El Cubano

31 07 2013

Listening to extremely good old music in a deserted Cuban bar very close to my hotel and enjoying an El Cubano shot (with extra rum):


In the background AC/DC, Deep Purple, Linkin Park and other assorted rock written and performed several years before all the people working in the bar were born!!!!

The sound of a fishing line snapping

30 07 2013

Subtitle: Fishing? God it’s so boring!!

Second day in Wuhan Aikido seminar for Dominique Rascle 2013 China tour, and for some reasons the locals decided to have a free day.

How to make it interesting? Go fishing!!

Really??? You gotta be kidding!

So here we are (when I’m writing) on the shore of an artificial fishing “paradise” close to East Lake, 东湖, where there is a major water space probably with bigger fishes and several small areas delimited with fish nets where there are several smaller fishes.

Dominique proved to be efficient in these smaller pool and got a few medium size fishes. I thought we were going to free them after capture but they put in a side net: dinner?

Consider that right now there are more than 35 degrees C in Wuhan, the sporadic breeze is really welcome. Otherwise it’s like to sit in a sauna: thank god at least most of fishing area has some roofing to cover from the hot sun.

People that live fishing say that on the peace they got time for thinking or for escaping from reality…

Good for them, but I already do think too much and if you want to escape from reality go and live in bloody Longgang village for 6 months!! I need reality: a nice shopping mall with AC and full of pretty girls shopping and smiling and walking around in typical Chinese summer skimpy clothes!!

But here I am with other 7 Aikido sweaty guys and lots of crickets singing or laughing at us!!

The day turned briefly better when they gave me a can of beer. From my mental image of fishing, I usually save only the beer drinking and bullshitting among guys. Former, checked. Latter, all speak Chinese and Dominique is taken by the fishing, so I bullshit here for future blog posting 😉

The highlight until now has been the fishing line snapping (no, not catching fish in an overpopulated pool): beside us there are three other guys and one had got something really big… Until the line snapped! I was surprised by the sound: it’s really loud!!

Second highlight if course eating the fishes!

Beijing, 38C!

24 07 2013


What a day!!

Second I’m a row with cloudless blue sky but today the temperature was much higher than yesterday. I had a nice long walk in the center, from Sanlitun to Sci-Tech after a good lunch with a friend and you could really feel the heat drilling through your head!!


Convenient to be a child and play freely in the fountains!

I just gave myself an extra cold vanilla
Frappuccino 🙂


In less than a hour the last Aikido session in Beijing with Dominique and tomorrow we will go together to Wuhan for four days. I’m a little worried about the temperature now since Wuhan is one of the three hottest cities in China (the three ovens: Wuhan, Nanjing and Hangzhou).

More sweat… Better for my fat body probably 😉

Lijiang old town: business & ONS

22 07 2013

Yes, ONS, the international acronym for One Night Stand, you are thinking correct! 潘蕾 told me that Lijiang is popular among the young people as the place to go when you are single or after a break up!

Lijiang old town is a quite impressive agglomerate of old houses aging even 600 years. They extend over a quite large area inside the proper city of Lijiang.



The special thing is that basically every house is now a shop or a hotel or a restaurant. And the tiny streets in the old town are so full of people (98% are Chinese tourist) that it is almost difficult walking.


The shops are selling all the local products of interest for tourist, all of course labeled as hand made, with often one worker showing the manufacturing process.

Common products are: silver bracelet and necklace and similar; colorful women’s cloths and large scarf to cover shoulders and upper body (used only by tourists, never by locals); lots of different shapes bells; tea; a special Yunnan coffee blend; jade (especially large rocks sold by weight where you can see some jade popping out but it’s impossible to say how much jade is really present inside the rock).

Among this local products, every 50 meters or so you find an… African drums shop!! And I found at least a couple of African souvenir shop. The relation to Yunnan? None that I can tell. Just bait for tourists. And the drum shop are all playing the same song that gives a good easy background for play the drums for any beginner.


In the food area it’s common to find products related to yak: meat and milk used for different local “delicacies”:


Then suddenly you walk in an area of the same old houses, larger ones, that have become clubs and bars. This is the place that offers not so cheap and definitively not free help to broken hearts. But beside the typical Chinese bar girls for evening company and more, there are also Chinese not professional girls in the old town for the same purpose as many boys. It is convenient that several houses have been transformed on inns and hotels so find a room even for one night is not difficult.


All in all I did not like neither the crowd not the general atmosphere: you feel that all the vendors of all kind are out to get you, to cheat you. It is “normal” in tourist places, I know, but the whole feeling in Lujiang old town is of artificiality. Nothing seemed real to me, as an ONS with the place.. Go, briefly enjoy it but no need to stay for breakfast..

Beijing… Japan?

20 07 2013

Just checked in my hotel for Dominique Rascle seminar in Beijing and the first thought was: wow, am I back in Japan?


The room is really tiny!! Very compact, real Japanese style!!

Unfortunately no window: little worried about how my keikogis can dry!!!

FUNNY THING OF THE DAY – Then I took a look of the toilet/shower room:


The toilet is straight under the shower head with about 20cm per side and the basin 20cm in front… Should I stand on the toilet seat to shower??

Cheap Hainan Airlines

20 07 2013

Cheap as mingy, miserly, penny-pinching, stingy, thrifty, tight, tight-wad…

I took the last flight from Kunming to Beijing an since it was arriving around 23, when express train and buses are not in traffic anymore, it was also the most convenient ticket.

I had planned my usual airport night and this time I discovered a 24 hours open Starbucks so at least it was more comfortable and with Internet.

What surprised me was that in the three hours flight between Kunming and Beijing on a completely full A330-300 we were served a tiny peanuts bag and a glass of soft drink or coffee/tea. That was all!!!

Ok, there was a nice entertainment system on every seat, good movies available from the boarding to the disembarking.

But in three hours flight in China I expect what most if not all the other companies I flight with: some food. In most of flight with length equal or larger than 2 hours you get warm food.

Hainan Airlines have clearly a different policy: movies, pretty stewardesses but nothing for the stomach!!!

Damn cheap!!

But dawn has come… here at Starbucks…


FUNNY THING OF THE DAY – I watched a couple of American movies in the flight and during the first one, after some moments of confusion, I realized that they had reformat the movies muting the swearing!!! All f-words, s-words and similar were muted inside the dialog… and often it was difficult to understand the full sentences!! Too cheap to provide a meal… maybe because they spent too much for editing the movies??

Lijiang delicacies

19 07 2013


Lijiang old town – Crickets and some sort of bugs: the crickets were ok actually, the bugs still too meaty.


Shuhe old town – Yak meat got pot, not bad. But during our organized trip at Lu Gu lake the guide said that in the old town iris never real yak meat. I hope for beef then… 😉


Lu Gu lake – There were different rates for the tour meals and we decided to chose the cheapest. Out of 30 people we were 7 for that. So we get the cheap food, and among thee other normal cheap veggies we got fried tiny shrimps and fishes… They taste about nothing 🙂 but I was one of the few that ate them!!