Good Night Shanghai

Dear Shanghai, It’s time that I bid you adieu. It’s been fun. I will come back. Your food is too good to stay gone for too long. Keep it real.

Today I am thankful for: a yummy last supper with Shanghai friends 🙂

USA countdown: 0 days : 12 hours : 7 minutes to take-off

Shanghai, China: Taikang Lu

I was talking to a shop owner and he told me where their other store was located and I asked him to give me a landmark it was close to… he said, “how long have you been here?” I said reluctantly, “2.5 months” and he said, “well then you should definitely know about this place by now…” A little affronted I was determined to make it over there before I headed out of town and y’all he was right.  I should have known about this place! This is what one write up had to say about the place:

If you’re in the mood for some shopping but are tired of touts shoving fake watches in your face, head to Taikang Road. A walk down the road lets you see local Shanghai life at its best: street vendors selling pancakes and fruit, kids scampering about and women hanging up laundry. Then find alley 210 and wander down the lane. It’s full of shops and cafes selling everything from traditional Chinese qi pao dresses to funky silver jewelry.
At first when we got off the subway, we were like — what’s all the fuss about? But you quickly start poking your head down alleyways and start snaking around the small neighborhood that’s filled with local boutiques, cafe, and restaurants. Forget the French Concession, this little area is way cooler. I’ve never been good at picking up nic-nacs for people when I travel — but if I were, I would pick them up here. Some things are a little pricey, but they’re artsy… so naturally, that makes the price go up. But it’s a great place when you’re in search of a gift. I think. So… check it out.
Today I am thankful for: 2 milk teas! I love that stuff. Oh, I’m really going to miss it!

Street Market

The other day I went to a street market that I saw from the subway. It was tucked away in one of the old towns. This is a space where a lot of the old houses still sit closely together surrounded by apartment block of sky-rise residential buildings. Needless to say, they stand out from their surroundings. I’ve always wanted to go in and just explore the area. And it was so interesting. On the exterior it was lined with this street market and they were selling everything from a circa 1990s  fax machines to light bulbs to different computer mice, to new cell phones… etc. In the interior, there were these alleyways and you could tell who belonged and who didn’t. But each house sat in this labrynthed alleyway and it just snaked around all these houses. There is something really intimate about all of these neighborhoods and while they are often rundown they are really quite beautiful.

This was one of the many street markets. Please notice that there is a man walking around selling fishing poles… why? Well, I just don’t know. But I just got to thinking… I haven’t seen the other side of the Pacific ocean since I’ve been here. Is that normal? Maybe I should do that tomorrow. Suggestions? Anyone? Anyone?

I don’t think that I have shown y’all one of these before. This is one of the many apartment buildings and outside of it you can see these metal rods. This is what people hang their laundry out on. I usually don’t hang mine out on it because a. it’s not in my room and b. it actually seems a little inconvenient for me. But nonetheless, I’m sure it’s quite useful in this heat and maybe even efficient. But when I get back home… I think I’ll stick to the dryer.

This was drawn on the side of one of the houses in one of those narrow alleyways. I love that it hasn’t been painted over yet. AND if you look closely, you can see those funny hand mittens that people place on the handle of their handle bars to cover up their hands from the sun.

Trash is a funny thing in China. It has a distinctive smell. One that I can’t really describe. Chinese trash smells differently than American trash. I’m sure that sounds ridiculous but it’s true. Often trash bins are not overflowing like this one… especially not in the more westernized areas — God forbid a westerner see trash all strewn about. I actually find China to be generally well looked after. People litter here because they know that a street sweeper will clean up after them shortly after they litter. I certainly don’t think that’s responsible behaviour or bringing about good habits but nonetheless it is true. I just thought this picture was really telling about a different, less-exposed area. The pup walked away with an old fish bone. He seemed quite pleased with himself.

Today I am thankful for: dinner with my dear friend TR. We had an awesome meal. Man, I am going to miss this food.

