Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happening Place is Shanghai

So, things just keep happening :D

Yesterday felt soo full...I was sent off from home with little more than a page of scribbled instructions on where I lived (in Chinese), the promise of a rendesvous in 3-4 hours and directions on how to get to the waterfront and a 10storey set of shops. And I thought the Myer Centre was big.

Well, I did want to go shopping.

So I ambled down the street. Took a metric truckload of pics, including a few things that I thought that people just wouldn't fully comprehend (or even believe) if I just told them. Things like the movement of traffic rules to traffic guidelines - such as, beeping just means 'please don't dawdle', intersections are massive and can be a separate bit of road and is less governed by 'my car should go here' and more governed by 'my car should not occupy the same space as another car'.
Eventually, I got to the end of the main street. Construction got in my way, so I made a panic phone call and found out that I was lost exactly where I had to be. So I went to the waterfront, and spent a leisurely hour or so walking up and down what was essentially the equivalent to the walkway at Southbank. Y'know, with a greyer skyline and river.
I remembered what it was like to be a minor, short-term celebrity...there were what seemed to be several classes of primary school (or creche) students, and a whole slew of them were gawking at the tall foreigner who strode past...kinda funny to get no reaction from a wave :)

Then I returned to the shopping centre nearby. That 10 storey shopping centre. And I thought the four-storey Myer was big. I strolled through, checking out the clothes stores, and tried a particularly nice pair of trousers on.
I was underwhelmed when I didn't fit the XXL size.
Who the superlative has to get tailor-made casual trousers?!

Had a wonderful hot chocolate...as it turns out, I happened to stumble across a high-quality coffee place. And, wonderfully for me (disappointingly for Australia's standards as a technological nation), every coffee place has WiFi capabilities. Fan-tastic.

Went home, chilled for a little while, then went for a walk and saw some more of the sights. My back seriously hurts from wearing Trenchie. Had some beautiful Mandarin Fish, learnt that Chinese restaurants have table-wide meals, then went to the top of the Shanghai World Financial Centre. Incredible views that put the 'zing' in amazing.

It's kinda weird to be in a situation where I understand absolutely nothing of what's being said in the world around me. I've experienced that - and, bluntly, the whole 'foreigner' experience - before when I started going to the Greek services at church, but I've actually understood a bit of it in the past year or so, enough to at least track the conversation and laugh at the same time (although, I'm sure, due to very different things - I was probably laughing at my machine-like translation!), which makes going back to that kinda...weird. At least here, it makes sense.

Went home and went to sleep very quickly.

Today was a bit of an easier day - stayed home, did some research work, got an interview (ESL teacher - *fingers crossed for tomorrow*), experienced more cuisine...it's a sweet life, if I may borrow the phrase myself :)

The computer I'm currently using, while having a full-size keyboard, has some deficiencies, like reading SD cards...so I'm going to have to upload some photos separately. They are coming, though. They're coming.

1 comment:

Ian said...

Wow. Such adventures. Thanks for sharing, and in such glorious and vivid descriptions.

Prayers for the job. God bless.