Monday, 25 August 2008

My First Day Out In Shanghai

7:40 am

Well, I’m glad I bought that umbrella yesterday. It wasn’t raining all morning. The moment I decide to go out and walk around guess what…RAIN! I walked to the Coffee Beanery, which is a coffee place really close to the school. You will not believe what I ordered for breakfast. A BAGEL WITH CREAM CHEESE. YUM! It’s not as good as the bagels in the good ole U S of A, but it is pretty good. I also got a cup of coffee. While I’m no expert, I think it tastes pretty good.

This place is obviously meant to make English speakers feel at home. There is a large book shelf in front of me that says “Book Exchange”. And it’s filled with books, many that are familiar. Dean Koontz, Danielle Steel, The Da Vinci Code, etc.

Sue told me this place has wifi, but my computer isn’t picking it up. I should really ask the waiter. I want to e-mail Lucy and Pete and let them know that I’m in Shanghai and that we should get together. And I want to post this entry before it becomes so long that no one will want to read it.

This place has mirrors to make it look bigger than it is. It’s working. I keep thinking I see someone else in here. It’s just me.

I asked the waiter and he said that there is wireless, but my computer can’t seem to recognize it. I wonder if I have to do something different to get Chinese wireless?

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1:30pm

After my coffee at the beanery, I decided to walk around. The faster I know the area near me, the faster I’ll feel at home. I was excited to find The Blue Frog, which is apparently a popular place for the foreign teachers at this school since they have Happy Hour until 8pm: Buy one cocktail get one free. So if someone says we should go there, I don’t have to ask anyone how to get there! I also found a nearby ATM for ICBC so I know where to go if I need cash.

Very close to the school is a tiny little market similar to a gas station market. I stopped in for a bottle of water and some tape. It looks like a useful place if I just need to pick up a few things. They even have the shampoo I like!

I found a restaurant that looks interesting. It was called Johnny Moo’s (or something like that). It said on the door they had free wifi and free refills on drinks. It was all western food, but dang it I want some internet! I will probably go there for a late lunch, get the cheapest thing on the menu, and hope and pray for wireless.

I wandered for a bit more. I saw another westerner and had this thrilling conversation.

Him: Good morning!

Me: Morning!

Him: It actually is a good morning, not like yesterday.

Me: Yeah, yesterday was much too hot.

I also had a run in with a Chinese man who decided it was important to tell me that I was very large. And not only was my stomach very large, but my arms as well. *Sigh* Maybe I’m not getting stared at so much for being white, but for being a gigantic white person. Hopefully this will not be the case for long.

I had made a circle around the school and it was raining pretty hard so I came back to my apartment. Water had indeed been delivered to the floor, so I grabbed a jug for my dispenser. I then proceeded to decorate with the national geographic pictures I used to decorate my dorm room for the past four years. As corny as it sounds, it’s nice to see a lot of familiar faces, even if they are people I’ve never met. I also hung up the few pictures I brought from home. I should have packed more. If anyone sends me mail/packages, please send pictures of yourself so I can have more smiling faces of friends and family!

I also finished unpacking. It feels a little more like home now since all my stuff is here. I took some pictures that I will post if I ever get to some internet.

As of now I am very hungry so I am going to swing back to that Johnny Moo place. Wish me internet or at very least a tasty meal!

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Well, it took some messing around, but I finally connected to some wireless at that Johnny Moo place. I also had a delicious late lunch of chicken fingers and cream of mushroom soup. It’s good to know that when I crave some food from home they actually have pretty good stuff in the area. Once the school cafeteria opens, I plan on eating there a lot. Mostly because it’s so cheap! In the teacher’s handbook it said I get lunch free, breakfast is 2 yuan and dinner is 6 yuan! My soup alone at this place cost 14 yuan. Sue did warn me that this was an expensive area.

I can’t seem to get onto Livejournal, though I can get onto everything else I’ve tried. *sigh*

I e-mailed Pete about arriving and gave him my number. A few minutes later he called! Apparently I live close by to where he used to live, so hopefully I’ll have a visitor tonight!

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Well, I did a quick look online and it seems that livejournal is banned in China. Some sort of censorship thing. If I can’t find a proxy to use, I’ll need to start a journal on another blog site. Ah well. I posted pictures of my apartment on facebook, I’ll try to send the link out or post it on whatever journal I end up using.

Lucy ended up texting me last night too. She understood how tired I was and said we would get together once I was rested up. I also texted Pete back saying maybe hanging out last night would be a bad idea since I was still so jet lagged. We have plans to get together for dinner tonight instead.

I had to absolutely FORCE myself to stay awake until 9pm. Little by little I am adjusting to this time zone!

2 comments:

Allison said...

for the guy who made the 'gigantic' comment: sprof is a powerhouse. do not mess with the sprof.

Stephanie in Shanghai said...

:-)