this is the archive for the ‘in shanghai’ category:


lupu bridge – sunday field trip

this has been on our to-do list for far too long. after yesterday’s rain, today the day seemed quite clear, we could see well into pudong from our balcony, so we decided to take the chance and venture to climb the lupu bridge. besides, the bus number 36 starts right outside our house and stops exactly on the base of the bridge. how’s that for convenience?

the entrance to the bridge will set you back 68 rmb, and you’ll be guided around by the young people who serve as staff here. they send you to an elevator to the bridge platform, and after that… stairs. lots of them, since this is the longest arch bridge in the world, according to wikipedia.

along the way, you’ll notice the construction frenzy on both sides of the river. expo 2010 is coming, and you can already see the china pavilion taking shape!

once you’re up on top… wow! you get a 360 degree view of the city that is just breathtaking. all the buildings in the distance, the sand carrier ships, the cranes, the cars speeding under your feet, and the crazy wind… it’s all worth it.


a cool field trip for a lazy sunday! will definitely climb it again in 2010, when (if) we return to shanghai for the expo, to see how the city has changed in the meantime.

wednesday night at the races

here they come!

Happy Valley Racecourse: It was first built in 1845 to provide horse racing for the British people in Hong Kong. Before it was built, the area was a swampland, but also the only flat ground suitable for horse racing on Hong Kong Island. To make way for the racecourse, Hong Kong Government prohibited rice growing by villages in the surrounding area. The first race ran in December 1846. Over the years, horse racing became more and more popular among the Chinese residents. (from wikipedia)

one of the highlights of hong kong was the happy valley horse races (how come lonely planet doesn’t mention them?!). tons of dressed up expats in the ground near the track, cheerfully socializing with beers in hand, discussing horses and jockey performances, while the stadium balconies were brimming with chinese people, carefully watching the screens and checking their notebooks and newspapers for guidance. despite the contrast in attitude, everyone seemed really into it – her majesty would be really proud!

for us newbies to the sport, it was great! the atmosphere was really enthusiastic, exploding into cheers during the race itself, and then relaxing again during the betting time, with lots of drinking and smaller events going on. we didn’t place any bets (the system is a bit tricky) but still had fun just immersing ourselves in this environment. in don’t miss it if you get the chance to go there!

claustrophobic?

a year and some months ago, this was the view from our tiny 1 bedroom apartment – the first we rented in shanghai. :)

on writing about china

digital watch has a very entertaining piece filled with advice to foreign journalists coming to china. what puns to avoid and all the things that have already been reported to exhaustion. a snippet:

You’re not really surprised to see how many Starbucks, KFCs, and McDonalds there are here, are you? Your readers won’t be either. If you have any sense, you’ll take full advantage of your time in Beijing and try out lots of the city’s excellent restaurants. There will be plenty to write about your culinary adventures without resort to “those exotic Chinese – they’ll eat anything” clichés. Yes, there are restaurants here that specialize in donkey meat and in pig faces, and even – gasp! – dog. Whoop-de-do.

you can read the rest here.

perhaps the portuguese folks at jornal de notícias could learn something from it?

(photo by sonyasonya on flickr)

suan nai… men kou.

this morning we were ejected out of bed by a phonecall.

to me, it sounded like the alarm was ringing and since it’s p.’s responsibility to turn it off, i muttered my plea for the extra snoozy time. he answered the phone, barely being able to speak, while a lady on the other side shoved chinese sentences on his ears. his “hello? do you speak english?” were met with more chinese, so he passed me the phone. confused and sleepy, i only got the words “suan nai” and “men kou” and it took me a while to shuffle my memory for those meanings.

errmm… wait… “yoghurt”… “doorway”? what?!

and then my brain must have jump-started. i jolted out of bed, dressed and ran to the door, where a smiling girl in a white lab coat was holding a box with 8 small yoghurt jars. our first yoghurt delivery had arrived and they sure came early!
we had breakfast as soon as i closed the door and the yoghurt (unsweetned, unflavored, plain and natural) was really yummy.

despite the rough wake call, what sticks out is all this spoiling convenience that characterizes our life in china. some days, it’s so surreal.