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January, 2011

  1. Xin Nian Kuai Le!!!

    January 28, 2011 by admin

    It’s time to get out your most serious earplugs because Chinese New Year is almost here!  This last week was so busy everywhere in the city with everyone getting their last minute shopping done, gifts for family and friends…and getting their hair cut.  Ken found out you’re not supposed to cut your hair the first two weeks of February, bad luck or something.  The weather has been really cold and dry which is perfect to hang your salted fish and poultry meat out in your window which you can see all over town.  I’m going to try this with salmon next year (when in Rome).  I’m all prepared for the fireworks as I’ve picked up a solid supply of doggie valium for Bernie and the number for a good psychiatrist for afterwards, shellshockitis I think it’s called.

    It’s Saturday here now and the city has already gone quiet.  Millions of people are traveling home to see their jia ren (family).  The Shanghainese will stay put of course, eating and sharing gifts with their families, laughing and chatting…and setting off what will seem like a small nuclear bombs all over town.

    Happy New Year everyone!  Peace and Love.

    This was taken outside of a fresh fish shop, where they “clean” and skin them outside.  (not hungry anymore)

  2. Some serious traveling pants

    January 22, 2011 by admin

    There are those things that just boggle the mind.  Like, understanding Black Holes, the impact of global warming, why anyone would ever shop at a Guess store and if Amy Chua’s husband is on the verge of suicide, you know what I mean?  And then I read this story from China Smack, a great blog site.  This “unique” story includes an older woman naked from the waist down, a crowded street, a police officer with a concussion and one pair of very sturdy pants.

    Pantless woman = cop with concussion

    I took this picture at the Event hall at Songjiang Sculpture park, please do send in your thoughts on sculpture interpretation.

  3. Year of the Wabbit

    January 19, 2011 by admin

    2011 is the year of the Rabbit, so says the Chinese calendar and it would appear that way as it seems like everyone I know here is pregnant.  I just hope the rabbit fares better than the Tiger did last year…not a good year for Tiger’s in China.  I remember when I was young it was very popular to have a rabbit’s foot key chain.  It was all soft and furry on the outside and then you could feel the hard toenails inside, it’s so disgusting to think about now, carrying that around like a charm.  That’s just such Davey Crockett weirdness.

    On a more lovely note, it’s just a winter wonderland over here in Shanghai, it’s absolutely beautiful.  We woke up this morning and everything was covered in white and It’s supposed to snow for the next 3 days!!!  It seems to put a smile on everyone’s face, except those on bicycles, which is probably somewhere around 8 million people actually.  I went to the market today and passed several adorable Xue Ren (snow men) and kids hauling snowballs at each other.  Some things are the same everywhere.

  4. What in angels and demons hell…

    January 17, 2011 by admin

    I took this picture while in Rome this past New Year’s.  It was taken from the top of Castel San’t Angelo, a interesting and beautiful place…with a checkered, historical past.  It was once a dynastic tomb, than a fortress, a noble dwelling, a papal residence and in between that it served as barracks, a prison and a museum.   This statue sits at the top and can been seen from around Rome, it’s just an amazing place.

    And what does this have to do with China???  Not a damn thing except that it started me thinking about all the changes this place has been through and yet the beliefs, superstitions…their way of doings things or not doing things…have been around forever.  How you’re not supposed to drink cold water in winter and you should do lower heart-rate exercises like Tai chi when it’s cold.  Older woman don’t like to wear yellow, money only comes in red envelopes, the number 8 is lucky, 4 not so much.  And when somebody sneezes you don’t have to say anything, absolutely nothing.  “God bless you” or “gazoontite” doesn’t really translate (sorry Natalie, I was too lazy to look up the real spelling of that and anyway, it’s snowing outside and the Chinese wouldn’t want me to waste my energy).

  5. Attack of the Kute Korean Kids

    January 11, 2011 by admin

    It was just your normal, weekday morning.  I was on my way to Starbucks, my usual path, straight through Xintiandi when this happened.

    I’m still not exactly sure what DID happen except that every 20 feet another group of adorable kids from Korea somewhere between the age of 8 and 28 yrs. old (because frankly who can tell) would run up to me, make me answer a question then put a sticker on their board and make me promise that I would attend some Expo going on in Korea next year.  They said there would be a whale there too!  Dead or alive I don’t know, this is Asia people so you never know.  They showed me a picture of the expo site and it’s on the water so I think the whale will be alive, swimming and on display.

    Well I couldn’t very well tell them no now could I.  They were so sweet and so cute!  I guess I better break it to Ken where we’ll be spending our vacation in 2012.

  6. 1-1-11

    January 7, 2011 by admin

    Happy New Yeeeaarrrr!

    It’s a new year and a new year always brings new things, new changes, new ideas and new events all wrapped up in the same behavior with a big red bow of a another year older.  And I love it, always have.  It also means Spring is around the corner followed by Summer which means months of colored toe-nails in flip flops.  Babies to be born.  Trips will be taken, adventures to be had.  A new computer app maybe.  Advances in stem cell research.  And maybe, just maybe, some Chinese vineyard will get closer to making a drinkable wine that’s not sweet.  Oh, we can dream.   Speaking of really big changes, I read in the paper  just today that Beijing is setting a target to make the city’s indoor public places, workplaces and public transportation smoke-free!!! …by 2015.   Alas, as my mother would say Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    I hope you too had a wonderful New Year’s, spending time with people you love, having fun and didn’t get drunk like a WWII soldier on leave for the first time in 12 months.  Gosh, I haven’t done that since like, uh, er…last year.

    Somebody had too much holiday cheer