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April, 2010

  1. Some days one should just stay inside

    April 22, 2010 by admin

    I was walking down Huaihai Lu with a purpose.  I had read about Tom Ford’s new lipsticks and that he had created the beigy pink perfection I’ve been searching for all my life.  I don’t think they’re even on the market yet let alone in Shanghai, so inspired, I popped into Sephora looking for a quick fix of another brand.  In Shanghai it’s not uncommon to have a salesperson stand in your personal space and follow you around the store until you finally just run out and this day was no exception.  However, after showing me one lipstick after another with me saying no and then picking out one I like and SHE said no, she actually found a really lovely shade of pink/beige and convinced me THIS WAS THE ONE.  I walked home with a little more skip in my step.  I got home, said hello to Ayi, locked myself in the bathroom and took out my lovely new perfect lipstick only to find the wrong lipstick in the box…it was a dark, dark, purple with sparkles.

    and then I read this in the Shanghai Daily News…

    A 28-year-old man has been sentenced to three weeks in jail for urinating on a 66-year-old woman during a Continental Airlines flight last month from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

    He had been drinking on the flight.

    Some days are good, some not so much.

    Speaking of good days, Ken and I spent a few heavenly days in Hainan.

    There must be a convention in town…

    A friendly game of tennis on a hot and humid day

    Infinity and beyond


  2. My Shanghai Soundtrack

    April 14, 2010 by admin

    Here is just a sample of some of the songs I’ve heard in restaurants and other public places in Shanghai in the past few days.

    “I’m all out of love, I’m so lost with you, it can’t be too late to say that I was so wrooong” – Air Supply

    “I can’t liiiiive, if living is without yooou, I can’t giiiiive, I can’t give anymore” – Mariah Carey Version

    “I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign”  -Ace of Base, yes you heard me.

    “how am I supposed to live without youuuu, after I’ve been loving you soooo long” -Michael Bolton

    It’s a good thing I’m not going through a break-up right now, lord between the rain and this music I’d have to head straight to the nearest bridge and jump!  Speaking of bridges, I would certainly have my choice with the Lupu, Nanpu, Yanpu, Donghai, Chongming…just to name a few.  The Lupu bridge is the largest “arch” bridge in China and is just a beautiful sight to see.

    But let me now discuss something very important…a lesson in picture posing.  I learned very quickly from the Shanghainese girls it’s important to really know how to “pose” when having one’s picture taken.  Here are a few examples from 4 Aquarian expat women living in Shanghai who will never be allowed to be in the same room at one time again.

    The “Half Hip Twist ‘n Boots”

    The “NO Paparazzi!”

    The “Yes Paparazzi”

    The “Red Carpet Ready”

    And the “Charlotte Gadunkadunk Special”

  3. Ginger

    April 12, 2010 by admin

    and I’m not talking about the one with the Professor and Maryanne, heeeere on Gilligan’s Island!


    I just find it really interesting that I use/eat ginger probably every other day since I moved to China and I can’t remember one time I bought it back in California.  I guess you could say that Ginger is my Chinese avocado.

    I know, I’ve already lectured you in the past on the benefits of Ginger Tea.  However, medicinally it’s been used to treat arthritis, nausea, lower cholesterol, fight indigestion and much more but most importantly, it’s the flavor.  Next time you’re sauteing some vegetables or chicken, put some fresh ginger with sesame seed oil and a little soy sauce in the pan.  Or for an amazing sauce that you can use with or over anything, an old shoe would even do, just throw a little garlic, ginger, spring onion, cilantro, soy sauce and sesame oil in a food processor for one second and see if you don’t faint from how good that is.

    With the leftover ginger you can throw it in some warm water to soak your feet, it’s apparently good for foot fungus to boot!

    I never said it was going to be pretty

  4. I’m just browsing

    April 7, 2010 by admin

    Several years ago I had this really unbelievably horrible and high-paying (well, for me anyway) job and I was sitting at my desk one day intertwining paperclips in the hopes of forming a noose so I could hang myself from the lobby chandelier when I realized, “oh my god, instead I could just quit this job and find another one”.   The “crash” was still a few years away and jobs were still there to be found but I knew I wouldn’t make that much money again.  It is a very scary and thin line b’twixt sanity and buying a pair of Gucci shoes.  I did leave that job but THAT story deserves it’s own novel. I left though with three amazing friendships and these lovely Aries are all having a birthday this month.  Happy Birthday Marie, Eva and Eva.

    I just read an article in the Shanghai Daily news that the younger Chinese gals have a thirst for the designer handbag maybe even more than their American counterparts.  That may explain the new Louis Vuitton store going up around the corner which is the size of a Target Superstore.   Help me.

