Never a Dull Moment – or – TIC*

More on our weekend…

A Rope Tow is a Rope Tow

When we go into Shanghai, we take the highway. We came across this bus being towed along at 70 kph- I sure as heck hope they don’t have to stop suddenly.

Look carefully now - that's a long cloth strap such as is used to strap down materials on flatbed trucks

Look carefully now – that’s a long cloth strap such as is used to strap down materials on flatbed trucks

Is that Polish or Polish?

After Terry’s cleansing experience we headed off down Nanjing Lu to do our shopping. First up were a couple of older (Ed. note: It’s never possible to give an accurate age estimation – somewhere between 50 and 80, I’m guessing) gentlemen wanting to shine our shoes. Weakly I submit and 45 seconds and 20RMB later I have shiny new shoes (Ed. note: A great deal – last year I got to pay 100rmb!). The second gentleman wants to shine Terry’s – shine her suede boots. She generously allowed him to wipe them with some kind of cloth and a little liquid. He too wanted 20RMB, but she steadfastly refused – giving him only 10 since there was no polish involved.

You Want Sex Massage?

A block later Terry wanders in to a store to get water – I wait on the sidewalk and get offered a sex massage – it is 11:15 in the morning for God’s sake. Now, admittedly, the photos of the beautiful girls on the business cards he was offering  made it enticing, but with the price of 200rmb for a full hour I wondered if the girls in the photos were actually the girls plying their trade. Plus, if they were one and the same, I am confident that at my age an hour was not an appropriate amount of time.

Is that Polish or Polish? (Part 2)

Once I got rid of him, the fellow who had polished wiped Terry’s boots showed up again – with a different partner. The new guy wanted desperately to polish my shoes – guess he figured the first guy had done a pretty crummy job. Anyway, I kept saying no and trying to back away so he couldn’t put any of the cream on he was trying to apply. I finally lost and he got some on and then wanted 10RMB to take it off. This guy is half my size. I didn’t pay anything. Then both of them spend five minutes (Ed. note: Terry couldn’t find the water, I guess) demanding to know how much I paid the first guy. It was as if they believed they were getting ripped off by him. Hmmm.

Shanghai Tower

While waiting (still) I noticed the still under construction Shanghai Tower (on the right). Now for most of you this isn’t a big deal, but for those who have been/lived here in the past year, take a look at the two. The tower on the left is the  Shanghai World Financial Center, also known as the Bottle Opener. We showed photos of it a year ago. The floor over the opening is Floor 100. You figure how tall the Shanghai Tower is (Ed. note: Upon its completion in 2014, the building will stand approximately 632 metres (2,073 ft) high and will have 121 stories, with a total floor area of 380,000 m2 (4,090,000 sq ft).)  There is no perspective issue here – they are literally across the street from one another.

The Shanghai Tower will be the second highest building in the world when it is finished behind the Burj Kalifa in Dubai.

The Shanghai Tower will be the second highest building in the world when it is finished behind the Burj Kalifa in Dubai.

My Bike is Valuable, Damn It!

Hey, it may be coverd in rust and the seat is all taped up, but I need it to get to where I’m going.

Look carefully at the front tire - it is locked!

Look carefully at the front tire – it is locked!

You aren't getting my bike!

You aren’t getting my bike!

We have always felt very safe no matter where we have been in China, but I guess the theft of of old, decrepit rusty bikes is rampant…

Parking, Parking 50 cents…

When I was a kid, my grandparents lived 2 blocks from the PNE and one summer Bobby Wick and I decided to offer parking on some unused land across McGill Street from the racetrack. We made very little money, but it was another example of trying to get people to pay for parking when they don’t want to. 

In China – forget it. People just park where they want – here, there are two rows of five cars parked  – hope the guys on the inside don’t want to get out any time soon.

Parking at the market

Parking at the market (Ed. note: See Terry with her purple backpack and the water she finally got)

(Ed. note: The fellow below lives in our building and has decided to start parking here every night. I do hope that is his wife’s silver car he is blocking. I admit that this doesn’t actually fit in to our weekend, but it is another example of parking in China).

Sorry for the blurriness - I was laughing as I took it.

Sorry for the blurriness – I was laughing as I took it.

A study in familial elegance

A study in familial elegance

On Sunday I was waiting for Terry as she did some  shopping (more Doc Marten shoes) (Ed. note: sensing a theme of how I spend most of my time “with” Terry?). I watched these two very elegant ladies chat away for about 15 minutes, thinking how typical it is of Chinese mothers and daughters to spend Sundays together. Apparently they were both enjoying the conversation since there were lots of smiles. All of a sudden the younger woman takes a 100rmb note out of purse and gives it to her. The woman thanks her and continues chatting away. The younger woman now tries to wander away, taking out he phone and chatting. The other follows. Finally a husband and real daughter show up and the younger woman leaves with them – clearly relieved. I don’t know what the older one’s “story” was, but she sure worked the younger one.

Terry’s a Bad Ass and Hey – I’m Hungry

Last year when Bruce and Kim were living in Shanghai, Kim was at first a little, let us say, tremulous in getting from one side of the street to the other. I seem to recall that that lasted until mid October, until she became a self-proclaimed Bad Ass and walked when she wanted to! (Ed. note: You go girl – still a bad ass?) Well Terry has now become a Bad Ass in a different aspect of Chinese daily life – lining up. We have described in some detail the Chinese penchant for just going to the front of the line and butting in. Yesterday at the train station, she not only pulled two men back from trying to butt in on one side of the line, she directed ME to stop the guy on the other side if he tried it! (Ed. note: He was in fact, just waiting for his girlfriend to buy the tickets)

On our way home in the taxi I spotted this woman on the back of the scooter eating her lunch – with chopsticks. What more can I say?

At least it wasn't soup

At least it wasn’t soup

Minor Observations and Irritants

I keep meaning to mention these and always forget – until today. One of the most frustrating things we have come across here is the kitchen sink. If the bottom isn’t actually sloped away from the drain, it is no more than dead flat. When you try to rinse out any little bits of things they just float around the outside and don’t want to swirl down the drain. A seemingly insignificant thing but frustrating none the less.

Also, for a population that wants to protect every square inch of their skin from the harmful effects of the sun, in both summer and winter, why is it they RARELY wear sunglasses – no matter how brilliant the sun may be?

Finally, we have noticed WAAAAYYYYY more caucasians in both Jiaxing and Shanghai lately. Watch out China we are taking over!

The Shoe Blog

Here are two for you.

Look carefully at the soles

Look carefully at the soles

More White and Black

More White and Black

The ones on the left are the new style in Shanghai. You take a very elegant boot designed for fashion and put a 1/2″ hiking sole on it. The boot below is from Starbucks one day – quilted white plastic. Very fetching.

* TIC – This is China

1 thought on “Never a Dull Moment – or – TIC*

  1. Kim

    Hooray for Terry becoming a Bad Ass! Those line budgers infuriated us while we were there! Good for you, Terry – they keep doing it because no one stops them. Oh and just for the record, I still consider myself a fellow Bad Ass, since I just survived Black Friday shopping! Keep up the great blog!


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