It is more than a Haruki Murakami novel title. To quote Johnny Depp in Ed Wood, “This is the one. ‘This’ is the one I’ll be remembered for.” I had a most interesting day, truly blog worthy, alas at the end of the day, the internet was down Wu Dao Kou wide. At least that is what the guy seemed to be telling me at the second internet cafe I went to.
Undaunted I was going to go home and just write my thoughts down in my journal to later become a blog posting when I thought, why not type it out instead. So now I’m using my room mate Nan nan’s laptop on the last night I have it available to me, to type out the start of another legendary blog posting, in notepad no less.
The day started off with me getting out of bed early, not eating breakfast because I’m was out of cereal then buying some sort of Chinese baked good on the way to the post office. I went to the post office to pick up a parcel containing a gift for my guitar teacher. It was a t-shirt from Larivee guitars. I also requested and received a catalogue and they threw in some stickers and keychains too. First rate job, I guess they bought my story about being from Vancouver and having friends who used to work at the factory and needing a gift for my Chinese guitar teacher. It’s amazing what the truth can accomplish, more people should try it.
I then walked through the campus of BLCU for the first time ever. I saw one girl wearing a skirt, it was cold in the morning too. We’re talking over a foot of bare flesh on each leg, the skirt was way above the knee. I was wearing a toque and gloves and I’m a macho male Canadian who used to live in Yellowknife. I didn’t stop and ask her if she was Korean, sorry Julia.
I walked to the Hump Cafe. Yes that is the name, I took a picture of it before but as loyal readers know my Mac has been busted for over two weeks now so I haven’t been able to upload any photos. Or more accurately rather than risk my precious photos on a Windows machine I’ve kept them on the memory card instead. Just like I did while I was traveling in Japan and South East Asia.
I’ve had to do without my Mac twice now. I already knew this, but some people haven’t grasped it yet so it bears repeating, “You don’t know a good thing, until it is gone.” My Mac is my primary means of keeping in touch with friends and family. I was using it to look for a job. I managed my contacts, played my music, tuned my guitar with it. Not to mention I’m a full time MBA student and I used it to write my papers. All study materials are digital now. I couldn’t download cases or get sample exam questions because that is all online too. It was my only Chinese to English dictionary… Not to mention the death of my hard drive, after I told Apple and took it in already almost caused me to fail a class because my term paper went astray.
So after having a caffe mocha and checking out the swag I went to iUtopia where I tried to fix my blog template. That wasn’t the reason I went to the internet cafe in the morning, but I suddenly realized I would be without my Mac for another week and I was sick of looking at it all busted so I tried to fix it. I failed. I reread tutorials, I even wrote the guy who runs Urban Giraffe to see if he has any ideas. The WordPress.Org support people seem to think it is all the margin width, but I’ve tried dozens of permutations and it doesn’t seem to want to work in IE on Windows. I even commented out my photo because I thought that might be causing it. When I get odd rendering problems I always steal a phrase from Austin Powers, cross-mojonation.
After an hour or so of fruitless trial and error along with cleaning out my email box a bit and surfing a dubious blog, I got on with the task of trying to find sponsors for an upcoming Tsinghua MBA event. I had to contact Proctor and Gamble, Disney, Motorola, and Google and solicit their Chinese operations for swag basically. I was given this task on a few days notice and me without my laptop and internet connection. Did I mention I had to contact their Chinese operations?
I called Proctor and Gamble in Goungzhou but the switchboard operator wouldn’t put me through to public relations even after I told her I was calling on behalf of Tsinghua because I didn’t have the name of the person I wanted to talk to. I had to send the form email to a generic contact address instead. Perhaps I should have just written Max. Disney was even worse, their Chinese website isn’t really geared to this sort of thing. I went to their US site and from there found one of many Disney recruiting websites and eventually got an email address for campus marketing support, but in America I think.
Motorola didn’t go much better. I was able to Google a press release which had a phone number for Chinese PR but it was from 2001. I called it and got a voice mailbox. I left my best message and had to settle for emailing another generic form letter. Google didn’t start out that well, but I found a press release and the phone number of their PR firm in China. When I called them and got through and talking in English she wasn’t too receptive. But said I could email her the information, but before she gave me her email address she wanted to know how I got her number. I don’t think she appreciated the irony in the fact I found it in Google. I already had her email address as that was in the press release in Google too.
