.jpg

Live from China-cd-pan16.jpg

A different coloured Panda
Live from China-cd-pan-brown17.jpg
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Old 1st January 2013, 16:17   #11
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World of Food

Characteristic features of China food :
  • China food invariably consists of more than two components - rice, noodles or Mantou that is steamed beans, containing plenty of carbohydrate and fat
  • Rice is a main part of most of the Chinese foods
  • Soup is an obvious starter before each Chinese menu
  • China food uses special utensils called Chopsticks while eating
  • Maximum Chinese dishes are ready to be picked up directly and begin eating
  • A Chinese recipe comprises a number of items and dishes, involving sophistication and diversification
  • China food is devoid of any rich spices, so are basically healthy, harmless, but at the same time, tasty too.
A few pictures clicked today

Live from China-dsc_0074.jpg

Live from China-dsc_0075.jpg

Live from China-dsc_0071.jpg

Live from China-dsc_0070.jpg

Live from China-dsc_0069.jpg

Live from China-dsc_0068.jpg

Live from China-dsc_0065.jpg

Live from China-dsc_0066.jpg

Live from China-soup1.jpg

Live from China-nood.jpg


Fast food in China
The trend of eating fast food in China is growing rapidly. The culture of Fast food in China is also developing rapidly.The Chinese are also trying western fast foods.McDonald's and Pizza huts are some of the famous fast food restaurants in modern china.
Live from China-pizza.jpg


Live from China-kfc.jpg


Live from China-1.jpg


Read more:
http://www.mapsofworld.com/china/china-food/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chinese_dishes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_cuisine

Last edited by M35 : 1st January 2013 at 16:19.
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Old 1st January 2013, 20:25   #12
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It was a very cold day today.But still managed to click a few pictures of some cars on roads here.The streets were too crowded today. We [me and wify] had lunch out side [BBQ] and got back home in a taxi.

Live from China-dsc_0090.jpg

Live from China-dsc_0095.jpg

Live from China-dsc_0096.jpg

Live from China-dsc_0098.jpg

Live from China-dsc_0103.jpg

Live from China-dsc_0102.jpg


Also clicked a few cars on the way back
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Old 1st January 2013, 20:29   #13
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How did you communicate with the taxi drivers and other locals? English? Or sign language?

More pics of the streets, traffic & city skyline please!
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Old 1st January 2013, 20:39   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
How did you communicate with the taxi drivers and other locals? English? Or sign language?

More pics of the streets, traffic & city skyline please!
We always keep our home address printed with us. But in Tianjin locals[youngsters] speak English reasonably well compared to chengdu and Chongqing.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 15:38   #15
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Chinese love German cars.The roads here are crowded with VWs,Audis,BMWs and Benzs. I didn't want to click pictures of those familiar faces.

On the 1st Jan, after having lunch, on the way back to my apartment clicked a few pictures from roads here.It was very cold out side some thing around -9C.So could only click a few before we got back home in hurry.

A few chinese makes first

Live from China-c2.jpg

Live from China-c3.jpg

Live from China-c1.jpg

some random pictures of cars

Live from China-aveo.jpg

This SUV looks gorgeous

Live from China-dodge.jpg

Subaru Forester- seen quite a few here
Live from China-forester.jpg

Live from China-gcls.jpg

Jeep- a lot of them
Live from China-jeep.jpg

Live from China-kol.jpg

Looks like Micra

Live from China-micra.jpg

Mini-one of the favorites here
Live from China-mini.jpg

Live from China-mini2.jpg

Live from China-park.jpg

Live from China-porche.jpg

Live from China-volvo.jpg

haven't heard of this Toyota
Live from China-toy.jpg

Live from China-vw.jpg


Some more pictures from streets


Live from China-st1.jpg

Live from China-st2.jpg

Live from China-st3.jpg

Live from China-st4.jpg

Live from China-st5.jpg

Live from China-st6.jpg

Live from China-st7.jpg

Live from China-st8.jpg
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