USA countdown: 2 days : 9 hours : 50 minutes

Listening to: Pat Green Wave On Wave

Food Team: Sheng Sushi

Can y’all believe that I have not had ANY Japanese food since I’ve been in China? Unbelievable, right? Actually, other than Vietnamese Pho, I don’t think I’ve had any other Asian cuisine other than chinese food. I’m not complaining. I love chinese food. But this week, I’ve had a craving for some delicious sushi. My roommate found a new hole-in-the-wall sushi restaurant that we just had to try! So we went. Here’s the info:

  • The Place: Sheng Sushi
  • The Food: Yummy Sushi
  • The Location: 63 Yongkang Lu, near Jiashan Lu
    永康路63号, 近嘉善路
  • The hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m
  • The digits: +86 21 135 6459 5115, +86 21 138 1641 8701

This place is delightful. And what I love most about it is that it is sooo tiny. There might be 8 chairs inside and they can enclose the back kitchen so that the servers can’t pass back and forth and add another chair where that partition was. You might find yourself asking to refill someone else’s tea cup but it’s all in good fun and it’s apart of the ambiance. In the back kitchen area there is a ladder resting at a 75 degree angle where the wait staff will quickly go up and down and bring out more tables and chairs as they are needed outside. This is one of those really unique places that you have to go to. The wait staff is super friendly and while they may not speak any english, they do their best and usually understand. A+ guys.

Oh yeah. Friends, meet The Denver Roll. Mango (my favorite) with cucumber and crab roe with tuna salad. Oh my goodness I cannot even put into words how yummy this was.

Eat it facebook! This is a wall of love notes. Forget “liking” something… All of these people LOVE it.

Today I am thankful for: my BFF finally being finished with her BAR exam!! Congrats V. You’ve been working your butt off. AND I’m finished with work! Woohoo! Now the countdown for home is really on!

USA countdown: 4 days : 21 hours : 25 minutes

Spread the Good Word: PLTW

WRECK

I had a bike wreck today. It was scary. I’m okay. I went on an 11 mile bike ride with friends this weekend and nothing even slightly scary happened. And then this morning, not even 5 minutes from our apartment, I took a tumble. Next thing I know, there were too many bikes, cars and mopeds in too small a space and I went flying over my handle bars and I was down on the ground. I don’t know what’s hurt… I was in shock for a good bit… but I have a feeling when I wake up tomorrow, I’ll know exactly how I fell, and what I fell on.

Today I am thankful for: gymnastics — without it, I don’t think I would have known how to fall down so well. Anyone who is not a gymnast will probably not understand that… but sooner or later, you learn how to fall down the right way instead of falling into a worse position. Muscle memory — you are a god send. AND that I was able to walk away… it could have been so much worse today.

USA countdown: 9 days : 10 hours : 30 minutes

Note: Pictures were taken by my roomie William and were edited by me.

Bull Noodle or Noodle Bull

We have a new favorite restaurant. Its called Bull Noodle… We think. It wasn’t until recently that we noticed that it’s really called Noodle Bull. I don’t even know what that means. The food is delicious and it’s really simple — and to me, that’s the best part — aside from the cost. There specialty, the “Bull Noodle”, only cost 35 Yuan. Which means it barely cost 6 USD. I’ll let you know a little secret… after we first found this place… we went 4 times in one week. SHAME SHAME SHAME. Oh whatever, it was delicious.

I usually get the Bull Noodle, but this time I thought I would try something different… Bull Rice. I still prefer the noodles. YUM.

Eric got something new too. It was the trio. The trio included the hot and sour soup, braised pork soup (very good) and the Bull Noodle. I think our favorite is still the Bull Noodle. Once I get stuck on something it’s very hard for me to order something new.

Look at Eric! He’s so happy. Actually, right now he is sickly — but nonetheless… a little noodle soup goes a really long way.

The other thing that I really enjoy about this place is that they have an awesome interior. Super simple and focused on materials that I love —  Concrete and Dark Wood. Its sexy. Get into it. They also have a rockin’ playlist playing. We heard a remix to Simon and Garfunkel’s: Sound of Silence. We still can’t find the exact one. The search will continue.

Details: 1/F, 3B, 291 Fumin Rd., corner with Changle Rd. | 富民路291号1楼3B,长乐路口 | 021.6170.1299 | 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.

————————————————————————–

Today I am thankful for: a good weekend. I finally have something to post about. Sorry about the past week and little blogging — we had to work this past weekend with very little time off in between.

USA countdown: 10 days : 21 hours : 25 minutes

Second Month in Review: Weird Things in China Part II

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s that time again. Time for Round 2. As many of you know, I did a review of some odd things that I have found in China during my first month while I have been in Shanghai — you can find that post here. I hated that I didn’t have any of my own photos. So now, this was my attempt to amend that. I hope you enjoy some of the interesting things that I have seen.

1 Belly Shirts in the buff. I love this picture. It captures so many of the things I have to say about China. 2 Odd Sign — You can find Cheenglish all over China (bad Chinese to English translations) 3 Bicycles usually carry a lot of one thing — here is an example. 4 This is something that you see often — people will fish through the trash cans looking for plastic to recycle. I wonder if I’m missing out on something. Is this something that I should cash in on? 5 This guy was interesting — but here I just wanted to show you that everyone wears these arm guards. It’s actually uncommon to see them on men, but I caught one, you are welcome.

