Thursday, January 07, 2010

Shanghai, another day another post

Woke up with a sore-ish throat - was concerned that it would plague me through the rest of the day.

After finishing a pot of coffee in the morning though, that went away.

Commute to work is staying consistently a pretty solid 1 hour and 15 minutes from door to door. However, my jet lag is wearing off - I'm staying up later and getting up later, so will probably have to start making an effort to get up & leave on time as things progress.

Work was fine - more training co-run with our colleagues in India. 

Met up with a friend who has been living here for 4-5 years. Was nice to see; we caught up a bit - he's had some interesting developments both personally and professionally, but after our conversation it became clear to me that we are both getting older and as such some of the things that held your interest when younger do not have the same appeal now. Some still do. Coincidentally, we both recently had people in our extended families affected by cancer, so certainly something to give one pause for reflection.

Also discussed a bit about the British national recently executed here; comparing local biases. The Western media is playing up the unreasonable nature of the government and the executee's history of mental issues. The media here questions why the mental issues were only drummed up at the last minute. Seems that the truth of the matter is almost irrelevant between opportunities to push propaganda on both sides. 
Dinner was fried spicy frog. It was pretty good. Similar to crab and crayfish in that while you pay by the pound, the amount of edible content in the food is disproportionate to the weight that you pay for. Unlike crab, frog is still pretty cheap.

Was good, though probably not healthy (deep fried and all). Restauarnt was across from a recently re-gentrified area on Nanjing Xi Lu (Nanjing West Road). The old area has so much character (and reasonably priced food, by western & chinese standards)...probably will go the way of the wrecking ball soon. 

The new mall across the street probably shows a taste of what is to come - do we really need another combination of Stone Cold Creamery, Starbucks, and Pizza Hut?

Took the train home, was going to try a new route, but unfortunately the new trains are only open from 8:25 - 16:25 every day - weird hours, not sure why.

Was happy to find someone selling lamb on the stick very near where I'm staying. The seller struck up a conversation in English with me, and so then I was moved to buy a few...(I love lamb on a stick, the slightest excuse to get some is good enough). His boss then came by, who talked with me more - interesting to hear sort of Arabic-English with an American accent from someone who is technically Chinese.

(Most lamb-sellers in Chinese cities are people from Xinjiang, the ethnically turkish/musilm part of the country)

Anyway, I guess the guy has been here for 5 years and has set up a business selling snacks to people after they leave the bars. Having a lot of American clients, he's picked up some English, and now speaks pretty decently. I do not doubt that I will buy again.

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