Time laspe from the roof

Fashion Friday from a fellow blogger

This is probably the best post on fashion I’ve seen. Don’t miss it!!

Propaganda Poster Museum

We also went to the Propaganda Poster Museum. It’s a private collection and we met the owner. A lot of the posters were destroyed right after the Cultural Revolution so it was pretty amazing to see so many posters from throughout so many years.

We bought this one – it’s a unique one because it is felt.

the Shanghai Aquarium

Today Inge, Jon and I got up fairly early and went to the Shanghai Aquarium. Unfortunately it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

There were thousands of people, and it is not the culture to stand back and let everyone have a look. Instead, everyone tries to push their way to the front to see. I guess the mentality is if you don’t fight for it, you won’t get it. Parents would throw their kids up against the glass for photos and bang on the glass (as the signs clearly forbid.) There were thousands of kids screaming with excitement – it was just a bit too much for us.

Sky in Shanghai

On Wednesday I saw tons of people taking photos in the street with their cell phones. A LOT of people. I looked up and saw a rainbow! Now, you’ll recall that almost none of my photos have a clear blue sky in them. Mostly, they are foggy or smoggy. So a rainbow was really special.

I couldn’t resist getting a photo of everyone else getting photos!

My co-worker Yvonne (she’s Shanghainese) said that she remembers seeing one other rainbow, when she was in elementary school. Just shows how special a rainbow in the Shanghai sky is!

Era – Shanghai Circus World

Last night we saw “Era” with Dan and Wendy. It was amazing!! It is an acrobat show similar to Cirque de Soleil but with a very Chinese style.

You aren’t supposed to take video, but you can find anything on YouTube.

These guys were amazing. Super flexible and they did about 3 different scenes that were amazing – the first one was like the West Side Story gangs.

This was the finale. It’s a Death Cage with eight motorcycles in it! When there were four motorcycles, they start crossing paths and we actually saw a wreck. Two collided and had to be taken out. The guys seemed OK but one of the motorcycles didn’t roll out. They promptly added two more and did the trick, then added two more so six circled all over (no crossing!) and then two more came in and circled at the bottom. Just crazy.

Glasses Market

I’d read about the glasses market a while ago and wanted to go, but we’d never made it there yet. Hanna had bought 2 pairs of glasses in Beijing and decided she wanted to look at some more, so we made our way there one afternoon. It is in the Railway Station Metro stop, exit 3 or 4. Glasses are about 150 RMB, or more if you want the expensive lenses.

There were thousands of choices from probably hundreds of vendors. You can either bring your prescription or have their person test you. They also have sunglasses and contacts, though Jon is quite dubious about the quality. (Remember the tainted and recalled contact solution in the US that was manufactured in China?) Hanna was quite happy with her glasses and the price was about 1/5th of what we’d expect in the West.

the Pearl TV Tower

Thursday it finally stopped raining for a while! Jon went to work while we went site seeing. We went to the Pearl TV Tower first.

On the right is the Jin Mao tower, and the taller tower is the World Financial Center.

There are 3 different levels of the TV tower you can go to. The lowest level even has a roller coaster in it.

The museum has a bunch of miniatures in it from different periods throughout Shanghai’s history.

The Bund Site-Seeing Tunnel (aka The Disco Tunnel) is a tunnel decorated with super-cheesy, migraine-inducing lights. It costs 40 RMB to go through, while the subway costs 3 RMB. However, it is right on the Bund while the subway forces you to walk back several blocks, so if you can afford it it is worth taking.

The classic view of the Pudong skyline.
(All Hanna’s photos, once again!)

View of Shanghai

I merged together about 5 photos Hanna took from the TV tower together. Click on the photo to see a large panorama of the view.

Roof-top dining over the Bund

Wednesday the weather cleared up a little so we decided we HAD to take advantage of that. Emily made reservations for Finestre, a restaurant on a roof-top terrace overlooking the Bund.

The atmosphere was the best of any place we’ve ever eaten in Shanghai. It may have been the company, the view, the food, the wine…. or most likely all of the above! We’ll definitely be going back sometime.

the Maglev

The Maglev (short for Magnetic Levitation) is the fastest train in the world. It connects the Pudong airport to Line 2 of the metro system. Jon and I take it to the airport whenever we don’t have much baggage because it is a lot faster than waiting in traffic, especially since our apartment is right on Line 2.

Besides being a convenient option to get to the airport for locals, it is a tourist attraction. I’ve never actually taken a photo of it, but Hanna and Henrik did…. They rode it during a rainy day. it was a good way to get out of the wetness.


I’m very sorry if you are in South Dakota right now, suffering through the blizzard! Here in Shanghai it is really nice. No-coat weather! Jon and I took a few walks this weekend.
This is a very common sight in summer. The guys just take a little nap whenever and where-ever they feel like it.
This is at Jing’An Park, which is just one subway stop down from our house. I’d never actually been in the park before.

