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The Madness Blog

The Madness Blog

The purpose of this blog is to give an account of my adventures during my stay in Shanghai, China.


Shanghai 2007 - 2008 Posted on Wed, May 28, 2008 04:30:43

The Fuzz

Woke at
7.30 a.m. Morning routine.

Astrid and
I went down to Starbucks to meet Ouafa and to write out the opposition for
NSEC. We had all made comments, so we went through them and collected everything
in one document. Astrid had a previous engagement and left us around 10.30 a.m.
Ouafa and I finished the document and started looking over the presentation I
made yesterday. We made some adjustments and finished it.

At 1 p.m.
Astrid had returned and she and I went to get some food. Picked up some
take-away from Kowloon Ice-house and returned to the apartment.

I sat at my
desk, eating in front of the computer. Had a short break before diving into the
opposition that we had received on our thesis from the Swedes. They had been
extremely thorough and came with several good suggestions.

As I sat at
my desk I watched the sky grow darker and heard the rumbling sound of thunder.
Around 6 p.m. the sky had really opened up and was throwing everything it had
at the city. Heavy thunderstorms with impressive lightning and heavy rain. It
was a little eerie actually. I was most concerned about what would happen if
the power went out. Even had a candle lit on my desk just in case.

So when the
doorbell rang around 7 p.m. I ran to the door expecting it to be someone who
came to check that everything was alright here and that I still had
electricity. I was distressed to see that it was three uniformed police and
they did not look happy. They demanded to see my passport and started examining
it thoroughly. They made a big fuss when they saw that I had been in and out of
the country a few times without registering at the local police station. I told
them that I did not realize that I had to do that and that I would be leaving
the country for good in less than three weeks. They did not care and asked to
see the pink slip that I received when I first registered back in august. On
this, they discovered that I had not updated my registration after I got a new
visa. Apparently I was supposed to know that I needed to do that too. They
completely forgot about the failing to register on in and out trips and instead
told me that I had to get down to the police station as soon as possible to
update my visa number. I got the distinct impression that they were just
looking for something to get me on. Of course, I said I would take care of it
and so they left. I was left puzzled and holding a big envelope with the print:
Welcome to Shanghai! And contained maps and various information about how to
register as an alien.

At 8 p.m. I
went out the door to get some food. Downstairs in the entrance to the building,
I was met by no less than six police officers asking me my business. I
explained to them that I had already talked to their colleagues and was only
going out to get some dinner. Surprisingly, this was satisfactory for them and
they let me go. Can’t help to wonder about the thinking behind these check-ups.
They seem random and misplaced.

Outside it
was still raining, but because of the heat, I was dry almost as soon as I set
foot inside the mall. Ordered some food from Ajisens’ new menu and did a little
grocery shopping while I waited. I was pleased to see that the police had left
the building before I returned.

Watched Detonator II with dinner. Another really
bad movie, but it took my mind off things and made me very drowsy.

In bed at
11 p.m. Did not have to wait long before drifting off to slumber land.


Shanghai 2007 - 2008 Posted on Wed, May 28, 2008 03:59:47

Last leg

Woke at 7.30
a.m. Morning routine.

Got to work
around 10 a.m. Started working on a presentation that we have to hold on Wednesday
on the progress and the findings of our research. Clever as I am, I used the
template that I made for our last presentation back in March.

Of course,
presenting findings meant that I had to read through most of the paper and
extract useful bits of information here and there. It took some time. I felt a
little restless today and kept pacing around in the apartment doing everything
but what I was supposed to. Needless to say, this did not expedite the

Had a long
lunch and returned to my desk to finish the presentation. I kept getting
sidetracked as I read through the thesis and wrote in new things, deleted old
things and made general corrections.

Chatted for
a long time with people in Norway, complaining over how easy they have it,
having to write only 40 pages on their thesis and with no presentation. I
suppose it is only fair as I have had a great experience doing my final year in
China. Somehow I guess the universe is still in balance.

the presentation, as much as I could on my own, and was satisfied that I had
done enough for today. Went out and got some dinner to go. Watched Lars and the real girl. Brilliant movie.
So good that I even watched the extra material. Really very nice and a movie I
think even my sister would enjoy.

