Thursday, 28 June 2007

Crazy weather!

Well I succeeded in my mission to get a laptop cooler today.

I was determined to get a 'bargain' and only paid 65RMB for it. Oh, btw, it only lowers the temperature by 2-3 degrees. Still, better than nothing! But it's good in that it also stops the laptop from touching my legs and burning them, and the fan also cools my legs - bonus!

I went to Metro City in Xujiahui 徐家汇 and also Best Buy. It was really hot outside but the funny thing was, I got used to it. After a while it didn't even feel *that* hot anymore. And luckily the humidity wasn't that high so it was more of a dry heat (like a sauna), rather than a muggy wet sticky heat (like a steam room). Inside, the air conditioning in buildings and taxis did not seem to be working or coping that well.

I left just before 10am and didn't get home till 1pm because of my walking back and forth to compare prices, and just general wasting time window shopping. Also went to my fave mall Grand Gateway for another peak and checked out the basement supermarket, Lianhua, 联华 for the first time.

At around 3pm the city plunged into darkness. It was strange, one minute the sun is coming through the window, the next there is no light, as if the sun has gone down, except that it hadn't.

I look outside and it's foggy as anything and pouring rain. I am forced to turn on the lights in our apartment. But after a few minutes the rain stopped and the sun came out and everything was back to normal again. Weird weird weird.

This photo from is what it looked like.

Only black clouds can be seen from the 38th floor of the Shanghai Daily's newsroom in downtown Shanghai at about 15:12pm today. The heavy rain which poured down cooled the city which had received its second yellow hot alert of the year in the morning. The temperature was predicted to surpass 35 degrees Celsius after yesterday's high of 36.3 degrees.

PS - See? I told you my Chinese was improving! On Tuesday this new friend and I went to a road called Lianyou Rd 联友路. I only saw and wrote the words once. Last night I was 'studying' my Grand Gateway map booklet and noticed there was some kind of supermarket in the basement. However, I didn't know what it was called (but I could read the world for supermarket). But I thought to myself - What is that word? I have seen it before! And realised it was 'lian'. Then I already knew the word hua 华 too which is so common.

I also only knew the English name for Metro City (the building which looks like a giant dome or sphere) and wanted to tell the taxi driver where to go, so I consulted my Lonely Planet book and found out the Chinese name, Meiluocheng 美罗城 (lit. Beautiful 'net city). Best Buy is called Baishimai 百思买 (Bai-shi (sound for Best) Buy).

PPS - Yay, I have more visitors! Since I installed Clustrmaps the other day I only had visitors from Sydney (home), Shanghai (me probably), and somewhere in south-eastern USA. Now I have visitors from Singapore or Malaysia? and France? Yay! "Zoidberg has friends."

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

The Expat Wives Club and pesky mosquitos

If I say that too quickly it almost sounds like 'ex-wives club' - of which I certainly don't want to be a part of! Haha.

Yesterday I met another expat wife for the first time. She showed me around her house, made us lunch, and walked her dogs. Then her driver drove us around town. It was a lot of fun :D

We have a lot in common. We are around the same age (her 29, me 30) and she was recently married (2 years ago) too. She likes scrapbooking, which she does in their amazing 'office'. We both hate smokers and are petrified of heights, hate mosquitos and love to swat them with our mosquito racquets. Ah - the sadist in me comes out. I love to see sparks fly when I 'zap' those suckers who make my life hell! We live on such a high floor (31st) but they still come in so now I have to keep the windows closed for most of the day.

I've discovered a few things about mosquitos recently.
* Yes they can fly up high floor levels. Don't know why or how, they probably come up in the lift or get blown up here by the wind.
* If you have the air-conditioning on cold they fly much slower. So slow the other night I caught one with my bare hand. It was so slow it looked like it was drunk or something, flying around in slow circles.
* If it is really hot, they fly really fast, so fast that I can't even catch them with my racquet.
* Apparently Avon Skin so soft is a good lotion which is a moisturizer, sunscreen and insect repellant in one. But I have to find some!
* The ones that are outside near trees, plants, bushes are far more deadlier than those little ones that fly around your house. The latter only gave me a small bite but the former gave me a huge red thing!
* The standard Chinese house does not have flyscreens. These are a good way of preventing the pesky buggers from coming into your home.
* Do you try to catch a mosquito (even with a racquet) when you are tired and falling asleep. You'll exhaust yourself and won't succeed.

Overheating and overheating!

My poor little laptop is overheating. It reached 51º at one time. I have been meaning to buy a laptop cooler stand for it, and wanted to do that today except if I ventured outside I would have overheated.

(Right now it's 8pm (not 7pm) and it feels like 39º)

Earlier today, at around 3:30pm, the mercury reached 36º and Yahoo said it 'feels like 44º.' Yuck yuck yuck!

I have had the air conditioning on all day (set to around 19º). I turned it off for a while and couldn't stand it even after just 5 minutes. The heat was horrendous. I went outside briefly too and it felt like a sauna.

I brought my trusty laptop cooler (which my Dad got me from Taiwan) with me, but the fragile delicate parts inside broke during my many airport and taxi trips. :(

It looks like this:

I plan to accomplish my task tomorrow. The problem is figuring out what is the best time to go outside. 11am-4pm is the hottest part of the day so I have to go before this. Problem is, most shops don't open till 10am. And if I go after 4 it is too late because peak hour is imminent and I won't be able to find a vacant taxi to get home. So I think I'll try to leave at around 9:30 am to get there just before it opens. And that way, I'll beat any crowds too. :) And hurry home before I fry.