Eh Kinda Back But Not Quite

I’ll start out with the obligatory “MERRY CHRISTMAS” greetings to everyone today! The grumpy cashiers may be wearing Santa hats , the shopping malls decked out with over the top Christmas trees , and haunting images of Santa follow my every moment down the street , but it doesn’t really feel like Christmas. This is most likely due to the lack of family and the fact I had to go to work today. Nothing says Christmas like a 7:30 am alarm and the trudge over to clock-in.

The technical issues that have been keeping me from even accessing wordpress have magically cleared up. I think my experiments with sacrifices of paper money to the internet gods worked! However, I’m still stuck with the original problem of the nifty wordpress 3.5 add media into your post being completely broken. My “Macau : PhotoTour” , my “Check out this photo of this nasty bruise I got when a Shanghai taxi ran over my foot” , and my “Wow, This Chinglish add claims there is semen in this drink” (Yes, these are all real) posts have to sit on the back-burner for Buddha knows how long. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE WORDPRESS FIX THIS!

Hmmpf , anyways here are the major updates to December 2012.

1. Yes, a taxi ran over my foot. I was less amazed by the fact a taxi ran it over than that by the fact that my ankle did not break.
2. My kitties had their girl parts removed. A week of moping around with cones on their heads ensued. (You need to see the photos to really see the pathetic state they were in)
3. Hopefully (fingers crossed!) I’ll be assuming the position of Social Media Editor for Sherpa’s food delivery service! Beijingers, Shanghaiers, and Suzhouers get at me! I can’t wait to do something not teaching related!
4. The subway wars are heating up! According to the exploremetro blog, “Beijing and Shanghai are fierce rivals. Both cities have dramatically increased the length of their subway networks in recent years, especially around Beijing’s 2008 Olympics and Shanghai’s 2010 World Expo.
Shanghai has 425km of track (excluding the Maglev and Jinshan Railway), making it the longest subway network in the world, while Beijing currently has 372km. Traditionally, the main metro networks in Mainland China open new lines in the last few days of December. This year is no different, with both the Shanghai Metro and Beijing Subway scheduled to open new lines in late December 2012. The metro operators rarely release information about exactly which lines will open until a few days before the end of the year, which leaves an intriguing conundrum: what will be the longest metro system in the world at the dawn of 2013?” Just recently on line 9 , the interior subway maps were updated showing a brand new Line 13 , a brand new Line 12 , the completed Line 11 , extensions to Line 9 , and a completely new Line 16. I’m kinda of a nerd. These things excite me! The new male English voice on Line 9 ,however, does not! Check out more info at

Man , it feels good to write again. I survived the Mayan Apocalypse , now I just need wordpress working right again.

It’s that time of the year again!

Well everybody back at home you know what time it is! Not a day after Thanksgiving is over , hell, not even a mere minute after that last polished turkey bone fell to the plate , and your brain nodded off into a tryptophan induced haze, it’s Christmas time! The radio stations scream it , the stores scream it , decorations pop out; it’s consumerism at its best!

Even though Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated in China , somehow they have the timing down. Not a day after Thanksgiving was over shopping malls , the metro, and assorted advertisements have proudly started trumpeting Christmas. Tis the season folks! Buy ,Buy ,Buy!

Now Christmas isn’t a traditionally celebrated Chinese holiday but people are starting to get more and more into the spirit. A few of my students last year said they had Christmas trees and many of them were given presents at home. This year my kindergarten will be having a Friday the 23rd pre-Christmas Christmas party. Woo hooo I don’t have to work this Christmas and payday falls on the 26th. Ohh yeeaa best Christmas ever! Although last year’s Christmas drunken KTV (karaoke) affair was pretty fun and definitely different.

I am proud to report that this year I even have a Christmas tree! That’s right ladies and gentlemen , this year is my first Chinese Christmas tree! It makes things feel a little more like home.

I was in the French supermarket , Carrefour, doing some trivial household item shopping and upon my arrival on the 3rd floor , I was greeted by a ton of fresh, fake, plastic trees! Christmas has come to Carrefour! They have several different models ranging from 88RMb up to 350RMB.  I came home the proud owner of a new ,slightly over 5ft tall, 128RMB (just under $20) plastic impersonation of a pine tree. ( It had to be returned the next day because two of the pieces didn’t match and we couldn’t fit it together , but the tree we got in exchange was a-ok!).

Along with all the trees are Christmas “rice” lights , tinsel , ornaments , tree toppers, wrapping paper, stockings , and cards. The lights aren’t the elongated bulbs familiar to me but instead are short squat “rice” ( as it says on the box “rice” lights. It appears that the lights were wrapped up and stuffed into small boxes or clear containers and taped shut by the stores themselves. Some of the boxes labeled colored lights were indeed not actually colored lights. So be careful out there!

This was the first tree I’ve set-up without Mum & Dad and the first tree for my Jewish roommate, also to top it off the ornaments we bought at Carrefour were so cheap that a few bulbs fell off from merely being looked at the wrong way but you know what? It’s still pretty awesome. Cheers to keeping traditions alive.

If you are in the market for wholesale Christmas enjoyment that perhaps you can visit the Christmas market town of Yiwu. A mere 2.5 hours by train from Shanghai and 15 hours by plane from the USA , it could be a cool place to check out , if ya know, you happen to be in the wholesale Christmas market.

One last thing people , if you get annoyed by the constant attack of Christmas upon all the senses just be glad you don’t have to work at a Shanghai McDonalds. Last year they had Jingle Bell Rock on repeat at the Mickie Dees outside of Changshou Lu Metro station. Yes , a single song on constant repeat , for over a month , at a store that is open 24 hours a day!!!! If that’s not enough to cause a holiday sucide I’m not sure what would do it.

CNNGO Yiwu Link

http://www.cnngo.com/shanghai/life/yiwu-china-massive-xmas-market-616211