Tuesday, December 30, 2008

terrible mistake

made such a terrible mistake last night,
Dear Sir/Madamn,

My name is ****, I'm writing to apply to waive my TOEFL score....

if weren't highlighted in red, that mistake is almost unnoticeable, but still it's a mistake, a mistake that I've already sent to four recipients, who I request to waive my TOEFL score. So ironic...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Central at dusk

taken yesterday around 18:00. the camera sucks, the view's much better than this.

promotional skill

the Edison thing has been almost a year, remember all the craziness of digging all these ** photos during lunar new year's eve. As I was wandering in Golden Computer Center yesterday, so much better than the last time I was there, which was a total disaster, the PC sales men were playing Edison's apology video again and again and again as a selling point to attract tourists and consumers. And it's not just one retailer who's playing the video, most of the shops as long as they sell display or computer, it's like they've reached some kind of consensus, they all played it, shame on those who didn't. So it's like wherever you go, you see Edison's poor little face like some kind of criminal. Turn left, he's apologizing, turn right, wow, he's still apologizing. Such a relief they were not showcasing the photos on every display. I just wonder how much real extra revenue they do earn by doing so, probably not so much, since everybody is enacting such a strategy.

all about LUXURY

on SALE's time, you've gotta queue in line to get to see these luxuries, and it's not even weekend or Christmas day. damn, so many rich guys in this world, why am I not one!

Monday, December 22, 2008

X'mas time

it's so f*king cool around Christmas time, things' getting cheap and malls decorated in such wonderful festival atmosphere, this Christmas ROCKS!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hong Kong Science Museum

had a trip to Hong Kong Science Museum(香港科學館) this morning. The museum is closely located to Hung Kam station and neighbor to Hong Kong History Museum. It's a pretty good place for kids to learn especially with this little cost, 25 dollars for adults, 12.5 dollars for students. Some words from Wikipeida:
.....A total of 18 galleries cover a wide range of science and technology topics including light, sound, motion, electricity and magnetism, mathematics, life science, geography, meteorology, computer, transportation, communication, food science, energy/energy conservation and home technology. About 80% of the exhibits are participatory so that visitors may learn through direct involvement......

it's SALE time

the halo of Christmas has fallen upon us! it's X'mas ON SALE season! all the sweat and efforts in getting entrance to Hong Kong has finally paid off! it's so uplifting to have in your eyes all these little red "SALE" posted everywhere! all the savings and frugal acts before Christmas has finally come to fulfill its destiny! Thanks to Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

How to get to Shenzhen with Student Octopus

With student octopus, you always have 50% discount on the metro ride except for one route from Sheung Shui(上水) to the border station of Hong Kong--Lo Wu(羅湖) or Lok Ma Chau(落馬洲), this 5 minutes' ride alone costs 18.6 dollars and full fare is mandatory even if you're holding a student octopus. It's kinda like a starting cost of crossing border, which is totally not reasonable.

Weird thing is if you travel from any metro station straight to the border stations mentioned, without getting off in the midway, full fare is charged as if you were punished for going to the border because the routes that should've been half-charged are in full fare.

So here's what I would do to take advantage of student octopus to get the discount back.

DON'T go straight to the border station
ALWAYS get off at Sheung Shui station with octopus

and get back in the station one minute after octopus is charged and go on the ride to the border. By doing this, you get all the discount from any station to Sheung Shui station. For example, if I go straight from Choi Hung Station to Lo Wu station, I'll need to spend over 33 dollars on the whole ride. But if I get off at Sheung Shui, I'll be charged only some 5 dollars, and then get back on to the train to Lo Wu, which costs 18.6 dollars, that is TEN dollars saved in my pocket.

The same trick works when going back to Hong Kong from Shenzhen, get off at Sheung Shui, save another 10 dollars. And this getting-off thing is not time consuming and burden carrying, you just take some walk out off the station, wait for a minute and walk back in.

Taiwan "VISA"

Though entrance permit is much appropriate than the word VISA with all the politics going on between straits, VISA sounds much cooler. Anyway, I might get a VISA to Taiwan the coming February if nothing jinx. It's really difficult for Mainland Chinese to visit Taiwan these days. Even if I had the chance this time, I still need my passport, my entrance permit to Hong Kong, Hong Kong identity card, student card, records of entrance to Hong Kong, invitation letter from Taiwan, full schedule in Taiwan, program arrangements... all these stuff handed in in three copies to the institution that issues VISAs to Taiwan, which is no more than a piece of paper not allowed to be attached to passport because that's not something tolerable by PRC. You also don't have something similar to the “Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau(港澳通行證)”, because that's not something tolerable by TW.