I just managed to finish all the emailing, googling, and phoning in time to meet a girl for coffee. We had met a week or so earlier on the train. I was coming back from dropping off my Mac again at the service depot. I was singing to myself on the train. I think she must have thought that was funny. I don’t know if she was watching me or I was watching her. She probably was watching me first, after all I was singing out loud in English on a train in China. We ended up getting off at the exact same stop, and despite her laughing at me I kept singing all the way out of the station. Like I said I’m stubborn. We looked at each other I pointed right, she pointed left. But before we parted I had to say something…
I tried to introduce myself in Chinese. She of course says her English is no good. After a brief exchange of words I gave her one of my very last business cards and we parted ways never to see each other again.
Later I got an SMS message in Chinese, which I replied to half in English half in Chinese and got another one in Chinese. Unable to understand it I did nothing for a few days, I wasn’t even sure who they were from. Later I showed the first one to Danna, she said it was spam. So I thought that was it, but I showed her the second one and told her my theory it was a girl I met on the train while singing. All of sudden the messages go from making no sense and being spam to “Is she pretty? You should ask her out to Dinner!”
Danna can change her mind faster than just about anyone I’ve ever met. She must have forgot four separate times in the space of a one hour conversation that my Mac was busted and I was unable to MSN her, email her, look anything up on the internet, or use the Chinese/English dictionary on my computer.
So anyway after SMS’ing in Chinese and finding it extremely hard. I finally started to press and it turns out her English is way better than my Chinese. This is always the case. Now in Japan this was not always the case and sometimes I can make myself comprehensible in French. We agreed to meet for coffee and the date and time was Friday at 3pm. Of course things still got confusing with her waiting at the train station and me waiting at Starbucks.
Eventually we had our coffee, though she had Apple juice which I always forget the Chinese word for. After our talk we tentatively planned to meet again in a week or so. She wanted to practice her English and I badly need to work on my Chinese. Turns out we were both going to Tsinghua campus so we walked together. I met a friend of hers from high school and then I went to dinner at a cafeteria on campus.
When I first got to Tsinghua I often ate on campus. But lately I always eat in Wu Dao Kou. There are reasons for this, one I usually eat at odd times and the cafeterias only serve food at very specific times and two I’d been eating a lot of Western food and Japanese food lately. Since I still had a cafeteria card with almost a full 100 RMB on it I decided to head to perhaps my favourite cafeteria. Luckily it was open.
I looked around for a place to sit and put my parcel while I went and queued for food. I’ve learned a thing or two in the months I’ve been here. I’m better at ordering food and I’ve learned where you get certain things in certain cafeterias. I went to get a juice and noticed a part of the cafeteria I’d never tried. Sure enough it was serving fried rice and fried noodles my two favourite Chinese foods. I decided to have both and put my parcel down on a nearby table where I could see it. A girl was eating there, I asked if I could sit in one of the three empty seats at her table she said OK.
By the time I got my fried rice she was gone, but another girl was eating there. Then her friend arrived who happened to be an English major. I was keen to practice my Chinese at least a little but of course the English major is crucial to making sure our conversation made some sense. Deprived of business cards I got their email addresses instead but in China they generally prefer to SMS which unlike Japan requires the exchange of phone numbers. I was in a good mood when I left and SMS’ed Yan Qin Lin on my way to the Tsinghua auditorium thanking them for letting me eat with them.
I’m going to try to eat at the cafeteria more frequently and practice my Chinese on random strangers, lord knows enough people try to practice their English on me.
About now, if you’ve read to here, you may be wondering why the post is titled “Dance, Dance, Dance”? It isn’t because I’m a huge Haruki Murakami fan, actually I prefer Ryu Murakami. Well the actual entry in my day planner said “Tsinghua Dance Team 7:00pm”.
Ren had invited me to this some weeks ago. I had tried to confirm with her the time and location, but she never got around to telling me the actual location. I was operating under the assumption that it must be at the auditorium as that was the location I mentioned in my SMS message. Turns out it wasn’t.
I then frantically called every Tsinghua undergrad I knew trying to find out a next best guess on where it would me. Luckily Catherine picked up the phone and guessed correctly where it would be. This is the second event Ren has invited me to, where another person has to actually get me in the door.
