Category Archives: USA

Travel Updates

Not all of my friends follow my Dopplr, and would be upset if I don’t tell them where I am going. To avoid that, here is the notice, boys.

I plan to fly to New York from September 20th until October 4th. If I don’t answer to your phone calls, it’s probably because I am in another time zone.

My flights would touch the ground in the evening on October 5th.

A couple of days later, I’ll fly to Tokyo on October 8th, and stay there until October 22nd. I won’t answer your calls either, as I don’t even have a 3G SIM card, so it simply won’t work in Japan.

Where to go next? You’ll never know.

I hope everyone is satisfied with the info now. 🙂

Here in Dallas, again

Yes, I am in Dallas again, waiting this time 4 hours to Tokyo, Japan. It’s early morning here, so every process is faster due to less people. The customs official “welcomes” me is having a Monster energy drink. Really?! Having that at six in the morning?!

Welcome to the United States of America.

Waiting in Dallas

I’ve flied Taipei – Tokyo – Dallas, and now it’s four hours away from my 9-hour flight to Santiago, Chile. Thanks Dallas airport for providing free internet access. It’s so good to be connected online again.

So far I am not too tired, although I am not impressed that I don’t have electricity access for my laptop on American Airlines flight. That stops me from doing translation. lol

CNN in Chinese?

I didn’t notice CNN, the news organization, has “Chinese Weekly News Review” clips on its website until today. It’s a 5-6 minutes clip uploaded and broadcast in Chinese on a weekly basis. According to the anchor’s facebook page (I don’t know if the word “anchor” is appropriate based on her performance…), they have been doing this for a year already. That, I am surprised, but not in a good way.

I don’t really want to embed the clip here. If you really need to see that, click here.

It claims to be “a must-see weekly news program”, …hmm, that I am not so sure, either. If CNN wants to attract more Chinese viewers with this, they probably have a long way to go.

One more thing. This program seems to be produced in London, but I thought they have a regional center in Hong Kong? What’s that for?

My SXSW Day 2: Make it Bigger

Today in SXSW there is a big thing that grabs almost everyone’s attention (and wifi bandwidth): Twitter CEO Evan Williams interview. The main hall is packed, the other room for live broadcast is packed, even in front of  TV screens at the hallway is packed. Everyone is eager to know what he’s going to say, what new services Twitter will provide, and what’s next for Twitter.

Later at night, my friends and I talk about the interview, our conclusion is:  They need to change the guy who interviews Evan. Many of us don’t think he does a good job. He’s not too bad, in my opinion, but he really needs to come up with other words that replaces “interesting”. The level of “interesting”ness is just way too much.

For the past two days, I really experienced “Texas size”. Every meal is sooo big, even sweet tea cup is like one-foot tall. Burgers are big, tacos are big, even salads are too big for me to finish it. Way too big.

Also, thanks to David’s referral, I was interviewed by Zadi Diaz in SXSW. Zadi is a great interviewer, making people feel at ease, especially to people like me that are mostly afraid of camera and not photogenic. If you are interested in hearing my voice and me in motion. Here is the clip.

(I don’t know why I cannot embed the video here today, sorry)

My SXSW Day 0: Delay and Delay

It’s a long day.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I am so glad to be invited to SXSW this year in Austin, Texas, USA. Originally according to my itinerary, I should fly Taipei->Tokyo->Houston->Austin, but it didn’t turn out that way.

The flight to Tokyo is delayed in the first place, which turns me into a sprinter in Narita Airport. Unfortunately, I am still five minutes late before they closed the boarding gate “on time”. I watch the plane leaving in front of me, gaspingly. Then airport staff “kindly” suggests me to sprint again, to see if the flight to San Francisco or New York will take me.

After kicked around between Gate N0.32 and Gate No.35, with enough running exercise, I was “luckily” put into flight to New York. Life really takes turns when it wants. So, my 10-hour flight to Houston is changed to 12.5-hour flight to Newark. Worst of all, it’s a center seat…

As we flies into New England area, the weather isn’t nice at all. The last 30 minutes is quite bumpy, and the lady one or two rows behind me starts to scream, LITERALLY. That triggers the baby three rows in front to me to start crying, LITERALLY. Good, very good.

That becomes my time visiting The Big Apple, seeing nothing but lots of people waiting in line for connection flight.

Delay comes into play again, this time somewhat in a good way.

Someone above definitely hears my begging sounds in mind, and makes the direct flight to Austin delayed for two hours or so (gladly just downpour, not blizzard). I fortunately get a seat on the flight, instead of flying to Houston. Three, four hours later, I finally lands on Austin airport, seeing my luggage already waiting for me there, “on time”.

Here  I am, after 8 hours later than schedule, I finally check in and unpack at the hotel at midnight on March 14th. “Good news” comes again. As daylight saving time starts to work from 2am on March 14th this year, which means I will lose another hour of sleeping time.

My SXSW session will be from 9:30am to 10:30am on March 14th. As our panel organizer wants us to meet at 8am, this story will get more and more interesting…

I’ll tell you whether I fall asleep during my panel tomorrow.

(Sorry if this post sounds disorganized, but that’s how my mind can only work now…)

Life Takes Turn as It Wants

“What are you working on online?” my mom asks. First of all, my mom is not online generation, let alone “born digital“, so you should at least admire her for saying the word “online”. Secondly, to be clear, she now uses computer and internet on weekdays, but only to check out stock prices. That’s why, to her, having a son working as freelancer (= insecurity) and working online (= intangible) can be one of the most confusing concepts to accept.

Ever since she knows I want to be a freelancing translator, she keeps encouraging me to translate at least a book, which is “more substantial”, in her own words. True, my translations can be around you all the time, on product instructions, in press releases, PowerPoint presentations, or even as a website, but you normally won’t see my name attached. We are invisible translators. I have shown to her my works on Global Voices, with my name on it, but it’s still not persuasive enough to her.

And now she is more confused. Why would someone invite her son to give talks for works he’s done online?

See me speak at SXSW 2010 (http://sxsw.com) Mom, it just happens. I wasn’t aware four years ago that my life and career will be deeply connected with internet. But now it is.

South by Southwest Festival came to me for the first time in my life in this post on GV by Juliana. At that time, it looked cool to me, but I didn’t expect to attend at all. After all, it’s in faraway Texas. It’s a long, long flight from Taiwan. (Yes, I know, the flight from Taiwan to Chile is even longer, but we’ll deal with that later.)

Not until one week ago.

That morning when I opened my inbox, I saw an invitation letter saying hi to me, so two weeks later, I will say hi to Austin, Texas.

Also fortunately, I have experience the painful US visa application last year, otherwise I won’t be able to travel with such a short notice. Phew..

Working online connects people in unexpected ways. My life indeed takes turn as it wants, especially since I start to work online. I really cannot say for certain where in the world I will visit this year, but the picture is getting better and better.

Another turn of my life from online work is coming soon. I’ll unveil when I can.

But now, at least we can enjoy SXSW Promotional Video: