Fruit it!

 

Hello everyone, here’s LL. First of all, she originally should apologize for Jeff Ascough:( Now today she wanna show a part of her true camera life with you guys. Finally move on? Well, sort of, eh…progress in a certain way. And she hopes you’ll really enjoy it.

Have you eaten a kind of fruit called ChinaBayberry, something really like love—sweet in the beginning, sour in the end:) Though we often eat this fruit, have you ever do a fruit-picking by your own?

Here’s some fresh pics by LL:

btw, never forget to say “LOVE YA~ DEAR PAPA~! ” —today is Father’s day.

A Trip to Taipei (Sylvia’s first post)

SYLVIA TAIPEI'S TRIP
SYLVIA @ TAIPEI

Although Taiwan was not open for individual tourist from mainland China, I was so lucky to have an interesting trip there as a Hong Kong resident.

Surprisingly, you will find Taipei more similar to mainland cities rather than Hong Kong, because cars are driven on the right, and the buildings are not that tall. But more importantly, people in Taiwan speak mandarin, which will make mainlanders feel at home.

Ok, Let me told you some places you should not miss in Taipei.

A. Taipei palace museum. (In Chinese 台北故宫)
Actually, antiques in Beijing palace museum are either too big to move or of lower value, the essential works of Qing emperor collections are all in Taipei now. Among those artifacts, Lady Chin’s (In Chinese 瑾妃,珍妃的姐姐 sister of the famous Lady Pearl) “Jade Cabbage with Insects” is the most valuable. So, do not forget to buy some “cabbage” imitations as souvenirs! Only 100 New Taiwan dollar for a piece (around 23 RMB)! (Reminder: You cannot use video instruments in the museum; neither can you use cell phones inside)

B. Shilin night market. (In Chinese 士林夜市)
Want to gain weight? Then come to Shilin night market! I bet you will get 5 pounds after spending a night there. Please keep this “highly recommended snack list”, if you have a Taiwan traveling plan, or you will get lost in the sea of snacks.

  • Power and money toast (官財板)
  • Soup with ten ingredients(十全排骨湯 )
  • Oyster pancake(蚵仔煎)
  • Sticky Rice Rolls Stuffed With Sausages(大肠包小肠)
  • Multilayer Pancakes (大饼包小饼)……

C. Eslite Bookstore. (In Chinese 诚品书局)
In the famous 24 hour bookstore in Taipei, you will find books from every corners of the world. Kind reminder, you could read any book you like there but make sure not to bring sensitive books back. Indeed, I recommend you to buy some Taiwan magazines, because books are expensive and most of them could be found elsewhere.

D. Taipei 101. (In Chinese 台北101)
101 is the tallest building in Taiwan and used to be the tallest in Asia. Just like Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl, it is the best place to see the whole city, and a place designed for tourists, so do not complain the expensive price there. Anyway, the night view of Taipei city is spectacular!

Forget about Hsimenting(西门町), it looks like Shenzhen’s “Dongmen old street”, only if you want to help those “made in China” back home.
On the plane back to Hong Kong, I thought up a slogan for Taiwan Travel Bureau to conduct mainlander- targeted promotion, that is “Taiwan, a place worth visiting by all Chinese”.

In fact, what I want to say is, do not let politics be the barrier, every mainland Chinese should go to Taiwan at least once in a lifetime.

Living Abroad

“People always have strong emotional connections with the first foreign country they have been to”, that’s what my friend told me before I went abroad for the first time. I didn’t fully understand these words until I came back to China from 6-month internship abroad. I spent amazing wonderful time in Poland during those 6 months even though I felt frustrated with work sometimes. After came to US, my view of that statement slightly changed to “People always have strong emotional connections with countries where they have great memories with friends.”

Living in an environment which is totally different from your home country will enable you to think and observe things in a way you couldn’t manage while in home country. Not until I went to Poland and had the opportunities to communicate with lots of international friends, I found out that there’re so many stereotypes and overgeneration about Chinese culture. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I was asked “Is it safe to live in China?”, “Are your Chinese eating everything?!”.

