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Shanghai, China
Mini Eurotrip
Mini Eurotrip

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Nice is... nice... :)

Avignon, France

The second Saturday of August in Zurich is a large, open-street rave called Street Parade. Based off of the Berlin Love Parade, it’s supposed to be one of the biggest parties of the year, with vans packed with loud speakers pumping music all around the streets. It’s supposed to be from 1PM-10PM, followed by parties at clubs and bars all around Zurich. Now I’m not much of a raver kid (oh the days where candy kids were so cool), but this sounds like an interesting thing that one should attend at least once in his life.
I am currently on the TGV (Train de Grande Vitesse) to Nice, France. After long discussions with Gabby, who really wanted to have a full weekend activity, we decided to go to Nice.
Told Wang shushu last night, paid last night, and got the internet working, (even though it was an excellent connection, it was a bit slow!) which resulted in me staying up for a good extra 2-4 hours. I’m not sure when I fell asleep, but I know I woke up in the middle of the night to fall asleep correctly and put away the laptop. (You know what, this laptop is a big pain in the butt!).
Made arrangements last night to meet Helen and drop off my suitcase. This morning, I wasted time, especially online, and headed out to 1) go get my ticket, 2) drop off suitcase, 3) catch my train. Well 1. took a bit longer than expected and so on the way to do 2, I decided I couldn’t miss 3 and basically rode the metro around for 2 hours wasting time (I passed the stop I was supposed to get off at and watched the words fly right by my face.) Needless to say, it was a frightening experience, and I thank God that I made my train.
TGV is very quiet, very somber. I get to watch the countryside of France, all while listening to the mother scold and love her child, who is sitting across from me and is right precious.
I guess I should stop putting off the inevitable. I’ll start with the TGV, which makes the most sense.
I remember…
- Last time I took the TGV, I was talking to James (the British tour guide at least a whole foot taller than me) about people that annoy me (who shall-not-be named). I can’t believe that five years ago, I still had a similar personality…I like to believe that I’ve matured but. Anywho.
- Paris being a lot busier than it is now. It might have been because this time when I entered Paris I entered the city at around 8 AM, when most were still sleeping. Also, because it’s August, a lot has closed down for the monthly vacation time. It’s everywhere: you can see it posted on the doors of creepy restaurants and brasseries, you can hear it being spoken about at the boulangerie, when the baker asks her usuals when they are leaving and where they are going, you can feel it in the service of those who are working and not taking their vacation… well not really the last one, although maybe I can use it as an excuse for rude people.
- The city is fatter. It’s gotta be. I blame… I dunno what I blame.
Paris has made me realize things about this trip and myself. But… I am getting nauseated from reading on the train (especially because of the way my seat is facing, I am riding backwards). I could switch seats because most people have gotten off to transfer on the way to Toulouse, but in the interest of also conserving battery power, I am going to log off. More to come when I get to Nice.
BTW, we have no housing in Nice, so hopefully I will be able to find something!

permalink written by  waywardwahoo on August 8, 2008 from Avignon, France
from the travel blog: Mini Eurotrip
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Woo, housing!

Nice, France

Nice, the “Miami of France”. I am currently at the Ville St. Exupery in Nice, a world-renowned hostel, claimed to be one of the world’s Top 10 hostels. It’s definitely crazy here, like a party scene every night inside the hostel, with 1Euro beers from vending machines and a bar open til about 1am. The first night I got here, I walked out of the train station and down towards an internet café, where I called home for quite a bit of time, freaking out about the whole trip. It’s possible to feel homesick if you haven’t been home for two months, and the four or so days at home were basically spent trying to recover from jetlag. Traveling without having any plans is definitely harder than it seems, especially because a lot of time is spent trying to find the cheapest places to stay and the cheapest ways to get there. The stress of being unsure about all this information, in addition to the quasi-home sick feeling, all topped off with doing everything alone has been harder to deal with then I imagined.
This hostel has been good in some senses and bad in others. All of the people here are mostly friendly. There’s that feel of solidarity among the backpackers, and stuff is just about safe, and it’s fun if you’re into that party scene, but… there might be a little too much emphasis on the partying as it’s loud into the wee hours of the night, and I dunno, there’s more of that “you’re pretty, I’m pretty, let’s talk” culture, which I am not too fond of.
After the internet café phone calls, I used the internet to book a room in the hostel and headed over. I took the tram to where the hostel picks you up, hoping to find une cabine telephonique there, but because they just put in this tram, there are no more. So I panicked and headed back towards the internet café, stopping people along the way.
People in Nice are a lot nicer than the Parisians, in my opinion. The first man I asked, who was walking his dog, responded to my “Desolé de vous déranger” with a “Vous ne me dérangez pas!”. He, unfortunately, couldn’t help me. The next two women, a bit elderly, were classic. They not only helped me and made conversation with me while walking their pup, they walked me towards my destination and even made sure I had eaten! They were so kind, and watched me off the hill.
I climbed the hill of death to get to the address that I had saved on my phone, and then checked in to Party Central. I should try to meet people.
A bientot!

