Archive for October, 2007

Visiting Versille

[2007.10.10] I suddenly realize why I strangely feel Paris like my
‘hometown’ when I first arrived. To some degree, Paris
does look like Shanghai thirty years ago when I was
there with my Grandparents. Or as people say, Shanghai
is east Paris. The street, and air, the crowded small
buildings…But now Shanghai has changed a lot and I
never felt familiar when I visited there. However here
at Paris those remote memories came back.

Yesterday is also a very tired day. I went to bed at
around 3am. So today I slept until almost 1pm.

Today’s target is Versille, far away in the southeast
of Paris. I took Metro and RER, went through some nice
suburban house region. The houses are very close to
each other, nice and clean and lots of flowers and
plants and trees. The overall tune is very soft.

Versille is Louise King’s palace. It is a grand
building group, with a grand huge park. I don’t know
what else to describe big. Anyway it is just very big.
I think taking picture is a meaningless action,
because no picutre can cover a single scene. The
difference is seeing a movie in wide screen theater
and seeing it on paper booklet. For example, normally
a park will use bushes to make a maze, it is using
French Wu Tong to make it. The palace is on the hill
top and the garden is going down hill. So the King can
see the garden from the palace. I guess they must
visit the garden by horse.

Inside the palace it is overwhelmingly decorated from
ceiling to floor. On every wall there is a huge
painting of the king or queen or Jesus. On the
ceilings there are knights and angles and venus.
Everywhere is gold or marble. I don’t understand why
the king and queen need such large and tall rooms.
Compare to Versille, the forbidden city in Beijing is
like a motel comparing to a 5 star hotel. You have to
be here and see it yourself.

After that I got tired again, because there is just
simply lots lots of walking. Not like in China, here
no one sits or eats in the park or in the palace. I
came back to hotel, got a big plate of salad from the
hotel’s salad bar, and ate an instant noodel I
brought. From what I have seen, normal french
resteraunts are very similar.

Tomorrow is the last day of the conference. In the
morning I will go to the meeting. In the afternoon my
goal is to visit the top shopping center. I found that
French woman’s coats are very elegant. They only wear
black or brown. I should get one too from this fashion
capital of the world.


Perfect Presentation

[2007.10.09] How are you and david and emily? Is the Corolla fixed
yet? How is the BMW? I really miss you! We should find
some time to travel together in Europe for two months.

My talk in the morning went very well. I made the
story very interesting and they are very impressed.
Many people talked to me after my talk and told me my
work is very creative. First of all, it’s a big honor
to have an oral presentation. And not every speaker
can talk well. For example, the presenter before me
talked at least 5 minutes overtime. When it is my
turn, the timer rang exactly at the second I finished
my last word - that’s the last surprise I gave to the
audience (And of course it also surprised me).

This afternoon I visited Saint Chapelle and Notre
Dame. Again, it is stunning and breathtaking and I’m
speechless. I hope you can all see it with me. My
camera ran out of battery after I visited Saint
Chapelle, so I don’t have any picture for Notre Dame
and Musee d’Orsay that I visited at night. But it made
my view seeing more enjoyable. I can see through my
eyes, not through camera.

Near Notre Dame by the river, there is an area with
many many resteraunts lining along very narrow
streets, including some Chinese resteraunts, and many
people. The price is about 12+euro each entry. Chairs
and tables are outside and inside, which makes the
atmosphere very relaxing. The price on the menu has
already included tax and service fees, so there is no
additional charge when you pay the bill. But I didn’t
eat there because there is a big dinner waiting for me
at musee d’Orsay .

The conference reserved the entire musee d’Orsay for
the night from 7:30. We first visited the collections
in the museum. The most famous ones are Monet’s and
Vegou’s. The buiding itself is also quite a piece of
work - how can a railway station be made so beautiful?

After I finished seeing all the paintings, it is
alreay 9:30. The ‘big dinner’ waiting for me is
actually cocktail party: wine + finger foods. I took a
glass of red wine (I guess I should have one because
it is France). And the little finger foods are

I got back with some Japanese students. At the hotel I
met Professor Luke Lee and he told me his wallet just
got stollen on the Metro! Be careful!

To be continued…


From Paris

[2007.10.08] This is already the second day in Paris. Yesterday I
arrive in the afternoon and register for the
conference at 4pm, I went on visit musee Rourve,
walked all the way through Champe-Essyel street, took
a look at the Arc de Tromph, took train to Eiffel
tower, ate dinner at a local cafe, and came back at
11pm. They are all very beautiful and stunning, but
I’m really exauted, since I didn’t get much sleep
during the 14 hour flight. Starting from the way to
the tower I slept everytime I blinked.

So the lesson is you shouldn’t try to get too much
good things at a time.

What attract me most is not the historical buildings,
but the atmosphere here among the small streets and
people. There are not many people on the street, but
not as in US, where there is none; and not as in
China… They all drive almost the same low profile
small europ cars, no Japanese cars, a few BMW, and
quite some bikes. Nothing shinny, nothing fancy, short
buildings, narrow streets. But very clean and neat.
People talk in French, but when I speak English, they
can understand and reply in simple English. They look
very same in my eyes. I have a very weired feeling
that I wish it was my hometown.

Today I attended the meeting and found that it is very
interesting. I can understand most materials and
discuss with many poster presenters. There are about
1000 paticipants from 30 countris. I need to practice
my talk this afternoon. There will be at least 300
people listening to my talk and I should respect this
opportunity. But tonight I will pick a nice

Yesterday’s food is not at all attractive: French
onion soup, French fries, chicken, beef steak, or
salmon - same as America. And a big problem is that I
can’t read the menu. But today’s lunch at the meeting
is nice, especially the apetizer and dissert,
beautiful and tasty, no idea what I was eating. The
main entre is salmon, same as yesterday’s lunch.