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Topics - rgeczi

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Other Useful Information / Public bicycles coming to Hefei
« on: April 06, 2014, 04:48:09 AM »

Travel / Tale of Idiots at Ctrip
« on: April 01, 2014, 06:14:03 AM »
Rant on the way.

Ok, I won't go too much into detail of where I am trying to book a flight or other parts of this.  This rant will solely focus on my recent experience with trying to book a flight through Ctrip.

For my current situation, I absolutely need a paper ticket sent to me, which I despise, but it's the only way to go for this.  So, I called Ctrip to see how long it would take to arrive in Hefei, after the online purchase.  The girl said 2 weeks.  I said, "WTF, are you joking?".  After I raised a bit of a stink and told her I routinely get stuff from Taobao much quicker, she then told me 1 week.  For my situation, I need it sent to me much quicker, so this wouldn't do.

I then asked, ok, can I myself arrange a courier company to pick up the ticket from the Ctrip office, and have it delivered to me?  She said no.  Then she said, no worries about the time, because the ticket would arrive in 3 - 5 days.  Again, this is after she told me 2 weeks, then 1 week, mind you.  I then asked, what is the nearest Ctrip office to Hefei, and she said Shanghai.  I later checked the "Contact Us" area of the site, and found a listing for Nanjing.  So, too bad I didn't mention this when I was on the phone with her.

Anyways, so I said, why can't I myself arrange a courier company to go to the office, to pick it up, and have it delivered to me (courier company would be SF), and she said, hold on a minute.  Keep in mind, at this point, there is only 1 idiot.  After a minute or so, she came back to the phone and said, after talking with the manager, the "ruling" still stood, with no pick ups of tickets from the office.  And even if I PERSONALLY went to the office to pick it up, that the option would not be available.  Are these guys underground in a secret lair layered in tons of security checkpoints making it wrong for people to visit them for this reason?  Man...

Rant coming to a close...I just hate stupidity, and poor customer service.  If I lived in Shanghai and told that I couldn't pick up my ticket from the office within the city I would be more irked.  If a more customer-oriented travel company comes along to cater to this market, I can see Ctrip going to the toilets not too long after.  In the end, I still don't know exactly what I will do with all of this, so I have to regroup.

Rant done.  Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Health / How to gauge the level of pollution in Hefei?
« on: February 07, 2014, 12:26:41 PM »
How to gauge the level of pollution in Hefei?  Rub snow in your eyes, and you will get your answer. lol

In the past, while motorbiking around Hefei, I always dreaded rain, for the obvious reasons.  But in addition, getting rain in your eyes is similar to pouring battery acid on your eyes (not that I've tried, though).  Add to the list, snow.  Man, it's snowing now, and when this stuff gets in your eyes, it seems worse than rain, as it's "melting" the acid away in your eyeball socket. lol

Travel / Trip to Macau
« on: February 01, 2014, 10:23:34 PM »
Well, come Feb 17, it looks like I will be heading to Macau for my exit/re-entry.

I looked at all the options, and in the end, Macau seemed the easiest (and least expensive to boot).  The trip will look like this:

1)  Feb. 17, early afternoon flight from Hefei to Macau, via Air Macau

2)  Once in Macau, I will head over to the ferry terminal that has a route to Shenzhen Airport (actually, from this mainland harbour, I will still need to take a short shuttle bus to the actual airport), and purchase a seat on a ferry for the following day (12:30pm departure).

3)  I will either book a hostel online (I have one picked out), or if need be, I will take a bunch of addresses of places there, and just visit one with an available room.  This will just be for the night.

4)  I will load up on food from the nearby shops and restaurants in the morning on the following day (Feb 18), check-out, then head over to the ferry terminal for my 12:30pm boat ride to the mainland.

5)  After 60 mins (roughly) of boating across, take the shuttle to the airport.

6)  By this time, it will be around 2:00 or so.  I will check in, and head to the gate to relax, till the flight departure (4:35pm I believe it is).  Return flight will be with China Southern (last time it was with Shenzhen Airlines).  

The last time I flew out of Shenzhen, I never knew how freaking far it was from the body scan area, to the actual gate.  MAN I walked literally a mile or so to get to Gate 40 I think it was.  So, this time around, I won't eat some food before getting on the plane OUTSIDE of the gate seating area (on the stairs, to mention).

Also, during my trip, I will visit the Chinese Consulate in Macau, which is really near the harbour, and get a feel of the place, compared with Hong Kong.  I read some stuff online, but I want to see firsthand how it is there, as my next trip out of China, might be a return to Macau, rather than HK.  We'll see.  And no, I don't plan on doing this every 30 days, as this would just not be worth the time and money to do so.  So I will look to other ways of getting longer stays within China, if possible.

