June, 4 – 1989: Why?

4 06 2015

Sad anniversary today: the Tiananmen Square Massacre happened 26 years ago, and it is still very clear in the collective memories, at least outside China for what the international press could offer to the world view.

The image we all foreigners (laowai) remember too well is the single man in front on the tank column:

Tank Man

It was June 5, 1989, the morning after the Chinese military had suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 by force.

Another image will always remain impressed in my memory (also because it had been printed as full page with no other words), from Sergio Staino, Italian comics author for the periodic called “Cuore“, a left wing satiric magazine:

well done, “comrade” Deng!

A strong image, from left-wing people crying sad tears for the worst application of Communism in reality..

Officially it is thought that the memory of the Tiananmen Square protests appears to have faded in China, especially among younger Chinese people, due to government censorship and many pages about these facts, Wikipedia included, are blocked in China. But in my short experience in China, participating to English corner events at the university of Hefei, I got more than once questions about our foreigner vision or knowledge of the protest in those days. Warm and delicate topic to treat. Difficult to be objective, even for a person in love with China as I am!

To my surprise though, quite a few of young students used the various VPN and proxy not only for Facebook or YouTube but also for reading international news and information and jump over the so called Great Firewall of China. Still, politics in particular and how China is seen from abroad are topics I always preferred to avoid.

I admit though that the sad anniversary takes me back to happy days in China and in Hefei, especially. And browse through my past posts brought me some sadness and longing feeling of that life, those people (one in particular, at least in my mind image of her), that food (!!)… I’ll be back one day and some things, not all fo course, will be equally good. Some other, maybe, probably, even better!

Missing Hefei

19 04 2014

where i live now..

Nan Yan lake

Many can think it is crazy, but I had a great time in that “little” city!

Italian jerseys

789.. dice game!

Fencing practice

working in clean room

Missing the good time with friends..


Missing the guy I used to be!

Teppanyaki in Hefei

At Perfetto

Chinese kebab roll

Missing the food of course!!!

The things I regret the most

10 09 2013

Subtitle: In other words, what I will do during my next trips..

Around 5 pm of Friday 2nd April 2010, Beijing time, I arrived at Hefei and (funny, the dates in my life seem to repeat at fixed intervals.. very engineering) Monday 2nd September 2013 I was back in Italy: after 1249 days or exactly 3 years and 5 months (107.913.600 seconds or 1.798.560 minutes or 29.976 hours) my first experience about living in Asia has ended.

The reasons that brought me to this decision have been a good mix between professional and personal ones: the last job in the south (Longgang district of Shenzhen, a village of typical Chinese mass production factories) had only the effect to make me realize that I want ot work more in modern electronics companies in testing, development, hands-on roles. Not a managerial position in a factory that needed more qualified and expert people than me in order to improve their production system. Unfortunately I took a challenge hoping in a better guidance that I did get at the end, in an environment that was just a Chinese factory ran in Chinese way, maybe the only way to survive in Guangdong! Read the rest of this entry »

Hefei… long time no see

12 08 2013

Back for a few days in Hefei visiting a good friend I haven’t seen since I left last October…

And among the things I have not see on long time if ever is the outside temperature when I arrived today around 17:30


and tonight few moments ago at midnight


…. Wow …..

Or better, a Chinese would say:


End of the year

30 12 2012

2012 almost finished but when I have a look at the weather, or when I walk out and look at the sky, and it is so difficult for me to think that it is actually 29th December, winter..

I hear from friends in China that in Hefei it is heavily snowing and the north and East (Shanghai) are extremely cold right now..

Yesterday the weather was like this:

sky from my office
sunny day in the center

..with a temperature in the afternoon over 22C, with peaks at 24C!

I am impressed and terrified at the same time: how will the summer be the summer???

In the meantime, as 潘蕾 showed me, the situation has been like this for a few days.. let’s hope she will be able to catch an event less flight down here tomorrow!

Snow in Hefei

First night, first day!

3 11 2012

I had an almost sleepless first night in Longgang, not because of any special bad noise or because I was too excited or nervous for the new job. Of course, I had some thoughts about today, but it was not really the main reason.

In Hefei I have lived 2 years and 7 months in an apartment at the 13th floor of a building inside a compound in.. the countryside, as we called it! Nan Yan lake area was never a very busy area, even if in the last 2+ years they finished building 2 compounds on the northern side of mine and more people moved in. But the “life” there remained mainly as a countryside city border kind, with no special night open place (actually there was a “cafe'” open 24 hours meant for Mahjong players and there were now building a typical Chinese bath)

from my window

Here in Longgang I live in a nice sort of double room apartment inside the factory area, a typical Chinese dorm concept, and the factory itself is in the back street of one quite large city road, ie. I am surrounded by building and closer to normal people life. Also I am at the 3rd floor, therefore closer to street sounds. Not noisy at all (the factory as said is not straight on a main road) but for me it was an interesting change of auditory scenery.

So a few times during the night I got up and went at the window just to have a look outside: truth to be said, down here the place seems to be extremely alive at night, with several people eating in the small restaurants I could see from the window or people just walking around, probably going home after the night out.. A nice view!

Then it came the first day at work, where things, especially at the beginning, as usual  are still a little messy. Especially now I got much to understand and learn about the new business and challenges. And the new work I am supposed to do. I think I got to learn again some design electronics and hands-on electronics, at least until we will have a larger team of engineers. Interesting, intriguing and.. scaring at the same time! :-)


As posted somewhere else and told by several friends, these south cities are nightlife places.. but not always it means good for business, like shown in the following set of pics of some abandoned KTV palce here in Longgang:

Abandoned KTV and Nightclub Longgang Shenzhen China

FUNNY THING OF THE DAY – (First day, things!) Walking around, for the first time, after work, I noticed first the huge amount of typical small restaurants in the street. In 50 meters from the factory to the first large crossing I passed maybe 10 of them! This is a lot even for China I would say!
The restaurants is not the only thing that catch my attention during the “first steps” outside the company, as uncommon as well (at least in Hefei): the high number of extremely well dressed pretty girls, with short skirts and beautiful long legs (apparently KTV, night clubs, bars, etc workers). It was a struggle for my head to keep up turning from side to side.
Then I noticed (heard first) several bikes with a comfortable seat on the rear carrying around these pretty girls. At first I thought lucky boyfriends, but then noticed the amount of similar bikes and the difference in clothing (beauty) between the “passenger” and the driver: these must be bicycle taxi. They also got a special bike bell, the kind of the typical child (or dog) plastic toy that makes the squeaking sound when pressed (I always think about the movie Snatch and the dog eating the plastic toy, so making the same squeak every time trying to barf!).
Last funny thing for today, less funny though, is that even with my good tunnel (used efficiently for blog and FB) I cannot open youtube at all! Yeah, I know, not funny for me!

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.


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