I was worried I was late, but I got to sit in the front row. I felt bad arriving late and sitting in the front, so I sat on the extreme left. There were two empty rows the 3rd and 4th. These are the VIP rows. I’m not a VIP but I was the only white person there again. The VIPs always arrive late, in fact they might have held the curtain for them, not that there was an actual curtain to hold.
I asked two girls in Chinese if the seat in front of them was not taken. One of them replied in perfect English that no it wasn’t. Turns out they were dancers. I said I wasn’t, she replied “I could tell“. She didn’t think there was anything wrong with that. I told her I played guitar and then I was cooler or something. They had on red shirts with big bold English lettering that said TUSDO I think. There was some debate as to what this actually stood for.
Just like at the last performance I went to, most of the audience was in fact performers. The full extent of this wasn’t apparent until the final group picture. There were some friends, family, and VIPs but at least half the audience maybe more were dancers. When the show finally started the two girls behind me were in the first number, so was Ren.
I recognized parts of at least two routines from the SEM gala performance. It started out OK, I was taking photos as were a number of people including some dudes with some very big camera lenses. One result of sitting front row extreme left was I was right in front of the big JBL concert speakers. It wasn’t the bass though that was the problem, there was little, rather it was the high pitched ethereal whining that was in some pieces. The girl who sat beside me frequently covered her ears.
Having spent a large portion of the last performance I was at, looking at my one inch or so LCD screen I wasn’t really keen on doing that again, because these performances were more exciting and more professional. This was the Tsinghua Dance Club not every single SEM undergrad student. Sometimes those performances were hit and miss, plus there is no verbal communication involved in dance.
There were two MCs. Having been to three of these Galas, counting the one I went to back at Sauder I’ve learned MCs are always in pairs, one male one female. I asked Catherine if they chose the MCs at the SEM event based on who had the largest wardrobe because they changed so many times… True to form there were wardrobe changes this time, but the MCs were also dancers, some dancers had to change a lot I imagine.
The longer the performance went the better it seemed to get. The first dance was modern I guess, with guys and girls. The costumes were t-shirts and pants. Knowing my audience, I immediately thought being dancers they could have some pretty muscular calves. Even if they aren’t massively huge they are likely to be pretty toned. In fact you don’t meet a lot of fat ugly dancers. So although I was disappointed with the costumes they were wearing in the first performance I still took a few photos because dancing girls deserved to be photographed.
My camera does not excel in two situations, low light and rapidly moving images. So I wasn’t expecting much of my photos. But I thought I need a couple for a token blog posting about the performance. As the performances got better I began to adjust my camera settings. I switched from no flash to various flash settings. I also tried to zoom what little I could and anticipate. Sometimes I was successful, sometimes I missed some cool shots. I’m sure I got some blurry messes too.
I ran out of memory on one card and wore down both the batteries I had with me so I ended up taking a fair few photos. The best of my China photos ended up on Flickr years later including three from this performance which you can see at the end of this epic blog posting. I also wanted to actually watch and enjoy the performances but there was always something interesting to photograph, many of the costumes were quite elaborate.
So although it started out slow eventually the first soloist was featured. She had on a really big hat. Anticipating an eventual conversation with Ren or a blog posting I was trying to figure out how to differentiate between an entire dance team identically dressed. Danna often asks when ever I mention I met a Chinese girl/woman if she was “slim and fit” it is something of a running joke between us. It is a pretty redundant question to ask of members of a dance team. For the record the girl with the big hat was pretty, enough to stand out or maybe it was just the fact she was the first non-identically dressed dancer, regardless I made sure to take some pictures of her for the blog posting which has turned into a novella.
One word that went through my head while planning my blog entry was lithe, I think there is some law that when describing dancers you have to use the word lithe. In addition to lithe I thought of Mike Myers, feel free to read the rest of this post out loud in his faux-Belgian Goldmember accent especially when you come across the word “tight” or as he would say it “to-eet“.
This was a co-ed dance team. I just want to mention this again before I go any further. Several times there was no dancing girls on stage at all. There were several male soloists. Everyone had obviously spent a lot of time working on it and numerous different dance styles were featured including a variety of different ethnic Chinese dances. However if you wanted to ogle some Chinese guy’s “package” in his tights, I guess you could.
My blog is getting too popular. I told a few people about it and the various search engines send me traffic but I’ve never been big on self promotion, but with incoming links from various big American business publications or at least their online entities and an ever growing number of Chinese girls reading my blog, someone is going to ask me in person to explain “package“.
