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April, 2011

  1. Mamma is mad

    April 20, 2011 by admin

    and someone’s gonna get cut.  Remember when I used to blog, “I’m just a guest in this country” and “I don’t want to cause a stir” type of bull crappity crap?  That girl is gone, buh bye, hope to see you again (I swear I just heard Natalie’s eyes roll).

    I have been broken by a Chinese jack hammer.  I don’t know if the Chinese jack hammer is different from the American jack hammer, because I’ve never had one blazing through a shared wall…all day long…for days on end…for the second time, back home.   See the people (very wealthy Shanghainese) who bought the place next door are gutting the entire  place inside for renovation.  It’s their right to do so.  But they already gutted the place (back in December) and put in new walls and flooring and then got in a squabble with the contractor, hired a new one and STARTED OVER!  So now they’re jack hammering everything all over again.  They were kind enough to tell me that it would only be going on until AUGUST.  However, their exact words were, “the big noise go on to May 6”, well gee, that’s a relief.  I believe the words that came out of my mouth were, “I’m calling the police” and as she tried to hold back a snort of laughter, I added, “AND my attorney!”. I’m just hoping Bernie will come out of this with 1/4 of his nerves left.  I told them that I was a writer and I had serious deadlines to meet!  I just felt all your nasty little side-eyes come my way, but what else was I going to say, “My dogs nerves are shot, this has to stop”???   “If this continues and I can’t blog, you’ll be hearing from thousands of my readers!!!”???   However, It is true I can’t hear the phone ring, let alone try to have a conversation, but I’m not about to let on that no one calls me.  They probably already know that since they KNOW EVERYTHING here.  Whatever, I’m China broken and that’s all there is to it.

    One positive note to all this is that the weather in Shanghai has been unusually gorgeous so I’ve been riding around town on the Scooteretta and having a blast.  To escape today’s jack hammering, I rode the scooteretta over to the mall and bought myself Clinique mascara (it’s called High Definition and it’s amazing) and a Dior Lipstick with a whopping 20% added tax on it and somehow that made me feel better.   And I’ll want to look my absolute best when I call the police.

    Speaking of renovation, I really want this old house.  It’s on a beautiful street, across from my (2nd) favorite bar, The Alchemist, and right by the old Zhou Enlai residence…it just needs a little sprucing up is all.

  2. Expat Wives of Shanghai, Episode 3

    April 15, 2011 by admin

    Realizing she’d taken her last Xanax…just last night…Jen called Parkway Health to get an appointment for another prescription.  Construction had started on the apartment next door and her nerves were frail, “I’m like a hummingbird caught in the middle of a Chinese New Year’s fireworks celebration”, she thought to herself.  “Sorry, we booked today, doctor see you tomorrow afternoon”, the office assistant told her.  “But you don’t understand, this construction has been going on for a month now and I’m about to lose my mind!”, Jen said, her voice starting to quiver, “I work out of my home, I can’t concentrate, are you listening to me?  I’m a real BLOGGER”.  “I’m sorry madam, we fully booked, you at 4pm tomorrow”, a hard SLAM was the last thing the young girl heard.

    Over at the Bund, Trinny was taking in the views on the Huangpu River with her friend from London, Peony.  “I can’t believe how these Chinese girls can walk all over the place in those heels??  My feet are killing me and the driver’s just barely dropped us off!”, whimpered Peony.  Trinny already tiring of the two solid days they’ve spent together suggests they stop for a refreshment.  “Pee, let’s jump across the street to that Dolce & Gabana Bar and get a cold martini, I know for sure that they use real Grey Goose there”.  “Lovely idea darling, it’s hot and this humidity is really putting my Brazilian Blowout to the test, we can always go to the  Rock Bund exhibit tomorrow, I’ll wear flats…and my hair in a chignon”, huffed Peony as she tried to avoid 20 scooters coming her way. Trinny, now annoyed, had promised her friend Liza, the gallery curator,  she’d stop  by this afternoon to view the latest Li Xun installation.  This highly acclaimed exhibit featured robotic monkeys who could not only light, but smoke cigarettes which had ancient  Chinese sayings handpainted on them by the children who lost their homes in the Chengdu earthquake.    However, as they brought her the third martini, with three enormous olives stuffed with blue cheese, she again found herself laughing and enjoying the company of her old mate.

    Stay tuned for Episode 4 when Eliza, Gib, Danka, Tslinka and BinBin throw Malina a going away party with a “whirling dervish” theme.

  3. Sometimes in life…

    April 6, 2011 by admin

    you just have to say Phuket.  The cold weather in Shanghai was getting to us and it was the Chinese holiday, Qing Ming, or “tomb sweeping” holiday when the Chinese honor their ancestors and visit and clean the tombs.   Not having any ancestors in China (that I know of) we went to Phuket (poo kett), Thailand to enjoy the balmy, warm beach air, amazing Thai food and the wonderful and welcoming Thai people.

    Our first day it was actually cloudy and rainy but still warm so we decided to take the hotel bikes and ride around some of the island.  While Ken was checking out the bikes I picked up the map and was reading some “riding guidelines” to pass the time.  A few guidelines were:

    1. It is recommended bike riders wear helmuts for safety.

    2. Always carry water to prevent dehydration.

    3. If you should come across Water Buffalo, do not approach them as they can charge.

    Why, why, WHY did I have to read that???  Because of course as we were riding on a dirt path, in the rain,  we came across one very large female Water Buffalo and her two very large children.  We stopped right in our tracks.  She looked at us and we looked at her, it was a stare down and I know very well you’re not supposed to look an animal in the eyes.  If you don’t understand why then try having a stare contest with Bernie and see what happens.  As I started to peddle in the opposite direction, a motorcycle came through the bush and drove right past the buffalo so Ken shouted to me that we should just do the same, but just be sure to look down and not into her eyes and ride quickly.  With my heart racing, I started peddling, literally leaving Ken in the dust.  I don’t think I’ve ever ridden that fast in my life (note to friends and family: don’t count on my help in an emergency).   The rest of the days were filled with sun, swimming in the ocean and playing tennis in the heat and humidity where I got so overheated I almost lost my cookies on the court.  Good times.

    Mai Khao Beach

    The evening’s entertainment

    The “door” to the pool

    Our room’s “greeter”

    Very relaxed tootsies