It’s fun of talking about culture differences with internationals. Personally I’m willing to introduce Chinese culture to either friends or random people i meet, at the same time I try to be open to different point of views and avoid judging. I guess that’s why I can made friends with many internationals.I used to think I was very open-minded. However, once one of my friends here in US asked me, “Monica, are you a conservative person?” “Of course not!” I replied. Then he asked. “Which standard? You mean compare to Chinese or American?” So I realized that I’m liberal (or maybe crazy) compare to majority Chinese but just average liberal according to my American friends’ standard. Yeah, one thing I like living abroad is that you can gradually explore more to recognize yourself.

In the opposite, one thing I don’t like living abroad is the “Reverse Culture Shock”, which is the difficult and surprising from an affected person when he/she deal with home culture after return from long-term experience living abroad. I had a conversation of this topic before with my friend Nick from Australia. He had been living in Japan for one year before he came to my city in China for internship. Both of us experienced the uncomfortableness and anxiety result from reverse culture shock. After came back from Poland, I badly missed the three-time-cheek-kissing between friends, I badly missed the time I can do crazy things without being judged by other people, I badly wanted to go back to Poland to hang out with old friends.

To some extent, these kind of feeling motivate me to apply for graduate school abroad, and I’m so happy I made it. Now it is summer time, some of my internationals friends already left, some of them are going to graduate soon. It’s a season of saying goodbye, full of sadness. No matter where will we be, i guess we will still miss each other as if we are always together.


Postcards-Exchange :))

I love independent traveling a lot, but due to stupid visa issues and limited budget I still have a long way to go to fulfill my dream of “travel to 15 countries before 30″. Besides, I like to send friends postcards every time I travel to a new place. Delightfully, I received lots of postcards from friends as well:))

Now I’m collecting postcards from different corners of the world.
(Im wondering when can i collect a wall of postcards, lol)
The following pic shows some postcards I’ve received so far, they’re from:

Czech
Japan-Tokyo
UK
China-Beijing
US-Wisconsin
US-Boston
Germany
Malta
Austria-Innsbruck
Italy- Trieste
etc…

some postcards i've received from friends
So if u’d like to do me a favor, you can ask me my address via
Facebook massage - http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/trytobecool?ref=name
or send email to me – monica47love@gmail.com

As return, I can send you a postcard from Knoxville, TN, United Stated to you if you want:))
You can be my friends, my friends’ friends, or someone who even barely knows me – as long as you want to send me a postcard:))

Thx a lot!

The original note posted on: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&suggest&note_id=292419271440#/notes/monica-gao/postcards-exchange-/292419271440

Saying goodbye to Google China

Eariler today, I followed a tweet from Twitter to this link, A new approach to China. After reading this entry, I felt so sad!

I’d been working as a vendor for Google China during Oct, 2008 to Apr, 2009. (Except some very detailed ActionScript codes, I have NOTHING TO DO with Google or Google China)

Personally, I am quite sure that every Googlers from Google China loves this country so much. Google China had tried its best to improve the search experience in China and had achieved a lot of great localized projects,  including Google Music. And I can’t imagine how big trouble/pressure they’ve faced since it’d be a nightmare to censor every single word in the serach result pages. Even with the best affort, Google China was blamed for many times about "spreading illegal information" in search result pages.

Quit from this country would be a great relif for those hard-working engineers. (Though Baidu also faced the same troubles, they are based in Beijing and easy to control/compromise.)

Goodbye, Google (China)!

Pictures of Google’s headquarter in China (via a friend of mine who’s working at Google China):

Say bye to 2009, say hi to 2010!

Happy New Year 2010, it seems to be a "better late than never" wish for now, ha.