I’m too tired, the story is getting unfunny. To quote that seminal Canadian movie “FUBAR “I need to turn down the suck, turn up the good!”
It is now 5:12 pm the next day so December 10th, I’m in iUtopia again and the internet is working. I don’t feel like typing out this story, but it is such a great story I need to get more details down before I forget them. I’m still going to have to go through and edit this, add in all the HTML tags and links then once my Mac gets fixed I will spellcheck it and add in the photos.
I guess we’ll resume with the ballerina. Although I couldn’t really understand the MCs, one word I was able to comprehend was “Ballet”. I used to know a dancer, well a couple back in high school. Amanda seems to credit me with helping her get through Chemistry 12 but that subject leaves a bad taste in mouth because I did poorly on that provincial final and lost my A and likely my scholarship… Anyway I was expecting there would be some ballet and there was a lone ballerina. She was wearing a tutu. It isn’t a law that ballerinas must wear a tutu and I was disappointed she was but I bet the Chinese audience wasn’t. She also had a tambourine.
She was wearing some sort of tights and/or leggings but in ballet you spend a lot of time on pointe. I will have to double check my dancing terminology. Regardless it puts a lot of stress on your calves so there was some visible calf muscle which I attempted to capture on camera. Time will tell if I succeeded.
Several Koreans left the computers around me only to be replaced by yet more, this time their were more Koreans than available computers so some of the gaggle of Korean girls had to go and sit elsewhere. Maybe I’ll have to get Hyemi to teach me some Korean, but since they are likely studying Chinese and they may well speak excellent English there isn’t really a pressing need.
I may have the order slightly off and I know I’ve skipped over some performances but if I had my Mac… Anyway I don’t so I will just talk about “Dancing Brass”. This was an early favourite of mine. There was a large group of dancing girls on stage. I think I’d seen part of this performance before including the costumes. I don’t know if it was the live instrumtation, the Western outfits with the bare midriffs or the fact I immediately focused in on one particular dancing girl but I and the rest of the audience enjoyed this performance.
It wasn’t technically that difficult, it was set to a medley of American tunes most of which I knew by heart. I tried to take some photos with this one particular girl in the center of the frame. Ren was also in this number, she was in three or four numbers overall, though once again I did not get to actually talk to her. I haven’t spoken to Ren since our very first meeting. I did talk to several dancers after the performances were all over, their was almost a queue of people wanting to practice their English.
I have no idea who any of the other dancers were or if my photos came out, but if they did I will try to find out from Ren or Shen Dan another dancer who is also a School of Economics and Management student who she was. It might have even been Shen. I don’t really remember that much about this one particular girl but I’m sure I’ll be questioned. She wasn’t the tallest, or the shortest, or the thinnest. I guess if I have to say something about her, I would say she had more bounce.
This number also had some titilation and some sauciness. I can’t remember if this was one of the dances I had to change batteries or memory cards during but even if it wasn’t I tried to enjoy the performances and not spend the whole time looking at my little LCD screen instead of the whole stage. I seem to recall missing the promenade at the end with the band and dancers leaving the stage, I think there was some ass shaking involved.
Although the “Dancing Brass” number was well enjoyed I think the one that immediately followed it was even more popular. It was ethnic and featured three dancers, one female and two male. The music was really primal. This number from the music, to the costumes, to the movements themselves was very invocative. It wasn’t obviously Chinese, their were animal skins involved and the dance had a really subtle tempo. Their wasn’t an obvious beat at times, the music was almost ambient but it wasn’t overtly artificial. Anyway like I said it was very well received with the lone dancing girl receiving a bouquet from an audience member, likely the boyfriend.
I think I later briefly talked to this girl as she was leaving. She spoke excellent English and was also a featured soloist in at least one other dance. As a result of this it can be inferred she was one of the more accomplished dancers.
From this highlight the show continued to build. The costumes got more elaborate. There were several male only performances which were also well received and involved some tumbling. The girls costumes were of course the more impressive, two soloists were attired in different ethnic outfits. I took a lot of photos. I got some good ones with twirling skirts and flashing sleeves hopefully even capturing a few dancers in mid leap, time will tell how good they were.
