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The Birthday Weekend

Hello Friends from around the World. 

It’s time again for another Random Weekend Blog.  It is beautiful and sunny here is Shanghai with temperatures up to 16-17 degrees.  We had a beautiful warm stretch in February and then it got cold again. We are hoping spring is here to stay now.  Shanghai is so much more beautiful and interesting when it is not cold outside. There are people out and many things to see and do.  Most of you know that Kim celebrated her birthday this week.  It was a very busy week but we are managing to stretch the celebrations out right to the week-end. On Wednesday we had Claudio Morelli (Anne Morelli’s husband) and Henry Contant here from the Ministry of Education to do our inspection.  They had to give us a thumb’s up so that our school is officially certified as a BC School.  This means our kids graduate and can get into Canadian and American universities easier because they have a BC Dogwood certificate instead of a Chinese High School leaving certificate.  We passed with flying colours with a number of special commendations.  More on that on another blog.  That evening we went out for a wonderful Chinese dinner courtesy of Mr. Tang our principal.  I had mentioned to the folks from the ministry that every time they did an inspection Kim or I had a birthday the following day (Our last inspection was Dec 3rd. Mr. Tang found out it was Kim’s birthday and immediately sent out for a cake.  While it looked delicious, we were so full from dinner, no one wanted any.  So we carted the cake home with us and brought it to school the next day to share with everyone.  Thursday evening was actually Kim’s birthday but she and I were exhausted so I cooked her a delicious beef tenderloin dinner with fresh veggies and mashed potatoes!  Friday night we decided to have a relaxing at home night and cooked up some BLT’s and watched the movie Alex Cross.  Kim was delighted to open her birthday card from her mom and dad (It had arrived at Christmas, as well as a package that was sent from Mary Anne and Boyd and Nolene, Joelle.  It was filled with some little chocolates, deoderant and Twizzler’s red licorice, which we are not able to buy here! Yummy! 

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Saturday we spent the day exploring more of the French Concession.  It seems every time we go there we are there at night and it’s hard to see what’s happening. The FC is an older area with less high rises and a lot of refurbished funky shops and restaurants to eat in.  This building here was built circa 1925.  

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I love this skinny apartment building.  Very old, but funky.  

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They were refurbishing the insides of this building.  We saw a bunch of people walking out of it when suddenly a gust of wind came up and blew whatever chemicals they were using into my face.  I coughed for about 5 minutes and my eyes went all red.  Not sure what it was but it was a heavy duty chemical!

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We saw this bride and groom trying to cross the street and were astounded to see what they were wearing.  The groom is wearing saddle shoes and the bride is going to the church in this shorty wedding dress.

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We recognize that this isn’t our taste in clothing, but we told her she looked very beautiful and she was happy to pose for us while we took a picture.  

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Not sure if this is where the wedding reception was going to be, but there was a beautiful spread laid out in the restaurant here.Image

 

 

This included these beautiful flowers hanging from a trellis entrance way.

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We get to meet a lot of people because we are pretty friendly and people are interested in meeting foreigners.  We met this lady and her mom.  We always are delighted whren they allow us to get a picture with them.

ImageThe FC has a very high population of ex-pats living there so we don’t get the stares as often as we do in Luwan area.   We wandered the streets for about 3 hours.  Oscar’s Pub is one of the many Ex-pat pubs.Image

The streets are beautiful and tree lined.  It was a great day for a walk.  We went into a piano bar and I got to play with two pianists who were studying at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. The girl was studying improvisational jazz and I certainly enjoyed playing with her.  The fellow was interested in Latin music.  We plan on going back one evening to play some music with them.  ImageThey have two lovely Yamaha pianos there to play.

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Here I am tickling the ivories!

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Just a little ways down from the Shanghai Breweries, a great pub in this neighbourhood, is this place.  We didn’t go inside but I get the sense it would be a really fun place to go!  

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Like Vancouver, Shanghai is filled with these dark little alleys.  There are two differences.  These alleys are much more narrow, I don’t feel safe walking the alleys in Vancouver.  

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Would you park your Audi in an alley in downtown Vancouver?

We ate out at a Greek restaurant and the food and the service was amazing! Image After dinner we met this hungry fellow begging for money.  We sat with him and helped him beg for some money,  gave him some cash and Kim gave him one of the breakfast pastries we had purchased for our Sunday breakfast.  We eat too much anyways!

Sunday we woke up about 9:00 and we are doing a bit of online grocery shopping and then going for our weekly Starbucks – Foot Massage treat!    Check below for our random photos!

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Strawberry season in Shanghai runs from December until May?  The strawberries are big, sweet and delicious.  Our fruit stand lady will not give a bad berry!  If they are going soft, she points this out and drops the price.  Image

I know lots of you are on vacation during Spring Break.  Yes we are very jealous.  We would love to be in Maui with our buddies the Trumleys.  So we did the next best thing.  We had a glass of red wine and shared a bag of these bad boys.  Sweet Maui Onion Potato chips (Made in Connecticut by the way)  

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This covered scooter is not too common here in Shanghai, but ever time I see one I can’t help but think if Fred Flintstone drove a motor scooter, this is what it would look like.

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We wanted to get the coffee and the free WIFI, but where was it?  Where?  Where? Where?…….Somewhere….

ImageYes, I’m singing and dancing in the rain with my hand made coat and my Van Gogh umbrella!Image

It is sunny, but still the smog persists.  We are waiting for the wind direction to change so we don’t get Beijing’s smoggy air!

 

 

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One comment on “The Birthday Weekend

  1. happy Birthday Kim – and Bruce I would park my audi in a Vancouver alley – if I had one 😉

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