As you guys might know, we’ve lost three biggest web sites: Twitter, Youtube, Facebook in 2009, we will surely lose more in 2010. So in the last day of 2009, I made a decision and moved ifgogo.com’s hosting server from Beijing to Newark, NJ. And in 2010, My company’s going to focus on markets outside mainland China.

It’s not some bad news, and I’m not going to complain or angrily blame anyone! Blaming and complaining cannot change anything. Since most people don’t care – they even don’t think a bit about it! It’s what those people deserved, and the improtant part is, they just enjoyed. I just understand now.

Let’s enjoy our life in 2010 across the pacific and equator :)

Let’s say, it’s a restart?

I found out that it’s been like..1 and half years since last time I’ve been here. And it seems it never wake me up again. :)

Well,  I still remember the first time AW talked me about the IfGoGo project. He talked with me via Gtalk, and from a long period, I don’t even know why I would accept to join this project.  Perhaps AW is good at persuading? No, I was persuaded by him because I‘m curious about what will happen here.

But once I calmed down to think about what is the role I should play in this project, I get totally confused. It’s not like a personally blog. In that way, you could say anything about yourself because you know your readers are your close friends (well, at least you know them well) and you are supposed to tell them some of your own business. But it’s not! Most of your readers here are not familiar with you. You don’t even know them well. So,  why should I put some trivial stuff everyday here to bother people have no relation with you? Definitely not. So what am I gonna do? I did not get the answer..

Actually, I did not pay too much attention about it since I got confused. I was not that kind of person that has great passion on writing blog at that time. Because I treated blog as trivial stuff in my life… It’s like.. a diary or what else could it be??

I hold this opinion for quite a long time. This is why I did not write anything here before. Until one day, I happened to know a blogs called TechCrunch. Yes, Michael Arrington runs that blog for several years. And now it gains about 200, 000 U.S dollars a month.

Continue reading

A new start

It has been a long time since my last post here. Now I have already started my M.Phil. life at HKUST and I’m really glad that I have the chance. I’ve got used to the new research life and my labmates are all very nice. My supervisor has not assigned me much work yet, so I’m temporarily leading a happy and easy life :-). Currently I just need to read some papers, report every week and help my boss review papers. How about next semester or two? Maybe quite different. My supervisor has recently raised the graduation requirement from 2 conf papers to 1 journal, which truely agonized all his M.Phil. candidates.

One sentence is true: the more you learn, the more you realize how ignorant you are. I’ve already started researching but I began to get lost in one question: what is research? I don’t have a definite answer, and found that the true research is not what I have thought of in the past 1 year. To achieve real success, I really need to learn painstakingly and figure out a specific direction worth researching. And I highly recommend CSE & ECE guys here to read the article 《由简至美的最佳论文–Best Paper Award of CVPR 2009》. This artile could tell many principles that are quite beneficial for research. Anyway, although a bit lost, I do not want to deny the interesting aspects of research itself, especially CVPR. That’s why there are so many CVPR guys here. I’m very interested in this field, and would be very glad to communicate with people who share the same research interests.

In this semester I selected two courses which are respectively Stochastic Process and Machine Learning.  Stochastic Process is boring, while Machine Learning is a course quite interesting. Things studied in Machine Learning proved to be truely essential and crucial in my research. Another course that would be very intersting is the Convex Optimization, a course that I will learn in my second year. On the other hand, this course is said to be quite tough. I think it’s very important to find a course useful, since the sense of usefulness often leads to the feeling of interest, which is at least true according to my experience. Looking back to my undergraduate courses, I seldom found those stuffs interesting simply because I don’t know what they were teached for, especially politics courses. Thus that period became the time when I skip my courses most — almost no attendence at some courses for the whole semester. This  is sth I would never do now XD.

BTW, I have recently started my HKUST Homepage: http://ihome.ust.hk/~zdyu. So welcome to visit my website.

Since my arrival at HK, I have learned and experienced much more. These experiences are gradually changing me, from my behaviors to my opinions towards career and society. And this process will still take place in the future, no matter where I am and what I have been through.