Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Silver Bells... It's Christmas time in the city

Like most of my posts this should be backdated...

On Saturday 1st December I had an awesome time with people I barely even knew. My father had arranged to meet up with his old college classmates from National Taiwan University (NTU) - the most prestigious university in Taiwan (yes I had to brag cos my dad is a brain, and I'm not half as brainy as he is :( ) anyway.. it turns out that after almost 40 years they are still in contact. Can you believe that? That is pretty cool. Not only that, a fair few of them are now living in Shanghai (but previously living in the States).

So he arranged to meet up with them and dragged Mike and I along for the ride. First we stopped at friend #1's house. They live fairly close to us, near Shanghai Zoo. We stayed and chatted for around an hour before they drove us to Pudong, all the way to Zhangjiang, what I like to call 'woop woop' and where, unfortunately, my husband's company is moving to next year :( There, we met up with another former classmate and another who was in town visiting from from San Francisco.

Then, we had lunch at the restaurant/cafe place near Zhangjiang train station called "Shanghai Legend". We went to the 'green looking one with funky big Buddha inside'. Great description huh? I don't recall the name of the place but it had Shanghainese Chinese cuisine. After that, the first friend drove us to the fabric market for my dad to pick up 2 pairs of pants he had made.

While we were there, I also picked up the jacket I had made a few weeks back (remember?) Well I won't say I am 100% happy with it but it does look good in photos, in fact, much better than it does in real life! so I can't complain.

Also while we were there, dad and I convinced hubby to get his suit made at the same place that dad got his pants at. So he ordered 2 suits in pin-striped wool fabric. One dark dark blue and one dark grey.

After that, it was still light and amazingly not that cold at all. There was no wind and it was really pleasant outside. I suggested a walk along the Bund. It was a little further than I thought but still a walkable distance. I said that I was there with the 'two most special men in my life' :)

Soon after, it got dark and the twinkling lights came on. The Bund is absolutely nothing special in the day time but come dusk it is magical. I said it looked almost like Hong Kong harbour and my dad agreed.

Unfortunately, I had left the house with my camera battery uncharged and only managed to take a handful of photos before it died on me.

Then, we crossed the road and walked all the way down Nanjing East Road (Nanjing dong lu) which was exactly the same route I had walked not long ago when hubby's friend was in town. We also stopped at exactly the same building/mall and had dinner at... Waga's.

After that we were all exhausted (it was a LONG day and we did walk a lot and it was now dark and getting cold rapidly) and decided to high tail it home. As the taxi drove around Nanjing Dong Lu, Fuzhou Lu, People's Square (Renmin Guangchang) and various others places I felt eerily like I was in a movie (as I described in an earlier post). All those twinkling lights had me mesmorised. But not just the normal every day neon lights but... the Christmas decorations were now in full force! They were everywhere and were beautiful. Especially the big ones outside hotels and department stores and malls. It was awesome. Of course I have no pics since we were zooming in a taxi driven by a crazed lunatic on drugs, and my camera battery was dead ... ;) (OK OK slight exaggeration!)

Cut to last Friday, 7th December. Feeling like death and freezing like anything. Had dinner in Grand Gateway (Element Fresh) and took a couple of quick photos all whilst freezing. We had to take the bus home (yes, slumming it - haha) because the taxi queue outside GG was massive (and not moving) and there were no available ones on the road either). So on the way I passed lots and lots of pretty lights but it was hard to take anything decent because 1) I felt like crapola 2) I was freezing* 3) I was holding a bag of groceries 4) I had no tripod and didn't want to use the flash which would be useless anyway. But all in all, not too bad. Take a look for yourself.

Xujiahui "Grand Gateway" Christmas Tree Shanghai

Xujiahui Grand Gateway Christmas Tree Shanghai

Xujiahui "Grand Gateway" Christmas Tree Shanghai

Xujiahui Grand Gateway Christmas Shanghai

Compare this...

Xujiahui Pacific Dept. Store Christmas Tree Shanghai

... to the photo I took before...

Xujiahui Pacific department store

And finally, this one I took on December 5th (from inside a taxi) of Jiuguang/City Plaza near Jing'An Temple

Jiuguang Plaza City Plaza Shanghai Christmas decorations tree

This is what it looks like lit up at night (beautiful!) This photo is taken from the very funny Shanghai blog, ispyshanghai.com

* That night I was wearing 4 or was it 5 layers of clothes, 2 layers of pants, socks, 3 blankets, heater on high and I was STILL freezing. Whenever I get sick I get these horrible cold chills that run through my body that nothing can get rid of but thank God it only lasted about 24 hours.

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