Nothing is more complicated than POLITICS!

Monday, December 8, 2008

study break

having a study break this week, it's not break actually, not even close to break, it's like the toughest time of the whole semester, cuz after the break, all final exams swarm in! and after that, there comes a real long long winter break, which is like one and a half months. just hope to survive this fake break so as to enjoy the real one!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

computer festival

Had an arduous trip to the Computer Festival this morning, it's so so so crowded, god, it's like all people in Hong Kong plus Mainland China have come to the festival! You cannot virtually even walk in the passageway, because no matter which direction you intend to go, you can't, people keep rushing in from all directions. I just don't know how they get business done there with this many people! Each stall is encompassed by crowds, and police officers are full alert by the entrance and exit. When I was in there, I kept shouting F*K, S*T, and D*M! Never should've even thought of going there! On my way back to Hong Kong this evening, the festival host stated in the metro TV news, "too many people coming to the festival, those who haven't come, please don't". Damn, he couldnt've said it earlier! So lesson learned, try to keep as far away from any festivals and holiday events!

related news from Yahoo:

big X'mas tree

There's this big Christmas tree in Festival Walk(又一城). It's about four stories high, sprinkled with little bells and these green and red stuff, which looks like from Christmas trees but actually it's not. The tree is hollow inside, you get to see what's inside only after payment of 50 dollars ticket. With this ticket, you also get to take photos with Santa (someone dressed in Santa) on the other side of this big tree. After the whole Christmas tree trip, you'll be holding in your hand a gift and the photo.

There are also other Christmas decorations in the mall, on another floor, there's this big sleigh and Santa's flying reindeer. It reminds me of the North Pole.

Christmas is coming to town!

Friday, December 5, 2008

color pen

The students' union would distribute welfare products now and then, last time it's notepad, this time colored pens. It's a really nice gesture because at least I know part of the membership fee, which is 100 dollars, goes back to my pocket in the form of these UST specific widgets. The students' union is indeed an independently strong power aside from the university council. They speak for students, protect students' right, and most of the time, fight against unwelcome school policies. Whenever some big shot comes to visit, the president of students' union would always show up as the representative of students, sitting right by the president of the university as if they were in a level play.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

go poopie

Where can I buy one of those cute little poopie guys

Sunday, November 23, 2008

some changes in HK

Having returned for 11 years, some changes have happened in Hong Kong, a recognition that they're in blood Chinese. I don't want to draw any general conclusion here, just give two simple facts that I've seen.

When Shenzhou 7 landed I was in a big shopping mall, where there was a TV put up in the middle of the mall, broadcasting live the whole thing. Shoppers, old and young, stopped to crowd around the TV set. And they cheered when the shuttle safely landed, after the landing, there were still many people watching.

Tonight as I was on the bus home, a mother sat right behind me was teaching her baby girl the national anthem. I can't tell from their cantonese that they are local residents, because they could well as be from Canton. But how often do you see parents teaching their kids the national anthem on a bus in mainland China? Almost never. I happened to see one in Hong Kong.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Little Hawaii Trail

it's a little mountain path descending from the village I live to Po Lam(寶林). I don't know where its name comes from, coz I've walked through the path once, and it's not at all hawaii-like. There are trees and creek along the little trail, and interestingly, an artificial chess-table in the middle of the trip. This trail has been favored by hikers and residents there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ceteris paribus

there's this interesting word mentioned today in macroeconomics course,
ceteris paribus
meaning: if other relevant things, factors, or elements remain unaltered

there must be some historical reasons the English language creators or broadly speaking, users, favor Latin words to be their linkage words, like

"i.e." originated from Latin expression "id est", means that is;
"e.g." from Latin "exempli gratia", means for example;
"q.v." from Latin "quod vide", means which see;
"etc." from "et cetera", means and so forth;

and now the ceteris paribus, which is abbreviated as cet. par.

Wikipedia has given a list of Latin Abbreviations which could be found here:


Friday, November 14, 2008

two congregations

Congregation at Sun Yat-Sen University

Congregation at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

both times as audience, I've gotta be in one of these next time!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Burn E

if you've watched Wall E, please do watch this little bonus movie about Burn E, so so funny

Sunday, November 9, 2008

16th Congregation - Audio

ran into this very interesting site today, iSpeech, it can convert texts to audio files and allows users to embed the audio as flash in blogs. So I converted the last entry 16th Congregation into audio and embedded it here, just for fun. It's now still in beta version, so the audio will auto-play. The converted version sounds pretty nice, more "human-like", so so much better than the Narrator app carried by Windows.

