Jun 30, 2007

Last day for 2008 Olympics ticket lottery

Today is the last date to get your application in for first pick of the tickets for the 2008 Olympics.

Don't worry, if you're reading this entry, you're probably not eligible to be in the lottery anyway. blogspot.com is currently blocked by the Great Fire Wall, so you're probably outside of the PRC, or possibly one of the people that use Tor or Anonymouse.org.

From the Olympic ticketing website:

Who Can Buy Tickets
Any natural person who has established domicile in the territory of People’s Republic of China (except Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region and Taiwan Province) and possesses a valid ID is eligible to order Olympic tickets through this website and the designated Bank of China ticket outlets.

The opening ceremony tickets can get expensive. Check out the prices. I've converted them to dollars as well:

Price Level CNY USD
A ¥5,000 $657
B ¥3,000 $394
C ¥1,500 $197
D ¥800 $105
E ¥200 $26

I'm guessing that the "E" price range is the equivalent of steerage class. They'll just cram people together like migrant workers someplace. I suspect that relative to air travel service classes, A is first class, B is business class, and C is economy or coach class

You can only reserve one ticket on the web site. Despite the high costs, I guess they are expecting high demand.

To put things in perspective, Beijing has some of the highest monthly salaries of anywhere in China. Despite this fact, the D class ticket is more than twice the monthly salary one of the workers that actually constructed the Beijing Olympic stadium, where this opening ceremony will take place. The C class ticket is almost the entire monthly salary of an average office worker in Beijing. Mainland Chinese are notoriously frugal, so I would predict that the E class tickets are in overwhelming demand.

I think it goes without saying that the opening ceremony tickets are mostly being marketed towards the Chinese nouveaux riches and international tourists.

The way I recommend you figure out which ticket class you pick is something like this:

Pick an activity that you really like, but you can't do it every day due to the high cost or distant location: scuba diving, skiing, massages, things of this nature. It depends on what you like and where you live. Now figure out how many times of doing that specific activities you would give you the same emotional pleasure as going to an Olympic opening ceremony. For example, if you feel that the opening ceremony would be as fun as several days of world-class skiing or snowboarding, rolled into one, then you're in the A price level. If you have low expectations, and you think that the Olympics would be more similar to a date to a bowling alley with some girl you met at Wal-mart, you're in the E price level. Everyone will have his or her own feeling on the true value of the opening ceremonies.

Jun 22, 2007

Sleepy garbage collectors

Here's some garbage collectors kickin' back in the late afternoon.

Jun 6, 2007

Ingredients of Ganmao Keli

The preferred remedy for the common cold in China is a vile tasting mixture that you mix with a cup of hot water and drink. It's called 感冒颗粒 (cold granules), and should be available at any pharmacy. I was curious what exactly was in this medicine, so I went through and translated the ingredients on the Chinese package insert.

Below is a translation of the active ingredients, as well as some links to pages describing them. Most of them are strange things most people probably have never heard of. Regardless, this medicine tastes horrible, so to me, that means it must work.

Ingredients of Ganmao Qingren Keli (感冒清热颗粒),Tong Ren Tang (同仁堂)brand Inactive ingredients
  • 辅料为蔗糖 sucrose
  • 糊精 maltodextrin