This is a German made piano that sells for over !,000,000 RMB about 1 60 thousand dollars. It was nice, but I like the Yamaha Grands better in case anyone is buying me an expensive Christmas present! This is taken in one of the many music stores on Jing Ling Lu.
\We see so many bikes here that were built in the 50s and 60’s and they are still operational. There are lots of businesses that do bike repairs on the street. For a dollar they repair your flat tire and send you on your way.
Note this is a handicap ramp for a wheel chair. They are often so steep you can’t get up or down them. This one is very interesting as it isn’t quite wide enough for the actual wheel chair. I have only seen one person in a wheel chair negotiate one of these ramps and he had 3 people to help him get up it. So much for independence.
I love reading the English signs here. You never know what you are going to get.
Christmas is here and we are working at getting into the Christmas spirit. It’s a little tough with only one day off, but we are having fun trying.
Our first step was taking our staff out for a great dinner at the Lost Heaven Restaurant. Harvey my boss generously offered to pay to invite the staff out for Christmas dinner. It was delicious. No wonder he has the reputation for being the only guy to work for over here. He is great with his staff.
Next we taught all of our students some Christmas carols and we took them singing to the local elementary school. They were a little hesitant at first, but when they saw the little kids light up when we all started singing they really got into it and did a good job. We went back to the school and had a little Christmas party and did what all good teachers do at Christmas. We showed a video. We watched the story of Rudolph with Burl Ives circa 1964. It was so strange to realize these kids have never seen this show.
Next Kim did some amazing Christmas baking. Amazing for three reasons. First good baking supplies are really hard to find over here, second, we don’t have an oven so baking in a toaster oven is an art form that does not come easy. No thermostat, just off or on. Finally they were amazing because that’s the way they tasted. Kim is just a champion of amazing. I highly recommend if you have to travel for a long time away from home you need to have a partner like my wife.
Finally, we were coming home from school. I was carrying my new guitar and a backpack with my computer and we waited for the the elevator. There was a little girl about 7-8 singing Jingle bells in the lobby. She was with her grand parents and had a great big smile on her face as she sang. So I joined in and started singing with her. Her eyes lit up and she was very excited that I knew all of the words to an English song she had learned at her school. I put down all of the bags and my guitar and opened up the guitar right there in the lobby and played Jingle a bells and sang. By that time there was about 6-7 people in the lobby and the elevator had arrived, but not one person got in the elevator. They waited until the song was over, they waited until I put my guitar in its case and the let Kim and I get in the elevator first. The little girl insisted on standing net to me with this huge grin on her face. Christmas spirit achieved and I have a new friend!
No new pictures this week because it’s been too cold to go frolicking about the city unless you are in a taxi. I do have some random weirdness to share with you.
Holidays. You probably know that schools have their holidays set for the next 5 – 10 years in advance. The are not changeable. We were told in Sept that we would get Christmas Day off and New Years Day as well. That was it. I put on my calendar and didn’t think anymore about it. Towards the middle of December they let us know there was some changes and we would get more days off but we had to work weekends etc. OK we are big boys we can accept that, then last week they changed it again. Here is the new schedule. Crazy but here it is. We get Tuesday Christmas Day off, then work Wed. Thurs. Fri and Saturday. We get Sun. Mon. (New Year’s Eve) Tues Wed and Thursday off. Then we must work straight from Friday for the next 8 days including the Saturday and Sunday. To be fair I was warned by others that this is common here, but until it actually happens you just don’t think about it. Hmmmmmm????
Chinese Gas Station. Sino Pec is the name of the gas station here in Shanghai. Not sure how much gas is. The pumps are all in Chinese. I love this gas station because it reminds me of Petro Can. Same design, same colour scheme, same convenience store where you pay. Just one small difference. In the little convenience store, they have a wonderful wine selection. What a great idea wine and beer at a gas station. Who knew????
That’s our log for the Christmas week. We love you all.
Bruce and Kim