Abram’s motorcycle

My co-worker Abram just bought a motorcycle with a sidecar. It’s a replica of one used by the military in Mao’s day. It’s pretty popular with foreigners – both Dan and Jon really want one! Yesterday we saw a whole family of foreigners on one. The dad was driving with one kid on the seat behind him, and the mom and baby were riding in the sidecar.
Jon S. and Abram.

Ning and Abram.


Wendy and Daniel came over on Friday night to have a few drinks and Wendy taught us all to play Mahjong. It was a lot of fun and I think we all managed to win one game so we were getting the hang of it. I’m sure we’ll be having a lot more game nights in the future.

Spring in Shanghai

It was nice enough today to just wear a sweatshirt. These row houses are right next to our apartment complex. They also taken all of the burlap wrapping off of the trees.

These things are cabbages! We noticed they were planted in winter, and for a few months they just sat there, in the ground, looking like cabbages. (It seemed a little strange to us to use cabbage as a decorative plant.) Now the tops have grown out a lot and they look fine.

More potato chip flavors – Stewed Eggplant and Fish with Onions! I am happy to report that they both taste good. Luckily, they taste nothing like fish!


I discovered the Photomerge tool in CS3 – it is pretty sweet. It does an excellent job of stitching together photos! The image above was made of 4 photos taken off our balcony. A couple weeks ago the sky was actually blue, so I had to capture it.

US visitors

A group of six Executive MBA students came to the office today to learn about business in China. Their small group was doing research on keeping mid-level management employees in China. They were part of a larger group of about 80 students, who all were getting their EMBAs at a school in Chicago.

A woman named Samantha is from Sioux Falls, and knows a woman who works in Personnel at the Dak office there, which is how she found out about Dak Shanghai. Another guy in their group, Jeff, had previously lived in Suzhou for two years. It was great talking to them, but we hardly had any time.

Later I met them at their hotel. The whole group had gone to the fabric market and bought many clothes. Unfortunately, about half of them didn’t fit at all. The guys who made the clothes still wanted them to pay for everything and take it, but of course they didn’t want to. This caused quite the common and they were pretty persistent.

I’d been telling Rob and Chris about all of the places Jon and I have traveled to, and they asked just how old I was. I guess I don’t look old enough to have been to 27 different countries. :-) I told them was my birthday and they bought me a glass of champagne to celebrate.


Today I got my hair cut. I’ve went to a salon in Shanghai twice since I moved, but even though they say they speak English, there is definitely a communication barrier. (They couldn’t believe I wanted dark color in my hair instead of blonde – I’d asked for lowlights – so they didn’t make it darker than my natural color.)

I’d just read about the Vidal Sassoon opening a salon and academy here, so I signed up for a free haircut. It was done by a student, under the guidance of a teacher who was Italian. It took all morning, but that was OK. I was the only white person and only one with fine, curly hair there. The instructor asked me to come back and bring some friends with hair like mine since they needed more varied hair types.

My stylist was from Singapore – she spoke excellent English and was very nice. This isn’t a good photo of the new ‘do; I’ll post a better one later. One part that was pretty funny was that the instructor showed them how to use mousse and called it a “new” product because you can’t get it here. He said I shouldn’t use gel cause it is too heavy. Anyone who is sending me a care package, please send mousse!! :-)

Everyone wanted to take their photo with me! I asked my stylist what they did with the photos and she said, “They blow them up.” Apparently they will enlarge a print and hang them on their wall, and perhaps claim they are good friends with me…. They all had to stand behind me and pretend to be spraying my hair, then took photos with their arms around me, then closeups of my hair… I am so famous here.

Pete in Shanghai

The Keyframe Manager from Brookings, Pete, came to visit Shanghai for the first time. He was only here for 2 days before we went to Macau, but we got to show him a few things.

Pete and Abe at the Bridge of Nine Turns in Yuyuan Gardens.

The view from Le Meridian (also known as “The Taser”) down Nanjing Lu.

Lantern Day

Jon and I met Lura and Rachel at their hotel bar to say goodbye. We heard fireworks going off in front of the hotel so ran out to see what was going on. It was “Lantern Day”, the 15th day of the Chinese New Year. The fireworks were loud and big up close, but nothing compared to the actual Chinese New Year.


Jon and I, along with Dan, spoke to the SDARL group Wednesday morning. We talked about Daktronics and our move and lives in China. It was really nice to see 37 people from our home state! My dad was part of the class before them, and mom and dad have hosted the whole group before, so everyone knew me as John’s daughter. Being South Dakotans, we all had some type of tie to each other. My dad fed cattle for Erik, Anita lived in Belle Fouche and happened to be someone Jon’s dad had thought about calling to AI cattle, one man’s mom lived a few miles from my house, etc. etc. It’s a small world, even from South Dakota to Shanghai.

