I’ve got a full cup of coffee, it’s early morning so I am going to write a little. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been up to lately. We spent 6 months in New York City working our butts off. We both were working two jobs – Jen at two different hospitals and me managing my typical freelance work while also working 40 hours a week onsite for an agency. After that we took a cruise to the Western Caribbean (don’t worry a post or two on that trip will be coming soon), hung out in Florida for Thanksgiving and then headed back to Michigan. We spent the holidays with family and relaxed a little bit. Then we bought a house. Yes. We bought a house, a duplex at that. We’re looking at it as more of an investment, but it’s ours. We closed a week before we left for Shanghai and were able to move everything in as well. Yes, we might be crazy.
We’ve been in Shanghai a little over a week now. The sleep adjustment has been a little shaky, but I think we’re pulling around. It’s been a little difficult with the constant fireworks going off all around us. I’m not kidding. All times of the day, even in the daylight – fireworks. Even right now I am hearing fireworks. Yesterday and today we were woken up at about 7:30am because someone felt the need to celebrate the lunar new year – the year of the goat. Ironically, we have seen goat, sheep and rams, so I think anything goes. Just imagine goat decorations everywhere.
I’m not sure what we expected coming here early for the Chinese New Year. The government didn’t want any huge fireworks display in Shanghai this year so they canceled it. But more of what we didn’t expect was the shutdown of pretty much everything. A lot of the smaller businesses close shop for the entire week. Everyone goes to visit family, so Shanghai is kind of like a ghost town right now. Eerie but maybe a nice adjustment for us settling in.
That’s what we’ve been doing. Settling in. Finding the Wal-Mart and the grocery stores. Visiting a lot of the huge malls because they are actually open. (Paris Spring, Next Age, Super Brand, Raffles City.)
We are living in the Pudong area (which I think looks like something out of a Daft Punk music video), it’s east of the Huangpu River, which divides Shanghai. Pudong is considered the new area, lots of high-rise buildings and new construction. Here is a photo of Pudong from across the river on the Bund.
We’ve been getting back to walking a lot, which we both missed from our 6 months in New York City. Shanghai is pretty walkable. But, I must say that the metro is fantastic. 1) It is way cheaper that the U.S. – 50 to 80 cents USD per ride (depending on how far you go). 2) It is very clean. 3) It is all color-coded, so even the benches on the train are the color of the train lines. 4) There are signs in English. The Shanghai Metro reminds me of Beijing, Seoul and Bangkok’s metros, kind of like they all got together and had a Shanghai Metro baby. I love it. We’ve been all over and can easily get around town. That’s all for today. Next will be some pics of our apartment and the joys of cooking with a hot plate!
(The featured photo above was from the base of the Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong)