Daily Archives: June 3, 2013

A Sunday in Shanghai

Yes, Shanghai! Every once in awhile, we are struck by the fact that we live in China and go periodically to hang out in Shanghai!  Really, fantastic is the only way to describe it.

I’ll confess right from the start that I was somewhat hungover and tired when we headed out for our walking tour, discovered over breakfast in the latest edition of Time Out Shanghai, the what-to-do, where-to-eat magazine that has given me so much good advice to date.  Off we headed to explore the architecture created by Ludlo Hudec in the 1930s when Shanghai was at its (first) height.  I felt better  upon finding the Grand Theatre and Park Hotel, close to each other and each a wonder of Art Deco styling.  The magazine sweetened the walk by running a contest for readers:  do the walk and answer some questions by reading various displays, plaques and construction signs and be entered to win a glorious weekend at the Pudong Shangri-La.  Oh yeah, baby!  Let’s do it!

Shanghai Weddings

We schlepped through a number of neighbourhoods, getting lost once and trying to answer the question of the wrong building, but it was fun!  Nearly at the end, we happened upon a “renovated” neighbourhood near a canal and set up as a pedestrian mall–a rarity in Shanghai and a blessing.  Apparently all the brides in Shanghai go there for their wedding photos, many of which we will post for you here.  And why wouldn’t they?  If you can get a spot on the bridge over the canal, the backdrop is Pudong, with arguably the most interesting architecture anywhere.

The Pudong Skyline

The Pudong Skyline

I hereby dedicate this portion of the blog to my dear friend Lynne and her husband Martin, whose son is getting married in September.  It’s too bad Jelena already has her dress as I’m sure she would be inspired by these designs:

Bride Number 1

Bride Number 1

She is happy because her shoes aren't on...

She is happy because her shoes aren’t on…

A Flowing Veil

A Flowing Veil

A Beautiful Bride

A Beautiful Bride

If you are going to look up, why bend over?

Not a good pose.

Very elegant

Very elegant, except perhaps for the rental shoes.  Didn’t have his size…

Very coy

Very coy and natural, don’t you think?

Jump for joy! Just wait, pal.

Jump for joy! Just wait, pal.

if you look your best on your wedding day...

Geoff’s comment:  if you look your best on your wedding day…

This lovely woman even let Geoff have his picture taken with her.

This lovely bride even let Geoff have his picture taken with her.

Now for the final three. These are award winning photographs. Which one would you choose to publish in the Shanghai Weddings magazine?

The groom had no iea where to put his hand - honestly.

Gangnam style meets working girl?  The groom had no idea where to put his hand – honestly.

The groom picked his bride up and spun around three times - she was less than happy when he put her down.

The groom picked his bride up and spun around three times – she was less than happy when he put her down.

And finally,

"We are not amused."

“We are not amused.”

1 Order of “Baloney” with Pancakes and a side of OJ Please

Well here it is, another hot, humid Monday afternoon in Jiaxing at 3:30. Normally at his time I am just waking up from my 1/2 hour power nap. Sadly, not today. Apparently the people above us are doing some renovations. Now, as you may know almost all building in China are concrete. This means that when you do renos, you have to break down the concrete. Can you say 2 and 1/2 hours of jack hammering? I don’t know exactly what they are doing, but I don’t think there can be a wall left standing. I sure hope they got strata approval for this. LOL!

This how they dispose of destruction detrimus - via bags!

This how they dispose of destruction detrimus – via bags!

Some photos I have been accumulating for awhile.

Tommy the Turtle

Tommy the Turtle

Terry mentioned the turtle soup we had a couple of weeks ago at Aaron’s birthday party. Here it is.

The Road to Nowhere

The Road to Nowhere

I saw this road awhile ago. It runs right into the bridge and stops. Why it is there I don’t know since it just ends.

I was off to the office this morning and followed Grandma, Grampa and the little one. I am not exactly sure what this might mean – I hope it is not literal, though.

This is why I need to go to school.

This is why I need to go to school.

As in all major cities, Jiaxing has underground wiring for many of their services (they also have a massive amount of aboveground wiring, but that’s a different topic). I have posted other pictures of how the residents get their scooters up steps, but I am wondering if there is a big hole somewhere. The photo on the left is how they are supposed to be used, the photo on the right, not so much.

Anyone missing a couple of CATV covers?

Anyone missing a couple of CATV covers?

We have shown you pictures of other workers’ residences. These are all over China (at least the parts of China we have seen). We are told that these numbers are for, let’s say, companionship – but that “no one ever calls them”. My question is how do they get them on the sides of the buildings – especially the ones so  far up?

For a good time call...

For a good time call…

This is the Beijiao River which flows quite near our house – we can see the traffic on it from our balcony. It has constant barge traffic on it so I was quite surprised today to see the green algae on it. It reminds me of the water in front of #1.  (Ed note:  these residences are  miserable homes to migrant workers coming in to work the construction trade.  They live on the construction site so their living spaces must constantly be covered in dust and grime, and the sounds of hammers and machinery, not to mention the neighbours, must be wearing.  The walls are plywood, no insulation so the units will be cold in winter and hot in summer.  They share a meager cooking and cleaning facility.  Today’s paper reported that construction workers are one of the few groups who actually sign contracts, as construction is considered a dangerous job (no kidding), and the contract offers some protection in case of accident.  I have to wonder if this life is really better than what they left in the country…and I seriously wonder who the owners expect to buy their apartments.  The laws of supply and demand do not seem to apply to this faction.  There is simply a glut of apartments in our city, and still they build.)

The River

The Beijiao River

Lastly for Jiaxing (moving in to Shanghai next, folks) is the Boloni (baloney – get it?) Lifestyle Museum. Now, I didn’t go in so I am left to wonder just how old the furnishings in there might be…

Museum or Store?

Museum or Store?

Okay, so on to Shanghai. We were in this past weekend to see friends, have dinner, do some shopping, and sight see. On Sunday morning we went to Mr. Pancake House for breakfast. Think IHOP only WAY better – except for the service. We have been twice now – once with Ken in January and now. So count it as 5 meals – 6 if you count the fact that Terry had to send hers back yesterday because it was cold. At no time were there ever two meals served at the same time. Terry’s came first yesterday (waffles, ham and eggs), she sent it back and she STILL got it before mine (pancakes, home fries, sausage and eggs) came. The meals are good, though – when they finally arrive, and check out how the straw stands up in the whipped OJ.

Now that is freshly whipped!

Now that is freshly whipped!

Unfortunately I couldn’t get a great photo of Mr. Pancake. We aren’t exactly sure what he is. That is a huge dollop of butter on his head – but is that a nose and goatee or a moustache and goatee or ???

Mr. Pancake

Mr. Pancake

On Friday night we went out to dinner to a Thai restaurant in an upscale mall on Nanjing Road. Now Nanjing Road is like Robson Street or Bloor Street in Mayor Ford’s city (LOL), but take a look at how busy it was on a Friday night at 8 0’clock (stores open until 10).

Mall Shot #1

Mall Shot #1

Mall Shot #2

Mall Shot #2

Mall Shot #3

Mall Shot #3

Finally, where do you hang your laundry to get that fresh outdoor scent? The electrical wires?

Ah Fresh!

Ahhhh Fresh!

Coming soon –

Weddings in Shanghai, A Special Report!