Showing posts from May, 2008

free flow

OK, this phrase is one of my personal pet peeves about the English language here. Many times, a dinner or event will be at a fixed price for "free flow" beverages. Hello--sorry but to me this just makes me think about the more beverages, the more, well, you know! Or, even worse, a reference to you know, that time of the month when we want to just forget about that "flow!" That has got to be one of the stupidest marketing ploys ever. How about free refills, free drinks, free beverages! NOT free flow!

random bits

Upper right: 3 guys on one moped. I took the photo from my own bike. Random shots from Shanghai Aquarium. That's actually a pleasant way to spend an afternoon! Bottom right: this is a beginning of a breakfast crepe. It has egg, pickled veggies, cilantro, green onion and a weird brown sauce. I'm going to have to start forgoing the hot sauce. I love it but I think I am allergic. Underneath the iron griddle is coals. Very hot coals.
I'm too tired to cut and paste so I'm posting my own link to my blog. It's been a long week.

car license plates

And you thought your vehicle license fees were outrageous: Shanghai's car plate fees dropped -- yes, dropped -- to an average of US$5,150 in April! You can buy a new car for a few grand less than the license plates cost. It is really a status symbol to own a car in Shanghai. So far I don't believe there is much of a used car market here yet. Correct me if you know of one!

link to earthquake acct


It has become hot. The weather seems to mimic the same weather as my hometown most of the time, but the humidity here hovers around 50%, which I find to be quite comfortable. Except that in a few weeks the quite comfortable will be turning into hotter than hell...


I'm saddened by the growing number of lives lost due to the quake in Sichuan province. Here is a link to a page where you can pay respects online to the survivors. Just click on 'paste my note' to get started.

PL World Expo 2010 construction workes get soothed by live symphonic music.
I like living in a country where one guy starts singing, walking down the street, and the next guy along joins in; or a father sings out loud in public to his son/daughter that he is carrying. I like it that most families get together after work for dinner. Families are families, not as fractured as American families. There is a structure and a respect for familial love. Families take care of themselves; grannies and grampies take care of youngsters while parents work.

I am happy to hear from several friends and family after China's massive quake Monday. It is upsetting to know there are thousands trapped in the rubble out there. May those grim predictions be wrong! My heart goes out to the family of the teacher who was killed, just about to go on his honeymoon.


It is beautiful out, not a cloud in the sky, but the forecast is for heavy rain. I actually believe it. The weather, as we are close to the sea like Boston, can change on a dime. I will leave the bike at home today.


I can hardly keep up with the blogging these days. When I am ready to post and add pictures, the site is unavailable, or else the GFW is acting up.

Headline: "Foreign woman deported from China for slapping Chinese lady..." This crossed my mind as I refrained from slapping a stupid woman who was the 3rd person to cut in front of me as I was about to order a breakfast crepe. I told her to line up, and she argued with me! My solution was to leave because I wouldn't give my business to people who wouldn't even help organize their line and let rude customers push in front of others. At the next crepe seller a block or two away, a different lady was there, about to order and told me, "no, you go ahead." I refused at first because she was there first! But she insisted. Karma. Weird.

Dirty Girls

Here we are in one of our favorite restaurants, killing 3 hours over 1 drink each: 2 fruit teas (one iced and one hot) and 1 first love.


I'm only posting a link this morning to a short article the founder or wrote about confusion being a great teacher:


At night there are lights in our fountain...

And that is one of my favorite trees I passed on a bike ride this week. After more than an hour inhaling the pollution of rush hour traffic, I decided that rush hour is not a good time for getting exercise. Better to wait until after 6:00 pm when most Chinese are home with their families.


Popcorn. The gentleman making this popcorn offered 2 kinds: huge pieces, like maybe the corn that gets fed to horses, or tiny, like puffed rice. Maybe it is puffed rice. I opted for the large pieces. He loads about a cup and a half of it into the drum, spins it over his small wood fire until it reaches the right temperature, and then tell you to cover your ears. Kaboom! Like a canon, well actually it is a crude canon, it shoots the popped corn into a bag. Evening entertainment.
The landlord stopped by this morning to repair some small halogen spotlights in my place. He also offered to give me a study lamp and asked whether I needed hangers for clothes. It took him an hour and some sore shoulders to fix those lights but afterward he, his wife and son and I met for lunch at a nearby hot pot restaurant.

The weather is quite warm now; today it should reach about 80 F. I'm off to buy a summer quilt of 100% cotton.

It is a national holiday this weekend for Intenational Labor Day. We have 4 days free. I'm staying in Shanghai to sightsee locally and relax. Too many people travel on national holidays and it is not a pleasant experience to try to mix with the masses. I try to avoid that. Local rush hour is enough crowd action for me. So tomorrow my Phillipina friends and I are planning to go to Qibao old street. I'm looking forward to another stick of strawberries!