permalink written by  waywardwahoo on August 8, 2008 from Nice, France
from the travel blog: Mini Eurotrip
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It's a big one

Paris, France

Damn the weather.
So to be honest, I haven’t really started backpacking yet. Which makes me feel bad because 1) backpacking is cool and 2) blogabond is for backpackers. Well the site also says for independent travelers, which is what I am.
Woke up late this morning, 10:30-ish, but my hosts woke up even later (with evidence of heavy snoring). I got up, washed up, got dressed and headed out. You do remember today’s goals, right? So first stop, the SNCF store down the block, which is for domestic train travel only (I think – there was a long line so I used the automated machine, and only domestic trips were available. I searched for Nice to Paris, which is the only domestic trip that I’ll need. 90E, maybe I should look into getting that rail ticket.
The southern part of the 13th arrondissement is known as Chinatown, and so as I mentioned earlier, it’s like I never left Shanghai. Kinda… it just feels like all my friends left, and all the teachers left, and all the prices jumped up exponentially.
As I was exploring, a woman called out to me across the street, asking me if I spoke French. This is not your normal occurrence, so I crossed the street and we had a chat. Turns out she’s a reporter (for what I’ll never know; when I realized I had no idea, I turned around and she had already made great progress down the street.) She wanted to interview me about the Olympic Games (hence her presence in Chinatown). She asked me my opinion of them and what I thought about them, and I told her that I really support the Olympics and that everyone should as an entire world and not mix in politics. She must have been a newspaper reporter because she recorded my voice on a little magnetophone. (What a random word to remember… that and brancher).
Went to a bunch of grocery stores, looking around. First stop was an Asian grocery, so that I could compare the Asian grocery stores in America with the ones in China. I bought some water and some PEACH DRANK. Drinks are always more expensive if you want to buy them cold. Example: can sitting on shelf .50Euros, can sitting in refrigerated shelf .80Euros, can of soda bought on the street 2Euros. Crazy, n’est-ce pas?
Went on to an Ed (French chain of grocery stores) to buy some cheese for my picnic lunch. After looking around for a while, I went with some fromage du chêvre, 1.85 Euros for 200g. Compared to the States, a lot cheaper, and I do love me some goat cheese. I bought a baguette and headed over to a park. ( I stopped by an internet café to find some more locations that have the Paris Weefee.)
I had lunch in the Parc de Choisy, which is really close to the area that I am. My lunchtime entertainment? A xiao pangzi seeing how many times he could bounce his pingpong ball on his pingpong paddle, because he had no one to play with at the pingpong tables. I ended my meal and got online, chatted for a while before trying to figure out what to do next, when it started to rain! I closed up shop and looked for the bibliothèque, so that I could continue my conversations/ stay dry in doing so.
Explored Chinatown for a bit en cherchant la bibliothèque (et aussi dans le matin). It’s funny because the more things seem to change, the more they stay the same (don’t you hesitate…Girl put your records on…). No I mean, the more different things are, the more the similarities stand out. Outside Les Frères Tang (the largest Asian grocery store in Paris) were two sketchy looking Chinese guys, who at first glance seemed to be guarding a door. The place behind them looked closed down, so I thought it was a shady place, but upon closer inspection, they had Styrofoam boxes standing in front of them on their small side, serving as a table for little zip-up-able discreet bags, filled with – you guessed it, fake DVDs. As I looked around them, there were lots of people standing there selling DVDs, five to be exact, in a trapezoidal pattern. Next to them were those people that write your name in funny little animals and things. Further down the street, fruits and prepared foods, all which were hidden until you got up real close. Shanghai much? Or even Chinatown in New York. I wonder what the Chinatown in Shanghai is like, I don’t think we ever went, although you should feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
The library also had this feel of consistency to it. The quietness, but more importantly, the over-proportional number of Asians. I don’t know whether this can be attributed to the fact that it’s a library or the fact that it was right by Chinatown, but I’m going to use it as a support, and thus I choose the former proposal. It was also a fight to get plugs, as everyone comes there to use the Weefee and stay dry. Luckily I had one most of the time, but selfish me shared with everyone around me, resulting in my laptop dying and so I went home to 1) recharge my battery, and 2) refrigerate the rest of the goat cheese.
The rain killed my plans to go to Paris Plage, to go bike riding around the city (on free bikes! Apparently these are common throughout Europe, in an effort to get people to go green, also while losing weight.
Paris has gotten a lot fatter since I was here last. I thought I was going to make this a full digression, but I will have a whole section on since I was last here later.)
The rain was the kind that is like a flood, and then stops and clears up, and then God decides to rain on you very heavily some more. I generally like those kinds of rains because they’re cooling, and because the sun is out while it rains, it dries up right quick (and so you don’t have that lingering wetness feel), but this time, it kept going and going and going and it was not as fun as you think. And cold is cold, but sometimes it can get too cold.
I’m going to pretend this is where I stop, because this post is getting long. Here’s where I left my computer charging in my room and went to go explore without my laptop (gasp!).
I’m going out. Until I get back from my explorations.

