Recently I found the coolest roommate after Franz. Hard to believe it could get better, but it indeed is possible!
I have to register her to my flat with the local police station and after running for 30min to get revved up in the morning I went down to take care of it.
As I stood outside the very closed and suddenly abandoned police station, with no wallet, no long pants, and no idea what to do next, I noticed I was standing next to a man in the same situation on a colorful bike. We contemplated if miraculously that gate would unlock at 10am automatically. It didn't.
Two foreigners, no Chinese, and laws that are strict--well not a good situation. I suggested we ask the building management, which turned out to be useless because the guy spoke a lot in Chinese and neither of us understood what he was saying. Jumping on the phone to my business manager he said I should go to the shuangjing police station.
A city block in Beijing is => two new York city blocks.
I ask the foreign guy with the colorful Amsterdam bike if he would ride me Amsterdam style on the back and although he didn't know what it meant, he agreed. So I showed him what that meant and off we went down the big superhighway streets to the shuangjing police station.
Along the way we swapped Laowai stories in China and I would warn him whenever my legs would get too close to a car.
At the shuangjing police station, we found out we had to go to the Jinsong police station, which was much farther away. Its at this point that I realize thus was not going to be a fast trip and was one of those moments you think I should have brought my wallet!
My new foreign friend offered to ride me to the jinsong station, and without either one of us knowing where it was, and only a small hint from the shuangjing police station people, we're off.
Riding much farther along the road we swap scary police stories in China and sympathise with each other about the trials and tribulations of being a foreigner in China.
Between his Chinese and mine we find the jinsong police station. Its indeed the same faces as the closed station. Registered and out the door again, my legs, lips, and head frozen but grateful for the Amsterdam bike ride. He drops me at the corner station and shoots off to work. We swap wechats and I thank him for peddling him with me.
We both agreed, that the trailing task at hand had been made far more enjoyable...down right adventuresome...if not fantastically fun by peddling together in the big bad city.
Sometimes a common problem can offer the opportunity to accompany each other on the trials of the daily grind. It showed me that the journey can be made enjoyable with a little color on your bike. What would have been a lonely, annoying, frustrating long task, turned out to be a totally enjoyable, humor filled mission on a colorful bike Amsterdam style.
Left house: 9:30am
Returned home: 12:00
Beijing, China - Wechat. One of the most powerful platforms in China has started to go the way of Facebook in that it has opened it's API to let developers build games and apps inside it's app.
However, the monetization of those apps just got a roadblock with Alipay closing off its API in the platform. The ability for small developers to now access a payment gateway, got a 50,000 deposits roadblock. Why? Because Alipay is owned by Alibaba group who will increase its shares in Sina Weibo (the competitor app to wechat) to 50%. By stopping alipay's wechat payment API support, it forces Tencent to either remove the 50,000 deposit barrior, or have only big players who can afford to put the cash on the table to make it happen, which will slow innovation down. The war of the wechat's continues as the world turns...
Chinese third-party payment processor Alipay and Tencent's (0700.HK) WeChat (Weixin) mobile instant messaging platform have confirmed that Alipay will shut down its application programming interface (API) payment gateway for WeChat's public accounts platform. Alipay is no longer accepting merchant applications for Alipay API access from WeChat public account operators. WeChat public accounts already approved by Alipay will not be immediately affected, but will see Alipay support halted once existing contracts expire.
Tencent's own WeChat Pay ("Weixin Zhifu") payment platform is not yet fully available to WeChat public account operators, and Tencent requires that merchants pay a reported RMB 50,000 security deposit in order to activate WeChat pay services on public accounts. Due to this large barrier to entry, many small and medium-sized merchants on WeChat's public accounts platform have traditionally opted to accept payments only via Alipay.
In July, 2013, Alipay parent Alibaba Group blocked API access to marketing services offered by members of its Taoke Taobao affiliate network on WeChat.
From Tracy's newsletter:
When you start to love yourself, you will begin to realize that taking care of your body is much more rewarding than a spa day; that you are worth the commitment of designing your body and health; that you can enjoy a piece of pie; that good relationships aren't supposed to hurt; that you can be your most proportioned self without being vain. Gone will be the days of grabbing candy and junk as though it's a cure for all that ails, and gone will be the days when your first instinct is to give in to feelings of anxiety and failure, and to give up before you've even started.
Happy Chinese New Year!
This week of "time off" for China has been used for sleeping, eating, and scanning all my documents - plus writing my biz plan for 2014. It's going to be an exciting year if I can keep my mind under control from depressing negative thoughts that plague the entrepreneur as one reaches for the impossible. But that's another topic.
Paperlessness. In my deep dedication to eat my own dog food (MobileMags) I have scanned over 55 kilo (more than my own body weight) in documents: completed contracts, misc articles in magazines (from airplane trips), press articles about past company achievements, and 500 business cards (when will the biz card die?). Thank goodness in China you can burn things on the street still cuz all those confidential phone numbers will go up in smoke with some joy for the old pyromaniac in me.
Still!! I cannot go zero on the paper. Current contracts, business cards I can't part with for visual reminders, and...my bazillion modelling photos....is it the paper hoarder in me who thinks, "one day when I have my own home I will want to frame them and hang them on the wall. Or share them with my nephews when they are old enough to care..." Right. My mom says to pitch it all...legacy...what do you all think?
I'm in a moment to pivot: stay in China or return to USA. So I better get light weight. Only 23 kilos allowed. It seems impossible. In one year the lease on my flat is up and I will potentially move. So I want to get rid of everything as I dream to exit with one suitcase. Right...I cling to books and start to read them and even scan them to turn them into iBooks so I can have them with me always. Still I feel guilty for throwing stuff away!!! Terrible!
YING Ying is moving to San Fran and she just chucked it all away...how did she do that so easy? You gotta tell me your secret Ying Ying...
My wardrobe clothing is next. Get ready clothes from modelling days, I am kissing you goodbye as soon as I finish meditating on the key phrase, "You can't take it with you when you die."
My parents are doing the same as they grow older. They don't want to leave us with the job of clearing up when they leave this world. Some things they will keep I hope, like the family jewels and those photo albums. But their attitude is...chuck it. And as Edward Cullen said to Bella Swan..."in a century everyone you know will be dead, so problem solved." I've been twilight-ing it in the last week. It is true. Who will care about my modelling photos in a century? No one of my nephews will want to keep all those books of paper photos and there will be no one to remember me by.
Except my blog.
Thank you Sixapart. Although I am not blogging like I used to, I love my blog. It remains for proof of my being the first in many things. And proof of my existence. And it's paperless.
Going paperless is not so easy--it's like a zero mailbox. I think I can cut down, but it's never gonna be zero. But I will strive for letting it all go.
Get lighter. Go paperless. Become mobile. This year is going to rock in every way.