16th Congregation

In Hong Kong, university congregations are usually held in November even though the graduates have long left universities in July, which means many graduates may not present in the event because of immobility of any kind. The 16th HKUST Congregation is to be held in a few days, graduates, all dressed up in robes and accompanied by parents and friends, are coming back to record probably the proudest moments of their lives. Now the stage has all been setup, it's their show time!

To see all this just make me feel a little upset, it has been 4 months. Really that fast? Only four months ago, I was right in it, and now, I'm just a passerby. For some reason, I missed the opportunity to be on SYSU's stage, I don't wanna let my next one, maybe the last one, slip away.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Central-Mid-Levels Escalator

Discovering new stuff on foot gives me so much interest, 'coz I get to choose which direction to go and where to stop. The excitement comes from UNKNOWN, from everything you see along the walk and any surprises that may not pop up in the "official tour-guide". So when in an unfamiliar environment, try to feel and understand it by putting your feet on the ground, not the ground of a bus.

As for today, I "discovered" the Central-Mid-Levels Escalator, here are some facts about this system from Wikipedia:
  • The whole system is 800 meters long with a vertical climb of 135 meters. The total travel time is twenty minutes.
  • It consists of twenty escalators and three moving sidewalks. According to Guinness World Records, these escalators together form the longest outdoor covered escalator system.
  • In operation since 1993, it cost HK$240 million (US$30 million) to build although it was originally approved in March 1990 with a budget of HK$100m and annual maintenance costs of $950,000.
This time, the excitement comes from all the bars open along the system. It's hard to imagine in the half way of a hill where your body and the ground gives a some 30 to 40 degrees slope, you still get to see so much "bar businesses" going on there. I so need to find some fun there some time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

funny sticker

Found this funny sticker at Sino Center.

Sino Center(信和中心) is a pretty popular shopping hub for youth. It sells comics, games, CDs, Japanese magazines and stuff. When I say Japanese magazines, I meanmagazines with naked girls on the cover, not so tricky to figure out what's inside the magazines. Wanna see bikini girls? Alright, go straight to the third floor of the center, you get what you want.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

cross-harbor tunnel

this tunnel connects Kowloon with Hong Kong Island.
The Cross-Harbour Tunnel (abbr. CHT or XHT; (Chinese: 香港海底隧道, or informally 紅磡海底隧道, 紅隧) is the first tunnel in Hong Kong built under water. Since its construction, its traffic has increased, becoming one of the most congested roads (mainly towards Hong Kong Island direction) in Hong Kong and the world.

Constructed by a private company and operated under a 30-year franchise, the 1.8 km-long tunnel crossing opened in 1972, providing the first road link between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island; Cross-harbour vehicular traffic depended on ferries before the tunnel was built.
source: wikipedia

Saturday, October 25, 2008

in Shenzhen

Having got used to the rapid pace in Hong Kong, it's a little bit uncomfortable to be somewhere not that fast-moving. The thing that I hate most in SZ is the traffic lights. It takes like 3 minutes to turn from red to green, and once caught by red light, it'll be "RED" all the way down. That's many 3 minutes wasted in waiting! If you're so lucky to be taking a cab and caught by a red light, congratulations, your heart might beat faster watching these little red numbers on the meter "move" every few intervals whilst waiting the traffic light. So my advice is taking metro!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008


I had a dejavu today in Investment Analysis course, something I dreamt about several months ago happened in real time.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Painted Skin

just watched the movie Painted Skin, it's awesome! The actors and actresses, they're just so terrific! and the theme song is so so so beautiful.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

mid-term exams

it's been tough these two weeks. Feel so relieved now it's done!
The Answer Book is pretty professional. Actually, it's not only an answer book, it's as well a scratch book, only your answer is recorded on the left page, and scratches on the right.
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Thursday, October 9, 2008

free stuff is not always good

Got two bottles of body lotion from Johnson & Johnson's recruitment talk, thinking, "wow, this is generous, giving out stuff that probably worth some dozen dollars". For all these years, I've kept this good habit as to check the manufacture date before purchasing any good, food or non-food. Guess what, the body lotion happens to be manufactured in the last month of 2005, and is coming to expiry this december. It's like dumping garbage while the receivers feel like having taken big advantages over this, well, not for too long, because sooner or later, we'll find out it's obsolete, we're totally fooled. Nothing good could come out from this strategy.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lan Kwai Fong

