OK, let's get this out of the way first. On the airplane, I read in the Vancouver Sun that one of the Vancouver Public Libraries is experimenting with loaning out e-books through various digital formats and also on Kindles. Apparently for the non-Kindle versions, the e-books self-destruct on the due date, which means no more late fees. As well, the Kindles come pre-loaded with selected books. Apparently, demand is exploding for the pilot project, inducing the library to go buy more Kindles. Guess that kind of answers that question. But only kinda. After all, the biggest long-term consequences of any technology are often the most unexpected. I wonder if the self-destruct mechanisms are foolproof. Probably not? Who knows. It's only the pilot, folks.
On to China.
Note 1: Shenzhen's a hot and humid city. I thought Shanghai was a hot and humid city. Shanghai has got nothing on Shenzhen. Walking around today was like walking in a sauna. I'm so glad that the warm winter's coming up, so that I can get out of the hot summer and get acclimatized more easily. You heard me. Warm winter.
Note 2: I had my health examination today. They checked my mouth, ears, eyes, heart, skeletal structure, internal organs, blood type, and urine. And probably a few things I forgot about already. Wow. Does Canada check foreigners this thoroughly when they arrive to work in the country? Initial Google check says Canada requires it if you come from a listed country. China's on that list. Guess it goes both ways. :)
Note 3: I saw a guy selling live chickens on the street from a cart. It was amazing. You'd never see that in Vancouver. :)
Note 4: After talking with a guy for an hour, I finally figured out how cell phone plans here work, and henceforth purchased a SIM card. Not that I understand yet how to pay my monthly fees or how to add minutes when I run out (well, I do, but I have no clue how to give them my credit card info yet), but at least I got a usable mobile phone number. Great plan, I'm satisfied with how it balances. It's as if there's only one cell phone service here? But oh my goodness, my Mandarin needs to get better. I'm so glad that everyone I met here speaks Mandarin. I haven't heard a hint of Cantonese so far. Weird for a southern city.
Note 5: I walked through a computer store complex (it also happens to be where I purchased my SIM card), and wow. I mean, I've been to one in Hong Kong, another in Shanghai, and another in Chengdu. But these places always amaze me. How can all these people who own their own little shops all selling the exact same thing make any money? It boggles my mind. But they do. I should buy a computer there. After I find a residence. First things first.
Note 6: I'm moving hotels tomorrow. This one is just too expensive. There's one right next door where if I buy a membership, I get half price. That also turns out to be half price of what I'm paying now as well. The membership's 28 RMB. You can see why it makes sense. I found an even cheaper hotel somewhere else, but it's out in the middle of nowhere. The current (and also the new) hotel has a ton of shops and restaurants nearby. The taxi fees alone warrant staying in this area.
Note 7: I ate dinner at this restaurant. You check boxes on a menu, like at a dim sum or AYCE sushi restaurant, and they bring you the dishes. I had to ask what the various dishes were because I can't read any Chinese characters. I only managed to understand the main categories. I wasn't going to go through the whole hour of trying to understand things again, so I just ordered random boxes. It turned out I got spicy pickles and a spicy noodle soup with some radish, carrot, and beef. It wasn't exactly horrible (thank goodness I can eat spicy stuff), but what the guys next to me were eating looked much nicer. Too bad I ordered before their food arrived. I think I'll start playing a random meal game. Maybe sooner or later I'll hit a box that's simply amazing and blows my mind.
Note 8: The air conditioning is at max and set to 5 on a scale of 5 to 30. Does that actually mean 5 degrees celsius then? Whatever. But it starting to work. And I am grateful. Wow, it's hot and humid here. I'm never wearing my suit here. I'll need buy new suits. @@ Thankfully, the work environment is business casual.
Note 9: Wow, I can watch Youtube here.