Another week and we are back to work. The highlight of our week was certainly our massages. We have started to have both a weekly foot massage and also a hot oil body massage. They are both very relaxing and inexpensive.
Our two massage girls, Dong Ling and Shau Kwy know our bodies well enough that they massage the parts of our bodies that hurt with just the right pressure and speed. We are off for a foot massage and a Starbucks as our regular Sunday afternoon routine.
A massage is not just a massage for us, it’s a social time we spend talking with our friends and they always serve us fresh smoked almonds, fresh fruit and green tea.
At work, we are busy preparing for the Ministry Inspection Team who will visit us again. We are now at the status of a Candidate School after passing our last inspection with flying colours. We hope to be fully certified by the end of March. That means everyone of our students will have their own BC PEN Number. Wish us luck! Yesterday I took some stuff to the post office to mail to Canada and the USA, and on the way have to go over a ten lane road. (Zhoujiabang Lu) so I walk over the pedestrian bridge. There in the middle of a bridge are a man and wife selling underwear. It was pretty nice kind of silk stretchy stuff for only 20 RMB. So I bought two pairs. Here is their set-up.
You can get a sense of the busy traffic below them. We heard thru North American news outlets that there was some controversy about China doing some cyber hacking into major companies and helping themselves to some corporate secrets. They are all sorts of places here to buy fake watches, purses and clothing. While it seems to be illegal, everyone knows where to go to buy this stuff. There never seems to be a problem purchasing pirated videos, which come out sometimes even before the release in the theatres here. Stealing some company’s brand to promote your own product seems to be not only accepted but a common practice. In North America, this fellow below would have been hit with a cease and desist order within a week.
This fellow at our local market is giving away free samples of Lay’s Potato Chip’s new product. Chips that look like and (supposedly) taste like MacDonald’s french fries. So he dresses up like Ronald MacDonald. As far as I know, MacDonald’s has no affiliation with Lay’s Potato Chips. Nobody can do it like MacDonald’s can!
Kim and I had a soiree with 10 folks here in our little apartment. We invited over our two English teachers and all of the Chinese teachers involved in the BC program. They all spoke English, except for Miss Jo (center of the picture). Kim and I were nervous because we did not serve any Chinese food. All appies – all Canadian. They loved the food and ate lots. They showed up with gifts for us of tea, Chinese red wine, and a 3D Chinese opera picture. Hmmmm… All very, very interesting! The nice thing about hosting a party here was the clean up. The place is so small compared to our Poco home, we had the dishes done and the apartment clean in about 40 minutes and that’s including NO DISHWASHER!
Spring is trying to find it’s way into Shanghai. Our temperatures are bopping back and forth between 1-2 degrees at night as hot as 22 degrees during the day. As usual, there is little rain here, but recently our sunny days are looking like this because of the smog. We will be happier when the winds stop blowing from the North and we don’t get Beijing’s pollution.
Not sure what these guys were up to but they needed to adjust their load so they stop in the middle of one of the busiest roads in Shanghai, block one of the 8 lanes for 45 minutes, then go on their way. Just a little bit of honking!
That’s it for this week’s random blog! See you soon!
Bruce sand Kim