I have wanted to write about Fuxing Park for awhile. It is a pretty large park near our IDEO office. I love Chinese parks because they are always so busy in the mornings with people of various ages doing so many activities. A lot of elders use the parks as a place to gather, discuss politics, play chess or majiang, dance, sing, and chat. This park is a little different because there is also a bumper car arena, Marx and Lennon statues (!) and a couple clubs inside.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
So the last week in Shanghai was a whirlwind. Our experience manager at IDEO asked me where we wanted to eat for a good-bye dinner, and I immediately thought that a cooking class for the office would be more fun. Sue, Grace, and I had gone before, so I gave her the number. It was great- we made pumpkin dumplings (although none of us designers actually seemed to follow the chef's rules!), egg rolls, sweet and sour beef, stir fired veggies, and much more. It was a great time, although a little hot inside.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The culture around massages is pretty casual, and sometimes Friday night outings forgo trips to the bar and get foot massages instead. The masseuses here know my voice and call me the "American Chinese girl" which is fine by me. They have talking watches that they press to figure out how much time is left.
I pulled something in my back a few weeks ago playing tennis. I didn't think twice and went to get a back massage an hour later. This sort of ubiquity and ease is something I'll definitely miss in the States.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
The funny thing about these government receipts is that, to encourage customers to ask for them, the fapiao comes with a "lottery scratch-off" portion. You can win (I've heard) up to 500 RMB ($73). I haven't won anything yet, but if you do get something, then you can collect it from the actual store/restaurant right there.
Some places, like taxis, will give fapiao/receipt in one. Other places, you must ask for the fapiao separately. I've also heard of people buying fake fapiao, so if that's the case, what's the point?!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
When I got back to Shanghai, we had to stay on the plane an extra 45 minutes as the guys in hazmat suits tested everyone's temperature with an infra-red gun. (China is still overly concerned about H1N1... or maybe it's all just an excuse to lock certain people away for a bit) Not the most welcoming gesture, and I think my temperature rose .4 degrees just being worried if I'd pass. whew! no one was quarantined on the flight.
Monday, June 15, 2009
I know the newspapers aren't doing so well in the States, but in China, people communally read them like this guy on his bike. It's a nice way to save paper and discuss with others about the news. They are all around on public streets.
The summer heat is already starting, and with it comes pajamas. Yes, for some odd reason in Shanghai people wear pajamas in the summer, in public, and go about their daily activities in this attire. Like this couple here.
More so in the local streets, you'll see people gathering around to watch a game of cards, chess, or majiang.
There are no bikes at this "bike parking lot" but I like that the city has these all around .
Also, most Chinese don't like to get too tan from the sun. I'll have to wait and snap a picture of all the ladies and their umbrellas, but at some crosswalks, they will have shades that people crowd under.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Christine from work had an event in QingDao last Monday and invited me to come up with her on Sunday to tour that city. The tickets were affordable (about $100) and it was only an hour flight away so, sure! You may have heard of this city in another Romanization- TsingTao- yes, the beer! QingDao is halfway between Beijing and Shanghai and is close to the ocean. It's hilly, has a lot of hiking in the LaoShan mountains, and has clean air; I think I read an article how it is similar to Northern California, maybe that's why I liked it.
We got there late Sat night and stayed at a "local" hotel. I tend to bucket hotels into this category if they have a call-girl call around 10pm at night. I swear... Anyway, the next morning we drove an hour to Lao Shan, took a cable car, and hiked up a trail. From my experience with Chinese hiking so far though, it is nothing like the west. Besides the fact that people wear high heels and tight jeans, the main path is always paved. Oh, and I forgot to mention the amout of vendors selling the most random of things all along the path, shouting, annoying you... I felt like I was at Disney going up a path waiting for a rollercoaster ride. Not until the very top did we ask a local if there were any "offbeaten" tracks and she pointed for us to climb some boulders. So, we did, and that was one of the best experiences as we sought out a path and walked awhile to get a great view of the mountains.
After that, our taxi driver drove us to a beachy area and we had some fresh fish and walked along the ocean. We also helped a bunch of people look for crabs that were hiding beneath rocks.
In the afternoon we went to the TsingTao factory and did our own leisurely tour of the place. Germans had originally started the factory in early 1900s and there was a huge German community living here then. The factory was on "QingDao Beer street" and you could see vendors with numerous kegs sitting around selling beer by the plastic bag. They would give you a bag, and you could fill it up as you liked, and then they'd weigh it and give you a straw! My bag 'o beer cost me 20 cents. And it was cold and fresh- very awesome. Afterwards we took a stroll around the city, got dinner, and then I headed back on a flight later that evening.