Lastly, not sure if I made this clear enough, but, this is NOT a visa run.  It's simply an exit/re-entry with current visa I have, which I obtained from my Hong Kong trip.  It's a two entry visa, so last time was number 1, and this time, upon re-entry, will be entry number 2.

About China / [RANT] People here just don't listen!
« on: January 21, 2014, 09:09:44 AM »
Ok, commence rant.

I don't know if it's just me and the people I choose to associate with, but it seems that some people REALLY don't listen or respect your wishes.  I won't go into all the details, but, in your life, work and personal, you ideally want to be surrounded by people that respect your wishes, if they are not so outlandish.  This is a mutual respect people should have, it doesn't matter where in the globe you are from, when someone asks you to not do something, and says it's important, yet they do it anyways, then you have a serious breakdown in your neck of the woods.

I told someone, to not contact ______, yet they did, MULTIPLE times, even though I kept reminding this person to not do so.  If there is any communication problems, it can easily be handled via the translator that they have, and that I spoke with well on numerous occasions.

What would you do or feel in my situation?  Keep in mind, this is not like "hey, don't put mushrooms on my pizza" because you don't like it, and they do.  This is a serious situation, that I do not want them to contact so and so person.  I have my reasons, and they were clearly mentioned to them, and the translator.  So again, what would you do or feel?

In the end, I chose not cooperate with them, and will soon mention to the boss of why I won't be there next month.

Some people REALLY just don't listen.

RANT DONE.  Thanks.

News and Updates / I'm going to Disney Land...in HEFEI!
« on: January 07, 2014, 06:22:55 PM »
Well, not quite.

But scheduled to open in 2016, the richest man in China will open a theme park here in Hefei that rivals Disney.  Read full story below via the link:


Living Here / Instant Mashed Potatoes
« on: October 01, 2013, 06:21:22 PM »
If any of you guys travel around China get hungry, it might be a good idea to bring along a bag of instant mashed potato powder.  I recently purchased a can off of Taobao, and have been digging in ever since.  Yes, I know this is not truly as good as the homemade stuff, but it sure as heck fills the void if you are on the fly.  The seller I bought from is:


All you need is salt and some hot water while you are out and about, which should be found everywhere you go (boiling water is pretty much in every building of Hefei that you go to).  If you are at home, you can add some butter and other seasoning to it as you would when making the homemade stuff.  If you have access to a supermarket while you are out and about, what you can do for a quick meal is:

Instant mashed potatoes (Carbs)
Meat sticks that you see wrapped in red packaging (I prefer the blue packaged ones the most) (Protein)
Pre-cut or washed veggies that wilt/soften easy, which you can find in at least one supermarket that I know of, Joy Market (He Jia Fu) (Veggies)
Onions (the grassy looking one, in Chinese it's called Xiao Cong) (Quasi-seasoning)
Salt (which can be found everywhere, so it shouldn't be a problem, even if you are in a pinch somewhere, for food)

And there you go.  Don't just think instant noodles for a quickie while you are here.  There are options, like this one.

Do any of you guys use an ISP-issued modem?  It seems the ISP cable guy installer insisted I use their modem, even though I had a router already in plain sight to use for my system.  Is the Gov. trying to block us via these modems, or am I way off?

It seems ever since this modem was setup, I started having trouble accessing the you know which sites, even using my VPN, which was working fine before.

Shopping and Restaurants / Growing your own fruits, veggies or herbs
« on: June 10, 2013, 02:27:38 PM »
Not sure where to post this, so Mike, if this needs moving, please do.

I've been in Hefei for a while, and slowly warmed up to the idea of growing my own stuff at home via containers.  Maybe it's the age talking, I don't know. lol  Anyways, currently, I am growing strawberries, water spinach, and will soon try out radishes.  This is done mainly with grow lights, but I also will try some on the balcony as well.

Anyone else into growing?  It would be nice to see as many of the expats that come to Hefei usually have 2 things, a surplus of living space and time for hobbies.  So, I think this would be great for people to get into.   ;)

Services / Convert Pay Pal money (USD) into RMB
« on: October 03, 2012, 02:52:05 AM »
Hey guys, I was wondering if you guys know of a service that can take Pay Pal money (USD) and payout in RMB to a bank account.  If I do this at the present way, it will eat up about $35 per transaction.  I am trying to go around that somehow.  Also, if any of you guys are looking to have money put into your Pay Pal account, and you pay me in RMB, that can be an option as well.


Services / Flower delivery in Hefei, online
« on: September 20, 2012, 06:45:04 PM »
Online flower delivery service for all you:

A) Lazy people

B) People chatting it up with multiple ladies, hence the great time saver service here

C) Modern online shoppers

D) Like to try new things


Other Useful Information / Electric cabbies soon coming to Hefei
« on: September 20, 2012, 06:42:04 PM »
According to the article, they are in the test phase right now, and will bring out more by the end of the year.

Read on:


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