Back Home Again 
Monday, 13 .March, 2006, 08:22 - English Entries, Finland, Travel
View from airport longue in Hong Kong

After having Friday afternoon out in the Sanya city center, mostly in a bar together with my favourite chairman and some local beer brands, I slept until Saturday morning and finally adjusted to the Chinese time zone. At 6 o'clock I went up, packed, had a short breakfast, checked-out and went to the local airport. 1.5 hour flight to Hong Kong. There waiting in the airport longue until the flight to Frankfurt was ready. It just took us 12 hours to go from the former British colony to Frankfurt. And from there then another 2.5 hours to Helsinki, where I arrived the night from Saturday to Sunday at 1.00.

My flat had the usual "there was no window open since one week" smell, but still it welcomed me warmly. I switched the computer on and half way on its way up I switched it off again, went to bed and fell into a restless sleep.

On Sunday I found out that the after shave bottle in my luggage broke and everything in the bag had a comfortable and intensive smell to it. The electric razor decided not to survive this attack. I am back to my old wet shaver again. Also looking at my flat at daylight is not the thing I needed after the long flight. Stuff from the Denver trip is still waiting to be cared for, books are piling up in several corners together with dust. There's no food in the fridge and no ironed shirt within these 42 square meters. Somewhere I find a to-do list from which I still cannot cross out anything. And I am still on Chines time zone. It will take a while to adjust to GMT+2 again.

But there is compensation for all of this. The sun shines from a dark blue sky onto snow-white Helsinki. The temperatures are low, which does not seem to be any problem anymore after the humidity and heat in Sanya. The week will bring two concerts in Tavastia. And wet shaving is not that bad after all.

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Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone 
Friday, 10 .March, 2006, 00:08 - English Entries, Travel, Photographs

On Tuesday two colleagues and I took a taxi and after the usual uncertainty whether the driver understood us or not, drove to the "Sanya Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone". It was described as a "buddhist park", which sounds like an ancient religous place. I had read that there is a 108 meter high Buddha statue in that park, which was finished in 2005. After arriving there we understood, that the emphasis is on the words "Tourism Zone".

Impressions from Nanshan ...

It is in fact a good place to lose the last illusions about Buddhism as something purly spiritual. You find it all here: believers on their knees in front of statues, souvenier shops all along the way, entry fees in the realm of those for a Rolling Stones concert and figures of heros that look like they have just fallen out of the latest Pixar movie.

... where Disney and Buddha have a rendezvous.

What is obvious and to my eyes fair is that local pepole pay less money than the few Western tourists, that are not supposed to visit the area for reasons of faith. On the tour busses everything is explained in Chinese language only, but the tour guides are very friendly and some of them spoke good English, so we found out, that the park was built nine years ago.

Buddha off the shore

Nanshan is nevertheless a beautiful place that is for sure worth visiting as long as you do not bring false hopes with you. It is built at the shore, in the middle of hills full of tropical trees and so it looks far away from anything. Some of the places there are quiet and atmospheric. Built next to a fast growing tourist region, having one of the biggest existing religious monumtents in the world right in its center, Nanshan is a monument of Chinas growing wealth and prosperity.

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Freedom of Speech 
Thursday, 09 .March, 2006, 04:03 - English Entries, Travel, Music, Thoughts, Politics

Bob Dylans life once was saved thanks to freedom of speech. He reports about this exceptional event in the very educational and entertaining song Motorpsycho Highway, in which he can only escape from a patriotic American farmer by pretending to be very fond of Fidel Castro (and his beard). Besides that, this song includes violence, shooting, a daring jump out of a window as well as a not very much hidden invitation for having sex, i.e.: all the things that you really miss from modern music.

As said already I am currently in China and the hotel that I am staying in provides a desktop PC in every room, including broadband internet access. It is worth switching it on. After chosing the English version Windows 98 comes up and everything looks normal. Great. So what was the name of the place around here, at which this big Buddha statue is located? Just type in and ... uuups: Error message. Maybe the network is down. But no, comes up fine.

After several tries it became clear, that I could just not access Wikipedia from here. I was not sure whether it is generally blocked from China or it is just not available due to additional security measurements in this hotel, and found more on this issue at

What do we learn from this? Maybe that you do not need freedom of speech if you can express your preferences for Castro without running into problems. Maybe that every blocked page is in good company. Maybe that you need to experience a restriction yourself to find out about what it really means.

What I appreciate is the internet access via my mobile phone (GPRS). It connects to the network via Finland and there is no blocking inbetween. Maybe it's after all not too bad to work in this industry.

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An Lars Kiessling 
Wednesday, 08 .March, 2006, 10:29 - Deutsche Einträge
Hallo Lars! Ich hab aus Versehen die Mail gelöscht, die Du mir gesendet hast. Kannst Du mir bitte nochmal Deine E-Mail Adresse zukommen lassen?

Vielen Dank & Sorry!
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Arrived in China 
Monday, 06 .March, 2006, 16:00 - English Entries, Travel, Photographs

During the last 24 hours or so I travelled from Helsinki via Frankfurt and Beijing to Sanya in Southern China. We have just another meeting here during this week. I hardly slept on the first two flights and when I arrvied in Beijing, I had to wait two hours for the connection flight. So I sat in a restaurant behind secuirty control and watched the people coming in, while drinking a beer. That was around 10.30 local time, a bright morning. Of course in Europe it was 6 or 7 hours earlier and my body was still in that time-zone.

There were a lot of interesting thoughts in my mind, but I could not catch them. I was too tired and had tasted too much of the red wine, that they give you in Lufthansa Economy flights. A thought came by, I milled it through my brain several times and it escaped. What a ridicuoulus thing of a thought to do . I ordered another beer, watched the people and played thought catching. Nothing happend. I ate. The waitress gave me plastic knife and fork, she did not even think I would be able to handle chopsticks. I drank my beer a little further. The red display of the clock shifted to 12.00 and I went to the plane to Sanya.

The seats on that plane made for something else but not for people who are 190cm tall. It did not bother me too much, as I fell asleep right away. Inbetween the sleeping during that four hour flight I finished "Post Office" from Charles Bukowski, which I had started on the plane from Helsinki to Frankfurt. The stewardess gave me a green tea when I ordered a water. I slept again. Woke up again and ordered a beer and hoped I would not end up with engine oil. She handed me a beer and soon after I slept again.

About three hours before landing it was announced that the plane would land soon. Might be it was only 30 minutes before, but it did not seem like 30 minutes. The ususal "be a good passenger" announcements wer given in Mandarin and English and then a female Chinese voice told a childrens story or read the communist manifesto or told us about her last boyfriend - I don't know, but she kept the loudspeaker busy with her words and sounds and emphasises. While she was talking the plane descended throught the dust of the clouds to a landscape of mountains, tropical woods and a blue sea.

The temperature down here has for sure never been reached in Helsinki region. I am not fond of high outside temperatures, but the related thoughts could anyhow not be caught. Whatever. I have to avoid to fall asleep too early, else I will not adjust to the local time. I guess that's why I bother you with this.

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