This was a kinda crazy week. Monday and Tuesday mostly involved finishing up buying/making/packing/sending Christmas cards and packages. The rest of the week shall be done under headings to keep things organized.
Wednesday night I had to give my monthly test to my students during the evening class. I felt bad giving a test at night but it seemed to be the only time that worked. It went a little later that I had planned so I had to rush out of there since I had plans to meet someone. One of my students, Jackey, saw me biking off and RAN next to my bike just to chat with me on my way out. Hehe.
I met up with a knitter who lives pretty close by. We met up at Starbucks, which was remarkably like Starbucks in the USA. Most restaurant chains here are at least a little different than their American forefathers, but other than the Chinese words on the menu I felt like I was in a Starbucks back home. Her name is Fiona and she has had an interesting life. She was born in Scotland, lived in Minnesota, then met and married a man from Shanghai and now lives here with her two young boys. We talked about what we were doing here, how much we missed nature, and our knitting project. She is making a fair isle cardigan with a yolked neck. I really liked how it looked so far but I REALLY liked the yak hair scarf she was swearing. We made a promise to get together again sometime.
Thursday was another wine tasting. I was amused when I walked in and found that the seat I had sat in the last two times was left open. Yay! Tradition! This month it was South African wines. I think my favorite was the second white wine called Van Lovern. Mom, you should check it out. I think this month's wines were my favorite, but the food wasn't as good as before. Ah well. I stayed late and chatted. I gave one of the regulars a shoulder rub and she scratched my head. Ahh...human contact! Ron was there and we made some plans to get together before he has to be all responsible and go back to "graduate". Hrmph. I gave him a scarf I bought for him in Nanjing and he immediately put it on. Yay! I was lucky enough to get back in time to catch the last bus home at 11:30pm.
Friday was a kind of easy day at school. Some of the other teachers had taken some of my classes so I had an extra class with two groups. I didn't want to start something new so we played Balderdash instead. I thought it would be a fun game and a good way to teach them a few random words that they might run into that they didn't already know. Like jiffy and rendezvous and such. One group had a lot of fun with it, the other seemed bored. Bah.
There was no staff meeting on Friday so after my classes were done I went back to my apartment for a quick lunch and some cleaning. Then I went out shopping to get stuff to make a delicious dinner for me and Lucy. Originally I was thinking of making crab cake burgers, but then I remembered that Lucy had said in her opinion the main American food is sandwiches and that they were boring cuz they are always cold. So I made us hot chicken sandwiches. I flattened the chicken and then cooked it up in a little olive oil and spices with a melted piece of cheddar on top. Then I toasted the buns in the pan with some garlic and oil. I had tomatoes (for her. tomatoes are gross) and salad greens and honey dijon sauce. Oh it was so good. Lucy also loved it. Hours later when we were hanging out at a club she leaned in to me and said "I'm still thinking about that sandwich!". Ahaha. She said she would never be able to enjoy KFC again. That made me laugh.
I also whipped up a batch of rice krispie treats for dessert. Lucy gave me some ornaments for my tree and I gave her a bracelet I got in Nanjing. She also invited me over for dinner on Christmas Eve. She said she would make me some home cooked Chinese food. I am excited and also happy I won't be spending Christmas Even alone. Still no plans for Christmas, but we'll see.
After we finished eating we headed out to Xintiandi and met up with some friends of hers. I get the feeling that Lucy and I were crashing a party. We were there for all of 10 minutes when everyone headed out and onto a bus. The bus was loud and fun. After a short ride we ended up at the fancy pants club called Mint. Apparently you need to be a member to get in, but whatever group we were with went right in. The entrance was this long hallway with a big shark tank. There were people in skintight lycra suits in gold and silver posing on the speakers. The DJ was pretty good though. I shared a glass of champagne with Lucy and danced for a while. After a bit she asked if I wanted to go to a Jazz club.
The place was called JZ (I think). It seemed like a cool place when she gave me a tour, though it was PACKED. It had this lovely outside balcony that I would have loved to hang out on if it hadn't been so cold. We had mojitos and hung out with another friend of Lucy's. I chatted with some people with the standard "Where are you from...how long have you been here...what brings you to Shanghai?" I get annoyed because when people ask where I'm from I never seem to be able to answer correctly. If I say "America" they laugh at me and say America is a big place and what state am I from. If I say "Connecticut" I usually get a blank look (unless that person is from America too). I've taken to just saying I live "near New York".
I headed out pretty late and took the loooong cab ride back. I had to direct the cab driver once he got to my area. I like knowing my area well enough that I can give a cab driver directions.
Saturday I got up late. I did a little reading and cleaning and puttering around the internet. I headed over to Charlotte's for a foreign teacher party that she and her boyfriend were having. I didn't know the foreign teachers in my building were going so I took the subway by myself. Ugh. On line 8 there was puke in the subway car I was in. Luckily I only had to stay on for one stop.
We all ended up showing up at the same time. I brought the rest of the batch of rice krispie treats and everyone enjoyed them. A few people said they were hoping I was going to bring the tortilla roll up snacks I had made for the last party. I'm glad they remembered and liked them. We hung out for hours just snacking and talking and laughing and drinking. We played "Never have I ever", which is an interesting game to play with a bunch of world travelers. I took a cab back with Stephanie, Chris and Becky.
Today I seriously need to do my dishes. I don't think I have any clean silverware. Ugh. And I need to do laundry. And I need to correct my monthly test. This coming Friday I have a LOT due. My final exam, personal comments on all 60 of my students, my grades so far...
Anyway, that's catch up on my last week. Hope everyone is having a good time at home. I know Drew people and friends of mine in grad school are doing finals now. Good luck on those!