CS – Janan, Lara & Sidsel

Eating brunch with Nishant and Sandhya, two other Couchsurfers living in Shanghai.  It was the only day warm enough to eat outside so far!

Sidsel (Danish), Janan (Turkish but lived in the UK the past 5 years), Jon, Boots, me, and Lara (German).

The girls are all teaching English in a “village” of 1 million people about 5 hours from Shanghai.  They said they’re the only foreigners in the town and are practically celebrities there.

These girls were creative with the photo booth!  I love the first one.

Dropping fish from the bridge

Supposedly, it is lucky to drop a few goldfish from the top of the bridge into the water below.  I don’t think it can be so lucky for the fish as you must drop them from the highest point!

Zhujiajiao Scenery

Franz and Vivi from Germany couch-surfed with us (well, Jon was in the US) in December.  Franz had studied Chinese here for a while, and had been to Zhujiajiao.  It’s the closest water town to Shanghai.  He wanted Vivi to see it and they invited me along.  I hadn’t been to any of the water towns yet.

Getting there and back was a bit of a hassle.  On the way, we took a taxi almost the whole way.  It took 1 hour and 34 minutes to get there, and cost 178 RMB.

On the way back, we took a taxi to the nearest subway station (She Shan) which took 38 minutes and cost 68 RMB, and then took the subway back into town.  I think that the subway also took well over an hour (but only cost 6 RMB.)

Tours online start at about $100 per person, so I guess it was good to do on our own!  The only annoyance was that at lunch they tried to keep us from ordering off of the local menu… they wanted us to order all of the expensive stuff (which was the only food translated into English.)

Eva & Josh – more couchsurfers


Eva and Josh stayed with us one night, after flying in from Denmark, then left for their new home in Xia’men the next day.  We tried to keep them awake until 10 to fight their jet lag and I fed them coffee in the morning.  They’ve invited us to their home and we’ll definitely take them up on that in a few months.

IMG_4595Eva has a job leading Danes on tours of China and spent a few days in Shanghai with a group recently.  She stayed an extra night with us after they left.  We took the sidecar out to eat, then played some Wii Fit the next morning.

Couchsurfer Lucy

IMG_4564Lucy stayed with us last month.  She was the first couchsurfer to ride in the sidecar.  Yes, we did leave the car park, but it was dark outside so not good for photos.

IMG_9986Boots is always a popular photography subject.

IMG_4571Lucy is a photographer too.  Gotta watch out for that paparazzi!

Eating Vegetarian


Kelly and Ellie are both from Florida and on an around the world trip.  They work and save up money, then go traveling again!  They are both vegetarian so one night we went to Vegetarian Lifestyle, a Chinese vegetarian restaurant where the food is made to look and taste just like meat.  The “spareribs” were delicious and very real.  So real that Kelly stopped chewing and said, “I think this is meat! It has a bone!” (it was really a radish) and so delicious we ordered seconds!


The food was so good that we’ll probably go back, even though we aren’t vegetarians.  :-)

Hot Pot


Melissa and Matt are an American couple who’ve lived in Japan for the past 4 years, teaching English.  They surfed our couch for a few days and we had a great time.  They are traveling around the world on their way home, and have joined the Peace Corp and will most likely be stationed in China next year! We’re hoping to see them again.  We’ve had such great experiences with our Couch Surfers.

This was my first time going to hot pot, which is pretty unbelievable since we’ve lived here for over two years.  It was really good.

Picasso’s Birthday

Our friends Casey “Any Excuse to Party” and Mike “My Future Wife is a Crazy Cat Lady” threw a big BBQ a couple weekends ago.  The occasion was Picasso (their foster cat) turned one.  Picasso’s favorite toy is corks from wine bottles, so we needed to consume wine in large quantities as our gift to him.  It was a lot of fun – and made me miss doing this back home!  Our couchsurfers, Kelly and Ellie, came too and we had a great time hanging out.






Fun with Couch Surfers

I have a computer program that controls my DSLR.  It can do things like time lapses.  It also has a photo booth function!  I’ve been having each of our Couch Surfers do it, then I print out two copies on 4×6″ sticker paper.  They get a copy, and they stick the other ones in our guest book and leave a message for us.


Marion and George, from the Netherlands.  They gave us the guest book as a gift.  We’ll definitely see them again the next time we make it to Europe.  We have quite a few Dutch friends.


Melissa and Matt, Americans who’ve been teaching English in Japan for the past four years.  They have joined the Peace Corp and most likely will be stationed in China next year!  We’ll definitely go visit.

photobooth1Kelly and Ellie, from Florida.  Kelly fell off the stool….  we had a blast with them.  We’re thinking of visiting Florida in the middle of a South Dakota winter sometime way in the future!

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.


Jon and I are members of and last week we hosted two Australian girls, Amy and Casey.  They were super nice; both of them (especially Casey) liked to cook.  We were spoiled by them cooking for us several times!  They have a cat (Michael Arthur MacMoussen) back home so really liked Boots too.
Couchsurfing is a site where travelers can offer or request a couch to crash on, or just find someone to meet up with for coffee or a drink.  It’s kind of like Facebook for travelers.  It’s also similar to eBay, in that you give others feedback so others know how they were as hosts or guests. 
We also hosted a Polish couple, Daniel and Martina, before I went to the US.  In the last couple weeks we’ve gotten requests to host people from Italy, Spain, Germany, Mongolia, and the Netherlands.  We won’t say yes to everyone (you can pick and choose as you like, no pressure) since we want to have a little time to ourselves!  We wish we had this when we were traveling through Europe – it’s such a great way to meet like-minded travelers if you host; save costs and meet people living locally where you are traveling if you surf.
Here’s another article a fellow China blogger just wrote on it. 


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