There was some sort of trivia contest. I did not participate because it was in Chinese. Eventually the people who continued to make the correct choices ended up on stage. Finally it was widdled down to 11 or so winners who were mostly male. A VIP or the teacher was involved somehow no one ever explains things to me so I just rely on my empathy and my powers of observation. The winners got a CD given to them by some of the Dancing Brass girls and even some in the original costume of tights and t-shirt.
The grand fanale must have been a well known dance. I think there were originally four female dancers and four male dancers on stage. However the house lights went up and the rest of the dancers tried to coax audience members on stage. No one tried to get me onstage, I don’t know if it was because I was busy taking photos or because I was foreign. Anyway as the stage filled up with dancers and audience members it became just how apparent they were one and the same.
After the grand fanale was a speach by a VIP or teacher who was an older Chinese lady. Then there were group photos. I joined with one of the more official photographers to take photos. The MCs got in my way some during the grand fanale too. Eventually I ran out of batteries, I only had two with me. I think I have plenty of photos but there was a good spirit in the air and with so many dancers on stage, there was not that many photographers left to capture their poses. The performances were videotaped both by a professional looking camera on a tri-pod at the back and some handycams. The VIPs left and I went to find a bathroom.
To get to the bathroom I had to go through one of the rehearsal rooms filled with dancers. In the bathroom was a Western guy. He wasn’t in the audience but rather was rehearsing in another room in the student arts center. He was in some sort of music ensemble and was a science student. We had a brief chat and exchanged some knowing nods.
Outside the bathroom and back in the rehearsal room there was a buzz of activity. Many photos were being taken and the first of several people chatted me up. One male dancer I talked to for a particularly long time. I didn’t get his name. Eventually he was called away to pose with friends. They were all heading to a big party afterwords at a restaurant off campus. This is how I met Shen Dan. She was queued for lack of a better word to talk to me. She was a year younger than Ren which is a lot of years younger than me. She spoke great English and apparently has a blog. When I told her I would put some photos on my webpage eventually she wanted to know the URL so I got her name and SMS/phone number.
After we finished talking I made it outside only to talk to parents. One couple and I had a long conversation in three seperate languages with me feeling stupid the whole time. The wife spoke much better French than me. They kept trying different words in different languages almost in the same sentence I became horribly confused. I don’t know who their daughter was, but as we were concluding our wide ranging talk the featured dancer mentioned above wandered by with her bouquet. That is how I figured she performed in so many numbers. I’ll have to double check with my photos but some girls/guys might have been in a single number while others could have been in as many as a half dozen.
I finally said some goodbyes and went out alone into the night clutching my parcel and started to SMS. While doing this I stopped walking and looked up and low and behold there was a group of Chinese girls hanging from metal bars in the dead of the night. It wasn’t as cold as it had been, but it was 10:30 pm on Friday night and here was almost a dozen girls hanging from a metal bar. I had to find out why.
It turns out they were in the mountaineering club and they needed to exercise in the cold. Several of them spoke good English. I basically coaxed a few photos out of my dead batteries because this had to be blogged about. Eventually I got talked into doing some Chin ups. I did them with a close reverse grip and was surprised I could do a couple. After I stopped I learned that grip was not allowed. Most of the girls were not actually doing chin ups, they were hanging for endurance I guess with another girl supporting them somewhat. Two senior girls counted off the time.
One of the senior girls Chen Li did some real chin ups in between just for fun. She could do more than me and she did them with the ‘right’ grip. I couldn’t do them the ‘right’ way because it put too much stress on my very badly messed up right shoulder and back. It didn’t hurt my manhood any to learn this, I know just how badly messed up my body is. And I’m also well aware of how strong little Chinese girls can be.
Look at the success the Chinese have had in the Olympics in events like woman’s Gymnastics and weightlifting by scouring the countryside for girls of hearty peasent stock. I joked with Danna I would do the same while we were living in Prince George. I fully admit I’m of Northern Barbarian stock myself.
I used to be an athelete, many people seem to have trouble believing this. I was even “Sportsperson of the Year” my senior year of High School and Captain and MVP of the Rugby team. But I’m no Al Bundy I’m not dwelling on my high school sports accomplishments. They aren’t on my resume anymore and haven’t been for years. I did put one or two in my LinkedIn Profile after seeing someone else do it.