permalink written by  waywardwahoo on August 7, 2008 from Paris, France
from the travel blog: Mini Eurotrip
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Paris, How do I love thee

Paris, France

And I’m sitting here in a full food coma, about to pass out. It’s almost 10 and my people left… I need to let them know that I’m leaving tomorrow, that I need to pay now, and that the internet is still not working! I dunno, I might be getting used to this whole not having internet thing… maybe it’s because I should be going out and doing things and not sitting here on the computer. Oh well. I’ll get back to this when I finish talking about my day.
Started out by deciding to walk to Gare du Lyon, to try and buy a train ticket. Same little yellow machine as the SNCF boutique, but I fiddle around anyways. I find one I like and try to buy it, but apparently foreign (American) credit cards don’t have the little smart chip so I have to go somewhere else to buy it. Zaogao de hen!. I then decide to walk along the Seine towards Paris Plage, because, the sun keeps coming out and fooling me into doing such things. Although I start out on the bank of the Seine basically, I accidentally walk the wrong way, and get lost towards the 11th. This is where I used to live, and I’m starting to recognize things. I think to myself how I should probably go to my old neighborhood, and maybe see if my pizza man (Pizza de Venice) still remembers me… maybe he would have even remembered my usual order (le vegetarian avec un oeuf), but my legs are in pain, and I’ve actually been craving pho all day (grâce à/ à cause de Helen telling my about it yesterday. I’ll let you decide which it is).
I take a train to Olympiades, the new stop right outside the library I was at, to first check to see if the library was still open (so that I could get back online). It wasn’t. Heartbroken, I came back home, but only after a stop to get some pho. I got a large, which came in a small bowl, but believe me it more than sufficed. There were lots of good meats, and lots of herbs to add in, perhaps even better than the number 1 I normally order in the States. Sitting by myself I watched people walk by and the servers hawk gaze on the customers. I ate all of it. I wasn’t hungry at all, I just chose to eat because I was really craving it…everytime I walked past a “traiteur chinoise, veitnamienne, thailandaise, laotienne” meaning Asian, I could smell it and it smelled so glorious. I had to have it, although I had already eaten the other half of the baguette I didn’t have at lunch. Man it made me miss home.
So now I’m here, about to fall asleep. I guess I’ll leave a note for Wang shushu he ta de didi.

permalink written by  waywardwahoo on August 7, 2008 from Paris, France
from the travel blog: Mini Eurotrip
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Dream? or nightmare?

Paris, France

I am currently in the le 6ieme arrondissement a Paris, au Square felix Desruelles, sitting on a bench by myself, with the bench left of me occupied by two red-headed...Norweigens? (maybe?) discussing who-knows-what and to the right a woman on a laptop. All this encompassed by pidgeons scavenging for yesterday's sandwich's bread crumbs and backdropped by the St. Germain des Pres cathedral.

Paris has been taking the initiative of installing Wifi in most public places, including parks, bringing her citizens comfort and incentive to head out. And providing me with a way to contact people to try and figure out where I am going to be in the next hour, tonight, and the rest of the week.

