Elevator update: Ok, you may recall from a previous blog that we have 3 elevators and one is nick named the Tower of Terror. We also intimated that we were hoping that they would be inspected soon. Well, the elevators have finally been inspected. I am not sure what that entails, but we have noticed that the emergency phones inside the cars have been moved around. So I have decided we cannot live in a shadow of fear for the rest of time here so we have both been braving the occasional excursion up in the 3rd car of Schindler’s lifts.The first time I braved it alone. What normally takes under a minute to climb twenty stories seemed like hours. I swear that the guide wheels on this elevator are now square and as I ascended, the elevator creaked and groaned under the strain of one person in the car. I arrived at the 20th floor, the doors opened and I literally jumped out the second the door opened. My instincts were spot on. I no sooner leapt thru the opening and the doors quickly closed and the elevator quickly descended the great abyss. I had escaped without being trapped. Two days later I was waiting for the elevator. It was cleat that the Tower of Terror would be the first to arrive on the ground floor. I was getting ready to step in the car and press the 33rd floor to wait for the next car when a little old lady and her grand daughter arrived. I couldn’t let them go up in the elevator by themselves and more importantly I had a young person with strong lungs and fluent in Chinese, who could yell for help if we got trapped. We climbed in and they pressed the eleventh floor and me the twentieth. We arrived at the eleventh, the doors opened and immediately closed. As per the last time, the control lights all went out in the car and the elevator started going back down again. We kept pressing buttons but nothing would go on. The elevator descended to the first floor and the doors opened. The little girl pressed 11 and 20 and up we went again. This time the elevator stopped on the 11th floor and the doors opened wide and stayed open as they should. I got out too and waited for the next car. I was not going to chance getting stuck there again. Kim and I continue our avoidance techniques and remain safe.
Taxi to Nanyang Model High School. My buddy, Greg Corry is the principal of Nanyang Model High School. Nanmo, as they refer to it, is about 15 minutes away by cab. I had only been there once before and that was by subway. My Chinese is getting better and I knew it was located on Ling Ling road, so I grabbed a taxi and told the driver the name of the school and the street it was on in my best Chinese. Drivers will repeat where I want to go, I listen carefully and say yes or no until the driver understands. Usually that gets me where I want to go. As soon as I asked for Nanmo, the driver rattled something off in Chinese really quickly. I had no idea what he said so I repeated what I had said, telling him I wanted Nanmo on Ling Ling Road. He repeated the name of the school and said something else so I figured we were good. We set off in the correct direction, but after 20 minutes of driving I got the sense that we were not in Kansas any more. I started asking him where is Ling ling Road. He kept replying angrily and abruptly. Finally, we arrived at a school. There were no English signs on the school, but it wasn’t Nanmo. I had no idea where we were.
I got out of the cab and got the driver to wait because I was wondering if we had approached from the other side. Nothing looked familiar. I then called Greg and his Chinese speaking secretary got on the phone to explain where we needed to go. It turns out the driver had driven me to Nanmo Middle School because that is where Yao Ming, the famous NBA basketball player went to school. He assumed because I was white I wanted to see where he went to school. As soon as he talked to the secretary he looked at me and said Ahhhhhhhhh! Ling Ling Road. We set off and 20 minutes later. We arrived at Nanmo High School. The ride cost 40¥ instead of about 18¥. How do explain that you shouldn’t have to pay all that when it wasn’t my fault. Forty yuen is about seven bucks, I got to see Yao Ming’s middle school and did a nice tour of the French concession. I paid the bill, thanked him and life goes on. It’s Sunday morning and the skies are clearing and the sun is coming back. The weather forecast for the week is sunny, clear and cool. Temperatures will range from a low of six to a high of fourteen. It should be a nice week. Wish us both luck. The Ministry of Education is doing an inspection of the school on Monday. We hope to be certified soon. They will return in the Spring to ensure everything is up and running properly.Here are more pics of Shanghai to help tell our story.A grizzly bear at the Nature reserve. This fellow came right up to the bus and leaned on the doors.This probably the one thing that grosses Kim out so much. People spitting on the road, sidewalk, out their car windows etc. The young people all get it and this habit will be gone by the next generation.This is one of the many wonderful people that work at the fabric mart selling clothing etc. Doing business with her took about 45 minutes. 25 minutes to figure out what we wanted and another 20 minutes to agree on a price. It really is a fun process. Not once did she get angry or upset with me for haggling so long. When we finished we were both happy with the deal. (That means I probably paid too much)Yummy chicken, beef and pork kebobs from the street vendors.This fellow cooked us some delicious noodles for lunch. He also gave us a gyoza for a free sample. The nan bread is yummy too!This lady was selling fresh squeezed pomegranate juice for 2 bucks. Amazingly delicious.How about this delivery dude on the bicycle with all of the packages. The fellow in front of him works for Sherpas and delivers food from the restaurants.OK, It bothers me on the TV show, Hell’s Kitchen and it also bugs me here in China. If you are going to be a good cook, your money is your taste buds. So why would you smoke? These are the cooks in the restaurants on Dapuqiao after the lunch rush. There are about 15 of them. I am on the other side of the street using my telephoto lens. I got spotted and they weren’t too pleased. Kim and I made a quick get away.