Sunday, November 25, 2007

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Jodi and I had a great day today. She finally decided to put work off her mind, so we took the whole day to do pretty much nothing important. In the morning we slept in, and Jodi's parents went off for a day of fun on their own. Approaching noon, we packed up Charlotte and fed her during lunch at the Lanzhou noodle place -- cummin beef on rice for Jodi and green pepper beef on rice for me. We subwayed to Xujiahui and took a short walk past the cathedral to the Shanghai Observatory to check if it would make a good field trip for my students; it was closed, today being Sunday, but the security guard gave us a phone number to call tomorrow and suggested changing the trip to the Sheshan observatory, also an option.

Off the distance we saw a saw a tall building that looked like Tiananmen (or a Tibetan Buddhist temple, I reckoned) on the top few floors so we wandered over that way. Turns out it was still under construction, so we just kept walking. By then we were at the entrance of the exclusive Xujiahui High School. Stepping inside to admire an old concession-era building -- badly in need of repair and restoration -- we stopped to watch an informal soccer game and discovered an adult recreational table tennis league tournament happening in the gym.

After picking up a can of Dad's Root Beer in the basement supermarket of the Grand Gateway, we took the 44 to Yuyuan Rd, stopped by Jodi's classroom, and walked to Zhongshan Park. At the Cloud Nine mall we changed Charlotte's diaper at the kids play area, fed her a bottle and picked up a couple of boxes of rice powder at Carrefour. We're on a budget this week (paycheck Friday!) so we hopped on Line 2 towards home.

Back in the neighborhood, we hopped over to the impromptu night market in front of the 农工商 supermarket to grab some dinner from our new addiction, the 麻辣烫 Sichuanese "poor man's hotpot" and BBQ skewer guy. Jodi dialed up Anna to come have dinner with us, but as we were sitting there enjoying our soup, the police came by to rough up the street vendors and tell them to pack up their stuff. The police threatened to come back in half an hour and cart everything away, a threat made credible by the couple of forlorn pedicarts in back of one of their caravan's trucks. This meant that when Anna arrived the soup man would only give it to her to-go, as he wanted to pack up and leave, but we convinced him to let her eat with us because we were almost finished. We stalled for a while so that the BBQ guy could come out of his hiding place back in a gated neighborhood and deliver the skewers we had ordered before the police came, but eventually got kicked out when the soup guy realized our ruse. We were finished anyway.

SleeperJodi went over to Anna's house, and I drove Charlotte past the crowds dancing on the square in front of city hall. Home, bath, bottle and bed later, I'm enjoying the root beer and catching up on the internet. Good night!

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