Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 39669
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2020/08/11 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2005/9/14-16 [Reference/Tax] UID:39669 Activity:kinda low
9/13    Dear Seattle fan guy who lived in Crowne Seattle in downtown for $129
        plus 15% tax. How did your trip go, and did you like Seattle?
        \_ actually our trip went very well. It was quite fun. Even the hills
           were "small" compared to SF. The streets were so clean, and the
           people were very friendly. The crowne wasn't bad at all, and on one
           day, having a "big fat greek wedding" next to the lobby was fun to
           watch. Pike place market was very crowded when we went. We went
           back on labor day morning, but the place that throws fish around
           was closed that day. 3 days wasn't enough time to really see too
           many things, but it was overall enjoyable. After staying in some
           dumps for $70-80 a day in an earlier Portland trip, $129/day
           for a decent place was worth the extra $$$. I wish we had enough
           time to take a ferry to Bainbridge, and maybe take a drive to
           mt. st. helens, and vancouver. We rented an SUV on our trip, but
           a smaller car would have been better. On some streets it felt too
           wide. The biggest downer on the Crowne was $25/day valet parking.
           \_ See, where you went to before Seattle completely changes the way
              you look at the city. I visited Vancouver first. It's cleaner,
              streets not as crowded, good traffic, extremely nice hotels (and
              much cheaper), friendly people, nice scenery, best Dim-Sums in
              North America, etc. Then when I visited Seattle it was a total
              dump. In fact Vancouver makes the entire U.S. look like a dump.
              \_ Vancouver is a nice town, but I felt no overwhelming urge
                 to want to move there. It's just another city to me.
                 \_ Obviously, you're not an Asian and don't share the same
                    values and desires many of us share.
                    \_ No, I am not Asian. I didn't realize Asians like
                       the cold, wet, short days and high taxes. I am
                       trying to figure out what Vancouver and Monterey
                       Park have in common.
                       \_ I'm white and I love Vancouver weather, so there.
                          Also, short days part of the year means long days
                          the other part.
                       \_ No one like cold, wet, short days and high taxes.
                          But Vancouver has one of the highest density of
                          Cantonese/HK populations in the US. The dim-sum
                          Cantonese/HK populations in N Am. The dim-sum
                          there is INCREDIBLE. Before the Chinese takeover,
                          1/3-1/2 of the top notch chefs and restaurants
                          moved to Vancouver. The elite buy properties in
                          Vancouver. It's like HK-- right by the coast,
                          good mass transit, lots of Chinese people, lots
                          of high-rise buildings. If you're retiring and
                          you're Chinese then most likely you'll love to
                          socialize and play majong or just have a nice  cup
                          of tea. Tax? No one like tax. But things are
                          cheaper anyways, and most people realize that the
                          Canadian government really spends the tax money
                          well. The infrastructures are incredible-- good
                          transit, little traffic, clean, very few people
                          below poverty, low crime rates, etc.
                 (here, NYTimes about
                          HongKouver). And yes I'm Asian and I prefer
                          metropolis, mass transit, drinking boba, karaoke,
                          and simply living close with w/ other Asians and
                          I'll easily take horrible weather and high
                          taxes for the other things I like.
                          taxes for the SeaBus.
                       \_ You forgot the most insane collection of gorgeous
                          women I've ever seen in one place.  A colleague
                          claims it's because there's a huge porn industry
                          there.  -John
                          \_ Not that you'll get any chance, but, are they
                             white or Asian? When I went to the Oceanfront
                             I didn't see many white people. However, when
                             I went to Gas Town and Victoria I saw the most
                             incredible looking blonds. I don't have a white
                             women fetish and it's rare that my penis
                             gets hard when I meet them, but I actually met
                             quite a few friendly white chicks there who for
                             the first time in my life made my penis hard.
                             Unlike a lot of white trashy Paris Hilton
                             wannabes in the US, they actually look natural.
                             They look skinner, classier, more well dressed,
                             and don't put on too much make-up. They're
                             almost like the Asian women I date in the US,
                             except taller and whiter.
                             \_ I'm trying to determine if this is a troll.
                                If not, it's one of the funniest things I've
                                seen on motd.
