Well, well, well. It has been a while... the heat is getting to me making me lazy and slow. It is 10am right now and is 97, feels like 113. Soo hot and I have at least 40 minutes of walking in my commute to/ from work. Hopefully the
rain will come soon enough to cool everything off a touch.
Last week I was finally able to get out of Shanghai for the day! Took a day trip through work to Oriental Land and raced dragon boats. This is difficult to do with a group of up to 10 in a boat, it was fun though.
After the boats we headed out to a water town: Zhaojiajiao. Here is a picture of the canal and great boats they "zip" around in.
I also visited some more green areas- Fuxing (pronounced *fushing) Park. This was a great area with many older people playing cards, a pond with large lily pads and flowers, a rose garden, cafe and mini kids amusement park. So much fun for everyone!
After the park and being green, I decided to go out and watch a movie- a nearby bar was playing "Blade Runner." It was fun to be in Shanghai and watching a movie in English. Once we were done with the free buttery goodness of popcorn, headed across the street to a local man selling skewers of raw veggies (large variety of mushrooms, potatoes etc.) as well as raw meat (chicken, and many unidentifiable meats, overheard a nearby English speaker saying chicken hearts...). I stuck with potatoes and the chicken that looked most promising. I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was once it was cooked and spiced right in front of me! This is a bad night pic of the set-up. Just a street corner turned ultimate snack bar.
Another addition to my list of interesting food experiences: frogs. I was served frogs at lunch during the company outing. It reminded me of dissecting them in the middle school, looked and smelled the same. I was just as nauseous at the smell then as I was at lunch.
On a good note, I did make my first meal in the kitchen! I got some pre-cooked udon noodles, reheated them and added in some veggies. It was pretty good, needed some soy sauce or more seasoning though. I also made pico de gallo and bought some chips to bring in for co-workers (luckily I have a foreign mart right by me, so corn chips were easy to find). The local girls didn't know what Mexican food was, so I thought they should try a simple dish. They loved it, very excited to have something other than "traditional Chinese."
Man bags are all the rage in Shanghai. Not briefcases, not laptop bags... man purses/bags. The guys here typically carry their ladies purse for them (which is amazing), but typically they have one of there own as well! Joey from Friends was right; man bags is where it's at!
Another interesting trend that's found throughout Asia in general, or so I've heard, is matching shirts. This is common in couples, not even just t-shirts, but matching exact, button downs or something similar. Fantastic. So just in case holding hands or smooching isn't enough to tell you're together, the shirt will let me know for a fact.
Deal of the Day:
10 yuan ($1.50) new copy of Lolita! This was bought off the back of a woman's bike. I pass her everyday at the corner outside my apartment so I finally caved. Also bought a jade necklace for 15yuan ($2). There are good deals here, they just have to be sought out.
I did learn a lesson last night however. I bought a DVD from a street vendor- Sex and the City 2. I went to play it and it was all in black and white. So.. you do have to be careful when purchasing the 5 yuan (less than $1) movies off carts.
Being in Shanghai has taught me how grateful I am that I have had the opportunity to travel throughout the states. Many locals here never leave Shanghai, it's too expensive for them and many just don't value the experience of travel. I'm also thankful that I haven't had to eat the same foods and to have diverse choices in the western world. There are foods in Shanghai from all over the globe, but again as a local, they stick to what they know.
There are video blogs up on YouTube as well: my neighborhood, Xiantandi, more of dragon boat racing and more! Take a look, I think you can get a better feel for this place through them over pictures alone. Next weeks topic: nightlife.. there's plenty of it! Any questions or if you want to know about anything please ask!