Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday 2/25 in Shanghai

I started the morning off wishing Olga a happy birthday for the second day in a row. It's nice that she finally caught up with me and gets to enjoy her own birthday - instead of listening to me enjoy it from 16 hours ahead.  Work today wasn't too technical, but it was tiring. Spent most of the day as part of a team visiting possible locations for our weeklong annual meeting in October. The venues ranged from not-yet-built buildings with cute names (Rock Bund is owned by the Rockefeller family and is oalesn the Bund River - but there's not much to see beyond the scaffolding) to oddly decorated government-owned estates with kitschy names (The Children's Palace reminds me of any Soviet museum or performance hall that is deteriorating a bit but trying to stay relevant - kids were rehearsing a bizarre Oreo brand cookie song and dance.

Tonight I decided to walk out of the hotel and turn left. It doesn't sound like anything monumental, I know, but in the combined total of about two weeks that I ever visited Shanghai, I have never explored the area west of my hotel.

While on my westward walk, I was drawn into a low-key store that had cute women's shirts. Nothing on the rack decided to come home to the states, but I saw a pair of sweatpants that would take good care of me at the gym. After a long discussion where neither the saleslady nor I understood the other (I was asking about sizes - I have no idea what she was saying, but she definitely made a hand-gesture of using scissors to trim the legs), she stated the price as 50 RMB (about $8 US). I tried to haggle, but she didn't seem to notice or understand. Are there some low-rent clothing shops in Shanghai with non-negotiable prices? I ended up walking out, and she didn't stop me, so I guess we know the answer.

Next I spotted a liquor store and picked up bottles of baijiu (like vodka?) and huangjiu (like whiskey?) to bring back home to try. They were mentioned in my guide book - if anybody knows if any better Chinese liquors, please let me know!

Continuing along, I spotted the microbrewpub Boxing Cat Brewery. I've been really good this trip about trying local foods (ok, I had two Chinese meals so far, it's a decent start). FYI in case Yelp wants to open up a site in Shanghai: the stout is good, the sliders are very good, the chocolate peanut butter cake is mediocre. They apparently go to extreme lengths to cater to an American ex-pat audience. I couldn't find anything even remotely Asian on the menu. It's like Gordon Biersch's or Rock Bottom's menu with the Chinese Chicken Salad and pot stickers removed. It couldn't be any less Asian. And one of the sandwiches was listed as "San Francisco Patty Melt". What's up with that? I've been enjoying this tasty entree all my grown life without knowing it's a San Francisco treat!

A couple of amusing articles you can look forward to in the paper Thursday:
Toxic toll at Taiwan factory increases - the iPad isn't even out yet, and already it's killing people!!

Have babies to win gold, say Russians - Not sure which propaganda machine to thank for this gem. My favorite quote "No medal compares to having a child," said [gold medalist Anna Boulygina]. "I think children are the main thing women are designed to do."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Compared to you my life is extremely boring :(

Hope your trip keeps getting better!!