You ask: "But James, weren't you just in Shanghai last week?"

It's a funny world, my friends, that's all I can say. I arrived at around 7 this morning, eventually got to Paris, and have been "mozying around eversince. There's so much to say about yesterday at the airport, the flight, and what I've been doing for the past ~5 hours, but first I'm famished.

I'll be back after lunch, if the battery gods allow. And they better, because I still don't have a Sim Card and I need to meet up with people.

A bientot,


permalink written by  waywardwahoo on August 6, 2008 from Paris, France
from the travel blog: Mini Eurotrip
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Day 1...

Paris, France

What a day!
Leaving the square, the man sitting by me decided to talk to me. He was very happy that I responded to him, because whenever he tries to talk to Chinese people, they tell him “je ne comprends pas”. This led to a discussion/debate on les asiatiques and why some are open to speaking while others are not, different government types, etc. He kept telling me how I made him very happy, but really it was he that made me happy: I had a good conversation, mostly in French, with a French man. Isn’t that my purpose for being here?
Lunch. My school from three years ago was in the St. Germain des Pres area, I could use that metro stop to get to school. Ah the memories. The first day of class, my host mother told me that I should take the bus to school. I insisted on taking the metro; my memories of it then were all good. The metro was fast, cheap, easy-to-use, and most importantly, modernized. I took it every day and every afternoon to and fro class; even though I had three changes, it was the same length of time as the bus ride, so why sit on a bus for 25 minutes at the loss of being cool? Towards the end of that stay, I hated the metro. It was noisy, it was smelly, it was a pain in the butt standing and sitting. I preferred a quiet, 25 minute ride on a bus, allowing me time to listen to my iPod and just sit in the back rather than helping elderly people steal my seat.
Needless to say, I bought un carnet today and not a carte orange/hebdomidaire. Although, there were two options for carnets and I don’t know which I was supposed to buy…I bought the more expensive one just to be safe.
Walked around my school’s area, same old restaurants, same old area, what a great feeling. I stopped at one of the sandwich places I used to frequent, bought a sandwich pate and a coca lite. Went back to the square to: 1) see if the guy was still there (he wasn’t) and 2) get in contact with Helen/Wang Shushu.
After lunch was hectic, basically involving me trying to meet Wang shushu… without a cell phone. He kept saying that I didn’t show up at McDonalds the three times we try to meet. After a few hours, I was found by his didi and settled into the place, which isn’t bad. Although there is no AC. And now I am writing my blog without internet (they have wifi, I can’t figure it out on this damn vista business, and it’s starting to grind my gears.) Police ticket check at the end of the metro line! WOO…memories. Spent after settled in time finding an adapter (almost unsuccessfully, but thank goodness for Darty!) because the laptop plug has an extra pens (male part) and the tumi adapter doesn’t take it. Went over to a Helen’s, practiced Chinese, ate jiaozi; it was like I never left Shanghai . Now I’m back at “my place” 16 metro stops away, and melting even after I took a shower. (See: doesn’t have freaking AC!) I really should ask about the internet but it’s getting late and I’ve got a big day tomorrow. Or do I? My plans? Get some railway tickets, get some internet, maybe even bike tour around Paris… if my legs can handle it. I’m about to pass out so here’s to a long night’s sleep.
PS. Luolan: here it’s pronounced weefee.
Oh and McDonalds? Turns out, we were at two different McDonalds, or MacDo's, which were on the same road, nonetheless! Badabababa... Globalization...I'm lovin' it. Not.

permalink written by  waywardwahoo on August 6, 2008 from Paris, France
from the travel blog: Mini Eurotrip
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I'm only happy when it rains...

Shanghai, China

The rain is constant now, we've come upon the rainy season in Shanghai. What does this mean? Take an already dreary city, where the sun never shines due to the pollution, make it even darker, and add umbrellas everywhere. Next, torrential downpours of water picking up said pollution barrages your face, melting wrinkles and dimples into your skin with an acidic bite.

Okay, maybe it's not that bad, but I don't like being wet. And as of now, I don't have an umbrella. (But wait, James, you said that you had bought an umbrella earlier in the week, and that not only did you not bargain well, due to the fact that you didn't learn to 降价 [jiang4 jia4] until Wednesday's class, but also that your 单班课 [dan1 ban1 ke4] 老师 [lao3 shi1], Gao laoshi, said that you got ripped off for 38 RMB for a large umbrella?)

