So this past Saturday I had two big things planned. One was the first ever Cuisine Festival and the second was meeting Lucy's Swiss boyfriend Andreas with some other friends for drinks. My day ended up being quite different from what I expected.
I left my apartment around 9am and stopped for a breakfast on the run at The Coffee Beanery. I met up with Lotus, her son (Jason), and her mother. We grabbed a cab and headed to the Cuisine Festival. We wanted to get there early so we could see everything. I thought for sure I would be there for a while. We arrived at 10:30 and I left at 1:30. It was rather a disappointment.
As soon as we arrived I bought pierogi because I was just so excited to see them in Shanghai. They were ok. Jason was funny and went and played on the bouncy house in the kids area and then ran up to hug HaiBao (the Shanghai Expo mascot which is freakin' EVERYWHERE).
I planned to take pictures of everything I tried but that fell through pretty quickly. The only thing I did take a picture of that I ate was this cupcake. Which was tasty.
I was mostly just dissapointed at how small the festival was. I did three trips around seeing every booth. The day wasn't a total waste. There was some interesting things to see like these terracotta warriors made of chocolate.
I also made a friend. I was sitting down and enjoying roast beef, mashed potatoes and a corona when another foreigner came up and asked if she could sit next to me. Her name is Bonnie and she comes from a large family in Alabama. Her husband is a pilot for a Chinese airline and she sells baked goods. We chatted for a while, then went and got gelatto and chatted some more. We exchanged info and I hope to meet up with her again. She was a lot of fun and we talked about random stuff like juggling and a puppets. We also laughed at the clowns.
After I felt like I had seen everything I wanted to see there, I left. I wasn't planning on getting together with Lucy et al until 9:30pm. That gave me a lot of time to kill. First I found a bench and read the City Weekend magazine I picked up at the festival from cover to cover. Then I just started walking down Nanjing Road. I ended up at a shopping center that had a movie theater. I figured, why not? I haven't been to a movie theater in China in a very long time and never have I negotiated one by myself.
I read the signs (which were all in Chinese), and ordered my ticket (in Chinese) and went and saw "This Is It" (in English...I have my limits. I did pay attention to the Chinese subtitles though). It was the only option they had that day in English. I was the only laowai in the theater which got me a few stares. Ah well. The movie was ok. Interesting enough. I thought it was funny that a lot of the people in the audience would clap after every song as though Michael Jackson was actually there performing. The girl sitting next to me got really into it and cried for the last 15 minutes or so.
After the movie I headed back out and walked some more. I ended up in People's Square. I figured I would sit and people watch. I took out my journal, planning on maybe writing something but instead ended up sketching (which I haven't done in a really long time). I ended up getting a lot of attention. It was really weird. I was just sitting on a bench sketching and trying to look as non-interesting as possible. A few people took pictures of me or what I was drawing, or sat half an inch away from me on the bench and stared at what I was doing. It's not even that good! What do you think?
I decided to get myself a little something quick to eat before drinking. I didn't want KFC, Starbucks, McDonald's, Subway or Pizza Hut...all popular choices on Nanjing Road. I walked down a small alley and found some places selling Chinese snacks. I got some shengqianbao (fried meat dumplings...this time with crab meat and pork), which was boiling hot when it arrived at my table and burnt the crap out of my tongue and lips but was totally worth it because it was so gosh darn tasty.
I walked a bit closer to the club we were going to meet at but after all of my procrastinating it was still early. Lucky for me I always have something to keep me occupied. I am currently reading "Son of a Witch" (the sequel to "Wicked"). I sat on a bench and read for a bit. I even waited a little bit after the appointed meeting time. I was still the first one there. Oh well.
Lucy and Andreas were the first to show up after me, followed by JJ, then Kevin and Peter and lastly Audrey and her new boyfriend Ryan (who is from Maine! I was surprised to meet a Maine-r).
We ended up staying for 4 hours. It was really a good time. Good conversation, good drinks (I had the Brendetta, a fruity rum drink). We were at Bed, a club I had been to once before. Instead of couches or chairs, Bed has...well...beds. Sorta. They are large flat cushioned platforms with a bunch of pillows. Because my flash is broken, like I mentioned before, I can't take pictures at night. But here is a picture from the last time I was at Bed just to show you what I mean:
Again, this picture isn't from this Saturday, but oddly enough this is in the same "bed" that we sat in this weekend. It was a good group of people to hang out with. We sang and talked and joked and laughed. I interviewed Andreas (mostly jokingly) to make sure he was good enough for Lucy. I think he passed. Here is an excerpt from our conversation:
Me: What is your favorite thing about Lucy?
Andreas: Ask me what my least favorite thing about her is.
Me: Ok...What is your least favorite thing about Lucy?
Andreas: She doesn't live in Switzerland.
We ended up leaving because the bar was closing and everybody went their seperate ways. I got home a little after 2am, meaning I was out wandering around for 17 hours. Long day!
Anyway, there is a real post for y'all. This whole posting everyday in November is totally not working.