The months of May and June were filled with lots of local good times with new friends, which we will try to capture in this post and document with the pictures linked below. https://picasaweb.google.com/105315223482012434599/LocalChina
One of my students, Heather, has become a dear friend of ours. She was raised in China but she is first generation Korean. She showed us the ropes at Korean BBQ, which may be the best food we have eaten here! It consists of really high quality pork and beef cooked in the center of your table on super high heat over coals. Then you eat the meat in a lettuce wrap with Kim chi and raw garlic. Health and delicious, especially when paired with Makkoli and Soju, which are distilled beverages native to Korea.
Next in the adventures was a Lawson’s Crawl with our fellow international teachers. What is a Lawson’s Crawl you ask? Lawson’s is one of the local corner stores where you can buy snacks and basic household items. We basically grab a beer at a Lawson’s, walk in whatever direction until we see another one wondering around random neighborhoods, exploring parks, and eating street food with the locals. China is a not much of a drinking culture so the police we passed along the way just gave us friendly waves instead of arresting us for having an open container.
Some friends from home sent us a fun care package full of cheese, salami, and olives for us to have a date night (we aren’t sure how it got through customs but we are happy it did!). We picked up a baguette and wine to top it off and had an amazing appetizer date night at home. Thanks guys!
Zane’s uncle, Steve, does business in China and Japan and owns a place in Shanghai. He was here a few weeks ago and he treated us to a delicious dim sum lunch near his place.
William, a local teacher at Zane’s school has been kind enough to cook traditional Chinese food for us, help with our bank transfer (which took 3 tries and hours longer than we thought) and showed us the ropes at a local ‘Hot Pot’ restaurant. Hot pot is similar to fondue as they cook meat, fish, vegetables and noodles in the middle of the table in different types of broths. The meal was topped off with ordering noodles, which came with a presentation from the noodle man. He dances around the table waving the uncooked noodle dough in the air to stretch the noodles and then drops them into the broth. Good stuff.
Moving into June we continued to do some of the local Shanghai walks that lead people around the city to portions not typically explored. The French Concession is the westernized portion of Shanghai and last week we did a walk called ‘The Hidden French Concession’. It took us through some unique cafes, gardens and lanes. We ended the day with some excellent people watching at our neighborhood park. We also did a walk that led us to one of the oldest temples in the city, called Longhua Temple, which housed a statue of the Chinese God of matchmaking. We paid our respects to him with a kneel and a kiss in front of him. The walk then lead us to a street known for selling spicy crayfish and ended at a great antique market.
For my birthday we got dressed up and went to an amazing restaurant called ‘Lost Heaven’ that serves food inspired from the Yunnan region of China, Tibet and Bhutan. Its majestic atmosphere paired with inspiring art and photography from these regions made for a unique experience. We topped the night with a late night walk along ‘The Bund’ where we got amazing views of the city all lit up at night. Check out the birthday pics: https://picasaweb.google.com/105315223482012434599/KatieChinaBday#
Foot and back massage parlors are all over Shanghai and we finally tried a foot massage after our leg soreness wore off from the Yellow Mnt. hike. They first soak your feet in a large bucket of hot water infused with tea bags. Then massage your feet with oil for 50 minutes. I was enjoying myself but Zane was getting tortured. He had a little Chinese woman who was out for pain. The look on her face and the sweat beads on her forehead were enough to scare me. I am looking forward to our next massage but Zane might have different opinion on this one.
For our first live music experience here we went to see one of Zane’s students play drums in a rock band. It was refreshing to see young Chinese people let loose a bit and signing along to familiar rock cover songs. The female lead singer was a lawyer by day and a rocker by night!
Heather came with us to the fabric market last weekend to help bargain for some tailored clothes. We ended up with 2 suits and 6 button-up shirts for Zane and a suit for me all for $370! These tailored outfits will be shipped home to await our return to help us out when we are interviewing for new jobs!
Exciting news is that we purchased our first flights this weekend, which makes the trip within reach! Our plan is still to travel within China for the last 2 weeks of July. Then we fly from Shanghai to Manila in the Philippines on August 1st. After a couple of internal island flights we fly to Nepal on August 21st, which will be routed through Malaysia for a day. The countdown is now……. 3 weeks until retirement!
I was just watching a Korean cooking show, and thought that I would like the food. Never been to a Korean restaurant, I am going to look for one. All sounds great, especially retiring, I am quite enjoying my summer. Lost 13.5 pounds on the HCG diet, on phase 3 basically eating out of my garden, cause my garden doesn’t grow bread, or raw sugar, fruit allowed.
Love you mom