It all started with Thursday, which is where our story left off (although you, reader, have a blurred vision of my week due to problems with the ECNU liuxuesheng dorms.) Had our review class, which ended early; we finished all the concepts to review way before time. What to do with the extra time? An activity (aka 3rd hour's class). I was a taxi driver, a GOSSIPY taxi driver, and my partner, LuoLan was a depressed woman. What was ironic about this situation was the fact that the night before, LuoLan and I had agreed to do our oral test together, in the form of a presentation + pantomime.

As we found out later that day via email, this was totally not allowed. Well there went my oral score....again. After class, we heard RuiAn's undergraduate thesis about skin-lightening in Shanghai, which touched upon many interesting topics, but not in depth enough (I mean an hour is not enough) + it lacked unity between the subjects, the linkages.

Later that day was painting class, which is being taught by a professional impressionist painter here in Shanghai. Here's a link to his work:
I don't think I really like his style/I want to be working on traditional Chinese paintings, which is what I signed up for, but after three hours of painting (in a one hour class), and haggling via the one student he liked (a borderline inappropriate story, perhaps something will develop worth my writing time in a later blog), we should be working on bamboo next class, and I hope to eventually get to cherry blossoms.

At ECNU, there are lots of 留学生[liu2 xue2 sheng1] like myself and the UVA group, and yesterday I met a group from all over France, from the EmLyon Young Entrepreneurs program. Their classroom is in the same building, they just get to have classes really late. I practiced my French, ad hope to get to know them more eventually.

Went out to eat, shouldn't have, fell asleep, and woke up Friday morning with not enough time to do my essays. Worked quickly, was late to class, sweating like a madman. The test was a lot worse than I expected, and a lot harder than I had hoped. I know that I'm not going to be happy with this week's score, so I hope to do better next week (which believe it or not, is going to lead up to the last units for this semester [CHIN201]. We will have covered 13 lessons in three weeks, which is crazy if you think about it, especially because during a normal school semester, we cover fewer than 10 (although there are two dialogues per chapter, the current chapters tend to be longer). We're also two weeks through, so about 1/4 done. Time flies by when... you're "having fun"? How about "in China".

Wait, that sounds like I'm coming off negative Nancy. I had a lot of fun today. After the test and lunch today, which was two liangs (50g) of jiaozi, RuZhen and I went to the 麻将 [ma2 jiang4] party, which was really fun. Learned how to play, and I seriously played for at least three hours, although there were occasional holdups, cough LinKaln

After the Mahjong party, came home, only to nap and wake up to people getting ready to leave to a sushi and meat buffet for 150RMB. Tai gui le, especially if you're not hungry. Instead I rounded up a group to go to a Hookah bar on West Nanjing Rd, Barbarossa.

Originally only four or five, the group of nine filled two taxis and headed off to Barbarossa. It took us a while to get a taxi (which seems to be a common theme nowadays, perhaps due to the rainy season / weekendness?) A common thing to do here is to measure trips not by time, but by taxi ride price. That might be common in the states as well, I don't ride enough taxis to know. Also, if a taxi driver ever asks you if you've been there before, say yes, or else he'll drive you around an extra ten minutes (as the other group paid much less than we did and was sitting there waiting for us...)

Everyone at Barbarossa was chicly dressed... but us. (Alrighty, I'm a little bit po'd again, just found out that due to the crappy internet here my post was half deleted, and that includes the part that was insightful.)

Basically we were really out of place as Barbarossa is called one of the nicest (if not nicest) bars in Shanghai. We were sent to the third floor at a table where our minimum was 1,000RMB, and after much debate we decided to go with it. Two hookahs (peach and melon), ten or so cocktails, and multiple orders of parmesean fries and hummus dips later, we hit the 998, enough in my book for us to leave. Apparently, the fuwuyuan on our floor didn't know/care about the 1,000 minimum, but oh well. We had a good time.

What was your drink, you ask? I had the absinthe kiss: kahlua, some other liquor, and a "hint" of absinthe, as it was described. Really licorice-y apparently due to the absinthe, which apparently is now legal in the states. So that took some of the fun out of my drink...

Took us forever to find a cab back, in the pouring rain. Oh wait, we never found a cab. We took a sketchy bus, packed all of us in and paid 80RMB total, which ... kind of worked out, I guess. Bargaining with private drivers is scary, and not recommended.

