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Archive for June, 2007

The highest temperature today will be 37 celsius degrees, close to the record high..as the forecast says. Jesus… We have to suffer from several days’ hot weather again.
 
Yesterday evening, a thunderstorm with hails swept down the city .  It lasted only about a quarter but with uncontrollable violence. The strong winds blasted across our neighbourhood and the rain began to pour down.  Just in a few minutes, some streams were seen flowing on the ground.  Something was tapping the window. We saw hails falling down in the rain!
Soon, the ground was peppered with thousands of tiny prills that melted away when they reached the ground. The trees were being shaken violently from side to side by the wind, and I was worrying whether they could stand the powerful force of the wind.
 
The storm stopped as quickly as it came.  About 15 minutes later, it was gone and everything became quiet outside.  The clouds were still hanging overhead, but the wind had stopped. We walked outside to feel the cool air.  The leaves were scattered on the ground, as a result of the storm.  The streams disappeared, the ground was wet, patches of water could be seen here and there.  Inhaling the cool air, you could taste its freshness.

Yet the coolness will soon be driven away by the heat today.  What a pity! From the heaven, then to the hell..My goodness..

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This Friday, my friend Anne asked me to answer some questions she raised in her blog, as is part of the game. I received similar requests before but I didn’t accept them coz I found some of them were either privacy-probing or too meaningless to answer.  Partly also due to my laziness. This time, there are only 5 questions, which is not beyond my patience.  Now, here come the answers:
 
1.  Will you still love her if you cannot be together due to one reason or another?
 
Answer:  The love will stay, but in another form.
 
2. What were you thinking about and doing before you were reaching thirty?
 
Answer: I was struggling my way out in a state-owned company and thinking about doing sth to get closer to my dream, though I am still struggling for it.
3. How will you spend it if tomorrow is the doomsday?
Answer: I will do nothing about it as I already know my fate.
 
4. Which will you choose, ones that have blood ties with you or your lover?
 
Answer: The former.
 
5.What kind of rainy day do you like?
 
Answer: I like walking in a drizzle that slowly wets my hair, but doesn’t s make me soaked through.
 
And, let the game stop here, not being a burden of others.

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Smoky Days!

The weather in Beijing is so terrible that I really can’t bear it any longer. Humid and sultry, I keep sweating when I go outside the door ( I’m not that fat yet!).  The sky is filled with grey clouds but not a single drop of rain falls from the sky. The clouds seem to be descending slowly from the sky and driving you out of breath.
 
The air smells more peculiar in the evening. And it is foggy. The weather is generally fine in this season in Beijing, but it seems different this year.
 
Several days ago, I read a newspaper and learned the reason. Some peasants in the nearby Hebei Province burnt the stalks and the smoke was so heavy that it floated to Beijing. This reminds me a similar news several years ago. The peasants in Shuangliu county, Chengdu,the capital of Sichuan province, burnt the stalks after harvest and the heavy smoke had caused the airport nearby to be closed for several days: The airplanes simply couldn’t find their routes to land and take off!

We all know the environmental problems are deterioating in China, and we still we have a long way to go in educating our people to pay more attention to it. However, a hungry man’s first need is to fill up his stomach, so we have to develop our economy and make our people rich. An old Chinese saying goes like this,” People behave well when they are well off.” You can’t count on a hungry man to pay attention to the environmental factors. Only at that time, can we help them build up their awareness of environmental protection. And I do hope it will not be too faraway from us.

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One of our customers is going to retire this month. He is the vice president of the company and has been doing business with us for many years. At the time of his retirement, I wrote a letter to him on behalf of the whole team. Here comes the letter.
 
Dear Bill,
 
At this special moment, please accept the greetings from China, a country you have visited so many times and a place where you have made so many good friends during the past eleven years. Eleven years! It is just a flash in the river of time, but it means a lot in one’s life. We feel so honored and appreciative that you have devoted the most important part of your life to China market.  As one of the most important pioneers in introducing sulphur-based Sulphuric Acid technique to China, you have every reason to be proud of its rapid growth in China. Chinese customers owe great thanks to you; China phosphate fertilizer industry owes great thanks to you!
 
As our old friend, you have witnessed China’s rapid changes during the years. You once told us about your first visit to China, the memory which has been engraved on your mind forever. The dark and poorly furnished small airport in Guiyang, and the bumpy roads, and it took several hours to get to the factory…Now the shabby Guiyang airport has turned into a big modern airport in Southwest China. You have also witnessed the great development of sulphur-based Sulphuric Acid industry in China, to which you have contributed a lot thanks to your unremitting efforts.
· In our eyes, you are not only a capable business partner but also a good personal friend. Your relationship with the Chinese customers has gone far beyond business relations. Solid friendship has been forged between you and them. It is your unique personal charisma that has attracted them. Tonight, thanks to the advanced internet technology, some of them are sending their heartfelt regards from their hometown to show their thankfulness and acknowledgement.
 
