Tag Archives | city

Going Home: So Long, and Thanks for All the Chickenfeet.

Jakob going homeStarting March 15th, I will be working as a video producer for a large advertising agency based out of Saarbrücken. It’s really a win / win situation, not only for me, but for us, my family, my friends… Not only will we be able to enjoy living in Germany and Europe, but we’ll also live near my parents and near my friends, they are in my hometown, and just an hour away. Also, I should be able to get back to Shanghai and Asia every once in a while for video jobs, as the agency wants me to keep doing those here.

So how do you sum up the experience of over five years of living in China in a blog entry? It’s nearly impossible, unless I make the longest entry ever written by me out of this. I would really like to go into detail and explain very clearly what is making me move out of China by remembering the past, but it’s just too much right now. There’s some unfinished business, we have to pack, deal with Shangdown: The Way Of The Spur and other things. I will only quickly mention the main reasons.

The first and biggest reason of them all is our sweet daughter Emily, she deserves a safe and peaceful childhood, and I can offer her that. Looking at her growing up here in Shanghai reminded me of my own childhood, and China simply stands no chance against Germany in many aspects: Sanitation, insurance, society, safety, honesty, weather, quality of living, education system, politics and much more. What disappointed me recently the most was the Expo 2010 and the fact that the slogan “Better City, Better Life” was nothing more than toxic hot air. Don’t get me wrong, Shanghai is a fantastic city in many other aspects, especially for young people and singles, but as soon as you hit the family road, you realize just how terrible it is to live here with children. There is barely any nature, at least nearby, most venues are not family friendly, people in the park spit all the time and ruin it one way or another, the roads are dirty and all that… So many reasons.

Another reason is the increase of cost in Shanghai. Our apartment price went up by almost 15% last year. This year, the landlord is raising it by another 20%! Food is getting more expensive. Services of any kind are. Everything is getting more expensive. But it’s hard to charge customers so much more to compensate, and there is more and more and cheaper competition. Less productions, more bargaining. I think we are at the point where China got on it’s feet, and now it wants to try walking by itself.

There will be many, almost countless things that I’m leaving behind happily, but there are also things I will miss a lot, friends, food, work… And so on. It will be quite a challenge for us to get back and used to the life in the western world, especially for my wife. But she wanted it, learned German B1 at the Göthe Institute in Xi’An and looks forward to moving to Germany. And on a professional level, I feel I have learned as much as possible here, and will develop more skills in Germany.

I look forward to our new home, and to keep revisiting the city that both formed and changed my life.

So long, Shanghai!

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Sex And The City: The Movie or How To Destroy 6 Seasons in 148 Minutes.

Marriage makes you do things you never thought you’d do. Like watching TV series such as Sex And The City or Desperate Housewives. But, as it is normal in a relationship, you compromise. My wife watches testosterone filled action movies with me every once in a while and I watch female movies that make me want to rip my eyes and ears out in return.

But I’d be lying if I’d say that I didn’t enjoy Sex And The City.

10 minutes or so into the first episode of the very first season, I was tempted to stand up and throw myself out of the window. But as we continued with the second and third episode, I slowly started to like it and to got rid of my hate. If you look over the boring fashion stuff in the series – as a man, of course – it’s quite an interesting show with more and more deep characters. And you can learn oh so much about women, seriously, it’s helpful.

Sex And The City Over the seasons, all the characters are faced with realistic problems and their friendship gets them through it. While it’s sometimes too american with all the emotions and stuff, it keeps on getting better and bigger, introducing more and more characters and poking fun at a lot of things. One episode, where Carrie has to fix her Mac even got me laughing real hard… Well done.

So, when the DVD with the movie finally got out in Shanghai two days ago, I immediately bought it and watched it that very same night with my wife, who had been looking forward to see it since I teased her with the first released trailer.

During the opening credits, I already got a bad feeling. They actually tried to introduce the most important characters of the show in two minutes or so, showing some snapshots of the seasons – but not really telling anything at all. You got the names, alright. But try to explain Samantha in 25 seconds. Her character is way too complex to be explained in that short amount of time. Or the hardships that Charlotte or Miranda went through in those six great seasons.

Wouldn’t it have been better to just say nothing, so that people who don’t know the series at all can build their own idea of them?