                             \_ "Where all de white women at?"  -John
              \_ Besides vacation, the trip to Seattle was more of a scouting
                 trip to see if it might be a place that we could be happy
                 moving to for lower housing prices, a decent job market, and
                 a good quality of life. I think Seattle is someplace I could
                 put on my list of possible places to move to. Having places
                 like Vancouver nearby for weekend trips would be great. Plus,
                 there are plenty of places to shop, bookstores, restaurants,
                 and cafe's to hang out at. The huge REI there rocked! The
                 weather held up nicely while we were there. It was warmer
                 in their downtown, than SF downtown, though, it was also
                 more humid, but not bad. I only used my jacket once, and even
                 then it was warm enough to do without one. I would still like
                 to experience a typical rainy season (winter) day. It did
                 rain on a Sat afternoon/night, but we were tired and
                 sleeping thru most of it. The Uwajimaya (sp?) market was
                 pretty cool. Their ready-made crab sushi was really
                 delicious and cheap.
                 \_ Go in the winter. Seattle in the summer is great.
                    \_ I'm orig from the midwest, so anything better than cold
                       snowy winters, or just brown and dead vegetation is
                       a big improvement to me. I would actual welcome a
                       change in seasons, just not a winter full of snow and
                       \_ Depends on how far north you lived. The days
                          are really short. Imagine Wisconsin more than,
                          say, Kansas.
                          \_ Just east of there in MI.
                             \_ Ah. Everywhere looks nice compared to MI,
                                except maybe OH.
2020/08/11 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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WAITING FOR CHINA Straddling Two Worlds The maitre d'hotel welcomes them warmly, knowing they will order the rare st dishes, and leave a big tip. T hey are called "astronauts" because their rich husbands rocket back and forth to Hong Kong, where they still run businesses. Even though they are rarely in Vancouver, most "astronauts" and their wiv es have managed to become Canadian citizens. Their passports are prized insurance policies that allow them to straddle both worlds. They can ret urn to Hong Kong in the waning days of British rule, but can get out aga in if need be after the Chinese communist government takes over July 1 "I've been here almost three years but I don't feel like a Canadian at al l," said Betty, who did not want immigration officials to know her last name, or the name of her husband, because they do not yet have their pas sports. She was dining at the Victoria, but did not join the other women in mah-jongg, an ancient game like dominoes, because she finds their di splay of wealth vulgar. Besides, she does not expect to be in Vancouver much longer. Like many of the 110,000 Hong Kong Chinese who came here ov er the last decade to escape the uncertainty in Hong Kong, Betty now dre ams of going back, once she has the protection of a Canadian passport. With less than five months to go before the Union Jack is lowered for the last time in Hong Kong, what had seemed to be a massive and transformin g settlement of new Canadians has turned out to be something altogether different. For many Hong Kong Chinese, Vancouver is less a new home than a way stati on where they can safely keep their families and wealth while they wait to see what becomes of the island. Of course, the trip out of Hong Kong was one way for many exiles, and they are happily settled in Vancouver. But among the wealthiest immigrants, the only roots many have put down ar e in the billions of dollars they have pumped into the local economy. An d the tentative nature of their residency here has led to friction and r esentment. "Plan A is that when our daughter gets a little older we will let her go to boarding school and I will go back to Hong Kong," Betty said through an interpreter. "Plan B is for my husband to sell the business and move here." A Chance to Prosper Could Be Lost M any Chinese here say they are worried about recent attempts by the Chin ese government even before July 1 to restrict civil liberties in Hong Ko ng. But they say they are even more worried about missing the chance to make money in Hong Kong, where housing prices are rising at the same tim e they are falling in Vancouver. "July '97 is not a date that has really changed anything," said Terry Hui , president of Concord Pacific Developments in Vancouver. The company, o wned by Li Ka-shing, one of Hong Kong's richest tycoons, is making over a huge swathe of Vancouver's waterfront. About half of the 1,200 condomi niums built so far have been sold to Hong Kong investors, who do not liv e in them. No one knows how