Lan Kwai Fong(蘭桂坊) is like the Hub of PUBs in Hong Kong. You'll never be yourself once in there! Sorry for the blurry images, but I did that on purpose, just to showcase the pictures of my mind.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

missing golden week

-Prof. Facchini, "so see you all tomorrow"
-class, "tomorrow is public holiday, no classes"
-Prof. Facchini, "holiday? what holiday is it?"
-class, "it's National Day!"
-Prof. Facchini, "......you really do have many holidays!"

Yeah, in Hong Kong, both traditional Chinese holidays and western festivals are public holidays. No work on public holidays!

Christmas day, holiday!
Chung Yeung Festival, holiday!
Easter day, holiday!
the birthday of Buddha, also holiday!

The local people even do "treat or tricks" on Halloween, which is approaching. So excited about the things here!

Monday, September 29, 2008

free stuff

the good thing about recruitment talks here is you always get free stuff!
free pen,
free notepad,
free bags,
free toys,
free key chains,
free brochures,
sometimes even free food(UBS offered a mini but nice buffet today!)

some participants have made it very clear,
"I'm here just for the free stuff, the talks, I don't care!"

Friday, September 26, 2008

How to get to HKIA fast and cheap

HKIA (Hong Kong International Airport) locates on the reclamated island of Chek Lap Kok(赤鱲角). Not so far, but if you don't make the right decision, it'll cost you so much to get there! Having been there twice just within this month, here's my advice: DON'T take the Airport Express. I have my point:

1. it's expensive. No student discount for Airport Express, it costs HKD60 even if you get on the express from the station nearest(Tsing Yi station) to the airport back and forth. Usually, somewhat 100 dollars is expected to cover the AE fare.

2. Not so "express". Wait another 10-20 minutes for the next express if you missed the last one! And to change from MTR to Airport Express costs just as much time as it takes to wait for an avalaible express, that adds up to around 30 minutes waiting time!

Here's what you should do to save money and time to get to the airport:
Get on MTR, go all the way to Tung Chung station. You may have to change lines for two or three times, but they're instant-interchangeable, which means change lines on the same platform. With student discount, no more than 10 dollars would be charged for the ride. Cheap enough, huh! When you get off at Tung Chung station, you'll find many airport shuttles in the bus hub just at the B or C exit! Shuttles to the airport always start with an "S" in the shuttle number. So get on S64 or S63(something like that) and you're just about 10-20 minutes away from the airport, and the best thing here, it costs only 3.5 dollars!

The first time I got to the airport to see some friend off, I spent more than 100 dollars on Airport Express alone. When I got there, my friend has already boarded!

Yesterday, the same airport, another friend, just 27 dollars back and forth, and I got there two hours before my friend boarded!

Now you have the picture!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

typhoon's coming

A signal number 8 typhoon is no kidding!
it's already roaring like crazy outside.
it's like the end of the world has fallen upon us!
RUN! everybody, RUN for your life!

Monday, September 22, 2008

some laughter in class

"Any questions?", Prof. Facchini asked.
"Yes, why does the point not shift along the RS curve, but shifts to RS一丿儿", answered one student.
there was a sudden burst of laughter in the classroom, lasted like one or two minutes. It's so funny when he said it, I almost jumped from the chair! But you could see clearly the stunned expression on the faces of foreign students and Hong Kong students. They starred at each other, totally had no idea what happened.

Well, here's the funny point. When he said RS一丿儿, he actually meant RS' (which is pronounced RS prime in English). But he didn't know how to express the superscript, instinctively used the Chinese version "一丿儿".
so basically: ' = 一丿儿

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Atrium at HKUST


the exciting also challenging thing about HKUST is that you can virtually speak three languages here. Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Most of the time, you'll find yourself having a hard time communicating with local people in Mandarin, that's when my four years' living experience in Guangdong comes to rescue, because I understand Cantonese and could speak little bit of it. Totally ok to have some basic entry-level Cantonese conversations, but as it moves to advanced-level, English will always be the last resort, because almost everyone on campus speaks more or less some English. Actually when walking through the campus, you hear all kinds of languages. That's what international school is all about!

