Monthly Archive: February 2012

Getting robbed by Chase Bank

In the final stretch towards leaving, I needed to make sure I’d have enough foreign currency to get by. I was looking for the cheapest ways to change money, and I knew that Chase was going to charge 3% on any foreign transactions on my cards, so I wanted to avoid that. I called my …

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Computer Security

There has been a lot of publicity recently about electronic security when working in China. There are horror stories of infected computers that come back and infiltrate corporate networks, of eavesdropped cell phones, and of IP theft. A NY Times article discusses it further. I plan to be careful. I’ll be bringing my netbook with …

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Getting a visa at the China Consulate

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This isn’t the China Consulate. This is a new (and somewhat controversial) statue of Marilyn Monroe on Michigan Ave. in Chicago. The China Consulate is a few blocks away, but they don’t want you taking pictures, and this is much neater.

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Getting a Visa

Once travel dates have been made, you need to get a Visa from the China Consulate. There are only a few in the U.S., and some of them don’t accept applications by mail, so it’s a pain. In order to get the business visa, you need: Form v.2011a (Visa Application Form of the People’s Republic …

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Shooting through the prep checklist

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It seems that preparation for travel has to happen in a specific order because the paperwork requires progressive detail. For example, the first thing on the list is to determine when and exactly where you are going. With the dates and locations confirmed, then you book your flights. Now that you have flights, you know …

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Travel Nurse

It’s a good idea to make an appointment with a travel nurse at least a month before traveling to make sure you have the necessary vaccinations. Some need to be taken far in advance of travel. The travel nurse will tell you about the country you are visiting in terms of health, common diseases, risky …

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Travel Insurance

Insurance’s purpose is to make sure you’re ok when things go bad, and when you’re on the other side of the world, things go from inconvenient to bad pretty quick. Lost luggage, theft, damaged items mean lost time re-acquiring the things you need. A cancelled trip could be an expensive loss on non-refundable tickets. And …

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Booking the flight

Booking the flight is a stressful process and requires careful planning of every aspect. First, you must decide where to land. There’s Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong as destinations, each with the ability to get you into Shenzhen using public transportation. Flights to Shenzhen and Guangzhou are more expensive than HK. When I booked my …

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Ethics of manufacturing in China

You’ve probably already decided to go, so this post may not be relevant to you, but for me it’s a serious consideration, with many pros and cons that have been weighing in, each with counterpoints. There is definitely appeal to having products produced locally, pumping jobs into the nation and reducing transportation costs. U.S. pollution …

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So you’re going to China!

Me too! This blog is a telling of my experiences in China for three months with a Chinese hardware startup accelerator called HAXLR8R. During this accelerator, we are living and working in Shenzhen, a city whose population in 40 years has increased from 300k people to 10.3 million people, and which is one of the …

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