Wednesday, September 23 2015

My Addiction To Chinese AliExpress

Since I started with the topic of shopping, I have decided to tell you about another great descovery in the world of global online e-commerce. Known as AliExpress is blew my socks off when I first stumbled on it. Previously having simply drooled on the variety of Alibaba, and also having had to opportunity to make some "sample purchases" (more about that later). Naturally to have the opportunity to have all those amazing goods in my fingertips, except available for individual order. Well. That just got me hooked, nothing more and nothing less! The pandora's box had been opened, and I was in touch with thousands and thousands of Chinese manufacturers. And if you haven't ever traveled to China, it's pretty amazing and they make everything there. And contrary to common belief, there is an amazing amount of skillful people. On the one side of the coin, people have been doing something so repetitevly that they just become extremely good at it. But the other side, is the one that is able to be creative and put together all that knowledge that has landed to China for good.

Alibaba the Father of AliExpress

But enough praise, let me tell you about some of my adventures in the land of free lunches. Or at least, in the style that represents that very fun and exciting attitude. And before I forget, those who don't know AliExpress just yet.. you have to check out this how-to article over here that will give you the right links to access the online shopping heaven in English. In fact, this medium has become like a passage way so that even those Chinese who cannot speak English but manufacture amazing things have a great opportunity to connect with western clients from all over.

So as I was saying, in the times of the free lunch, I started with Alibaba. Back then, AliExpress didn't even exist and Alibaba was like half English so you had to use the translator constantly. Anyway, a friend of mine wanted to order Henna which is a natural hair dye to colour your hair. So naturally, I was going to look for it in India which Alibaba was also full off. Indian sellers of course, or pretty much anywhere from Asia as a matter in fact. But they sell in huge quantities, and I had to fake that I was some kind of a big buyer who just needed a sample. That worked and I got my stuff for half free! On the down side however, the poor owner of the business kept contacting me and asking when I will make the real batch order. Which never came of course.

That trick worked very well. But luckily now thanks to AliExpress I don't need it anymore. I can small purchases of ANYTHING in the world in small quantities. That is addictive stuff my friends!

Yours truly, Harry Rossi

Friday, September 18 2015

Amazon Online Shopping in Japan

I was laughing at people when I saw them order food, or food products online. They said that it's so cheap, convenient and you can order so many different kinds of products that you couldn't imagine ordering from your local grocery store. Still I laughed, and laughed thinking there is no way that groceries could be transformed to the online playfield. It even reached a point where I was concerned about the health of my friends who seemed like they were addicts, or even 'victims' of the online food industry. I could understand as far as ordering a pizza, but this was something I could not stomach easily. Which btw. is a whopping seven letter word in the English language.

Akihabara Shopping Brands

Until I tried it for myself. To make things worse, I was very very drunk. Just travelling in Japan. There I was not only introduced to online shopping of food, but a whole variety of both internet and technological services. Like a beer pooring robot was just the peak of some of the brilliant advances in what is known "the modern world". Tokyo is obviously one of the main headquarters of such activity, and in that magnificent city a place called "Akihabara' became one of my favorite places ever. I couldn't find a free lunch as such, but I did discover that doing this cheaper somehow didn't always mean something worse. There online shopping of course did have the added benefit of price, but other than that the amount of stuff you could get was simply mind blowing. I ended up ordering a lot, especially from the Japanese Amazon store which is far more extensive than the one in the UK for example. Of course, it's a big business anywhere in the world but they have a different selection of goods in Japan. And sometimes it's just plain weird and I love it.

Anyway, I have to admit that I got a bit stuck in my hotel with my friends, just because so many people were ordering stuff from Amazon and we needed to be there to receive it. Going out to it, don't think so! We were eating our bellies full in our hotel and enjoying the amazing view. Only when the night came out, we were ready to roam the streets and experience the nightlife there. Tokyo was very different from Beijing, not in a good or even a bad way. Both are equally amazing. Yet if I have to say one thing that is better in Tokyo, it's that the night never ends. A comforting fact as it is in my humble and somewhat broad opinion as an experienced traveller.

