Maori at the Expo

The Maori are the indigenious people of New Zealand. at the New Zealand pavillion at the Expo, they are performing the Kapa Haka several times a day. I was only at the expo for a short time, but managed to catch part of the show. Suzy and I took 15 Maori on a shopping tour; it was awesome to hear about their traditions of tattooing. I’m looking forward to going back to the pavillion to see their entire performance!

Dragon Dance Ceremony

This is one of the most interesting things to watch!  The dragons dance all around, jump up on their hind legs, and are fed and get eyes painted on.  Very interesting!

Glasses Market has Moved

The glasses market moved slightly.  It is now in the South Square of the Railway Station.  (The old, north station; NOT the new South Station.)  It’s on the 5th floor of the building.  Take exit 1 or 2 out of metro Line 1 and you’ll be right there.

I purchased two pairs of glasses and prescription motorcycle goggles for Jon’s brother before we came home.  Jon also got a few new pairs so he can switch it up a bit.  Glasses are between 100 to 150 RMB.  They’ll measure the curve of your eyes, the thickness of your current prescription, and also do an eye test to make sure you have the right prescription.

At the Bank

IMG_4559 What a nice service the Bank of China offers….  Next to the forms there is a pair of reading glasses tied next to the pen just in case you’ve forgotten yours.

(click to make the photo bigger.)

Printing at the Photo Mall

The printing and framing section of the Photography Market has moved to a new location, just behind the building where the equipment is located at.


You can walk through the main entrance of the equipment building, and go out the back right corner.  You can also pull right up to it… look for the above sign.


The new entrance to building B.

IMG_4645I had this photo printed on canvas for Shane and Bonnie’s living room.  It’s big – the bed is king-sized so you can get an idea of the scale.  It cost just 140 RMB ($20) to have it printed and stretched across the wooden frame.


Last weekend we went to the SWFC (Shanghai World Financial Center, aka the Bottle Opener) with our Couch Surfers Marion and George. Unfortunately we enjoyed our meal at DaMarco a little too long, and the lights of the Jin Mao and Pearl TV Tower were already turned off. Be sure to arrive there well before 10:00 if you go at night!

Solar Eclipse

It was raining for the eclipse, so we couldn’t see the sun at all. We also couldn’t see the shadow falling across the city. However, it was pretty cool to see the city plunge into darkness at 9:36 for over 5 minutes.

Here is a time lapse I took of the eclipse.

Solar Eclipse in Shanghai, July 22, 2009 from Emily Minor on Vimeo.

The story behind Haibao

Haibao is the mascot for the upcoming world Expo in 2010. We always though he was just a cheesey cartoon character. However, at the Urban Planning Museum, we did find out he has a somewhat interesting story.

Haibao is in the shape of the Chinese character for “people.” The ocean blue color reflects the robust dynamism of China and the ocean-sized bosom of the Chinese people who embrace the whole world.

I particularly like the “ocean-sized bosom” part. (So many slogans or captions here are just too much.) Feel free to read the whole text in the photo below.

The Urban Planning Museum

The Urban Planning Museum has been on our to-do in Shanghai list for a couple years. When Bettina said she’d like to go, we decided to join her and cross it off that list!

It seems to be open every day until 6 PM. Different websites say different things, but the official site says 6 PM. (The official English site doesn’t work.) If you exit the subway at People’s Square from Exit #3, on line 1 or 8, you are at the base of the museum.

The whole museum had lots of interactive LCD displays, backlit info panels, and models for everything.

One annoying thing was that many titles had English translations, but none of the body of the text was translated! (This annoys me about magazines too. They’ll have Chinese and English titles on the cover, but only Chinese inside.)

The model of the inner city of Shanghai is a highlight. It’s very cool. This photo was taken from the 3rd floor, looking down at it.

See the building that is taller than the WFC (the bottle opener)? They are just beginning construction on it, so it’s a bit strange that it’s already in the model. Online, it says that the “clear plastic models” are planned buildings, but I didn’t see anything in the museum mentioning that.

This is what the exhibition grounds for the World Expo in 2010 will look like.

These are our apartment buildings, but they look nothing like the actual buildings do! The roof has nothing like that, same with the round holes in the sides.

One cool part was on floor MF (between 1F and 2F). There were many old photos of Shanghai. Two LCD screens had simultaneous photos of Shanghai, taken from the same viewpoint, but years apart.

Storming in Shanghai

Right after the boat turned around, the storm started rolling in. It came in quick and made everything very dark and spooky.

It looks like a set from a movie set in the future!

About 10 seconds after I took this photo, the Pearl Tower was hit by lightning. The streak was white hot and probably the thickest lightning bolt I’ve ever seen. For a minute I wondered if it really hit it, but another American guy saw it strike it too. I did not want to be on the water then.

