We’ve gotten into quite the groove here in Shanghai. Lots of new adventures. Lots of getting used to how things are done around here. Things we care about, they don’t. All of the pushing, shoving, spitting, yes that happens, but it’s still a pretty cool place and certainly out of our comfort zones. That is what it is all about. Emersing yourself in a different culture to see how they live.
Jen & I have been working a lot. She’s been writing all of the content for the classes that she is teaching. And I just wrapped up a large print project that I started right when we got to Shanghai. Crazy that we’re about at the half way point of our stay here in China.
So what’s different? Well, a lot.
Grocery shopping is a big one. Price wise – it’s a lot cheaper here. But really weird to me that we get Mexican avocados or bananas from the U.S. I think we even had some produce from Costa Rica? Crazy. Everything seems to be bagged and weighed. Even the meats are cut, or in bins. You select what you want and then you bag it and have someone weigh it. Here’s a picture of the chicken in bins waiting to be taken home by yours truly.
We still cook at home a lot. (Salad above…we think it was peking duck, was purchased in the deli section at LOTUS. ) It’s definitely a different experience trying to cook with one burner/hot plate type of situation. We’ve made thai green curry, lots of stir frys, chicken noodle soup and even Mexican rice bowls. Lots of bok choy. I tease Jen that she is obsessed. (She is) We did bite the bullet and last week bought a blender so that we can make smoothies. I love trying all of the different foods here. One of my favs is pictured above – CUCUMBER FLAVORED LAY’S POTATO CHIPS. Don’t judge. Jen thinks they are weird. I like them. Other things are crazy flavors of Oreos, lots of dried fruits, bean curd desserts, etc. We try a lot of snacks. One was just called “Fruit Fruit”. I think it might be a dried plum. IDK.
The internet/Great FireWall of China/Social Media. This has been interesting. No Instagram. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Vine. No Dropbox…most importantly NO GOOGLE. WTF?! No Google? Yep. No Google. That includes Google Maps, which was our bread and butter when we traveled to SE Asia before. Because you could use your GPS to kind of see where you were located. Lately we’ve been using Yahoo and Yahoo Maps and yes, that sounds as terrible as it actually is.
I had purchased a VPN (virtual private network) to use just in general for banking and anything financial related on open wifi access. Glad I did. Because that is how we’ve been able to access anything and everything in China. Well, everything except Instagram (can’t upload or see notifications on the computer) and Snapchat. Jen and I have been joking that we are going to have 30 minutes of just snapchats to watch when we leave China. The internet strength hasn’t been the best. So that doesn’t help getting kicked off of the VPN every 5 minutes when trying to work or do research. Some of it is nice, I don’t stare at my phone every 5 minutes looking at Instagram, but I’m worried about Jen. She’s been having trouble with her Candy Crush addiction
The weather is certainly different than Michigan. Thank heavens. But it has been pretty rainy and gray, which reminds me of when we lived in Tacoma, WA. Not a fan of the gray. Jen was speaking to a co-worker and she said that it is basically winter then summer. So things have been warming up a bit. I didn’t wear a coat when I went to the grocery store yesterday. It can also be pretty foggy. And I don’t mean smoggy, but it can be that too. Tonight we were walking in downtown Pudong and we couldn’t even see the top of some of the skyscrapers. Pretty nuts.
We started planning our next moves after Shanghai on Saturday. We have to book Jen a return flight to the U.S. so that she can get reimbursed before we leave China. That is just daunting. It just sucks to have to plan to spend X amount of days somewhere. What happens when you get there and then it totally rocks and you just want to stay longer. Also we purchased the Air Asia Asean Pass, which means we will need to plan that out as well. I think I liked it more when we were just winging it like on our last trip to SE Asia.
So here is what we have for travel after Shanghai – Chengdu > Hong Kong/Macau > Taiwan. Yep. 6 hours and that is where we are. We also did book a weekend trip to Xi’an to see the terracotta warriors on April 9-14. Very excited.
And now for the gem of this post. My first Wanderlust Explorers’ Video! Yes! Finally right? I created the animated logo in AfterEffects (pretty proud of that). It was really nice last Thursday, so I took my GoPro HERO3+: Silver Edition and hit the mean streets of Shanghai for a little walk around town.
Here is the route of my walk in Shanghai – I took the Shanghai Metro from Shanghai Children’s Medical Center to East Nanjing Road. Nanjing Road is a really famous shopping street. Lots of people. Lots of fancy Western stores.
I then walked over to The Bund – the older historic district on the Huangpu River. You can see the Pearl TV Tower across the river. I show a little of The Bund itself. Great old architechture. There is a raised walkway along the river, I spent a little time up there people watching and checking out Pudong from across the river. Then took the Shanghai Ferry across the river to Pudong. I continued to meander around Pudong, walking over to the Shanghai World Financial Center, Jinmao Tower, the Grand Hyatt before circling back to the Pearl TV Tower and heading home. Nice little afternoon walk in Shanghai and a fun little video. Can’t wait to hear what you guys think!