Sunday, September 9, 2012

Two steps forward, one step back...

We have had several frustrating weeks here.
Our internet connection has been unreliable at best.  We've had four different people come out and try to fix it, and it will work for a few hours than stop.  The last person told us that sometimes if you have more than one device using internet at the same time, they may all freeze up.  Well, that seemed to work.  We turned off the phones and iPads and the computer worked.
We have had a very, very strange smell coming from the master bath.  We thought it was the toilet, or drainage.  Different people, (including the landlord) told us to just air the rooms out and it would go away.  Finally, the plumber who came to plunge our toilet for the 2nd time, told me it was coming from the AC unit - and he was right.  Once all the AC in the master bedroom and bath are off, the smell went away.  The problem is that it is very, very hot.  I think something died in the air duct.  It seems that in China, it takes about four or five different repairmen to tell you nothing is wrong, until one agrees with you and a solution is finally reached.

Shopping in Shanghai
--It is LOUD 
BBQ pig snouts
People are constantly yelling - workers, shoppers, tinney loud speakers, very bad piped in music (usually The Carpenters for some reason)
Kids play/ride in the aisles with the toys for sale- basketballs, skates, bikes - especially at sporting goods stores
Stores like Carrefore (similar to Target or WalMart) are department stores that sell groceries.  They also sell imported items.  But the busiest parts of the store are the fish and meat sections.  The floors are always wet, and there are lots of live fish, turtles and shellfish in tanks.  The beef is usually too expensive for locals, but they purchase alot of offal (liver, kidneys, heads, bones) to cook with.  The locals buy most of fruits and veggies at the wet markets (outdoor stalls), but need to come here to buy proteins.  There are also overflowing bins of dried shrimp, mushrooms and seaweeds.
There are lots of people working in all the stores, almost one person per aisle, and they ask you if you need help finding anything.  In some places, they genuinely want to tell you which items are better than others.  They receive no commission, so they really seem to want to help.
--It is CHEAP
Other than imported or luxury items, the prices are very, very inexpensive.

Things I saw this week:
-Lots of different butterflies out after the rain - incredible different colors of lavender, orange, striped.
-Very, very strange underground bugs in our back yard.  I go to pick-up the dog poo and the poo is moving!  Bugs are underneath, coming up from the ground.  Dung beetles?  They're small and black, the size of a lentil.  Tremors anyone?
-A group of Western teenage boys, hanging out, came to our door looking for "Sophie" by mistake.  One said "Dude, you blew it going to the wrong house" - made me feel like I was at home

Walking path at Seasons Villas 


  1. Did you eat the pig snout? What's the wierdest thing any of you have eaten?
    Love hearing about your adventures!! XO-The Pearson's

  2. I miss Grand Oaks! Having awesome neighbors is such a rare thing! I have some friends here, but wish I could just let my hair down. Hope the Pearson family is doing great - I will take your advice and do a blog about what I ate. I told Maria to get rid of the blind man before I get back - you'll have to be her accomplice. - - Lucy