Oh and as a big tip for those who want to engage themselves to any kind of shopping, be it technology or food products, check out this easy guide on how to shop in English. When you just open the Amazon site it's pretty banging with all those characters no one understands. Even clicking on the English help link didn't do anything. But finally this brilliant article had that one perfect linked that opened like a pandora's box to using the Amazon Japan site in English. So don't miss that or you'll probably miss all the action.

We love you Japan, and hope to come back very, very soon again. Cheers & Love.

Peace as well, Harry Rossi

Thursday, November 27 2014

Chinese Way of Paying From Acrobatics to Food

I like to observe how in the world there are so many different ways of paying for your bills. I don't mean just the kind of brilliant ways humans have adopted in order to get a long with their daily consuming lives. But also, how society and culture can shape those methods.

It might be a surprise to some, but even in poor countries there are plenty of free options. Sometimes even more than in richer neighbourhoods that are sometimes too shut down, and closed from outside influence. I know that for many it seems crazy to eat for free in a country where people are starving. But this is really the reality of things, how people have been conditioned to just take it, or "eat shit" as I like to call it.

So I love to travel and observe the billing culture. There are many stories to share. But definitely one of my favourites is the Peoples Republic of China. Which is a huge mix of wealthy and poor. Middle class is also getting bigger and bigger. There use to be a lack of food in China during the "you know", times. Now, they have made a comeback and food is plentiful. As long as you can afford it. Yet still, there are many ways to getting things free. For example, all you need is to go to a market and pick up stuff that dropped on the ground. You can just ask the shop keepers there, and they will say it's fine to take them.

The advice I just gave you, is worth a life. You can support your life with it if you are in China and travel free. Of course, you are not probably going to do it. But I can say that I have, and it works. As an experiment alone it's interesting enough.

However China is much more complex than that when it's time to pay up. For example, Beijing is the land of commission. For any business, for every individual that is somehow in between that negotiation is going to take their own share. At times, it's enough that someone knows that you are making money, that knowledge enough entitles you to get yours too. Now that's a collective society!

And the reason I mentioned acrobatics, is that in theatres it sometimes seems that everyone is paying a different price for their tickets. From free to ridiculously expensive. If you just go to the ticket window, you will pay up just like a westerner. Prices can seem really high that way, when you don't know your way around.

Beijing Acrobatic Show

So I went to see the world famous Beijing acrobatic show in the magnificent city nightlife. Naturally I knew that there was a special ticket policy for the show, so I started looking around for options. Turned out, there are a lot of travel agencies that give out huge discounts for the performance, which is already a really good added bonus. You just need to book your discount tickets in advance, and hand over a piece of paper at the theatre ticket window. Now this alone might seem weird enough for westerners, why should you be able to do that if you get the tickets from the same place as where normally they are much more expensive? Well. Because it's China. As I said, if an agency can in any way claim that they can be contributed for bringing that tourist to your door, then you are entitled to commission. Thanks to this, Beijing visitors can even enjoy a discount to go along with it.

I happen to know, just how much the acrobatics are working to bring that amazing spectacle to life. Every single day of the year to please tourists. For the price I am paying with a discount, it's just too little. But even if you would pay more, it would not end up in the hands and pockets of the acrobats themselves unfortunately.

Despite the convenience of a discount. I still decided to get my tickets for free. And for fee I got. Chaoyang Theatre is well connected to a lot of people in the city, so all I needed was to hook up with a person who had connections. In fact, I met this person at a restaurant nearby the theatre itself! All he needed was one call and I was in for free. Voila, VIP tickets.

Lesson learned: Just open your mouth and you'll do fine.

''Try your luck if you are in town, at: Chaoyang Theatre, 36 North East Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing''

See you next time!

