Today was a *perfect* Shanghai day. The sun was shining, the temperature was in the 70-80F (20-27C) range, and I refused to stay at home. Melissa and I set out to enjoy the day and ended up falling in love with this amazing city all over again!
11:00 am- Brunch at Larder, an Australian restaurant in Tianzifang that boasts fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and an ambiance that reminds you of your mother’s kitchen. I enjoyed fresh orange juice, vegetable quiche, and chunky chips (with a side of goat’s cheese of course).
1:00 pm- Walking aimlessly, Melissa and I explored the French Concession along Julu Lu. We couldn’t help but smile as we encountered a man selling gum on the side of the road while playing incredibly loud Chinese music from his boom box. Who sets up a gum stand? Laundry, shoes, and stuffed animals hanging on a rope stretched between two trees may seem odd to you considering we’re in the city center on a busy road, but that’s typical here in Shanghai. We couldn’t help but giggle when we realized how much we’d miss this when we were gone. And who couldn’t love the dog in the sweater sitting on the counter of the cigarette shop?
2:00 pm- Stumble across a bicycle shop and purchase a custom-made bike. I have been without wheels for too long and decided to remedy that situation today. I cannot wait until I can pick up my bike that’s sure to turn some heads! I’ll post pictures when I get it, but trust me…it’s pretty bad ass.
3:30 pm- I love finding hidden gems. I’d heard lore of this “art street” where one can find any type of art supplies imaginable at incredibly cheap prices, but I’d never been able to pinpoint the exact location. Well today, Melissa and I found it! Bombarded with loads of art and office supplies at every turn, we kept exchanging, “How did we not know this was here?!?” “We gotta tell our teachers about this!” and “We don’t have to import our own Post-its anymore?!” We also quite enjoyed reading the notebook covers. Now that’s one thing I’ll never get tired of- reading the ridiculously Chinglish sayings on the covers of notebooks here. Here’s an example of one for your reading pleasure:
Here’s what it says if you can’t read it:
“Maybe God wants us to meet a few
wrong people before meeting the right
one, so that when we finally meet the person,
we will know how to be grateful
TELL THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE
THAT YOU LOVE THEM,
AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY
Keep Learning. Learn More About
The Computer, Crafts, Gardening
Whatever. Never Let The Brain Idle
“an Idle Mind Is The Devil’s
Workshop. And The Devil’s Name
And Always Remember; Life Is
Not Measured By The Number
Of Breaths We Take, But By The
Moments That Take Our Breath Away
The worst way to miss someone
is to besitting right beside
them knowing you can’t have them”
Bet you didn’t know the Devil’s name is Alzheimer’s, did you? 😉 You learn something new every day!
4:30 pm- Find my new favorite spot! Remember, that’s one of the things that make me happy. The next place we found made our hearts skip a beat! When we stepped into the Foreign Languages Bookstore on Fuzhou Lu, my soul breathed a sigh of relief. After nearly three years of living in Shanghai and accepting that the closest I would ever get to a bookstore is the small English sections of Chinese bookstores whose selections were limited to classics, NY Times Bestsellers, and a handful of children’s books, I had discovered a place that made my soul sing! Thousands upon thousands of books were at my fingertips. Fluttering around the stacks, I picked up books and read the blurbs, turning to Melissa to read her a new one every few minutes. We both smiled when we realized that we now had a place to come where we could surround ourselves with good, quality literature. I purchased four new books to add to my stack. Yippee!
6:15 pm- Foot massages at Subconscious Day Spa. When I say I’ve never had a better foot massage experience in my life, I mean it!
7:30 pm- Dinner at Dr. Wine. My unnatural obsession and love for goat’s cheese was satiated by our amazing dinner tonight. We shared the goat’s cheese bruschetta: crusty slices of baguettes topped with a mountain of goat’s cheese, 2 olives, and a drizzle of honey…yum! I also ate the tastiest goat’s cheese salad ever.
9:00 pm- Melissa and I ended our night with a walk to Jing’an Temple, stopping along the way to window shop at Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, and Coach. It was the perfect end to a perfect day. You know you love your life when you’re constantly asking yourself, “Do I really live here? Is this really my life?” and pinching yourself to make sure it’s real!
Thank you Melissa for a lovely day. I’m going to miss these when you’re gone, but I will always have today’s memory to savor.