At the houmen, we feasted on laduzi sticks and noodles, got some beers, chilled out and that's where we are now.

Reader don't touch that dial... an exciting adventure this weekend will be blogged about afterwards.

Oh and my umbrella? Kindly enough I lent it to Kat, who gave it to LinKaln in the back of her taxi. Linkaln left it there for another person to find and enjoy. That's why I'm only happy when it rains, because people actually pour their misery down on me.

permalink written by  waywardwahoo on June 13, 2008 from Shanghai, China
from the travel blog: Shanghai, China
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Shanghai, China

hao3 jiu3 bu5 jian4
Long time no see

According to Intermediate Chinese (our book from last year) the phrase long time no see is a direct translation from the Chinese phrase.

Anywho, it's been a while since I've blogged, let's review what's happened since:

Since Saturday (with the exception of Sunday) we have had a downpour of rain. It's been really crazy; because of the rain, I had to buy an umbrella. Next to one of the agricultural banks (yeah, shenmetf?) there was a woman selling umbrellas. Large ones for 58 RMB. You yi dianr gui. One of my first experiences with real haggling. I said tai gui le, and she asked me for my price. (I HATE it when they do that, it's when the heart comes out). I said 30. She went back to 38. I accepted.

Irony? Today's lesson was on haggling. Third class was explicitly on how to haggle. My one on one, Gao laoshi told me what else I should do...and that I got ripped off for my umbrella. Oh well, it was around 6 dollars for a large and comfy umbrella, not to mention how useful it was the past few days/this morning.

MY POST just got deleted (it's a little bit later). Irony?

Well... had calligraphy class, ate food did stuff. Too put off by this event to try to fix this post. Maybe later if I remember...

I will try harder, better, faster, stronger with my posts. Thanks Kanye!

permalink written by  waywardwahoo on June 11, 2008 from Shanghai, China
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I'm only happy when it rains...

Shanghai, China

Yesterday was quite the adventure. Finished catching up on some blogs in the morning. Went to lunch with DuoFu, only to have his appetite ruined by a chicken foot sticking out of his meal. Can't go wrong with Bokchoy!

Came back, tried to get some work done, but it turned into a massive hangout in my room (fun, but wish I didn't waste so much time on the weekend that way, would have rather spent it that way during the week). Basically did nothing until 4, the time we had decided on to go to Old Town. But then it Xia Yu'd, and so we held off.

Right before the rain, LuoLan rang'ed wo get ready suoyi women could go to Tea Storm. Got my strawberry milkshake drink and she got her bubble tea. Went with SiDe (sp?) and stopped by to watch some volleyball on the way. Got to hit the ball back to them because someone hit it off the court. Some of those guys could spike like mad, it makes me want to practice / learn how to play volleyball (review what we learned back in Physical Education, haha).

Due to the rain we all just hung out more, but eventually the rain tapered and we decided to leave. Took four cabs for about 40 RMB each and went to Old Town, or the Yuyuan Gardens. Grand architecture of the gardens is known world-wide, but at night the lights adds to the beauty of the place.

We ate "dinner" at the famous Nanxiang Mantou Dian, or the NanXiang Steamed bun restaurant. There is always a long line outside of people waiting to just get some of the xiaolongbao, or the little basket buns, especially the crab meat filled ones. We ate on the third floor, however. Our group of 15 was split, and we each got 5: 2 pork/crab, 1 just crab, and 2 chicken. I'm not a big crab fan, so I enjoyed the chicken ones. The buns come in little baskets (hence the name).

We walked around a little, shopped around a little, and then we got dumped on. Almost bought a fake LV wallet, but I could only bring her down 50% (10% or bust!). Spent too much time in a jewelry store selling jade items even up to $100,000.

Tried to catch cabs home, but for some reason there weren't enough/the few that were empty would not pick us up. Eventually we walked out to the main road (my little group of four as everyone had to split up and fend for their group/selves) and we were the first ones back. The taxi driver could have made it in 30RMB, but got lost looking for the houmen so dropped us off at the front gate after 40RMB. How convenient for him.

Walked back, went to the houmen to eat some noodles, pianyi shi pianyi, keshi bu tai hao chi! Got some laduzi sticks, went to the 24-hr kedi and got some traditional Chinese spirit (52%) for real cheap and a big bottle of fanta, ingredients to a promising night. When we got back inside the sushe, the 5th floor was already gone.