    In other retail news…

    There is a 6 floor “Barbie” store in Shanghai that I have been dying to see.  I made Natalie’s daughter, Margaret, go with me so I wouldn’t look like an old weirdo lady pouring over the Vintage Barbie section for hours without a child in tow.  They had Barbie Cafe and Barbie Salon and Nails and even a Haute Couture section.  The only thing that totally freaked me out was the “Tween” clothes section, it was like neon colored, trashy clothes with bows and sequins.  WEIRD.

    Margaret having her picture taken with Ken and the other girls

  5. Happy Easter and Qingming!

    April 5, 2010 by admin

    It was a holiday in China too you know!  The Chinese celebrated Qingming this past weekend.  It’s a festival that has been celebrated for over a 1,000 years.  Qingming, or “clear brightness”, is a celebration of the end of winter, when the air and light become clear and pure and the people are refreshed by Spring.  It’s also known as the grave sweeping holiday when the Chinese people visit the graves of their ancestors and “spring clean”, if you will.   It has also been part of the holiday to enjoy dancing, picnicking and singing, as well as boiling and coloring eggs (I don’t think they have the Haas coloring kits yet).  Later the eggs would be broken to symbolize the opening and distribution of life throughout the earth…I prefer to eat them.

    We had a beautiful, sunny day here for Qingming and it was truly appreciated.  We were babysitting (ahem, dogsitting) Charlotte and we took the dogs to the outskirts of the city for some fun.

  6. Marie in Wonderland

    April 4, 2010 by admin

    So I just got back from seeing the movie Alice in Wonderland.  I hadn’t heard anything about it, how well it did at the US box office, reviews, zilch, so Ken and I went in cold.  We both really enjoyed it and felt like we went on a fun and whimsical ride for a bit.  Except for the 3D glasses leaving a huge dent in my nose, we had a good time.  I was thinking on the way home how there are some similarities to living in China.  I mean, for sure, for sure, for sure the animals are trying to talk to me.  Oh yes, there are Coffee Bean and Starbucks everywhere, Kettle Chips, Vitamin Water and most importantly, two-for-one happy hours here just like home but many times it feels like a far away dream.  It definitely feels like you live in 3D here with scooters flying at you, odd shades of red hair and some really strange clothing combinations on some of the younger gals (I can take a good guess where the “Bedazzler” is made).   But then there’s the darling man who cleans up around our complex who always gives me a wave, a big smile and a nice clear “hellloooo” or the people who like to bark at bernie to get his attention as we walk by and my favorite, the elderly Chinese man playing the most beautiful music on his saxophone in the park everyday across the street.

    Some pictures from a nice day in Wonderland…

    A walk through Yuyuan Shopping and Gardens

    Then on to the Bund (still under some construction)

    A nice walk (in your pajamas) through People’s park

    Home at last with Bernie…and Charlotte

  7. Mom

    April 1, 2010 by admin

    My grandparents were Italian and came to America in the early 1900’s.  My mother, her parents, 8 siblings and a crotchety old aunt all shared a 1200 sq. ft. house growing up in New York.   When my mother was young she suffered from frequent ear infections and at one point they had to drill a small hole behind her ear so it could drain properly, rendering her deaf in that ear.  She was sent to a farm to get “healthy” and they made her drink chicken blood or goat’s blood, I don’t remember which, but you get the picture.  My point is, when I was a kid and I wanted to complain about something, like my hand-me-down corduroys were too big or I AM old enough to shave my legs, my mom would just look at me with those eyes and either ignore me or remind me of the time her father slapped her face because she had lipstick on, or how she walked to school in the snow or how easy surgery is today because of anesthesia.   Okay lady, I had it good.  I had it pretty darn good.  I think about this when I see a Chinese 20-something with their parents and how different each of them had it.

    With that I thought I’d throw out some fun China facts:

    -Chinese civilization dates back 5,000 yrs, approximately 4,766 years longer than the US.

    -The current population is a little over 1.3 billion, about 20% of the world’s population and has a land mass similar in size to the US (US population is just over 300 million).  Shanghai has the largest population of cities totaling about 17 million.   And that’s why it’s important to cover your mouth when you cough.

    -The Chinese invented the compass, wheelbarrow, gunpowder, paper, fireworks (not sure how I feel about that anymore) and my personal favorite, ice cream!  Yes, some 2,000 years ago they put a soft milk and rice mixture in the snow…they didn’t figure out Mint ‘n Chip until much later.

    -China is the homeland to tea, with cultivation dating back 2,000 years.

    -The Great Wall is the longest man-made structure in the world.

    -Typically the northern Chinese people prefer to eat noodles and the southerners prefer rice.

    -Of the American fast food chains found in China, KFC appears to be the first choice.  “Si ling ling ba, ba er san, ba er san!!”