At Sauder I found someone who could vouch for my Rugby skills. I had played on the same team as Erin’s old boyfriend Todd McBride who went on to play at the national level. I’ve played with and against people who went on to play nationals in a number of sports. No one ever believes me when I say Steve Nash was a huge rival of my high school. He came and played basketball in Cowichan several times. I think Irvine or Sautherland likely had to guard him. I wasn’t a B-Baller though I used to be able to hold my own in pickup as people back in Duncan or UVIC can attest.
Martin Nash is actually the same age as me. I think Steve is one year older. He plays for the Canadian National Soccer team sometimes. I know I played rugby against him in the High School Championship tournament no less. I possibly played against Steve as well, as he was at least a three sport star at SMU. It is inconceiveable I didn’t play soccer against Martin a time or two. I don’t remember him though, maybe he played selects and SMU didn’t play triple A in soccer or something. When I got to UVIC Ben Charlton remembered me from soccer and seemed to recall losing to Cowichan a few times as an Oak Bay player whereas I seemed to remember things the other way around.
I never played rugby with Ben though. He was elevated above the Jutes somehow. I basically had to quit rugby because of my back and shoulder and the computer science co-op. It got so that often after tackling someone hard I couldn’t raise my arm above my head in the next scrum or lineout. I think playing through two shoulder injuries my senior rugby season is where I did the damage but Pat’s recalling me to indoor soccer goaltending and my own stupidity has made things worse since 2001. People remembered my number after I hit them though.
I’m kinda retired from soccer indeed all sports now again because of my knees. I think I may have chipped my left knee cap when I fell in Xi’an as if I needed to damage them yet further. The last time I played soccer however was the UBC intermural soccer all star tournament where I was on the championship squad even if my fitness level and lack of touch rendered me a lesser light on that team.
I had more to say about Chinese girls, calves and what not. Nan nan thinks all these Chinese girls I keep meeting want to be my girlfriend. I don’t see things quite that way. I see some of these meetings as being truely random. Although in our MBA class their are more male students in the undergrad population there are a lot more women, probably closer to 50/50. This is likely a result of the one child policy to a degree. Tsinghua is known as the MIT of China and is famous for Engineering though SEM is the largest faculty now.
Engineering is known for being male dominated in the West, perhaps not as much in China. Also Tsinghua is very much an elite Chinese school so I feel stupid a lot because my foreign language skills lack, even my quantitative skills may be substandard here. As I’ve aged I seem to get worse at Math. When I was a wee lad I took the national tests and got some medals or something for ranking in the top 10% nationally.
My GMAT score percentiles seem to indicate I’m better at English or qualitative stuff but I’ve never been a fan or particularly successful at aptitude tests. I did well enough on the SAT when I wrote it without any preparation. I majored in CSC so I took too much math. Some of which I did well at, some of which I did not. In the MBA program initially I worked really hard and did well in some quantitative subjects, notably the Accounting final where I got 94 or 95% which impressed Marlene and Steve.
I actually don’t want to blog about my personal problems. I was going to write about Nan nan and my late night discussion about Chinese girls. She seems to think some of these undergrads might actually be intersted in old, fat, sick, Western Musk. Chen Li was particularly kind in her SMS message and I hope to get a more flattering picture of her than the one I may have, if we ever meet again.
It is testament to all my problems that I’ve basically completely forgotten about the 1000 RMB worth of fancy dinning I’ve won but have yet to use. With an ever growing number of Chinese girls eager to read my blog, assuming I ever finish this posting and they read all the way to the end I guess I should mention I am technically still looking for a dinning companion.
In fact yet another Chinese girl I met when she almost ran me over while biking was mad at me for not letting her know I was eating alone at lunch. Now she wants to know my plans for the evening. I just want to sleep or if not sleep then do nothing, but I said I would let her know after checking my email. Originally I was invited to another big SEM Gala but I don’t know what happened. Peking University seems to have had on a networking event, I think the Canadian Alumni Network has a couple planned for December. Despite ordering more weeks ago I still have no business cards to give out and I need to study for my last final and get ready for my trip to Shanghai.
Update December 2015
I am back in China and had a few days off so I spent much of it editing old blog postings trying to improve them. This post was so long, I did take a lot of photos but they were cropped so small due to bandwidth costs back in the day, now some of them are on Flickr so I included them below. I also removed some of the dubiousness from this post, but it still is not as good as it could have been if I had been well while an MBA student at Tsinghua.