Harry Rossi

Wednesday, November 26 2014

Free Lunch Proof

Besides that fact that I love philosophy and generally talking a lot about concepts, or ideas. I do things in real life too, after all one must put ones way of thinking into practice in order to have point in all of it. Indeed, I am a man of action and a man who is true to his own words. Therefore, some people don't understand that I often enjoy free lunches, in REAL form. =)

Some people even really doubt me, and call me someone who just talks. But this is not the case. I in fact collect pictures of dinners I ate, many of which are free. Sometimes they might be leftovers (delicious ones), or just situations where paying has been an optional decision. Nevertheless a free lunch, needs to be 100% free. No catch. Here are some treats I've had in the past:

Free Lunch 1

Free Lunch 2

Free Lunch 3

Looks delicious doesn't it? And that lobster, yes, it was free!

Wednesday, July 16 2014

Where's my Lunch?!?!

So then we start getting to the juicy bits of the free lunch blog. Because I think you would deserve your first one, for free. And I know just the place to get one. Of course there are many places and I do understand that some of my readers are not first timers. But dumpster diving is a very interesting subject anyway.

So the instructions are vary basic. And don't worry this won't be anything dirty, like many might think. Just get a pair of gloves, some clothes that you don't mind getting a bit dirty.. like outdoor working clothes or something. Flashlight and an open mind.

Once you got these ready, wait until night. Proceed to the nearest supermarket, but as it is closed, you might want to try the back side. There most likely you will find a dumpster, where the super marketing is throwing away food that is beyond their best end date. However, by observing the contents of the dumpster, any sane person may observe that a lot of these products are completely edible.

While there might not be anything wrong with the food, I found that sometimes I need to hold someone in the hand and take them to the dumpster to get past their fear of.. I dun now, trash? It's all free and it's all perfectly fine. It's nothing dirty and a lot of fun.

This is one of the first lessons on getting a free lunch or actually, often enough you could feed a african village with the contents. Up to you.


Friday, July 11 2014

Where to Get Them Free Lunches

To understand my concept of free lunch, we must first look at where the term itself comes from. According to the urban dictionary, it means the following:

Used to refer to a *-free or catch free offer, the expression "there is no free lunch" sums it up.

When has the world become so ironic, that people think that everything has a catch. It's because, people think that things are not up to them, but up to others. And of course, if you don't take control for yourself, then naturally in this money greedy world, people will manipulate you. But as soon as you take hold of the steering wheel you can become boss and eat for free, as much as you want.

It's like a buffet in the sky, except this one doesn't wait for your death. It waits for your action in the here and now. A steady feed of free lunches have kept on coming ever since this remarkable discovery.

That's why the free lunch is so important me. And I hope, that by sharing light on the subject others could realise that too. Because it's a delicious way down the road, which is too often being compromised by bullshit moneymakers.

Not just a rant,


Monday, June 16 2014

Paying is Optional

Who ever said there is no such thing as a free lunch? It's just a common saying we have in the states, a saying that nobody gives thought to when said. These things are dangerous when put into the wrong hands! Because now, seems everyone is repeating that as it were some obvious fact. Well, at least I think differently. And it's all thanks to personal experience! Yes, I've had loads of free lunches in my life time. In fact, I've had so many of them, that they've started to taste more delicious than the once I pay for. You can have a lot of adventure out there in the world, when you look for ways to get something for free. At the end of the day, it's not about "free", it's about doing things differently. Everyone knows that walking the same street back and forth to your apartment (especially from work!) is pretty boring. However, a free lunch is always new and exiting, a different path. For me, it's what I enjoy in life. I do pay for my lunch occasionally, but it's the realisation that..

"Paying is optional." -Harry Rossi

Gave me a reason to live again and again. To find new ways to enjoy my life. Of course, lunch is simply a metaphor. Paying optional really means that every and anything has an option, to pay or not to pay. To have the freedom to choose between the two, just makes life more exiting. Try it out or just read my blog to find out and ream of one day..(better not)..!