Back to Work

Yup just like that it’s over. Back to work , clock in clock out , grind time once again. I know I already went on a little rant before but I’m seeing all these TGIF whoa awesome plans for the weekend on slavebook (aka facebook) as I’m sitting in my office during lunch break. Waaahh! Saturday , Sunday , and then Monday thru Friday of work. Waking up on Monday I will already worked for two days so going with the normal progression of time it should already be Wednesday by that time. So then the next day should be Thursday and almost the weekend but in reality it will be the other dreaded T – Tuesday! Nooo!

But enough complaining , having 7 days off in a row (even though they really only give you three days off because 2 are already because of a weekend and then you use the next weekend to cover 7-2-2=3) is really nice. Before, I forgot to mention I went to a Dj Shadow concert on the first Friday at the Mercedes-Benz arena in Pudong. Awesome venue with a great sound system even though it’s a little far away from things and late shows equals no metro home so either a long bike ride or super expensive taxi back home. Unless you live in Pudong and then wow aren’t you just super cool?

After the video game spree I spent the next days riding around the city checking out some bars and restaurants. If you have the chance I say check out

Barbarossa – Moroccan style lounge in People’s Park is pretty cool (pricey)

Shanghai Brewery- Excellent home brews and food on Hongmei Rd

Also found one of those pirate book vendors with loads of good books each for 20rmb but  we bargained down a little bit since we bought 14 books. They look really good too some it is quite hard to tell they are pirated. The back price above the bar code is still even listed in US dollars haha. Ah I love Pirates. China has really good ones too!

Thursday night was spent at a fireworks show in Century Park. Entry to the park for the show was 70rmb but due to vast crowds we waited (along with what seemed like thousands of other people) on an outlying street by the park and watched the show for free. Seriously didn’t matter we didn’t make it inside we had a perfect view from the outside! There were also three other firework nights and each lasted over an hour. Just like the 4th of July except that we are celebrating the anniversary of the Communist Party! I have certainly been missing the 4th of July celebrations the last few years so next year go check out these fireworks if you feel a bit homesick!

The last day was spent at the Shanghai Zoo which actually is quite nice. I had heard it was a bit depressing with squalid cramped conditions for the animals but for the most partwas nice. The zoo is set in a very nice green leafy space with plenty of room for people on wide grassy spaces.You can take Metro Line 10 to the stop named (wait for it! Guess!) Shanghai Zoo.  Initially the plan was to head to Chongming Island but due to late waking up , time restraints , and going to the wrong bus station the plan was scrapped for another weekend.

I also managed to not get very much blog writing down during the downtime but will crank out the remaining summer places very soon. Weird how having a schedule ,other work, and being busy motivates me to write more, draw more, etc. Why can’t I just get it done in the huge expanse of empty space provided to me?

National Day Golden Week

Ah the golden week for October 1st’s national day. Every October 1st we have a 7 day holiday to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China ( current ruling party). We have October 1st to October 7th off. You may notice that there should be two more days the following Saturday and Sunday off. Oh I wish that were so. We do get 7 days off in a row but then we must “trade” 2 days and work the following weekend. Yes next Oct. 8&9 instead of my usual weekend time off it will be the start of a 7 day workweek. Great 7 days off then 7 days on. Grrrrr so silly(stupid!!!). Just give us the extra two days , please!

For this Golden week I don’t have enough cash to leave the country. If you don’t have enough cash to see another country for a few days then good luck traveling within China. Since almost everybody in China (1.3 billion) has this week off most return to their hometowns or take the opportunity to go sightseeing. My girl reported back that rest stops for the buses were insanely crowded and the sheer amount of people led some girls to peeing right on the floor in the middle of the restroom in the middle of the crowd. Hearing this affirmed my plan of not leaving Shanghai.  Train tickets get sold out almost instantly from the second they go on sale and if you are lucky enough to grab a ticket I hope you booked your hotel months in advance and hope you plan on seeing more of the crowds than the actual sites you intend to see. This works out well enough for me just staying in Shanghai. Due to many people leaving to go back to their hometowns traffic in Shanghai is wayyy down. Rush hour during the week was barely even like “slow hour” in usual Shanghai schedule, awesome for me riding my bike around! I imagine the typical tourist spots in Shanghai are even busier than usual but seeing as how I’ve been to these a multitude of times it’s no problem for me. Another thing to notice is the amount of fireworks randomly set off for the celebrations. Chinese love fireworks and I always wake up to them blasting off right outside of my window. National Day golden week is nothing compared to Spring Festival but still everyday I manage to hear some fireworks going off in the city.

Right now it’s about halfway through the holiday and I haven’t really accomplished much but it’s okay. The first 3 days I kinda just stayed indoors (we did have a cold snap!!) and caught up on some reading , cleaning , and played a good amount of PS3 ( woo hoo Fallout New Vegas!). Today I rode my bike 10km(and then 10km back) to get to the Hongmei pedestrian street which is where the most awesome Shanghai Brewery is located. Spent the day drinking Shanghai made micro-brews and finishing some books I’ve working on for a while finished up. Three more days to go and I have a trip to Chongming Island planned , a revisit to the Hongmei Pedestrian street , and (sigh) getting kindergarten lessons for next week hashed out. Maybe I’ll even get some more writing on the blog whipped out too! Woo hooo!