This weekend was PACKED. I had about zero down time.
Friday night I went to a concert...sort of. The school had some free tickets to a rehearsal for a concert with a famous Japanese conductor. I headed over to Puxi with Zeno after work on friday and went to our seats. It was kind of cool since it was a rehearsal a lot of the performers in the orchestra were wearing street clothes and the conductor looked like he was wearing sweatpants. They played two main pieces, one by a composer I didn't know and one by Beethoven. I really missed hearing live classical music and they played very well. After the concert I went out to dinner with June and Luo (the principal of the high school). Friday night I cleaned my apartment so I would be ready for Heather's visit.
Saturday morning I went to work. Jane had asked me earlier in the week if I would mind helping to interview the candidates for next year's class. I agreed. I was in the office from about 8am to a little after noon interviewing the candidates and giving them scores. It was surprisingly exhausting. I had lunch with some coworkers and had a VERY short nap before I trekked for nearly two hours to get to Heather's hotel (it was further then I thought it was). We hung out at her hotel for a while catching up. She showed me her chainmail. Then she packed an overnight bag and we met up with Isabelle at the DongBei restuarant.
I took charge of ordering at dinner for once (I usually don't like making decisions). We got a variety of dumplings, a chinese style pancake, gubaorou (crispy sweet and sour pork), rice with millet, lamb kabobs, a vegetable dish with eggplant, peppers and potatoes and of course some Harbin beer. We also had candied apple dumplings for dessert.
After dinner we went back to my apartment to drop stuff off and then went out to the Cloud Nine Bar. The Cloud Nine Bar is on the 87th floor of the JinMao tower (seen below).
It was kinda cool to be so high up (you have to take THREE different elevators to get to the bar!) but it was otherwise unimpressive. The drinks were WICKED expensive. Heather got a can of coke that cost 60RMB. At Family Mart you can get a can of coke for about 3RMB. Yeesh. I figured I was there, I might as well get one of their specialty drinks. I got a "Unicorn" just so I could say I had a drink called a unicorn. It also sounded tasty since it had Bailey's and other deliciousness. It was not worth the price. At least now I have been to the Pearl Tower and the JinMao Tower. Now I just need to go to the Financial Center and I'll have the three giants of the Pudong skyline crossed of my "to do" list.
After that Heather and I walked to the river so we could see the Bund all lit up. Just when we were about to the river's edge we saw all the lights on the other side turn off. I was rather miffed. Heather seemed to be amused. We went back to my apartment and watched my X-Men Origins bootleg and went to bed.
Sunday morning I made us pancakes for breakfast (Heather is another friend that has been abroad for a long time so no one is allowed to judge us for enjoying a little western food!). After that we went to the Science and Technology museum. I have been to the mall under the museum MANY times. I have been to the subway stop outside the museum MANY time. I have been to the park next to the museum TWICE. This was my first time actually going into the museum. It was pretty interesting. I was very sad because they had listings for different I-MAX 4D shows. One was about PIRATES. And it was staring Leslie Nealson and Eric Idle. But it was only in Chinese. I probably would have gone to see it anyway if I was alone but I didn't want to make Heather sit and watch something she didn't understand at all.
We started with the "Animal Wing" which was stuffed animals in "lifelike poses".
We also walked through a fake rainforest.Here's me and Heather in front of a fake waterfall. We were both wearing Irish caps, which was funny. Tourist groups in China often wear the same color hats so they can find each other easier. So we were a tour group of two.I thought this was pretty cool, what your arm would look like if you just saw the veins and arteries and such.In the lobby there is a big whitish-gray sphere and I have no idea what it's purpose was. Heather decided it was "science" which made me crack up for about an hour. Here is Heather pointing at "science".After the museum we had some dinner. I got us some shengqianbao and xiaolongbao, some of my favorite Shanghai foods. Then Heather packed up her bag and we went to her hotel to drop off her bag with her group. Then we tried to get a taxi for a half hour so we could get to Shanghai Circus World.
It was awful. The rain was pouring down. We tried to get a taxi in front of the hotel and people kept shoving in front of us. We tried walking down the street and catching one at the corner but there were already a lot of people there trying to get taxis and even the ones with their lights on weren't stopping. I was slowly but surely turning into the grump. I HATE BEING LATE. It makes me so uncomfortable. I had booked us tickets for the show and the woman said to be there at 7pm to get the tickets in time for the show at 7:30. We arrived at the hotel at 6:40 and even if it had taken us 10 minutes to get a taxi we would have been fine since the circus was nearby. Instead it got later and later and later. It was after 7 and we were still standing in the rain with no taxi. I was feeling so angry and guilty. I thought for sure they were going to give our tickets away and we were going to miss the show the last night Heather was in Shanghai.
We finally got a taxi and ended up arriving at a minute or two after 7:30. We ran from the taxi to the door (we were in such a rush Heather left my umbrella in the taxi...oh well). Luckily our tickets were still on hold. We missed the very beginning of the show and got escorted to our seats in the dark.
It was the exact same show as I saw last time with Lucy, but I didn't mind going again. We got better seats this time and it was fun watching Heather's reactions especially since I knew what was coming up next.
After the show was done we headed out. There was an empty taxi driving by and I pounced immediately. We said some quick goodbyes and I sent her off back to her hotel. I realize now that I was a very fast goodbye for someone I hadn't seen in a year and might not see again for a long time, but I was just so excited to see an empty taxi. I didn't want Heather to have to wait in the rain for another 45 minutes. I took the subway back and walked for about a mile towards my apartment, trying to get a taxi the whole way. I finally got one.
I started writing this post yesterday so now my time sense is all messed up so I think I am going to wrap this up with picture proof that I am too tall for China. The sign says "Watch Your Head" and I am wedged underneath. Oh dear.