Oct 272003

See more pictures from the weekend in the gallery.

Friday: Ate dinner at a new, closer Xinjiang restaurant. We ordered Xinjiang vegetable dish and Xinjiang Chow Mien. Then we found out that the vegtable dish is composed of the same ingredients found in the Chow Mein – cabbage, tomatoes, big onion chunks, green peppers, MaLaTofu spices, and pepers. Haga had to leave half way through the meal because of her stomach problems, so I ate to much. Later that night, I went out to a bar street alone and went into the most Chinese of bars on the street (meaning: fewer foreigners and foreigner specialized prostitutes, more citizens). Sat at a table with a young couple on their first date. Because they allowed me to sit at their table, I had to be the purse watcher when they went to dance on the floor. The bar was so full that I couldn’t move. There wasn’t really a dance-floor per see…just people dancing between tables. The band was pretty good. The girl singer dressed really innocent (sweeter, jeans) and sang Brittney, Shania, that defunct UK girl-power stupid band, Joan Jet, and Shakira. The guy singers made their voice rusty and sank blues, Ricky Martin, and that Achy Breaky Slock song. Glow sticks were thrown out, and I decided I didn’t stand out enough, so I laced the sticks into my army boots. I am cool.

Saturday: Start off with a breakfast of hand-made flat-noodle beef soup. Walked about 2 miles to the above-ground subway. Took the subway south 4 stops. Went to Ikea. Nothing to tell here. Its just like the Ikea in Oakland, except no black people.

Walked to the football stadium. Passed the Shanghai extreme sports park. Bunch of kids skateboarding on ramps. Everything in China starts to get a drab luster very quickly if it’s not maintained/cleaned. Somehow this industrial drab look is most suited to a ramp park.

Entered the New Stadium Hotel cafe. Ordered coffee and cake. Yelled at waitress because the cafe charges a 15% service fee and I didn’t see any good service. Plus, the coffee was outrageously expensive.

Entered the Stadium. Watched the Shanghai Internationals play against the [city unknown] National Power football (that’s soccer for Americans). We sat in the second-to-cheapest seats. Most of the spectators sat in the better sections. The team supporters sat at field level. They stood the entire game, wore uniforms, and banged drums the entire game. There were not that many people there overall…maybe 5000 or less. The opposing team (National Power) had a cheerleading team. But they stayed on the other side of the stadium (which was empty), so I couldn’t get a good look. I fell asleep for about 20 minutes in the second half. Shanghai Internationals won with about 2 minutes left in the game.

Took taxi back to our area. Went to a Chicken specialty restaurant. Ate chopped chicken in vinigar with stir-fried rice and greens.

Went home. If I wanted to buy more pirated DVDs, I would buy: The 12-disk set of all movies by the guy who made Princes Mononoke / Spirited Away / Noriska / Laputa / etc. (its all the same story anyway); Malibu’s Most Wanted (hey…its only $1…and I can later give it to people with lesser taste in movies…someone who’s name starts with L or M); Shanghai Knights; a Chinese movie called “Millennium Mambo”, a Chinese movie called “Heroic Duo”; and Lumpan – Castle of Count Cagliostro (another Japanese anamie).


I think Haga should write more about this because she had a unique perspective, but here is the outline.

Got up at 6:30. Got in a taxi to the downtown Ritz-Carlton. Met up with a bunch of other foreigners. Got in a shared taxi, which we took to someplace north. Got on a speed boat with 35 other foreigners. Arrived at what I was told was an island. Took another Taxi for 20 minutes to the Chongming National Forest. Rented a tandem bike. First tried Haga in front. Then realized it would be best with me in front. Had a blast riding around on concrete trails of the forest (estimated dimensions: 1 mile square) . We didn’t rent any horse rides because the horses just go around a circle in a corral. But riding around the lakes and geometrically aligned forest trees was fun. Rented BBQ sets. No-one was taking control of the BBQ, so I stepped in. Talked alot with a bunch of alcoholic foreigner with interesting backgrounds. I inhaled a lot of smoke from the BBQ and then I got sick. I now have the Black Lung…you know…the disease that miners get.

 Posted by at 2:53 pm

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