onsdag 30 april 2014

Jpop: Mamadrive (マーマードライブ)

Oh the sound of this one - so sweet guitars and voice, it's indie rock the way I like it. The song is the theme song for the move "Onna no Ana" (Hole of a Woman" based on the manga with the same name.

Russian pop: Andrey Pankratoff & Dj Fenix - Cosmozoo

I love the suggestive video which does its techno style song in a classic way but without becoming boring. DJ Fenix have done some stuff before but nothing as fun as this.

  • Andrey Pankratoff & Dj Fenix - Cosmozoo

söndag 27 april 2014

Kpop: Jay Park (박재범)

Jay Park is a cool guy in my eyes with great humor, and one of the few male kpop artist I listen to. His Metronome is a prime example of a Korean doing a good version of Justin Timberlake.

Trip to Chongqing: Day 1 - 哇塞! (Wow!)

The first time I went to China, I visited Beijing in 2007, and was totally unprepared for the homogenity of is inhabitants. All big cities in Europé and most of the world are a mix of people with obvious different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, but in the Chinese capital it was 99% Wang and Cheng looking inhabitants. Nothing wrong in this but it was unexpected.
Going to Chongqing, I was prepared for this, and knew that the city is super big and lies among mountains and rivers, but I still got blown away when arriving today.
First, just the sheer masses of buildings. With the landscape not being so flat it also became much more obvious from the extended view. Already leaving the airport on the light railway for an hours ride towards the city center there where streets of a urbanization level which could match my own Swedish capital Stockholm (if not in quality so in height and intensity).
Second, the hustle and bustle. Beijing was in many senses ”linear” and stable, while Chongqing is bubbling wildly. Again the local geography creates more dynamics, but the distance to Beijing and the coast probably also creates a certain character also.
Third, my new met friends told me that you tend to love the places your loved ones come from (as my girlfriend is from the region)….
Getting to Yangtze River International Youth Hostel was an experience in itself and in a good way. First I chose to use the light railway to get close, as I like to get a feeling of people instead of taking an (admittedly cheap) cab. This took roughly one hour and one change of train line. Upon reaching Xiaoshizi (小什字) station I had this very detailed explaination from the hotel which was quite enough EXCEPT for at the very start where the first turn right is actually much more early than their map implies (after 20 meters). After that it was an exciting walk through buzy streets and narrow alleys and even an abandonded apartment complex. The hostel is known for being hard to find, but I dont agree. For its very cheap price range it is quite nice and have a working wifi.
Word of advice: remember that China blocks sites like blogspot so if you are going to blog, fix a VPN tunnel before you go to China (As they obviously also block those kind of sites…).
I went to check out the town a little and a lunch after leaving my stuff at the hostel. I went and ate some Japanese ramen at Ajisen Ramen (in China, yes I know, but I blame my girlfriend who told me to go there) and they were great. After that I checked out Jiefangbei (more about that in another post) before heading back.
Here maybe the most lucky part of my trip happened, as I met Aaron from America. Partly because of the work he does which may be exactly what I needed for one of my personal projects, but also because he invited me for a real Chongqing hot pot!  But more of that in a later post.

Subway signs

The subway of Chongqing is, as all the subways I've encountered in east asia, easy to follow with latin letter signs and english voices on the train. The subways system in Chongqing is expanding extremely quick.

Everywhere there is some building being torn down to be replaced by a new one.

Food being cooked on each and every street.

Well, about crossing streets. All have extreme control, but its also sometimes a question of decimeters, so you better have some ice nerves if you usually want to wait for the green light...

Grafitti next to a primary school

The exotic road downhill to the hostel

This bridge over the Yangtze river is all new. A copy of it is soon finished next to Hongyandong.

The hostel with the entrance just at the end

Tadaa! Whatever some people say, that wasn't hard at all.

Yep. CLothes being fixed with sewing machines being driven by footpedaling!

Ajisen Ramen. Yummy!

Decorative wrapping

China's growing middle clas wants the same as everyone else of its kind in the world.

The perfect meeting place, Jiefangbei or the Monument of Liberation (from the Japanese).

So, looking at the stores here, obviously the Chinese is growing wealthier...

7eleven food. Pretty nice, if you ask me.