Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 1 and part of Day 2 in China

Our first official day in Shaghai. We both woke up at 5am and by the end of the night were dragging ourselves back to the apartment. After waking up, we chilled at the apartment for a while until about 10 trying to figure out what we wanted to do. We went up to the roof of the building to look out over the city. It's 16 stories high. We could see all aorund us, all the really tall buildings in the downtown area. After spending a few minutes on the roof taking pictures, we went down to the street and walked around a few blocks to see waht was around the area. Jennifer and Kenny have everything they need at their doorstep. The school where they work is across the street, there is a grocery store e on the corner with a fruit market, and a really good restaurant where they always eat. We met Jennifer and Kenny for lunch at the restaurant - so good! We had lemon chicken, soy beans, spicey potatoes, kung pow chicken, and rice. Then we went to their school and Jennifer showed us around. They are in a high security alert and the guard at the gate just turned his head as we walked through - real safe. We stayed and met some of the other teachers and then played with one of Jennifer's kindergarten classes. She is their English teacher. Her kids were adorable. Kenny teaches 5th grade social studies. We came back to the apt and rested for about an hour, and then Jennifer taught me how to ride her awesome pink scooter with a zebra striped seat cover. When Kenny got home we rode the subway to downtown where the Pearl Tower is. They have really fixed up the city for the World Expo. We got to downtown before the sun set so we were able t osee it in the day and then at night all lit up. We alked along the river and rode the ferry to the other side and made our way to the Walking Street. Thousands of people were all over. It was the China we were expecting. so different from where J&K live. We were attacked by all kinds of vendors selling cheap knockoffs, lasers, and rollerskates. We got so many stares and people were trying to take our pictures as we walked by. We ate at a noodle restaurant which was also really good. We were exhausted from waking up so early and walking so far. We rode the subway home and collapsed into bed. It was a beautiful day to see the city.

Day 2: We started the day by waking up around 7:30, watching the newest episode of Lost via their Slingbox account, and then got ready for our new day. Since we learned the subway system yesterday, we decided to go see more of the city and do some shopping. Daniel and I were both in need of sunglasses so we stopped at "the fake market" to find some. We bough Ray Bans for about $5 each. Not necessarily a great deal, but considering the asking price was about $17/pair we thought pretty good of it. Hundred of little kiosks are just inside the subway system and each store has pretty much the same thing. So many times we heard "hey, lady bags for you," "a watch for you, man," "pretty jewels for lady," "cheap shirts, your size," "we have good deal." We just laughed and kept saying "no thank you." It was ridiculous. We will be going back when we have seen more of thef city and know what money we have left - they had awesome purses, jewely, and "name brand" jackets. We left the subway system to see what was at the top of the Century Ave stop and were bombarded again by men and women with little cards of pictures of things they wanted to sell us. Shanghai has some beautiful buildings and landscape designs. We really enjoyed looking around the square. We got back on the subway and rode to the Pearl Tower stop. They have built an above ground walkway around a roundabout for the Expo (again, making Shanghai look better with flowers and new toys). Great place to take pictures in front of the Pearl Tower. On the corner acroos from the tower is a 10 story mall. It's called the Super Brand Mall. Biggest mall I've ever been in. They had 2 floors just dedicated to food. We walked each of the floors and stopped at a DQ to get a blizzard. We're suckers for ice cream. their ice cream is a lot different - less sweet and more fluffy, but still very good. It was a fun day of exploring the city. Tonight we will go eat with J&K's friends who work at the university and we'll find out how we can help them. I'm starting to feel more comfortable in China than I was. Still don't know the language, but we're learning how to get around that. We successfully ordered food and paid for it, so that's a start. :)

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