6 Rockstar Baby (photo taken by my brother) This kiddo was just too cool for school. I mean, just look at him!! He’s rockin a Comme des Garçon shirt, he’s got his awesome white sunglasses on, mohawk’s lookin’ sharp, suspenders down, he’s got his swagger on — cookie in hand, other hand is holdin’ Dad’s hand — He a freakin’ Rockstar Baby. My baby will be this cool. 7 Rockstar Baby paparazzi shot (photo taken by my brother) 8 These visors are incredibly common. Ladies wear them to protect their delicate facial features from the sun — heaven forbid anyone get tan. 9 Sleepy boys. Chinese people nap… ALOT. And they will sleep anywhere. And I mean, ANYWHERE. 10 It is incredibly common to find people selling crickets on the streets… I think they are suppose to be lucky?? Yeah, I don’t really get it, but these guys are HUGE. Our neighbor downstairs on the 1st floor has one (I named him Herbie) and I can hear him chirping from our 5th Floor Walk-up.

11 Here is yet another example of how people sleep wherever they would like — this just so happened to be in the Lobby of our office building at work. (photo taken by my roommate, William) 12 Well, hairstyles are something that I could do an entire post about. Men do crazy things with their hair. But the children — bless their hearts — have mean parents that find it appropriate to shave their head and give them these rattails, or a patch on the top… or other really bizarre things. I think it has something to do with good fortune? I’m not really sure. (photo taken by my brother) 13 I often see older gentlemen playing this game on the street or in the park… it draws a really large crowd. I have heard that it is similar to RISK but I can’t be positive. I’m sure someone will correct me. And please do. 14 Little CAR. I love these things. AND I would love to have one of these back in the states. One please! 15 Yeah, these are just weird.

16 I don’t know if you remember me saying this, but glasses have become quite popular. You want to know what’s even more popular than glasses… Glasses with NO lenses! How ridiculous is that? What is the world coming to?  As a person who avidly wears contacts because glasses are a total annoyance — I just don’t get it. 17 This was a store in Beijing that provided couple shirts for all who desire them. And today I saw a whole family with the same shirt on. I wonder if their dog has a matching collar? 18 This was a sign we saw in Beijing… and that was the list of things that we weren’t allowed to do. Chill pill, China–Look into it. 19 Fashion gives me the giggles over here. I just don’t understand a lot of things that go on. But in any language and on any continent… these pants are a NO-NO. Get with it, girlfriend. 20 A bike packed down with just mattresses. You know, in case you need one?

21 Signs from the Marriage Market with different peoples stats on them. Notice that height and weight are included. 22 This is hilarious — SO, the Chinese peeps were like, “hey, let’s build yet another high rise apartment building” and then they were like — “wait a sec, this has no feng shui” — so what do they do??? I’ll tell you — They add a freakin’ fake rock wall to the exterior of the building to give it a nature feature and punch some holes through the top of the building so that the chi can escape appropriately. Oh, dear Lord in heaven. — Dear PRC, Could we add a climbing wall feature to this, it would make your building way cooler. Thanks.

Today I am thankful for: listening to Michael Jackson on the speakers at work — Y’all know I was singin’. Although the downfall to that would be — having to work this whole weekend. BOOOO! Competition is due on Monday. Woohoo!

NOTE: These pictures often have poor quality because they had to be taken quickly and inconspicuously AND please don’t let any of my comments offend you. They are merely a Southern woman’s observations while in China and I mean absolutely no offense. 

Look what the American’s Brought to Work…

We are slowly nearing the end of our trip and we thought it would be nice to bring something to the office. So we decided that we should bring a little bit of American right into work. Now… y’all know that if I had an oven (which typical Chinese household’s DO NOT have ovens, fyi) I would have totally baked a cake — alas, there are no ovens — thus, no cake. Oh well… doughnuts cross all cultural bounds! They didn’t know what doughnuts were called?? Online they call them rings… how odd.

People were so friendly after we fed them. I must remember to do this as soon as I get a job back in the states. Food = Happy People. Who knew that so many people in the office actually speak English — go figure.

——————————————————————————

Today I am thankful for: a quick work day. Only a few more to go!!

One of my fav’s…

Nothing too new is going on since The Fam has left. So I thought I would share one of my favorite pictures that I’ve taken since I’ve been in Shanghai. Enjoy!

—————————————————————————

Today I am thankful for: not getting merged onto by the bus–I’m so happy I was paying attention. AND for my time with my special someone this morning… via GChat.