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May, 2011

  1. Expat Wives of Shanghai, Episode 4

    May 11, 2011 by admin

    Still hungover from the “Whirling Dervish” party BinBin threw at her new tudor style villa in Qingpu, Jen, drinking a mimosa, is desperately trying to remove the last bits of black kohl eyeliner from her eyes and dialing Trinny on the speaker phone.  “Trin, it’s Jen, how is your nose?”.   “Oh Jen, you can’t imagine dear, I’m afraid it’s broken and you should see the bruises around my eyes, it’s almost worse than when I had my last face tuck, I’m tempted to head over to that tart’s house right now and punch her light’s out!”.   “Trin, that girl was just trashed, she was dancing her most serious ‘Dervish’ and I’m afraid your face just got in the way”.  “I beg your pardon”, Trinny blurted out, “I was simply coming out of the loo when she clocked me!!  And anyway, getting hit in the face still beats last year’s party where the theme was Carpenter Songs from 1968-1973, by  the time they got to We’ve only Just Begun, I wanted to gouge my eyes out with my cocktail toothpick!!”.   Jen, now in complete shock says, “whoa, are you kidding me, that was the best party ever.  “Sing, sing a sooong, sing out loud, sing out strrrooooong’, oh I just love the Carpenters!  I just got really upset that night because I begged the DJ to please play their version of Rainbow Connection and he said NO because it wasn’t recorded until 1979!”.   Her face hurting even more, Trinny hangs up the phone without another word spoken.

    Trying to shed those last 10 pounds after giving birth, Belle suggests to Lisa they walk over to Madame Mao’s store on Fumin Lu to see what new things they have and then grab a bite at the Vietnamese place, Pho Real.   Breathing a little heavy, Lisa spurts out, “I’m really sad Malina is moving back home, she’s become such a dear friend and we’ve been through so much together.  I really can’t think of another person I know better”.   Belle, keeping her same pace, “oh, I know, it’s hard being an expat when your friend’s all end up leaving you.  Where is she from?” .  With a few seconds passing Lisa finally replies, “oh I can never remember, it starts with an L, um, yes, it’s Lichtenstein or Luxembourg, it’s definitely one of those places.

    Don’t miss Episode 5 where Svetlana’s diamond ring flies off her finger (and right out the window) when her taxi driver slams into the back of a government official’s Audi.

    And to think I can’t find a wedding dress here…

  2. Xia Tian Time

    May 10, 2011 by admin

    I just found out that the Chinese don’t base their seasons on a time calendar or a lunar calendar. They consider summer to be here when the temperature is at or above, something like 27 celsius (give or take a degree) for 4 days in a row. I totally get that. I, however, base summer on the first day I am comfortable wearing shorts, flip flops and my hair is not only frizzy but the area near my neck is curling like a pig’s tail.

    That was today…and what a day it was. First, a young boy passed me on the escalator and yelled a big “helllooooo” to me. Then, I was walking the dogs around the park and a girl walking her new little dog stopped to chat me up.  Not long after that, my 17 yr. old language exchange “friend” called me to tell me that she was accepted to summer school at Cornell…and she’ll be studying animal biology.   The woman who sings in the park on Saturdays decided that she’d come dressed in her full Ancient Chinese regalia and put on a show…I was in heaven.   Sadly, not everyone was in Chinese heaven.  The launching of the Ipad 2 at the Apple Stores in Shanghai and Beijing is causing some havoc with the Beijing location actually having some violence between the employees and some customers.  I remember years ago this type of thing happening in the States, during the Christmas holidays when a new cabbage patch doll was being released onto the market.   I mean, we’re talking important stuff here.

    I’m just waiting for the dust to settle.  And I mean literally waiting for the dust to settle because apparently the dust storms from the north, Wulumuqi, Gobi Desert, Beijing area, and anywhere else there was a speck of dirt on the ground, was picked up by a strong wind and carried over to Shanghai where it could then join forces with our gnarly pollution situation and create a respiratory/allergy bomb bar none. Ken is battling a head cold and I’m taking something the doctor gave me that he refers to as Claritin but is clearly not spelled the same on the box.  Oh well.

    Time to get out your summer jammies!

  3. Escape

    May 1, 2011 by admin

    You people are too young to know this, but (hold on to your seats here) there was a time when there was no internet. I know,  just breathe.  I just felt all your jaws drop and make a big clunking sound of disbelief so loud that Bernie started shaking, but it’s true.  Google it (or if you’re in China you’ll have to Yahoo it).  And back in those dark, dark ages before the internet, when we’d hunt for our food with a bow and arrow, make dresses out of braided corn husks and I wore a bear’s claw on a choker around my neck, the ESC button on our keyboards USED TO ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING.  I swear it did.  In Ye Olden Times, you’d be working away and hit the wrong button and find your computer in some weird state of confusion where you’re about to lose all your work and you’d simply hit the ESC and all would be well in the world again.  Now, it doesn’t do squat.  I think they just keep it on the keyboard for old people like me to hit every now and then when we get frustrated, when we can’t take it anymore…like, when life’s just too hard and we need to ESC.

    It’s a holiday this weekend, yet again, not sure why, maybe it’s Mao’s cousin’s sister on his dad’s side birthday or something, but regardless Shanghai has been amazingly peaceful and quiet (and by peaceful and quiet I mean, this city of more than 18 million people is down to about 15 million) and so we took off on our bikes for a little escape.