JingAn Temple - I took these pictures from outside, wanted to go in when i had a friends with me.
It is now feb 2nd. Today I am home with a sore throat, and withought having to consult a thermometers findings a fever. Despite the frequent colds, and sore throats from adjusting to the Shanghai Weather and germs. I LOVE IT HERE.
I always thought it was a waste to go to work all week, and wait for friday to see your friends and go to a restaurant where you are doing math all while ordering about how much money you can spend over the weekend, and what main dish can you afford and still be able to get one of the delicious deserts or martinis on the menu. Enter shanghai. You can get anything at anyprice. If you have been here for less than 3weeks, and dont have a expat or local helping you (beware this can be a setup too), you are paying too much for everything.
Still JingAn Temple
But with a little experience under my belt a stolen cell phone, stolen money, fake jade, and a lot of taxi rip offs im learning.
My lessons have helped me enjoy my weekends, staying out until 7am, spending as little or as much as i like. My lessons have got me chinese lessons 2x per week, calligraphy lessons 1x a week and after chinese new year I will be adding tai chi and fencing to the list. Cant wait! I think about the subcinema tuesdays at dada bar where they have really great movies, free popcorn and ice cream and very reasonable drinks. 35-50rmb. I think of the hip hop bars which I was afraid would not exist out of ignorance before i arrived. I think of the amazing chinese soups that I can eat for dinner every night for only 20-30RMB every night.
Across from JingAn Temple there is a really nice park, in this park there are quite a few rock formations like this. I actually saw alot more in forbidden city in beijing. But i believe this was the first of its kind that I saw.
(A small kitchen and a smaller fridge than I had in college have discouraged me from cooking). McDonalds which will deliver a single cheeseburger for no charge. The neighborhood movie man selling you all the latest 5yuan movies from US to keep me busy at home so i dont have to start at chinese soap operas. The City weekend which seems to anticipate my questions about living in shanghai and has helped me stay busy. The technology markets, the taikang lu's the xintandi's, the zhongshan parks, the Jing'An Temples. These are all the things that make life interesting in shanghai. Everyday is new, and different, and this is what life should be.
Chinese New Years is coming up and my company closes for one full week.
Jing'An Temple Park
One full week with no work, and i dont have to take vacation for this. Amazing. Of course I couldnt resist extending and have choosen to visit thailand for the new years. I never thought i could just decide to go somewhere like this. I couldnt decide where to go at first because I felt like I could go anywhere in the world with 1 week off. I almost ended up having to stay here because I couldnt decide. My friends helped me decide to go to thailand, rather than tibet. But believe me I will make it to tibet one day. There is a photography studio on taikang lu that has beautiful photos from tibet and I will see it one day. There is something about it that is just special, even in photos, even in the history.
Playing tennis at Peoples Square, apparently this was to promote this bag that the tennis ball was tied too like paddle ball. Its a clever idea but way to expensive.
For now its the beautiful beaches of Ko PhiPhi, and Phuket. Monkey Island, Hotels on stilts, amazing thai food. And hopefully ill get to experience alot of water sports for the first time. Snorkeling, Jet skiiing, parasailing, who knows. These are things that i never thought id get the chance to do.
At christmas when I went to the great wall. At the ming tombs, I could barely focus with anticipation to go to the great wall. I was so excited walking the path to walk to the location where you actually begin to climb the wall. I passed stores, and tourists who were not able to make the trek and stayed at the bottom. I passed plaques and took pictures, and proceeded to climb a set of stairs that were probably to my knee.
Great Wall View
The stairs were in what appeared to be a doorway, that looked like a tunnel leading to the sky. I focused on the trek ahead of me climbing about 10 stairs, bundled up in anything warm i had packed just for this day. As I reached the top of this stairwell, I looked out to see the top of the great wall. The same ones in all the pictures, the same one in my history books. At first I only saw how far I had to walk, and the stairs that were before me, after that I saw that THE Great Wall was prime territory for selling crap t-shirts, postcards at 10x the price listed on the back of the package, and a few talented artists who despite their talent were still ripping us off. I dont know what I expected but it wasnt this. I walked until I could walk no further, mostly at the prodding of my friend. At the end of our path the great wall was sealed closed and looking through the watch tower windows you could see the ruins of time, and nature.
So I guess heres the whole point of the blog, What happens once you reach "Your Great Wall"? When I find and strive to reach my next "Great Wall I look forward to sharing the journey.
A historical bridge in a HUGE clubbing/shopping area in beijing
So before my travels started i was determined to keep up on blogging, perhaps I should have started prior to leaving.
I have now been here in shanghai for about 2 months and am just starting this travel blog. To all my friends sorry for the delay. For the most part i am situated and day to day is perhaps not so exciting. I must admit that weekends are always quite interesting either because im meeting up with new friends, or im exploring a new area of shanghai. Up until now i havent organized my pictures but i guess dates arent really so important anyway. So please check out my blog every once in a while and I will post pictures of my adventures!
I only hope that my pictures will help you get to know a little bit of whwat its like in shanghai!
p.s. seperate blog coming for new years!
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