hangzhou day 2, 3.

I don’t feel like writing in my journal. I also can’t recall what’s happened over the past two days. Instead, what’s happened today rests more clearly inside my memory.

I’m still staying with my dad at Hangzhou’s Xihu State Guesthouse. My aunt (dad’s elder sister) and her husband have also come from Zhoushan to enjoy Hangzhou with us. Oh, the joy.

I woke up at around 8 AM today. Or rather, I woke my dad up after screaming out, “Come here!”. He said I sounded rather angry. I recall that I was in a dream, thinking about beating a level of some-game-or-other and calling for my brother in my excitement. Unfortunately, I didn’t get my brother’s attention. He’s in Shanghai. I’m exactly two hours and fifteen minutes away by bus.

I went back to sleep and woke up at 9:30 AM. And then I finished Kiss of the Spiderwoman for the second time. By then, it was 12:30 PM. I decided I was getting a little fat from all the Hangzhou food and had assumed the Plank position while reading a number of times. Went out afterwards, climbed a hill to where Chairman Mao Zedong used to sit down and read, and took a taxi out to the nearest McDonalds.

My aunt bought a new cellphone today. She had decided on a Motorola earlier on, but ended up with a Sony Ericsson. She needs a Tri-Band phone. I know about phones. Yes, I do.

And here’s something that I posted on Lowyat.net

The first step for me is always the features list. Let me explain (despite my being under a Barcardi Breezer induced drunkedness), why I look at the features list first.

I’m a traveller. Add onto that I’m a kid with no salary whatsoever. I want the assurance that my new phone will work anywhere in the world, even though I might not be able to afford the service plan or the roaming charges. I need a Tri-Band phone at the very least.What do I do? With my phones, I always look at the ability to make calls and send messages. A comfortable messaging interface is an absolute must. I can afford to shed a little talk time for increased efficiency with SMSing. I do make a few long-duration calls, so it’s a good idea for me to have a comfortable-to-use phone. That means something that I can hold next to my ear for a long period of time without my ear starting to ache or my hands starting to seize up.

I’m not exactly loaded with cash. When I want to buy a phone, my parents often don’t agree with me. They don’t see a reason to upgrade until a product has died. Met its maker. Me? I like to buy nice, shiny gadgets that come at good prices. Only by looking at the features can I decide whether or not a phone is a good buy. Just looks don’t make for a good phone.

Design is a necessity, but that comes after the features list. I can afford to use a less attractive phone that excels in the features I need to use over a more attractive model with a whole load of crap. I’m rather open-minded in my tastes. As long as a phone doesn’t go against all design trends, I’m alright with it. Meaning I don’t want to be seen talking into a brick.

The camera and MMS capability are more or less worthless to me. Battery life, ease of use, SMS efficiency, and design are more important. Form-factor? I could care less. I have used two candybars and one flip. I honestly don’t care.

Enjoy. And whatever you do, be happy with your decision.

They were talking about cellphones. Did I mention that I like phones?

Had dinner with my cousin and my dad’s cousin. I haven’t seen my cousin, Zhou Tian Xiong, for two years. The last time I saw him was when I spent Chinese New Year in Zhoushan. We went to a local internet cafe a number of times before my mom scared us off.

Dinner was Hangzhou’s local food. That means it was excellent. We had some beer brought down from Harbin. Harbin’s up north in China. And as we all know from our Russian comrades to the north, northerners like hard alcohol. This was considerably harder than the local beer. For some reason, Hangzhou restaurants like to serve light beer. Bah. We had us some Harbin booze. Two bottles a person.

And then I went with my cousin to the Night & Day Cafe. This was my second time here. The last time I went was two years ago, with HGY and my aunt. I had one of every single available Bacardi Breezer and he had a glass of whisky. I’ve had enough whisky for now – I drank down half a bottle of Johnnie Walker’s Black Label Scotch with HGY last Saturday (April 1st). That stuff was beautiful. It went down smooth and hit like a sledgehammer afterwards, reducing me to sleep after a few glasses.

My cousin is working with a software-oriented consultancy company right now. We talked about a number of issues ranging from the accquisition of new languages down to prostitutes and gold-diggers. I love the guy.

If you’re going to buy Bacardi Breezers, do buy the Cranberry flavor. It’s no bullshit, clean, good-tasting stuff. The Lime and Orange flavors seem to dance around on your tongue a bit. Raspberry goes down smooth and tastes great.

Alex, out.

Listening to: Mini-bar Fridge