However, ”There never was a feast but the guests have to depart”, as an ancient Chinese saying goes. The feast with you began about 11 years ago, and now it is coming to the end because of your retirement. Recalling the past 11 years, we have experienced joy and happiness, and we have come through hardships and difficulties. Now we will see you off as an outstanding business partner, but we are here to welcome you as our best friend.
 
Finally, we wish you to enjoy your life after retirement, and enjoy your time with your family. Meanwhile, we also wish you to come back sometime in the future, and your old buddies are always ready to embrace you in a place that can be called your second home.
 
Wish you good luck, Bill!

Sincerely yours,

 Allen

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Hi, Cynthia!
 
Thanks for sending those questions to me and I’d like to accept your invitation accordingly.  Here are my replies to your questions:
 
Q1:In your life,what you desire the most and least wanna lose?
 
I hope to be a hermit like Tao Yuanming, but I can never be.  A peaceful and meaningful life is always what I desire most.
 
Of course, my life is what I wanna lose least.
 
Q2:If you were given a chance to choose another life,what would that be?
 
I want to be a tree, or some plant in a deep and secluded valley.  Men are too sophiscated.  The simpler, the better.
 
Q3:Are you satisfied with your present life?
 
No. Remember Man is insatiable. I hope my family and I can lead a better life than now.
 
Q4:Who do you think of when you get lonely?
 
My parents, and my own family. They are the dearest to me.
 
Q5:What is the life principle you stick to?
 
Be what I am.
 
I wish my replies rather than answers would satisfy you.  Thanks again, Cynthia.

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I wrote this several days ago but only finished it today.  Do share your views with me, buddies…
 
 
 There barely seems to be any correlation between the two. But what will you do if there is?
 
Chinese toothpaste producers must be having a hard time recently.  Several claims on safety of the products originated from China have been lodged by some other countries.  The issue was triggered by the Panama government who claimed that the toothpaste they imported from China contained diethyl glycol, a toxic organic chemical.
 
This having been revealed, many countries and areas are taking action against the toothpaste of Chinese origin: USA, Canada, Singapore, Panama…Last week, Hong Kong customs released an announcement and asked the citizens not to buy three brands of toothpaste from mainland China.

How do you think about this issue? In my opinion, the domestic toothpaste producers need to think about it thoroughly. There is fire where there is smoke. Are we making our products according to the standards accepted by the users in other countries? Are we fully aware of the difference between our standard and those adopted by other countries?
 
On the other hand, our enormous trade surplus has made us the punching bag of our trade partners.  Many countries always have a bone to pick with us and are trying to seek any chance to find fault with us.  They are trying every way to denigrate China and Chinese products.  Clearly, They have their own axe to grind.
 
However,what should we do to avoid this and what lessons can we draw from the issue? It’s high time for us to address this problem properly and tactfully now. 

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Thinking of Shanxi, what emerges before your eyes may be inexhaustible coal, numerous coal mines big or small, clever merchants, and traditional courtyards. These have somehow become the symbols of the province. However, the recent disclosure of the appalling facts about illegal exploitation of workers by some local brickkilns has disgraced the whole province.
 
An avalanche of news coverage is available on the major domestic websites about the tragedy and its latest progress. Tremendous concern has been aroused throughout the country, from the top government officials like Hu Jintao to commonfolks like us.
 
I can’t restrain my indignation after reading those astounding reports. While I deeply sympathize those helpless and despairing workers, I really want to query those local officials: How dare those unscrupulous brickkiln owners exploit those
workers from other places so barbarically? What were you doing while those pathetic workers, among whom the yungest was no more than 8 years old,were sweating or bleeding in a hell of scorching brickkliln? How come you had known nothing about it?
· There’s nothing to be surprised at. I come to realize you are birds of a feather. Thanks to your connivance, and your patronage, those guys have got the chance to complete such a “feat” by introducing some “slaves” in our so-called civilized and progressive society. They have formed a  chain of supplying “slaves”: some traders in human beings managed to coax people eager to find a job at train stations, or even abducted people from other places. Then they sold their “preys” to those brickkiln owners at very low prices. Here at the brickkilns, their nightmares in the hell had just begun. These pitiful people, having lost freedom, their health, and finally their hope, were forced to work over 10 hours a day.
 
I am so astonished to see what Mr. Xia Yan, a famous Chinese writer, had depicted almost a century ago about the life of exploited workers has been repeated now. What a shame!
 
Now, Shanxi has another name-card, one that is called modern slaves..
 
Just put one beautiful picture here, as I don’t want to bring those nightmares back to you, and you can find them everywhere if you like.

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