Sat surfing
the net for a while and chatting to some people around the world. I really don’t
understand how I survived three years in Reading without a laptop connected to
the internet.

Went to bed
a little past 11 p.m.


Shanghai 2007 - 2008 Posted on Wed, May 28, 2008 03:33:23

See my vest

Woke at 10
a.m. Morning routine. Called and woke Arill and made him hurry up and come get

Just past
noon Arill, his out of town friend and I went down to the tailor market. I had
some things I needed to fix and a coat I had to make for a demanding person in
Norway. I was worried that lunch time on a Sunday would be terribly busy at the
market, but it turned out that even tourists have lunch around that time. The
shop was mostly empty and I had time to shoot the breeze with the tailors.
Ended up getting another pair of linen trousers and a linen blazer made. As I
was about to leave I discovered a phenomenal vest in Chinese silk that I simply
had to get two of. Brilliant! I will return next week to collect things, which presumably
will be the last time I go there. Just as well, as the two girls who speak
English are leaving for alternative career paths.Blog Image

Returned to
Linping around 2 p.m. had myself some lunch and sat down to work. Continued
reading the NSEC-thesis and made comments as I went along. It took forever. Was
hoping to get it done in a few hours, but before I knew it, it was growing dark
outside. I finished around 6 p.m. and decided that I had done enough for today.

At 8.30,
Arill, his friend and Frode showed up at my door. I had invited them all here
for the screening of what I had great hopes would be an amusing film; Zombie
Strippers. We had pizza and beer and sat down to watch the movie. OMG! So bad!
So, so, so, so bad! In the beginning it was amusingly bad, but after a while we
stopped laughing and just shook our heads in disbelief. To lighten the mood, I
screened some Pixar shorts after the main feature. Suddenly all was well in the
world again.

I booted
the boys out the door just before midnight. I was exhausted. Went to bed, but couldn’t
get to sleep. Don’t know if it was the heat or the thought of those Zombies
that kept me awake, but awake I was. Lay twisting and turning in bed for
probably over an hour before finally drifting off.


Shanghai 2007 - 2008 Posted on Wed, May 28, 2008 03:03:36


Woke at 7
a.m. and again at 9 a.m. I finally got up at noon. Had breakfast and a shower
before sitting down at my desk and staring into my computer.

Wrote for a
couple of hours before Ouafa called and invited me down to Starbucks. Met her
around 2 p.m. We sat around discussing the thesis and the high demands that
some people have on themselves and life around them. At 4 p.m. we strolled up
Linping to the video store. Getting harder to find movies I want there now.

On my way
pack to the apartment I picked up some food and sat watching TV as I ate. Very unfulfilling
actually. I am truly fed up with the fat, greasy food with only mediocre taste.
I don’t know when I last time ate something and thought: Yummy!

We have to
comment on another groups thesis for next week, so I started reading it after
dinner. 100 pages or so of academic thesis is tough to read. I am glad I don’t
have to read and grade all of them. Sat for a couple of hours at my desk before
realizing that I had to get ready for the big night.

birthday was last Monday, but he is holding a big party tonight. I got picked
up by Arill and his visiting friend around 8.30 p.m. The party was at one of
Frodes’ Italian friends house on the other side of the city. Took us a while to
get the 15-20km from Linping to Grand gateway. Grand gateway is a city in
itself. Huge shopping centers and office buildings fight for space in the over-crowded

apartment was a very modern and spacious one. Relatively much higher standard
than I have seen before. But then they are serviced apartments and are only
rented out to company employees who are here for a limited period. The walls of
the apartment was lined with Chinese girls. I soon realized that this was not a
design feature or the maid, but that these Italian guys, and Frode I guess, had
invited lots of Chinese girls whom they had met at random nights on the town.
In the early stages of the party there were probably 5 girls to every guy, but
the odds evened out after a while; at least 4 to 1 later on.

It was
interesting as, we mostly hang out with other Scandinavians. The girls were
friendly enough, though some had clearly been out with western guys before and
knew how to act. I was glad to see Jon and Juliana show up around 11, along
with Gigi and Kristoffer. We hung around for a few hours and watched the
apartment fill to the brim.

At 1 a.m.
the party moved on to a place downtown. I used this opportunity to return to
Linping. Took a taxi together with J&J.

In bed just
before 2 a.m.