Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day, Green Hats, and a Weird TIL

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This morning, I noticed some people walking around with green hats. Which I think is perfectly fine, but the Chinese in me always thinks of our good-natured taboo of wearing green hats.

A lot of green hats. I sure hope that it's got nothing to do with marital strains. Credit
You see, the phrase "wearing a green hat" is a euphemism for "cuckold", or the deceived husband in an extramarital affair. So when we say in Chinese that Mr. Wang is wearing a green hat, what we really mean is that Mrs. Wang's been a bit naughty. As you might imagine, the association has made it increasingly difficult for modern Chinese to literally wear green hats. Hence, the presence of any green hats is made all the more noticeable in daily life.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Is This How LV Cornered the Chinese Market?

I found myself on the homepage of eBay when this item caught my eye.

Yup. That's a Louis Vuitton Thermos. Now, before you wonder, I own absolutely no Vuitton items of any sort. Unless you count a very obviously imitation wallet that I purchased in China many years back. It was a piece of crap and didn't last very long.

If this isn't how the luxury goods giant conquered the hearts (and wallets) of Chinese consumers, then this is surely how they'll do it going forward.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Bit About Me and Japan

You might have noticed quite a bit of stuff on my blog relating to Japan. I wanted to give an explanation of why.
Me in Tokyo for the first time 1997. Yes, I was a fat kid.
For those of you who don't know me personally, I'm Chinese but also speak Japanese. I started taking classes during freshman year of college, and continued to study it for all four years. After spending part of every college summer in Japan, I also lived and worked in Tokyo for my first job out of school (eerily, I worked in one of the buildings you see in the background of the photo above). Thanks to the country's outrageously generous subsidy for foreigners via the national rail pass, I have now have visited more places in Japan than most Japanese people.

This is a short story of how I got started, and what it means to me today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Killing Them (Not So) Softly: BART and Your Eardrums

For anyone who has taken the BART in San Francisco, and for anyone who takes it every day, you know that these trains are loud. Like, really loud. In fact, if I didn't have my in-ear headphones, I would have to cover my ears through some sections.
For my own sake, I needed to know whether taking the BART would affect my hearing over the long term.
(Image: Wikicommons)

But just how loud is it?

First Week in Review

This little blog project just made the one week mark, and what a week it has been!

In the first seven days of writing, AJ got 1,400 visits and over 3,000 page views. Sorry there isn't more content (yet), but I've got to start somewhere.

On the Finance channel, I wrote about how I got started with personal finance so long ago, and why you're better off investing in your own financial education instead of line an advisor's pockets.

On Food, I started the channel off with an introduction to what Chinese eat to celebrate the first full moon of the year. I then did a two-part investigative series on fake Japanese food — and I don't mean those plastic models you find behind the glass in front of Japanese restaurants.

On Tech, I explained my reasons for starting a tech channel, and how I hope to dig deep into the tech topics and the startup world. I then did the complete opposite and go into full-on Apple Watch mania, trying to put the wtf-ness of the gold watch pricing model into perspective.

Finally, on Travel, I started putting up a photo a day. Each photo carries an endearing memory of the place that I visited, and I just love being able to share that. Here's the first, from Miyazaki, Japan:
Happy Feet.

Thanks again for reading, and follow this blog on Facebook me on Google+ (for the latter, that'll be a grand total of none of you).

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Second Try at a First Post

Please excuse my abrupt outburst of joy in my very first post a couple days ago.

It all started back in 2012, when I finally bit the bullet and bought my first domain, which also happened to be my own name. It was something I had dreamed about since I was a kid, during the dawn of the internet, and I don't really know why I put it off until then. The damage? Total bill cost $1.17 through GoDaddy for a one-year registration (thank you CouponCabin), but ended up costing far more in terms of time and frustration. I suspect many of you who've engaged with GoDaddy before can relate to that.

Once I had ownership of AndrewJing.com, the biggest question was "What I should do with it?" Do I turn it into an online profile and resume? Or write a blog? Or open a storefront? To be honest, I had no idea. I ended up doing substantially nothing with my domain for the last 30 months, except park this ugly mug for any poor soul who found themselves on my site:

Chicago during that one week of the year when it's warm enough to go outdoors.

A few days ago, I decided to switch my domain over from the clutches of GoDaddy to the newly available Google Domains service. The process was surprisingly simple and took less than 30 minutes from start to finish. (The only thing I'm still raw about is that apparently you can't delete your GoDaddy account. Like, ever.)

This leads me to what I want to do with AndrewJing.com going forward.

I want to write about stuff. All kinds of stuff:
  • From my years of managing money (both professionally and personally), I want to write about Finance.
  • Growing up in a restaurant, and coming from a family where everyone cooks, I want to share my thoughts on Food.
  • After visiting over two dozen countries (and counting), I want to share my adventures in Travel.
  • Finally, after diving headfirst into the crazy world of startups, I want to write about Tech.
So I thank you in advance for allowing me to indulge in this work-in-progress and for reading all this brainspill. Feel free to get in touch with me here or email andrew@ with your comments, questions, and criticisms.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hello World!

I just quit GoDaddy today. This is one of the best days of my life.