Hello everyone!

It is 7/10/08 and 1:57am here in Shanghai. I am ahead in time, with the future! I bear both goodnews and badnews!
Good News! Blogspot is accessible in China!
Bad News! I can’t upload any photos yet until I get to Nanjing. But don’t worry, by the time I get to Nanjing tomorrow it will be today where you are reading it (I’m assuming Pacific time).
How confusing!
Edit: I’ve posted some photos now! 7/19/2008 7:39am in Pacific time and 10:38pm Nanjing time (China time)

Anyways! Yesterday, I spent around 16 hours traveling while taking an hour layover in Tokyo-Narita Airport. It was pretty cool to be in Tokyo, but I didn’t get to see any bento boxes. I did manage to have an alcoholic tasting apple jelly juice, made by Asahi (I will post ingredients on hererification, maybe for someone who can translate Japanese for me) and it was exquisite.
I arrived in Shanghai at night and promptly went to sleep upon settling in with my aunt and uncle.

Today I spent my first full day in China exploring Shanghai Puxi to Shanghai Pudong. Wow. So much traveling! I did some errands today (train tickets to Nanjing, uploading phone minutes and using a Shanghai traveling card: useful on subway, taxi and buses) and went with my uncle to fix his violin. We had noodles for lunch (I will post photos later) at a famous Shanghai noodle place after browsing a very crowded and enormous bookstore. We then went to a violin master to see if he could fix my uncle’s 100 yr old violin. Amazing! What a studio! And the violin itself is made from such exquisite wood (photos!). Then later in another store where my uncle tried out the electric violin, a family speaking French and Mandarin appeared.

Finally, went to visit a grandma of mine (not direct) and saw her antique Shanghai home. It’s located in the center of everything – by People’s Square in Shanghai, and yet it was so old. Super cute! (photos!) However, I had to use a toilet with no door…on the rooftop. The stairs were incredibly steep too! There were pets of all kinds in the building too, including a black parrot. I think it’s one of those who can speak really complex words.

Finally I went to visit a friend of mine at his work. His company is in the country side and the environment was so clean there. You can see the clouds! T_T! When you can see clouds in China, it means you are in a rural district. So, after work I took the company shuttle with his friend/coworker and rode a bike from his family’s house to a noodle place called Valota, which is a Taiwanese noodle restaurant my friend and his friend meets at every Wednesday for dinner. Today was a Wednesday, so I got a special treat! Riding the bike through the country side was so free-feeling! A little bit of risk, adventure and freedom at once! I really wore an outfit unfit for
biking (a skirt, a purse, and sandals) but made it through nevertheless.

How incredibly beautiful was the ride, that I forgot to take photos! It was just so much better to live it than to worry about sharing it :-p. That’s how much I enjoyed it.

Finally, my friend Lei took me with him to the Science and Technology Museum where there’s supposed to be a giant imitation mall at the subway station. It was too late, since it was 8pm, so all the stores were closed but we met his friend Roger instead. Roger’s father drove us around Pudong for the night view. Absolutely beautiful. You might not be able to see the stars as you would have near where Lei worked, but the imitation stars were well lit indeed. Impressive skyscrapers everywhere you turned! (Photos!)

Then as a finishing touch, I boarded the subway alone to go home. Pretty much like riding the BART, except everything is in Chinese and British English.

That concludes my day, and I am exhausted to no end. Goodnight!

P.S. How to speak Shanghainese 101…or tell someone you don’t. And then some bargaining basics before you go about revealing your true inability!
1. “Uoooh tin ye tin bu dong” = I don’t understand
2. “Ge nane mai?” = Equivalent of the French “combien?”
3. “Teh Jue le” = Too expensive!
4. “Bian nidi” = Lower the price a little