And then, this dump of a story started. Carrie wants to marry Mister Big, Mister Big wants to marry Carrie… And on the wedding day, Mr. Big doesn’t get out of his car? And Carrie leaves him? Huh? What did just happen?

Right there, after that scene, we should have taken the DVD out and burned it on the spot. But we didn’t, we continued to watch the movie and watched how it destroyed all the things the series build up in such a long time. Now it is one thing to have a bad story. But to change characters completely to get some dramatic story line going is just way out of borders. It’s not fair towards the fans.

Why in the hell would Mr. Big not get out of the car? The whole series, he has been the one chasing Carrie, he was the one who always knew exactly what he wanted and how to get it. Carrie would maybe not get out of the car, but Mister Big? Are you kidding me?

Well, from then on, everything felt fake. And characters like Harry, who were really cool in the series, were completely left out and got like 5 scenes totally. What the hell. But I guess to show a horny dog eff the hell out of pillows is funnier.

But the very worst of it all is that they actually pulled off to show the ending of the movie, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen this year so far. I wont spoil it, but damn, Hollywood. It’s an insult to anyone with a IQ over 50.

Director and writer Michael Patrick King really managed to mess everything up in 148 minutes. It’s a mystery to me why they accepted this screenplay in the first place and why they didn’t let Darren Star, the TV series writer, edit it. But I guess all the brands featured in the movie payed really well and none of the actors are getting any younger…

Let’s just hope they don’t make a second movie, as the rumors tell…

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iPhone Wallpaper: My Contribution.

I took personal favorites out of my 200 most popular flickr pictures and converted them into the iPhone accepted wallpaper size of 320 to 480 pixels.

Feel free to modify them or whatever, they are all with a creative commons license.

Enjoy these free iPhone wallpapers:

Rain And Advertising iPhone Wallpaper

Oriental Pearl TV Tower Shanghai China iPhone Wallpaper

Puxi iPhone Wallpaper

Night Time Is The Right Time iPhone Wallpaper

Blurred Shanghai Traffic iPhone Wallpaper

Rome Christmas Colosseum iPhone Wallpaper

Shopping Street Nanjing Lu HDR iPhone Wallpaper

HDR Tower iPhone Wallpaper

Pudong Bund iPhone Wallpaper

Hangzhou HDR Pagoda iPhone Wallpaper

Beautiful HDR Skyscrapers iPhone Wallpaper

Old Shanghai Skyscraper iPhone Wallpaper

Two Asian Brothers iPhone Wallpaper

Unfinished Business iPhone Wallpaper HDR Shanghai Pudong

Beautiful HDR Garden iPhone Wallpaper

HDR Zen iPhone Wallpaper

HDR Tea Mountain Pagoda iPhone Wallpaper

Ray Of Light On Lake iPhone Wallpaper

Forbidden City Beijing Hengdian HDR iPhone Wallpaper

Mountain Path HDR iPhone Wallpaper

Sanya Hainan Beach iPhone Wallpaper

That’s it for now. If I can ever afford an iPhone myself, I’ll probably make more.

I can’t even test them… *cry*

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A walk on the wall.

Through The Wall.

Yesterday we took a day off from all that family-meeting-during-spring-festival business and took a almost two hour long walk on the famous Xi’An city wall. The Xi’An city wall surrounds completely the inner downtown area, which makes it a incredible 13.74 kilometers long. It was established in the year 582, which was the second year of the Sui dynasty and it was always repaired and kept in shape during the following dynasties (Tang, Ming), too! It has four huge gates in the north, south, west and each as well as many smaller ones in between them. Every gate has a temple-like looking watch post, but what you can see from up there during walking from one gate to the other one is even more interesting.

Luckily I took my camera and shot a lot, have a look.

Watchpost.
Watchpost.

Unfinished.
Unfinished.

The Bell.
The Bell.

Sorting The Trash.
Sorting The Trash.

Roofs.
Roofs.

Restaurant In A Corner.
Restaurant In A corner.

Poor Place.
Poor Place.

My Angel Jiajia.
My Angel Jiajia.

Lanterns.
Lanterns.

Endless Wall.
Endless Wall.

Cannon.
Cannon.

Broken.
Broken.

A Tower.
A Tower.

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