Showing posts from February, 2014

Digital Footprint 4-Ever

In my Q & A post I wrote about how I'd indeed made friends with people I'd met online. I think that is really easy to do when you're an expat in a foreign country. As a foreign resident of a city far from home, many people will Google the city and come up with a list of blogs authored by people living there. I know I have done it, many times. Sometimes it's helpful, sometimes it's not. I strive to be helpful, but I also don't want to sugarcoat the challenges I face on a daily basis living abroad. However, I also don't use this space to air all my grievances, and believe me, some days I have a lot. But it's not a good idea to lay your dirty laundry out for all the world wide web to see. It's a small world, after all. Case in point:

Last night I came across the blog of someone I have personally never met, but someone who is part of one of the many circles I'm a part of here. In most of her posts, she spews anger and shares every bit of her tho…

Spare Oom

We're nearing the two year mark in Shanghai. In all this time, we've had only two sets of guests. Compare that with Macau, which saw our guest suite filled at least once a month. So, in a wild stroke of genius, fueled by the frustration of having a room with a huge king size bed that we could not use for anything but sleeping, we asked the landlord to remove the bed so we could transform it into something else. We took to calling it Narnia (because you get into it from the Spare Oom), and intended to use it as a creative space for us to work on art projects and sew without having to use the dining room table (which we are terribly old fashioned and actually use to eat meals around). It was a brilliant idea! 
However! Out of the blue we now how guests lined up to stay with us every single month through the end of summer. So, we're frantically trying to turn the space back into a spare room used for sleeping. We've got tons of air mattresses and foam mattresses which, as …

Crazy Russians in Shanghai

So there is this footage of a pair of Russian daredevils who hopped a fence onto the construction site of the tallest building in China and then climbed all the way to the top, without any safety equipment. This building happens to be a block from my house. Here's a photo of the Shanghai Tower taken from my lobby entrance:

The building on the right with the hole in it is the Shanghai World Financial Center, and it was the tallest building in China (and second tallest in the world) until the Shanghai Tower came along to leave it in the shadows. During Chinese New Year, everything shuts down, including the construction of the Shanghai Tower, which usually goes on round the clock. So it was easy for these two lunatics to climb a fence and gain access - there was no one around.

Here's a still photograph taken by these guys from the tippy-top of one of those red cranes, free of any rope or harness, looking down onto the Shanghai World Financial Center:

Yeah, it totally makes me wan…

Shang-High-Noon, Week 7


Q & A

It's Tuesday again, which means there will be another Shang-High-Noon post today. I realize my blog is filling up with these photos of the sky at noon and I'm not getting much else posted. I'm also realizing that documenting the days and posting each week is making me far more mindful of the rapid passing of life! Yikes, this year is speeding along!

I have so many posts in draft form, but with the photo-posting issue I'm continuing to have, they aren't ready to go yet. Thankfully, I have had a photo-free proposition placed before me this morning, and I'm taking it.

One of my favorite blogs to read is Asia Vu. It's written by MsCaroline, who spent her childhood abroad and then settled in nicely in America, only to find her husband had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to head to South Korea for a couple of years for an interesting career opportunity. So, she's off in expatland again with her own two sons, experiencing deja vu, or as her blog title indicat…

Transnational Adoption and Third Culture Kids

American sociologist David C. Pollock has described Third Culture Kids (or TCK's) as "a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents' culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK's life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background."

It's a term bandied about repeatedly in expat circles, and our family certainly fits the definition. Even when we were most recently living in America, the country we were all born in, Nathan's best friend was an expat from Burma and Ben's closest buddy was on a two year assignment from Australia. Despite having never lived in either of those two places, my boys felt most comfortable with other kids who shared a common experience with them, rather than the kids who were born and raised in the school…

Shang-High-Noon, Week 6

Wow, what a gloomy week! We did have snow flurries two of the days. In fact, it was actually snowing in the photo on the 5th day, so the third photo down on the left side has some dark spots, which are snowflakes falling on my phone (and face!).

I've been uploading the photos from my phone on the Blogger app, since I'm having so much trouble with Blogger on my computer. However, in doing so, I've noticed the colors are far more saturated than they are on my phone or on the computer when the photo is saved there. This one is a little more accurate. I think using Internet Explorer is the problem, I can't upload any photos while using it. This one was done using Google Chrome, which is good, but a different and more laborious experience than I'm used to. Oh well, here's to change, right? And here's hoping next week we'll see a change to more blue skies!

The Lumineers in Shanghai

This morning my throat is raw and sore. But it's in that state due to screaming and singing along at the Lumineers concert last night, so I guess that's okay!

As much as I loved Macau, it had so few choices for live music or stage productions. We'd take the ferry to Hong Kong every other month to catch any big tours that came through town. The performing arts in Shanghai are closer to the Los Angeles scene, we're only limited for choice by what our funds will allow!

I'm a sucker for singer/songwriters, and the Lumineers (singers of the played-to-infinity song Ho Hey, to which the crowd went wild over the "took a bus to Chinatown" lyric) fit the bill perfectly.

They played at a small venue and tickets sold out early. We purchased our within minutes of finding out about the performance. They'd advertised tickets would be sold at the door, so a line was forming up the three flights of stairs at the Mao Livehouse, filled with hopeful people who would ulti…

Shangh-High-Noon, Week 5

We had some pretty high pollution this week, despite the holiday of Chinese New Year where everything is supposed to shut down. The massive amount of firecrackers probably didn't help the air quality at all!

No place like home

We're in the midst of the Chinese New Year holiday, where the country shuts down and locals travel to their home villages and expats head off to warm Southeast Asian beaches. Still recovering financially from our October European holiday, we're just staying put, enjoying time with friends in town and having Michael home with us for ten days. 
Today we woke to temperatures in the mid-60's, and after a leisurely breakfast and a quick call to America to talk to Michael's Mom, we took a stroll along the Huangpu River which flanks our home. The boys brought their bikes and our dog came along for the fun too. We headed toward the more touristy area across from the Bund, and joined in the parade of visitors here from other parts of China who were all wide-eyed with wonder at the tall buildings (and the lone foreign family with two boys and a tiny poodle). 
Nathan and Ben pointed out the subtle differences of the Chinese people who were clearly not local (or transplanted locals)…