I took a ton more photos, trying to capture some lighting but failed. Silly me, I should have just turned on the HD video part of my camera and could have gotten something cool that way! I forget I have that feature now.

Huangpu River Cruise

Last Saturday, our Couchsurfer Sonja went on a river cruise with one of her friends, and I also joined them. I’ve never done this in the two years we’ve lived in Shanghai, so it was about time I did. It cost 50 RMB for about an hour on the boat.

The Bund is all torn up. You can no longer walk along the river (which I didn’t know. Oops.) Normally, you’d see crowds of people here, all taking a photo of their self with the Pearl Tower in the background.

This is a view of the IFC and Jin Mao that you don’t see often.

Hotel Equipment Store

I think this is one of Shanghai’s best-kept secrets as to where to find Western kitchen things! If only I’d have known to go here when we first moved to Shanghai, instead of buying everything at IKEA. *sigh*

This store has everything, and you don’t have to buy 20 of everything. Anything you can imagine needing in a hotel, restaurant, or bar – it’s here. Fake fruit, napkins, tablecloths, glasses, silverware, serving utensils, massive refrigerators, sinks, ovens, those big gas outdoor patio heaters, bells to ring for service… it’s all here and inexpensive. Three floors of fun! (The 2nd to 4th floor, in case you notice the 4F sign further down.)

Address: 345 Aomen Lu, near Jiangning Lu

Claire and Bonnie have a custom baking business called “Sweet Bon-O-Mine.” They are expanding and looking for a small, inexpensive kitchen space – let me know if you have any guanxi to find this!

Bakeware… I’m going to have to come back and get some casserole dishes.

The 4th floor is where to find all of those baking supplies you can’t find in Shanghai. Including cookie cutters, icing decorating bags and tips, pans, molds, rolling pins, etc.

I just love Lock’n’Lock containers. I bought this size of container at Tesco and it was about 80 RMB. Here it was 28 RMB!!!

Look, even a wedding gift set. If only I had more cupboard space.

Ever wonder where the bars get hundreds of dice for the dice games? Neither did I. But, apparently they buy them here!

Happy customers!

50 Moganshan Lu

Moganshan is Shanghai’s art district and filled with galleries and artists’ studios. It’s the only place in Shanghai where there is graffiti.

Longhua Cemetery of Revolutionary Martyrs 龙华烈士陵园

Sunday we went geocaching at the Longhua Cemetery of Revolutionary Martyrs. We spent a lot of time looking for the cache, due to the fact that I’d downloaded the coordinates several months ago and then they moved the cache to a new location! Good thing for smartphones with internet capibility to confirm coordinates with the website. Because of that, we didn’t get to look around as much as we’d have liked to – maybe another time.

2887 Longhua Xi Lu, Xuhui near Kaixuan Nan Lu
龙华西路2887号 近凯旋南路

I’ve never seen a Chinese guy with such rippling muscles!

One of the things where we shake our heads and say “Only in China.” I’m sure the sign says something like “Don’t be stupid and walk off this ledge.”

Propaganda Poster Museum

Jon and I have been here before, but the posters get changed around and also we like to support this guy’s effort. It’s a personal collection of Propaganda Posters, most of which were supposed to be destroyed after the Cultural Revolution. It’s just 20 RMB for entrance to the tiny, two-room museum.

It’s a little hard to find. First, go to 868 Huashan Lu, near Fuxing Lu. 华山路868号, 近复兴西路 The guard will hand you a card with a little map on the back. You’ll go to the right (north?) side of the complex to Building B. Then, just go down one floor and to the left.

We usually buy something there. Last summer we bought this poster, and just now finally got around to getting it framed! You can buy an original English copy of the “Little Red Book” for 300 RMB. I didn’t realize that many copies were printed in other languages to spread Mao’s view on communism.

It was printed in 1968 and says: The Working Class Must Lead All The People


The Gorillapod is awesome. I’ve wanted one for a while but waited to order it until we were in the US. They have copies here, but they are nowhere near the quality. It neatly wraps around a pole or the legs adjust any way to create a sturdy tripod. Here Randy is using mine to take photos off the roof. He ordered one for himself the next day. :-)

Another good thing about the company is they offer eco-packaging. If you don’t need it to come in all that plastic, it is cheaper too!

Flat Stanley in Shanghai

Caleb’s 3rd grade class is doing their Flat Stanley project. Flat Stanley was waiting in our mailbox when we were in the US for so long, so we tried to take him a lot of places in a short amount of time.

Boots meets Flat Stanley.

Flat Stanley liked our view. He was surprised that he could see the pollution in Shanghai – he’d never seen anything like it back in South Dakota.

We took him to see the famous view of Pudong from the Bund.

