Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Shanghai Part 3: Fighting Crickets in the Casino!

Part 3!!! The adventures just keep on coming!
After checking out the Yu Yuan gardens, we took the subway to Nanjing road.

 It's like a casino at night! We went to a lot of really cute clothing stores too. As the resident shopaholic, I felt it was absolutely necessary...to window shop.

 The next day, one of the librarians was kind enough to tour us around to some local street markets! I had had a bad experience with haggling a few years back, so I was a little nervous to try...but the vendors were incredibly nice! They made bargaining so much fun! I was able to get a lot of really nice gifts for my family.
 One of the coolest places we went to were the fighting cricket markets! All sorts of animals and nick nackery were sold here!

 There were cases upon cases filled with live crickets! You can either buy them as adults or raise the babies for fighting. I so desperately wanted to see a cricket battle!

This little guy reminded me of a mandrake. I should have taken him home in case anyone got petrified. 

 The marketplace was so huge and crammed full of the most amazing things. Definitely one of my favorite parts of Shanghai!

A toy shop we found along the street markets.

 After the hustle and bustle of the cricket market, we stopped by a park for a bit to relax. Cappuccinos and chocolate croissants make the perfect afternoon snack! It felt so classy... and adult. * A *

 Then we ran into some transformers in the middle of the city!!


 I thought this guy in the bandana was too cool. He looked like he belonged in some epic rock band or something....riding a motorcycle of fire. O m O

Our amazing weekend came to an end, and it was back to lecturing at some AWESOME international schools! The libraries were always my favorite. I couldn't get over these cool plastic jellyfish...a few friends of mine back home where making these as a prank for their internship. (Don't ask...it's an even longer story.)

That's it for now! Please enjoy this Sprite ad featuring Kobe Bryant.

Coming up next...Shanghai Part 4: THE FINAL INSTALLMENT.

Here's today's Daily Doodle:


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Shanghai Part Deux: Our Day Off

 After visiting the Shanghai American School (SAS), one of the representatives took us to the Bund! It was pouring down rain, but luckily I had an umbrella. There was many a debate over whether we should stay, but I'm so glad we stuck it out.

The view was absolutely incredible! Later that night we visited a few hotels and saw an even better view from the top! (My camera had run out of batteries by then, so no piccies. ; A ;) One hotel had a jazz band playing inside and served us tea while we hid from the rain. My tea was called "Strawberry Dream". Delicious!

What troopers! Apparently, my umbrella was for ladies only. Jason and Kazu got totally soaked!

The next day, we took a taxi to see the Yu Yuan Gardens. What an adventure! This part of Shanghai was completely different from all of the skyscrapers we had seen before. The architecture was magnificent!

 Motorbikes everywhere! It's always fun to see a mesh of modern culture against a "traditional" background. (Even though I'm sure these buildings aren't as ancient as I'd like to imagine....)

We didn't eat here. Come to think of it...I haven't been to Dairy Queen is years. The talking mouth ads always creeped me out.
The shopping center was PACKED. No room for "excuse me"... you were literally bumping into someone whichever way you turned. I stuck by Kazu and Jason like a toddler afraid of losing her parents at the mall.

It was such a contrast from the actual gardens. So quiet and serene...we spent hours in here trying to absorb everything.

Wish I could say this was a candid shot. Totally made Jason go back and pose. XD

There were these cool secret rock passageways throughout the gardens. As I traveled through the tunnels, I imagined myself lost princess of some unknown world, making her way back to an enchanted homeland. Please note: The guys were not present for this magical adventure. 
(A la toddler ditching her parents at the mall.)

 Adored these dog statues! (Or lions?) They were all over the gardens...felt like I kept running into an old friend.

 My mystical golden river...or stream filled with pennies.

I have no idea who this adorable old man is...XD

We found a temple inside! Everything is so gargantuan in China!

Gift shop kettles. Wish I could have one some home!

Felt like I could have stayed in those gardens forever, but our day was short and there was so much more exploring to do!

But first...a lunch break!
Traveller's Note: If you're waiting in a long line outside a dumpling shop...the food is bound to be delicious. OR you might have stumbled into an incredibly awkward situation. Either way...that's going to make an excellent story!


See you when we get back! 
Stay tuned for Part 3: The-Currently-Untitled-Adventure.


In the meantime, enjoy this doodle.

I call it What I'm Wearing RIGHT NOW: No Shame Edition.