Rachel and Lura were good friends of ours since high school. We were all in FFA together. It was pretty amazing to see them in Shanghai! Luckily, they had their only free night that night! We took them to supper at Simply Thai and then had a drink at their hotel bar. We also showed them our apartment.

Rachel said she’d wished that she had brought some jeans – they didn’t have very many chances to wear them so she didn’t bring any. I happened to have a couple pairs that are now too big for me, and they happened to fit her perfectly. She has my favorite pink corduroy pants too – I am so happy they went to a good home! Lura got a few shirts too. We had a good trade though. Earlier we had discussed how I bring back Western “feminine products” from the US since stores only have maxi pads, so they left me some western products. :-)

Rachel, me and Lura on our balcony. They agreed that the view was great!

Lura works for the Tri-State Neighbor and was keeping a blog about the whole trip. Jon and I were mentioned several times and have photos of us (and our kitchen) in it. We really hope they can come back and visit personally!

Thursday, I escorted two of the group members to a clinic here. One of them had been sick for several days, vomiting and with diarrhea. The doctor got her hydrated again with six bags of a saline IV. They were worried about her kidneys and blood pressure but luckily she improved enough to fly to Hong Kong with the rest of the group the next day. She was a trooper – she had me take photos of her with the IV and with her nice nurse Amy!

End of Chinese New Year

Well, maybe it is almost the end. Last night there were just as many fireworks as the first night!

I used my fish-eye lens this time, so you can see 180 degrees out over the city. First there were just a few in the background…

About 11:30 the city started exploding again and didn’t let up until about 12:30.

Zhongshan Park

Today Jon and I went Geocaching in Zhongshan Park. We did a multi-cache and a micro cache. Almost all of the caches in China are micro caches – due to the number of people they tend to get muggled frequently. It was the first time we’ve been geocaching in Shanghai, and the first time we’ve been to the park. We think in the summer the place must just be packed! We were surprised at the amount of people out and about today.
Balloon vendors are on many of the street corners, not just in the park.

I think it would be impossible to go to a park without see many people flying kites.

Ballroom dancing also can be seen many places. It is a form of excercise, just like Tai Chi. The Bund in the early morning is supposed to be the best place to see hundreds of people doing Tai Chi or ballroom dancing.

We were surprised at the number of activities in the park. We were really surprised to see the bumper boats going, with water spraying and squirt guns in the front of the boat. Too cold!!

This was a self-propelled ride. The two people in each cart had to pedal to make their way around the track. Jon repeated his vow to never go on a ride in China. There was also a small roller coaster. (It was really small, just a child’s ride.)

Fireworks on Chinese New Year

The fireworks on Chinese New Year were the craziest thing we’ve ever seen!! We watched the WHOLE city explode for about 30 minutes. Imagine 20 million people all setting off fireworks at the same time… After about 20 minutes the smoke blocked our view of all but the closest ones. Check it out!!

Our apartment people set off a lot too. They were really close to the balcony!

Walk around the French Concession

When Holly was here we followed a suggested walk in our guidebook. It took us all over the French Concession. It was cool to see that part of town and read about the history. I guess it’s a good thing to be a tourist in your own town every once in a while. We really had a good time but our legs were very tired by the end of the day!
A woman doing Tai Chi in the park.

You will always see people flying kites in the park.

This is a Russian Orthodox church. It is not in use anymore.

We discovered that you can go up to the 38th floor and then walk up a flight and out onto the roof! This is on the other side of our building. It seems much, much higher than our apartment!

Holly and Jon, freezing on the roof

A interesting fact is that a lot of buildngs do not have the number 4 on any of the floors. Our building doesn’t have a 4, 14, 24, or 34. 4 is a very unlucky number – similar to the Western belief that 13 is unlucky.

At the Portman

Jon, Holly and I went to the Portman one night for “a” drink. Holly and I had a drink but Jon had a few. :-) It has a great atmosphere but is pretty expensive!

One of the interesting things about the Portman is that the rocks glasses are pre-tilted. No drinking required to question your depth perception. :-)

Yuyuan Gardens

Some photos from Yuyuan Gardens when Holly was here. I can just imagine when it was a private garden. I can imagine myself being a lady of leisure and reading or doing crafts in many different areas of the garden, watching the kids run around the ponds and climb the rocks.

Yuyuan Gardens Part 2

Cloud 9

A few weekends ago, Jon and I went out for sushi with our friend Daniel. Then we all went to see his girlfriend, Wendy, and her dancing class belly dance. After that we went to the Grand Hyatt, which has a bar called Cloud 9 on the 87th floor. This photo was taken on the 85th floor looking down to the 56th floor.
It was a pretty nice place to chill out. We had a good time with Daniel and Wendy!

Street Meat

This guy was on the street one day and I said I wished I had my camera out quick enough. A few days later, my boss Dan got the photo. He said: Right on the main road. You pick out your chicken or pigeon, and he butchers it right there. Mmm Mmm Good.


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