many people have returned to Hong Kong; a precise count is impossible because those who hold foreign passports can continue livi ng in Hong Kong without formally re-emigrating there. Canada's Foreign Ministry estimates there could be as many as 150,000 Can adian citizens in Hong Kong, and most of them are Chinese. Last year, th e Canadian government's office in Hong Kong renewed 10,000 Canadian pass ports, twice the number in 1994, suggesting that at least that many Cana dian passport holders are spending much of their time in Hong Kong. To become a citizen -- and obtain the treasured passport -- immigrants mu st prove they have established a permanent residence in Canada by purcha sing a house or enrolling children in school. Canada had seemed an ideal ref uge to Hong Kong's upper class because it did not require immigrants to declare wealth they held outside Canada, leaving traditionally secretive Chinese families to spread out their fortunes. But a new law scheduled to go into effect next year would force Canadians, including landed immi grants, to report all accounts, shares and property in excess of $75,000 . Recently, there have been reports of Hong Kong immigrants being grilled o n arrival at Vancouver's airport. This may be a sign that the Canadian g overnment is under pressure from disillusioned Canadians who feel that V ancouver has not benefited as much from the immigrants as was promised. Wealthy investors and entrepreneurs from Hong Kong once were considered s o desirable that the Canadian government gave many of them unconditional visas. In one program, all they had to do to qualify was create at leas t one new job. In another, they had to have more than $350,000 in assets and be willing to help Canada climb out of a recession by putting at le ast $245,000 into a job-creating investment fund before they arrived. Business immigrant programs have been severely curtailed recently because of reports of abuse and manipulation. In one case, according to governm ent records, a Hong Kong entrepreneur invested in a laundromat but worke d at IBM. The one job he claimed to have created was held by a relative, who emptied coins from the washing machines. No Shanties for Them, but Mansions B ut even though they may now be getting a chillier reception here, more than 10,000 Hong Kong immigrants still came to Canada last year, continu ing what has surely been one of the most unusual immigrant movements in North American history. Part of what makes the exodus from Hong Kong to Vancouver stand apart is the reversal of roles it has triggered. After the Tiananmen Square killi ngs in 1989, panic over the coming takeover by the Chinese sent many Hon g Kong families packing. They became rich overnight when they sold tiny apartments in Hong Kong for well over $1 million. In Vancouver, local residents who had considered themselves well off sudd enly realized that with the arrival of the newly rich Hong Kong immigran ts, and the sky high real estate prices they triggered, their own econom ic standing had dropped to middle class. "Immigration is OK when someone comes over to work as a domestic or in a laundry because the local people can feel superior to them," said Jack A ustin, a senator for British Columbia. "But it's pretty hard to feel sup erior to someone in a Mercedes." Many Hong Kong Chinese h ave built themselves mansions, and one even installed an elevator for hi s car. The Ming Pao and Sing Tao daily newspapers have nudged the Vancou ver Sun off some newsstands. When the Hongkong Bank of Canada planned to build a 30,000 s quare foot branch office in Chinatown, it called in a traditional feng s hui master to insure that the precise placement of two bronze lions at t he entrance would bring good luck. Toronto has received 140,000 immigrants from Hong Kong, about 25 percent more than Vancouver. But since Vancouver's population of about 525,000 i s only a quarter the size of metropolitan Toronto, the 110,000 immigrant s here have had a greater impact. Guilt-Ridden Fathers Pamper Children T his is immediately apparent in the Asian faces that now make up most of the graduating class photos at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, known here as Hong Kong High. A 17-year-old student, Wilfred Chan, said his father is an astronaut and half of his friends at school also are th e children of astronauts who only see their fathers every couple of mont hs. "Some kids have a lot of spending money and fancy cars," Chan said, gifts from guilty fathers trying to make up for their absence. Because they believe they will go back to Hong Kong, these students somet imes drop out of school, or get involved in Asian gangs, said John Cheun g, a trustee of the Vancouver board of education. Others who have free u se of their father's credit cards have been known to rent a karaoke bar for a private party. In one case, Cheung said, a student even forged a kidnapper's note and tr ied to extort money from his father in Hong Kong. "A lot of parents have not quite decided if they want to stay and make Canada their home or if they just want to be here long enough to get a passport and go back." For the most par...