Flat Stanley also got to ride the subway for the first time. He was glad they had the English name beside the Chinese name.

Flat Stanley on Nanjing Lu, which is similar to New York’s Times Square.

Flat Stanley and the Pearl TV Tower.

no tai chi

We wanted to get up early on Saturday to see Tai Chi being done at the Bund, but we didn’t actually want to get up early. So we left about 9 AM – and that is way too late too see Tai Chi! I think they say sunrise but that is about 5 AM. I like to sleep much more than that.

(Esther’s photos)


We took Esther to supper at Finestre her first night here. It has great food and a great view – we actually take all of our guests here.

Why Daktronics needs to be in China… check out ALL of the LED lighting! Buildings, boats, etc.

The Bund

more rooftop photos….

Esther saw my photos from the roof so wanted to take some of her own. That challenged me to get some better ones!


Today, Esther flew in! She took a 2 AM flight from Bangkok to Shanghai and I met her at the Maglev station. After relaxing a bit, we met Jon for lunch and then went to Qibao, an area that is like an old water town. It was a little bit touristy, but we only saw 4 other white people in about 3 hours so it was quite local.

One of the thousands of guys who bike around, constantly ringing a bell, to remind you to bring all of your recyclables to him.

Baby birds on a stick… yum.

We’ve been following the situation in Thailand, as Esther should be flying back there Sunday. However, with the state of emergency and such, maybe she’ll be staying a bit longer! Who knows. We certainly wouldn’t mind!

Check out her blog here.

Susan’s Pearls

At the Hongqiao Pearl City is a shop called Susan’s Pearls. We buy all of our pearls there and take all of our Dak guys there to buy pearls for their wifes, girlfriends, moms, etc. We actually are such good customers that we don’t have to bargain anymore. Jon S. took these photos to go along with the gifts.

If anyone needs any type of pearls, just email me! I would love to start a business exporting them. They are so inexpensive here and so valuable in the US.

Fisheye view from the roof

We went up to the roof to watch the sunset. It didn’t actually sink behind the buildings, but quite aways above them where the smog covered everything. The fisheye captures 180 degrees but distorts everything. It can have some cool effects.

Steve and Jon looking out to Zhongshan Park.

The guys were debating if they hit golf balls from the roof, could they land on the track at the girls’ school below? Things soon got into discussions of trajectory and such… engineers….

Construction site

We had a big storm with lots of lightning, and took about 80 photos with exposures of 30 seconds each, trying to get a shot with a lightning strike. Unfortunately it was pretty much just the lightning that lit up the whole sky. I do like the stars of light from this construction site though!

Another time lapse

Yet another one… I think maybe they are all too similar!
But I still really like the view of Shanghai from our balcony.

Harley-Davidson Shanghai

Chad needed to go to the Shanghai Harley-Davidson store to pick up gifts for his family. There are stores in Beijing, Qingdao and Shanghai.

Chad and Jon with the owner of the store. He pulled up on his bike just as we were leaving. He must have some REALLY good guanxi – bikes are actually illegal inside of Shanghai’s 3rd elevated road and have to be registered in Beijing.

We stumbled upon a park a couple blocks from the store so decided to check it out. It was a little strange – it didn’t seem like a Chinese park at all. Here we even got the whiff of freshly cut grass. That’s not something you experience very often in Shanghai.

The park was pretty much empty too – this is very unusual!

the Radisson Sky Bar

When Hanna and Henrik were here, we looked at the Radisson bar from the Le Meridian and thought it “looked pretty cool.” We decided to try it.

Upon arrival, we decided it wasn’t cool. There was a band from the Philippines, singing cheesy songs and doing bad dancing.

Chad and Jon hurrying to finish their drinks so we could leave. :-)

“Silver threads and golden needles…”

More dancing/singing madness…

This guy was great…. permed mullet, fanny pack, orange pants and what appeared to be a Wii guitar.

A bath on Nanjing Lu

I was a little surprised to see this guy taking a bath on Nanjing Lu. He was standing in his underwear and was using a hose in a planter to fill a red bucket, then dumping the water over himself. You can see anything on the streets here!

789 Nanjing Lu

Jon, Chad and I went to 789 Nanjing Lu on Friday night. It was a pretty clear night so we had a decent view. But, it wasn’t a very good atmosphere so we left after 1 drink.

Up on the roof

We went up to the roof so I could get a time lapse video of the sunset. I had to do the time laspe by hand because my laptop was dead. That sucked.

Inge’s photo – I really like the angle.

Another of Inge’s photo – good eye. I would have never thought to take photos of the dishes (all perfectly legal, I’m sure) but the it turned out well.

Zhongshan Park (I took this one.)

Jiangsu Lu is the street you can see (all of the orange-looking light.)


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