Showing posts from September, 2008

A Day on the Bike

street food dinner
Being the proud owner of a second bike I had to do it the honor of giving it a good workout. My first stop, okay actually second after succumbing to an egg mcmuffin, was a grocery store. The better language for this kind of store is actually "hypermarket" and hyper is putting it mildly. It happened to be the store's 4th anniversary so a cake was being offered to customers and I was there just before the store opened. I had only a few minutes to wait when suddenly the hands of every customer went flying to cover their and my ears as eight lines of M80s were lit off in the celebration.
Street musicians...

Visa Applications

Visa rules to enter China are about as stable as a bowl of jelly riding on horseback! My parents would like to enter China twice to see me and my brother in Japan. Apparently there is now one fee for all Americans, regardless of number of entries up to 2 years, and it is about 3 times the price that other citizens have to pay. But according to the visa third-party people who have to take your application for you to the embassy unless you're close enough to one to do it yourself - the 2 year multiple entry visa is not yet available - but according to the Chinese Embassy website it is! Maddening, really. I will just have to appease the fury by attending a polo championship match...

Eating Korean

The vacation has officially started. Nine days of freedom and they're getting filled with fun fast. Today, Naomi and I tried a Korean restaurant on the recommendation by the mother of one of her kindergarten students. It took us some wandering around but we found it. First, you can see a snapshot of the 18 - yes 18 - dishes of cold appetizers. And we only ordered 2 things: a pancake with green bean and a hot bubbling pot of intestines and other more recognizable things like noodles and vegetables. We had a great meal and a good talk. I told her the spicy food made us talk about the most passionate and hot topics - which will stay between us girls! - and of course how it is to live internationally in Shanghai. I even ate intestines...

The weather has finally turned lovely with a cool breeze, sunny, perfect to ride my other "new" second-hand bike home from Xujiahui district. I picked this up from another expat who's moving back. The bike is a dream to ride and I…

air raids

I was happily browsing online grocers when air raid sirens began to go off. I looked up the news of late and found out Shanghai is conducting air raid siren tests this morning, the first at 10:00 a.m. to sound a warning that an attack is impending; a second at 10:10 to indicate an attack in progress; and a third at 10:20 to communicate that the attack has ended. Being interested in the people, events and history surrounding 1949, I feel an eerie connection to people living here then. The sirens just made it more creepy but at least in the event of an impending emergency, I now know what these mean.

Paralympics China

The end of the Paralympics is in sight - I regret not having watched more of the events. But I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing a few interviews with athletes and have the greatest admiration for their accomplishments. What a feat to overcome physical obstacles to reach higher and higher goals. They are an inspiration. I also learned the vernacular for wheelchair polo - "motorball." So far, China is ahead in medals overall including golds, then UK, then the US. I feel nothing but awe at the challenge these athletes have aspired to. Also international athletes have mentioned that they felt they may have done better overall because of the warm support of the Chinese spectators, and I don't mean that as propaganda. There is definitely an enthusiasm for life here that is rather exciting to observe. China has definitely begun to spread its wings for international cooperation and appreciation even if it is not yet a household phenomenon.

Bike No. 3

I admit I did feel disappointed when I realized my bike was stolen. Again. That after that downpour I was caught in, brought my lock inside to dry it off, and forgot it, someone took advantage of an unlocked bike - on the 12th floor! The storm was pretty spectacular though. I had left my bike at school, again, and gone on a bus to do some shopping while the day was bright. Maybe it was only the eye of the storm.

I decided I didn't want to leave the bike at school overnight, even though it was raining and my rain gear was drying out, at home. I took my bike for a ride home in the drenching rain, glad I was wearing a bra the same color as my shirt. But a rusty lock is no joy to live with so I had taken my new bike cable lock inside to dry out, but silly me forgot it. So I get to go shopping for bike number 3 today. Ah well, it was getting really rusty anyway. And for less than the price of a tank of gas...

Value of Trees


public announcements

47- number of cranes I can see from my apartment around the skyline


One of the unusual things about here is there are swarms of large orange dragonflies. There is a swarm of them near the school. Where the kids are out on the soccer field playing ball, the dragonflies follow them around. Most kids are wearing the school uniform, a white shirt, so I wonder if the dragonflies are thinking of them as flowers.

Saturday Party


my purse



A CD of ours was sold...not the first of course, but in S. Korea! I feel excited about that, though it was anonymously purchased, it was likely either a former student, or a fantastic young guitarist that I admire a great deal whom I can't say enough good things about. His name is Sungha Jung and if you haven't heard him before, open youtube and load some of his performances. This kid is like an angel on the guitar.


An enthusiastic student gave me a big high five and with a grin spread wide across her face loudly says what sounds like "Queer teacher!" I say, "What?!" She says it again. I'm thinking, what are you trying to say, kid, because I know you don't know the meaning of the word you're pronouncing...and I got it. She was trying to say in her bright, lovely, innocent and admiringly student way, "CHOIR TEACHER!" which she said just fine after I corrected her pronunciation and she thanked me. A day in the life...he he