Sunday, September 25, 2005


Someone at the book swap made a disparaging comment about weblogs that write entries about what they have for breakfast. So I'll add a disclaimer to this entry: this one is mainly for the fam.

I had a busy weekend this week, sorta. On Friday morning I lazed around while Jodi was at work, and then she and I met up with one of her friends from Hunan who is also in Shanghai. Then we took a taxi down to North Sichuan Rd, a major shopping street, and hit up our favorite cheap hotpot place, 傣妹. This place has three floors of tables, and we got the last one! They were packed! We had a nice time talking about random things, and about our upcoming trip to Hunan.

Saturday I slept in while Jodi went to work. This sounds like a disturbing pattern, but the fact is that I'm in a really weird stage of my life where I'm unemployed but still find myself waking up—and getting up—naturally at 8am every morning. So Saturday I finally got up at about 9am, used the computer for a while and then grabbed a bunch of books, fifteen of them, to take to the first Shanghai Book Swap. I got there a bit late, but the party was just getting info full swing.

Lots of people showed up!

Brad complained that we had bad taste in books but I thought we were semi-succesful, and some people promised to bring more "literature" books next time. I traded away about half my books and came away with a classic Chinua Achebe, a couple Murakami in Chinese, and a pop history of Shanghai, among others.

At that point I left with Joon, and while he went back to his apartment to run an errand I pressed on to the Shanghai Theater Academy for the big concert called "Melodic Funk and Shanghai Underground Super Music Rock Festival".

The venue was huge.

Sounds cheesy, bu it was great: ten bands, seven hours, covering a range from punk, rock and fusion to death metal. The auditorium was huge, maybe 400-500 kids were there for the free-admission gig. Asa made it just in time to see the all-girl punk outfit, and Joon showed up at the tail end of Cold Fairyland's encore-ended performance. As Megaphone was tearing up the stage, I left because I got a text that Jodi was getting off of work. I headed up to her place, and we had a nice dinner of fresh take-out wonton from the place up the street.

On Sunday Jodi was working again in the morning. Yes, that is a disturbing trend: she is working too much. We're working on that; vacation is being looked forward to. I stayed home and worked out a bug on the wiki Recent Changes listing on the homepage—friggin' Perl Unicode support, grr—and then hopped on the light rail up to Hongkou Stadium for the game between local sweethearts Shanghai Shenhua and possible league champions Dalian Shide, at the invitation of fellow Shanghaiist writer, Scot Cameron Wilson. The game was incredibly exciting, and that was amplified by the fans around us because Cameron's contact got us seats in the back of the section occupied by the Blue Devils, Shanghai Shenghua's peña. They lit flares, beat drums, and chanted 大连变成傻屄哗(?),现在后悔来不及吧 as the final minutes ticked down to Shanghai's 2-1 win. (Cameron wrote a piece on it for Shanghaiist.)

At this point, Jodi messaged me that she was done getting her hair done with a friend, so I took the 21 down People's Square and we walked to Asa's favorite restaurant for a cheap dinner of 糖醋鱼片, 刀豆烧炒土豆, and 咸肉冬瓜汤 (sweet and sour fish, green beans and potato in brown sauce, and cured meat & winter squash soup). As we walked back to the 21, we shared a cup of pearl milk tea.

So now I'm back at Jodi's for the evening and writing this up. This week I've gotta start moving my stuff over to Jodi's house for temporary storage, look for housing, and clean/wash stuff for the trip to Hunan. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Jodi and I are taking a small side trip to a mountain called Ma'an Mountain for a quick vacation with a friend, and then will have a day to rest before boarding the train on Thursday for a seventeen hour trip to her home province. High speed! That's life in Shanghai.


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