Signal Coverage

No signal coverage in the lecture halls and elevators!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

ipod nano

Ordered this new ipod nano(8G) for a friend(not for myself!!). The price is pretty tempting, HKD1150. You know how much this exact same ipod is labeled in mainland China? CNY1298, which amounts to HKD1480. See, that's why people prefer to buy digital products in Hong Kong, the price difference is obvious! Sadly for me, in the shopping heaven though, still expecting rags-to-riches story to become true.


I was born and raised in Chongqing, but somehow I'm bearer of both Guangzhou and Hong Kong Identity Card. The past four years have changed me a lot, my accent, the way of speaking and thinking, and so forth. It's like been "southernized". Many of my current classmates mistakenly think I'm Cantonese by judging my accent. It's a good thing for drifters like me, because it proves I'm adaptive to change, easy to be part of a different group or community, easily assimilated into external environment. No doubt that I'll change somehow here in Hong Kong, a totally different and more challenging community. The problem now is where exactly do I belong? Where I'm going?

Saturday, September 13, 2008


The best way to get familiarized with somebody you don't quite know of is to have some little gather-together activity, and by that I mean BBQ on the beach! Yeah, we, members of MSc(Econ) totally did that yesterday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Google, the almighty!!

Google Docs comes so in handy when one needs to deal with data work while he has no idea of server or database. Google Docs allows mass collaboration, making things much easier!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

see me at 2‘45“

Wanna see me? Oh, yeah, more specifically, wanna see me with the Chief Executive of Hong Kong? Just drag the timeline of this video to 2'45"(after it's completely loaded). See the one in striped polo with a camera standing right behind Mr. Donal Tsang, that's me!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mr. Tsang Addresses at HKUST

people don't get to see the commander in chief quite often these days especially for people like me, who's just little someone from mainland. Now here's the story. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Mr. Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen paid a short but exclusive visit to HKUST this afternoon to have a so-called dialogue with HKUST students before his annual Policy Address, apparently I'm not letting this opportunity slip away. See, on the left hand is the BIG man, which according to himself is here to LISTEN, to get help and advice for his further governorship, but unfortunately all he received, well, mostly, were sharp questions. The fertility rate, inflation rate, opinion poll, IT development, social enterprise, minimum wage, etc. Though I'm not quite familiar with these stuff, it's good to start to learn them, especially from the chief.

Besides, I get this man's email (well, so does everybody else participated).

protest on campus

you see, it's a democratic society here, even on school campus. The school committee doesn't rule it all! One can feel free to speak out his/her mind through Students' Union were there any conflicts or irrationalities. Obviously this time, they're fighting for space for students' activities. Walking right through the campus atrium and you see all these banners and posters speaking the same mind. And there are students in shirts which are stamped with protesting slogans, handing out fliers, asking for signatures from passerby and doing all the propaganda stuff, right in the center of the university!

I mean WOW!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


GDP is defined as the total market value of all final goods and services produced within the country in a given period of time (usually a calendar year). It is also considered the sum of value added at every stage of production (the intermediate stages) of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time.

Nominal GDP measures the value of output during a given year using the prices prevailing during that year. Over time, the general level of prices rise due to inflation, leading to an increase in nominal GDP even if the volume of goods and services produced is unchanged.

Real GDP measures the value of output in two or more different years by valuing the goods and services adjusted for inflation. For example, if both the "nominal GDP" and price level doubled between 1995 and 2005, the "real GDP " would remain the same. For year over year GDP growth, "real GDP" is usually used as it gives a more accurate view of the economy.

The most common approach to measuring and understanding GDP is the expenditure method:

GDP=consumption+gross investment+government spending+(exports-imports)


GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)

source: www.wikipedia.com

Saturday, September 6, 2008

inside HKUST Library

I like to take seat by the windows 'cuz the ocean view is right through the glasses. Tired of reading or computer screens? just go and couch on the sofa. It's summer time, usually shirts would come in handy in the library since the air-conditioning system rocks!

HKUST Library

the ultimate path to prosperity and richness

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ocean view from HKUST

well, the scene is much better to be seen at site. the camera and cloudy sky kills the view .

Victoria Bay

the view, the lights, the music, the ocean breeze, and the luxury liners cruising along the bay, it's just beautiful. People from everywhere around the globe come to this hot spot just to witness the world's biggest carnival ever!

red bird

also known as turkey. the symbolic statue at HKUST!
awesome campus, I just love it!