What a beginning of 2016!!

29 12 2015

Thanks to dear [Aikido] friends in Trondheim, I will teach for the first time a weekend seminar (even a paid seminar, even if the thought was scaring me..!)…

No, wait a second, it is not true!! The true part is that for the first time I will teach a weekend paid seminar, and this makes me indeed a little nervous, but in China I used to go at least once per month to Hangzhou (my dream city, the place where I should have moved to in 2013!) for weekend seminars, and quite demanding ones!!


Aikido weekend in Hangzhou

Anyway, back to Europe, in the weekend 9-10 January I will be on the mats of Trondheim Aikido dojo practicing with some local old and new Aiki-friends, warming up for hopefully a good year and a little earlier kagami biraki, 鏡開き..

aikidude in Moscow

Seminar in Trondheim (click for info)

Given the common background with most people in Trondheim (as written in the Norwegian poster, Endo shihan, and the Swedish Vanadis “team” Nevelius – Lyly senseis have been both for my friends up there and myself a constant inspiration and help in Aikido growth!), I will actually work more in my most recent Aikido developments, or, better said, slight change of direction: the Aikido of Irie shihan and the practice I am having in Amsterdam Aikido dojo with Tom Dijkman sensei, a good student of Yasuno shihan.

I hope we can work together and have fun with some different Aikido from what they are used to, and I also hope maybe to stimulate some interest toward different teachers that also visit Europe.. so maybe I can get some good company when travelling to their seminars! Yeah, selfish as usual!! 😉

But, the most important thing is that I hope they will be as happy as I will be to practice in Trondheim, or just to practice Aikido together!

For now, happy new year my friends! And see you soon!

PS The money is of course for the dojo or for a common use in pizza 🙂

New book, new drink, same place

16 05 2013


I can’t actually say “same old place”, because even if I am again enjoying Starbucks drink and a Murakami book in one of my usual places in Hangzhou, it has changed a lot since last time I was here!

I started reading Murakami book about running, maybe to find some inspiration for doing something very healthy that I totally dislike. Or maybe just because I would read an essay about eating crap if it was written by Haruki san!

For a change I’m drinking a frappuccino even if I will take also a double espresso soon, because the weather demands it: continuous heavy rain, probably since a couple of days ago!


Yeah, the place is quite different from.. 6 months ago or so.. I don’t really like it now. They made it more modern looking, more functional (at the table there are a few extra power plugs) but I think it is much colder than before (and I don’t mean the air condition!).

That’s life probably… Everything aims to be practical losing on the way some warm feelings. Or maybe I’m just getting old.

The answer in a couple of hours: practice and it’s about 6 months (last time here) since the last session I taught, with the exception of a class in my home town in Italy.. At least tonight I can speak English: easier!!

Discovering a new airport!

16 05 2013

As planned I spent the night in a new airport: Hangzhou. This is my way to discover what airports can offer, and Hangzhou had been quite comfortable. I could in fact sleep in a massage chair at the departure floor.

Also, being a quite small airport, even if it is open during the night the departure floor is extremely quite and they even switch the lights off!!

The night there was planned, but not the delay of the flights from Shenzhen. Maybe because most of China (central and north part) are having a terrible storm rainy weather, almost all flights have been delayed and some even cancelled. My flight for Hangzhou was on time as scheduled until the boarding time, then they start adding delay until they gave up and just said to wait.

Total lack of information, typical attitude of Chinese society, towards the masses that usually are too afraid of authorities to raise their head.. But after waiting for hours, the sheep there must have realized that air officers are not really officers, ie. they got no real power, differently from police or army.. so along the many hours of wait at least 2-3 times I heard shouts of angry passengers towards the air representatives. Once especially a large amount of people group around one guy shouting and probably threatening the gate officials, to the point that some of the security people arrived to calm the situation. After that, nothing changed. And the gate people keep being very unkind as if it is normal the passengers should just wait and shut up. I am happy to see even the Chinese passengers sometimes do not accept this.

At the end we were boarded around 1am (flight time was 22:05) and had a first sleep on the plane followed by a couple good hours on the massage chair!

As last note: the weather in Shenzhen had been cloudy and rainy for maybe 10 minutes.. most of the time sunny and hot as usual!!

FUNNY THING OF THE DAY – I like very much this hotel in Hangzhou because there is a pc in every room and also I had already tested my VPN tunnel with good results, but the internet explorer version is so old (6.x) that most pages do not open correctly.. so even if I will hopefully manage to post this, I did not manage to include the pictures.. I just could set the links (maybe.. if they work!)

Add — I can save the draft but I can’t publish the post!!! The “Publish” button does not appear in the screen, probably because the coding too advanced for this IE version!! I will have to use one WordPress application from iPhone (that amazingly let me open the blog even if I do not have any VPN set on the iPhone), but for doing that I have to go to the nearby Starbucks, because no WiFi in the hotel!!

