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Adjusting to life in Shangers

12th June 2005 - happy birthday me

i turned 27 today. this was the view i had from my brunch table a top the shanghai art museum. house warming party last night. i now have a fantastic apartment and flat mate, i also have a pounding hangover.

i estimate it will take me about 3 months to get settled in, learn some basic chinese and find a group of friends. in the mean time there is a gym and swimming pool in my apartment. sweet.

27th June 2005 - shanghai insanity

shanghai is insane. the worlds fastest growing city and you just know it. there is a feeling that this place is snowballing into it's own concrete country. very different from the rest of china.

it's easy to meet people, every one is friendly. most people i meet are american teachers or german business contractors! the english speaking community is strong and vibrant. it's exciting here. something is always happening. i've been here 3 months now, i still walk out my door with the thought. "fuck, i'm in china". awesome.

view from my 22nd floor apartment.

10th July 2005 - back to school

so i now go to school 3 times a week, my pag is packed with pens and pencils, text books and exersise books. i even have tipex, but i'm yet to write anyting on my bag. "the levellers" maybe.. i'm trying to learn chinese, and suprisingly it's quite difficult. 'shui shui shui' means 'sleep who water' depending on how you say it. and i can only say green tea when my mouth luckily hits the right shape.

northern chinese chap selling meat on sticks, tasty.

12th August 2005 - swimming pools

i've been in china over 4 months now and the loose concept of logic is becoming more apparent. i believe it has something to do with the fact that thinking for your self has been unacceptable for many decades. for example;
today i got told off for going swimming without a swimming hat - they have a fear of hair i think. but i have grade 2 shaved head and enough body hair for an entire province... so the logic was some what lost on me. my friend joe and i were angrily shouted at until we left the pool, defeated we returned to changing room, put two old carrier bags over our heads and went back in. we were greeted with smiles as we now complied to the rules, so we proceeded to do running bombies into the deep end donning our placky bag hats. tres chic.

27th September 2005 - light polution

big lights, the chinese love em, so much so that the other night, standing out the back of a mates house, a place where normally you have to walk blindley in the pitch black, i was shocked i could see. looking around for the street lamps we realised that what can only be described as proper dusk was created by the cities light reflected off the low cloud . my god you could have read a newspaper (an english newspaper).

7th October 2005 - autumn

to say it's been hot in shanghai this summer would be an understatement, but having lived in broome last year the 40 degree city heat was a spring morning in comparison. if you're going to visit china now is the time of year to do so, just like my parents... though when i told them to come over, i didn't know it was holiday week this week and 1.3 million people would be getting a train home to see thier famiy. oh well i think mum and dad have some stories to tell, probably along the lines of, "it was so busy, all the trains we packed, don't ever go to china at the start of october" .

21st November 2005 - meow meow

well i suppose this could have happened to me in any city but i feel the need to share my first stage experience. i've always been scared at shows with audience participation, scared that i may have to get up on stage naked or something. and last night i went one of shanghai expensive and fancy bars to see a caberet singer who's name was meow meow, she is completely insane, sings nonsense in 7 languages and was possibly the most entertaining 2 hours i've ever had sitting down. except for the part where i wasn't sitting down and was stood on the albeit small stage. i was some sort of prop in the performance and still have a bruise to prove it. brilliant. 5 stars.

29th November 2005 - restaurant and taxi culture

i'll explain two of the main reasons i love living in shanghai, imagine it's 7pm, you've been working all day (or rather your flat mate enya has been working all day) and you're hungry. just flick though a restaurant listing, or think of one you already know, text your mates and walk out the door. for us it's a 22 floor ride in an elevator and a 50m walk to the road where at that time in the evening i can usually hail a taxi before i've reached the curb. a taxi will cost around 60p providing you can say "wo men qu julu lu mao ming nan lu lukou" correctly. sit around a table with a bunch of mates eating and drinking good food and beer till you're stuffed. pay maybe £5, then go rent a video, blockbusters in shanghai is a little more basic and requires looking though a suitcase or wooden box of fresh out the cinema movies on the side of the street - they're 50p for keeps! you could however jump in taxi across town to another bar, or maybe taxi to a mates house to watch your new dvd. it doesn't matter because unlike any where else i've ever lived, when you want to go home at 2 am, you just walk out the door, stick your hand out and a taxi is there. they're always there, they're brilliant, shanghai taxis you make my world go round.

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Travel Menu:

February 07 - Macau - Clapham

December 06 - Qingdao Vs Japan
June 06 - Germany + Old Shanghai
April 06 - Mountains in Zhejiang
Janury 06 - Vietnam Vets

June 05 - Living in Shangers
May 05 - Tibet and Nepal
May 05 - Hong Kong + Guandong
April 05 - Xi'an to Shanghai
April 05 - Beijing and onward
January 05 - UK - NY - PR

November 04 - Melbourne - Malaysia
September 04 - The Gib River Road
August 04 - Back in UK
July 04 - Thailand
June 04 - Brisbane and Sydney
May 04 - back to Broome II
April 04 - Learning to fly
March 04 - Perth
Feb 04 - Battleship Broome
Feb 04 - Holden HK 1969 Ute
Jan 04 - Broome time
Jan 04 - It's a long way
Jan 04 - West coast WA
Dec 03 - Touch down

About my travel log:
I'm making this for a number of reasons, firstly i'm writing to my family and friends without the inconvenience of mile long group emails. secondly it's my unloseable diary. err... and i guess it's here for the world to read too.

You can click on all of the pictures for a huge 800x600 version!

Thats right! Why not have a picture of something you haven't done or somewhere you haven't been as your desktop picture at work !