Sunday, December 07, 2008



I took Jodi, Charlotte and Maryann to Hongqiao Airport this morning where they boarded a flight to Changsha to start their extended Chinese New Year vacation with the grandparents in Jodi's hometown. Getting home just now, I called her dad to confirm that they arrived safely. Their bus leaves the airport at 4:30pm. Some notes about my day in Puxi.

  • The taxi from our house to Hongqiao on a virtually traffic-less Sunday morning cost RMB 101. The ride back on the Airport Bus, subway Line 2 and Zhangjiang Loop Line bus: RMB 10. It's what I call the "迟到大王税", a tax on the chronically late (though today to our credit we left punctually at 10am).
  • It's strawberry season, or at least the very start of strawberry season. The itinerant fruit vendors are out en force at various metro stations. I have no idea what the right price is, I'll be checking that out soon.
  • The four lions on a column outside of Plaza 66 at Jing'an Temple have always tickled the back of my mind, so I went to look them up today. A bit of internet research shows that the Buddhist column had been there since the days of the Republic, is modeled after the Indian landmark Lion Capital of Asoka, was torn down during the Cultural Revolution in 1966, and then was rebuilt (photo) and unveiled in May of last year (2007).
  • On the way back from buying chinchilla food at the Yinjiang Pet Market, I passed through People's Park. The singles market was in full swing, still too unreal to be boring. Passed by a group of ads hung from bushes around a sign announcing the 新上海人相亲角, the "New Shanghainese" Corner, and began to suspect that it was more than just parents there when I saw many pre-printed ads filled out with profiles of prospective partners being "guarded" by a couple older men: maybe introduction companies are using the park to field new customers? Also passed through the Park's English Corner, busy.
  • As reported (can't remember where), the Hershey's store in Raffles City sells Reese's plush dolls but no Reese's products: no peanut-butter cups, no Pieces. Also, dark chocolate Mounds bars, but only bite-size bars in RMB 75 bags.
  • Dunkin' Donuts has apple fritters, but a only a wussy mass-manufactured version; almost exactly like a filled donut but with apple inside. Disappointed, I passed. The middle-aged Shanghainese man behind me wanted plain; no plain donuts, only plain Devil's Food. "I want one that's not sweet; give me the not-sweet one," he said. Hmm, these are donuts. I went with Devil's Food and the ones with the most glaze I could find.
  • The Xinmin Evening Post is my talisman of +1 Ward Off Nanjing East Road "Watch, Bag, DVD" Vendors. From the paper: Shanghai Media Group is putting a bunch of its TV channels online, simply download their custom software; taxis of major companies to be fitted with GPS/phones and provide pick-up service in remote suburbs of Shanghai; sections of Beijing East Road will be shut down as part of major Bund-area road construction; names of metro Line 7 and Line 11 stations finalized; new "International Library" opens on 8th floor of Changning District Public Library; and in a small panel at the top of the front page, OJ sentenced to 33 years.

The house is quiet tonight.


At Dec 7, 2008, 10:02:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said:

I posted a couple of new articles transliterating the new names of the metro stations for line 7 and line 11:

At Dec 9, 2008, 8:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said:

I noticed the same thing: lots of reeses toys, but no reeses peanut buttercups. wth?

At Dec 9, 2008, 9:02:00 AM, Blogger Micah Sittig said:

Exactly! Still, with prices like those I'm not sure I'd be more than an occasional customer even if they did carry peanut butter cups...


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