Live from CeBIT

I am in Hannover for a couple of days; announcing a new product at CeBIT – the worlds largest IT and technology show.

It is my first time here – and the scale is unimaginable. I was warned by colleagues about the traffic, the remote hotels and the expense – but until this morning I was unprepared.

The Novell stand is huge; with product demos; a cinema and a cafe to talk to partners and customers.

Novell Cafe @ CeBIT

Two press meetings down; a press conference and a partner briefing to go.

Written at: Cebit. Hannover, Germany

Mmm – delicious

All of the food so far in Beijing has been excellent.

Last night I headed out with Laurence and we ran into the Dong Hua Men Night Market – which is renowned in Beijing.

Dong Hua Men Night Market

There is a wide range of regional delicacies on sale – including lamb kebabs, pork and beef skewers and fruit.

Then there are the real specialties. In the interests of fairness – think how interesting pork scratchings and haggis are..

Starfish on a stick:

Starfish on a stick

And roasted and fried scorpions, silkworm grubs and crickets:


Silkworm grubs. Crunchy on the outside, silky and velvety on the inside. That’s what my online gourmet reviewer said.

Silkworm grubs

Scorpions. Crunchy with a bite. I made that one up.


Finally crickets. Fried and ready to go.


Panoramic photos of Beijing sights

I’ve been taking pictures of my stay in Beijing – I’ve added the pictures from Laurence too.

In addition I am creating some panoramic shots stitching together many pictures to make a panorama.

The panorama is great for trying to give some feeling of the scale of the sights.

Here is Mao’s Mausoleum from a couple of pictures:

Mao Zedong Mausoleum

And here are a couple of pictures from the Forbidden City – still these pictures don’t give the vastness of the scale:

Forbidden City - Palace

[For the record – I am using Hugin to create the pictures – it is free and opensource.]

Beijing stories – continued…

I am here in Beijing with Laurence – a colleague from the UK.


Yesterday we did the unthinkable – and booked ourselves on an organised tour to the Great Wall.

First stop – the Ming Tombs – about 50km North West of Beijing itself.


As you can see it was drizzling and foggy.

Next stop – after lunch and shopping – was the Great Wall at Ba Da Ling itself.

We drove for just a few minutes and from nowhere Tolkeinesque mountains started to loom up through the mist. Very impressive.

We arrived and the snow started falling. I wanted to get a geocache – so we took the less travelled and much much steeper southern part of the wall.


As you can see – almost whiteout conditions.

The climb up was just slippery; going down was part farce, part winter sport. I’ll post a video of that later!

Here is a view during the summer to show the difference:

Finally – back into a very very wet Beijing for the evening.

We decided to avoid the local delicacies on sale in the hutong – pictures of those soon – but it was a festival – so fireworks, firecrackers – and kids with sparklers.

Beijing stories

I’m in Beijing with Laurence – a friend from work in the UK.

I spent the morning in the local Novell office – great views; mainly of construction:

Construction in Beijing

We were taken out to lunch by the project team from Novell – to a local tofu restuarant. Tofu served in ways I’d never seen it before. Even as a dessert.

This evening we took a taxi to Tiananmen Square – and walked around. It truly is immense. We were accosted by dozens of people selling kites, Mao watches, books of Mao Quotations – and people just wanting to talk and speak English.

Worker's statue at Mao's Mausoleum Worker's statue at Mao's Mausoleum Red Star

We then went wandering, found a restuarant, and using a combination of pointing and my month old mandarin skills – we ordered Peking Duck, rice and beer. I even managed to ask for a receipt and get the taxi driver back to our hotel.

Travelling to Beijing

I’ve just arrived in Beijing after a day of travelling. I left home before dawn for a 6am flight to San Francisco, then flew to Beijing.

The flight was uneventful; immigration stressfree.

Rainbow over San Francisco International Airport  Arctic Ice Flying a great circle 

First impressions of Beijing? It’s raining, foggy and construction is everywhere.

Tomorrow I will be in the local Novell office, more updates then.

Off to China

Tomorrow morning I’m heading off early for a week in Beijing, China. It’s the first time for me; and to be honest the first time I’ve travelled anywhere where I really don’t have any ability to speak some basic local language and read my way around.

I downloaded a Rapid Mandarin course by Earworms from Audible – and I at least know some phrases. (Well – it’s another language I can order beer and coffee in ..)

Hopefully internet won’t be too shoddy during the week – I’ll be there with Laurence so I’ll make sure we post some pics.

Deja vu.. or the 48 hour Friday

Get up at 0400 Friday; final glance at email, get ready, check out and head to Changi Airport in Singapore.

Check in, security and a spot of shopping. Ready to board and depart ontime at 0655 local time.

Fly from Singapore to Hong Kong.

More security, more shopping, spend some time in the United Airlines Lounge. Board and depart ontime for 1240 departure local time.

Fly from Hong Hong to San Francisco. About four hours into the flight we cross the International Date Line.

Crossing the International Date Line

Arrive in a foggy San Francisco an hour early – at around 0730 – Friday morning. Miss the early flight to SLC.

More security. No shopping. Collapse in the United Lounge. Get on my flight for Salt Lake City ontime at 1100.

Arrive home at just after 1300. Still Friday.

Getting old?

.. or blame the jetlag?

I left my (actually Grania’s) camera in the restuarant last night.

Anywhere else and there would be zero sight of it again; lifted and sold on eBay.

In Singapore a totally different experience; one phonecall last night – “Yes – we have your camera”; I walked in this evening and the camera was waiting for me.

The local team told me that this was the ‘norm’ and Singaporeans are very honest. Well – it saved me getting in trouble when I got home!