Farewell Hangzhou! Farewell Hefei!

1 11 2012

Is it possible to bid farewell to a place where I have never lived?

I tried very hard to move to Hangzhou now, after resigning from the job in Hefei. I tried to find a job in this city where, besides so many friends, I could have a place to practice Aikido very often, maybe even every day. I have applied to almost anything closely relevant (and not), even sent email to company announcing job not relevant but working in a field where I got some or little expertise.

None of this had been useful: maybe my mistake is actually that I did focus too much at the beginning on Hangzhou, and then I did not even find relevant job advertisements in Shanghai. This is maybe the strange thing.

But what it is done is done. At this time I could not find a job in Hangzhou and now the decision to move has been taken, and quite a move, in terms of km, but not only.

My next step will take me to LongGang, 龙岗, a “district” of Shenzhen, at least according to Wikipedia, but in reality it is a city in the surrounding of Shenzhen (a good 35 km from the center, about 70 km from the airport). True, there is a metro connection, LongGang line, made for the Universiade event in 2011.

I received two offers in this last month of active job searching. None of the two jobs were anything like: “Wow! I want to do this!!”.. but on the other hand last time I had this feeling was for the job I had in Stavanger, for my last 4 years in Norway.

For both offers I had to evaluate pro’s and con’s, and accept some sorts of compromises with respect to the job I had here in Hefei (or would have in Tianjin with Hefei company), with respect ot my hopes and expectations . with respect to reality, since I do not speak Chinese..

The offer that I got form the other company was the sort of compromises that make you feel like the rednecks in Police Academy when they realize why the Blue Oyster bar is special.. and probably how their evening is going to end..

..that was more or less the feeling I had if I was going to accept the other offer, even if the kind of products were closer in modernity than the ones in the south. At least at the beginning!!

At the end anyway it is farewell from Hefei where I spent the last 2 years and 7 months, and I have enjoyed the place and the people here. Learnt from the past job and environment.

A new chapter, a new place where I know no one, again moving with a jump more or less in the dark.. so much to discover! Exciting!

Good luck to me! 😉

FUNNY THING OF THE DAY – I noticed this watching the medal table of the Universiade: USA in the last 10 years have been not doing so well!!! After 1999 they never managed anymore to win the medal rank, and often they got even lower than the 5th position. It is true that in the Asian events usually Asian teams are more favorite, and the growth of China in the sport scene in the past 10 years have been impressive (sometimes, of course, the impression had been a chemical one!). Anyway, in many fields USA have lost the top positions, and probably the Universiade are a good picture of sport real values.

Post Script to the previous post

15 07 2012

During a break from reading Murakami I checked as usual some job Internet page and for the first time I found an opening in Japan for field application engineer (what I do!) where they do NOT ask out front for Japanese language skills!!!


Of course I wrote straight away to the HR..

In truth I never worked hands on in that field, but I got academic experience, motivations, extensive engineering knowledge…. And I can make a damn good tiramisu!!!!


Normal coffee? Wait please!

15 07 2012

I just realized that at Starbucks asking for a normal brewed coffee is strange to the least. The do not keep it ready for serving but often they just make the desired cup size.

Anyway, coffee & 1Q84 for some relax morning in Hangzhou.

Have a good Sunday everybody!!

Sent from The Lao Wai’s iPhone

Park 1999 bar in Hangzhou: great vibes!

25 03 2012

Aikido weekend in Hangzhou, and after a nice afternoon practice (one session by Ulrich and one by me), a good dinner with the friends here, Ulli and I went exploring the night life along the lake, in Nanshan Road (南山路).

For the first time we visited a place called Park 1999: they told us there was a private party, but anyway we could go in and search for a place to sit.

We discovered that actually there were like 3 different bars in a wood construction around an open yard, that must be really nice in summer time. We were lucky though to head at once for one room on the second floor (the one the pictures in the link above refer to!!).

First of all, I did not see any foreigner: wow!! I liked it at once! Then being foreigner there, some guys at a table told us that we could join them (helps though that Ulrich speaks perfect Chinese!!). The choice of beers is not so large and all for long evenings: either 1 liter big can or the 5 liters ones. But at least it was acceptable German beer!

But the most amazing part was the music show!

We arrived that the band was performing a quite difficult cover of a Taiwanese band called Shin (信乐团, Xìn yuètuán) whose singer has an amazing high voice.. let’s say I never heard a good cover of this band, before last night!

And then the show took a more insturmental turn: several different drums appeared in the bar and were distributed to all the people sitting at the tables and the band started an amazing drum play transmitting good vibes to all the people, that joined in..

Definitively a place to visit again next time in Hangzhou!!!

Now, time to check out the hotel, and then at 14:30 Aikido.. today I’ll focus on ikkyo from different attacks.. maybe keep full schedule on ikkyo!