The night went on and people tried the drinks, which were not so good, but they did the trick. Later, when the party "ended" (multiple parties + people watching 27 dresses in a room), went up to LuoLans to watch an episode of the office. Santi, NiKe, LuoLan and myself went to get some laduzi sticks (although my normal vendor wasn't there!!!, I feel like I betrayed her) and we had a good 2 sticks each before walking down the street a little. We then came back and got more sticks (another 2 each?) trying unknown meats and even some veggies. Man, they were/are tasty!

Crawled under the gate, hung out/photoshot, and eventually came back to sleep. Some water and a flossing lesson from LuoLan later, I drifted to dreamland to the tunes of Korni and 25-om jetazhe.

permalink written by  waywardwahoo on June 8, 2008 from Shanghai, China
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tagged Yuyuan and Xialongbao

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TESTing 1.2.3...

Shanghai, China

TEST day. WOO, woke up early. not. Studied up until the last minute. not. Took the test, which actually wasn't that bad. Used up 30 minutes of the two hours allotted, WeiAn and I went back to the houmen and split some jiaozi. Chilled out in the sushe with Duofu, Luolan and Weian and went over the questions that we were going to ask for today's practicum.

Practicum 1: Visiting a Chinese Dorm.
- Chinese dorms are shitty
- The Liuxuesheng sushe (ours) is like a 5 start hotel compared to their dorms: why?
They stick 4/6 people in a room half the size of our current rooms, their mattresses are about the thickness of my laptop, they get to share one desk fan on the ceiling between the four of them, all of their beds are lofted. The desks are nice. The bathrooms are crappy, the sinks are dirty and they have to wash their clothes in there/ hang their clothes in the room. Oh, there's a balcony though!
Aside from the few questions we had been assigned, I came up with one: because girls aren't allowed in the dorms, when you and your girlfriend want to make whoopee, zenmeyang? That was a poor choice: it was too personal of a question as I was told. That guy never talked to me again after that during the interview.

Afterwards, we went to a restaurant with the laoshimen, well four of them: Wang, Lu, Li and Zhang. My table ordered the Chinese equivalent of Kung Pao Chicken, Candied Sweet Potatoes (which are apparently Korean...they come out really hot, you need to dip it in a bowl of cold water before attempting to eat it), and jiaozi: beef and carrots (which were salty), pork and corn (AMAZING), and cucumber shrimp (refreshing!). Haohao chi yi hou, we gave the laoshimen a tour of OUR dorms, and they really liked them. I feel bad. We had some of NiKe's chocolates, sang some S.H.E's superstar and just chilled.

After they left, I passed out for a several hours.

Woke up, we went to Kat's suggestion of a noodle place by Zhongshan metro stop. (BTW, Kat has an awesome blog, check it out at http://katinasia.spaces.live.com) She refers to the guy that makes our noodles by hand as the noodle man. It was you amazing, you pianyi, hen fangbian! On the way back I got a strawberry milkshake thing from tea storm, it was good and the fuwuyuan were kind enough to teach me the name for it, although I forgot what it is now...oops.

Came back to dorms, debated the plan for the evening. A group went out to bonbon, but it was too soon for me to be going there again. Decided upon drinking in dorms (VSOC). I didn't feel well (canker sore + headache) so I started my laundry, but then got convinced to head out to a jiu ba/coffee bar. Didn't drink there, had a blueberry milkshake instead, which was quite tasty. Dressed like a bum though, because my clothes were in the wash.

Santi and NiKe got their flaming B52's. That was pretty cool: here, a pic!

I spent the night playing Liar's Dice (see Bonbon, the POTC game) after Santi explained to us how to play. Santi, Kat and I played the whole time, and I think it's my new favorite game.

Came back to the houmen 5 mins before it closed, went back to dorms, moved my clothes to the dryer and basically chilled all night. Drank with Luolan, NiKe was to join us but he disappeared. Went to get my laundry, but turns out you need to push a button to start the dryer, so I waited another hour, people chilled some more. Saw people come back from BONBON hahaha. What a show. Had a one-on-one with RuJin over raisin bread w/ peanut butter and nutella, which was amazingly good as it wasn't Chinese. Laundered, showered, and now it's time to fall asleep.

WAN AN (I think?)

permalink written by  waywardwahoo on June 6, 2008 from Shanghai, China
from the travel blog: Shanghai, China
tagged LiarSDice and NoodleMan

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