Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jorge & Diane come to Shanghai!

Our friends from home Jorge and Diane booked a tour trip to China and they told us they would be stopping in Shanghai for a few days. We were so excited that we would see someone from home so shortly after moving. That week I was having a pretty hard time with just feeling the stress of being in a new place. I was missing my family and friends and their visit couldn't have come at a better time. 

They got to Shanghai with their tour group and they had a free night in the city so they came and visited our new home. I was so excited to see them and have them in China with me! It was so surreal that about 2 weeks before we were saying goodbye to them in Los Angeles and then we were hanging out in Shanghai. They even brought us parmesan cheese! (Parm cheese is so expensive here. They brought us two big shakers of it and we were so grateful!) 

We decided we wanted to go to a "fake market" where they have knock offs, souvenirs, and electronics.

After Peyton got off work he met up with us at the market and then we went and got something to eat at one of our favorite places for food called "Wagas". It has western food and within walking distance of our house. 

 Diane and Jorge brought with them two couples from their tour group that they had bonded with. They were from Canada and San Francisco. They were so fun to be with, and we had a good time getting to know other people, as well. 

The next day I met up with them again and I took them to Yu Gardens, which is a tourist spot for shopping and tea ceremonies. Its a really quaint little area with lots of places to get souvenirs and people watch. I love the architecture here. It feels very cultural and old school China to me. We live on the "newer" side of Shanghai next to the Huangpu River called Pudong and whenever we "cross" the river and go to the Puxi side of Shanghai, its always a treat because that is where the original Shanghai developed and started. 
To get to Yu Garden you have to go through an underground tunnel to cross the river, but it is very close to our house. (probably 10 minutes). We live very close to the River and it is fun to be so close to the Puxi side, even when we live in Pudong. Best of both worlds! 

We went upstairs to a tea ceremony place building to get a good shot of the skyline. It was a pretty cloudy and cold day, but Shanghai still looks good!

Of course we had taxi adventures together. The taxi system is abundant and pretty cheap. (Nothing like New York.) If we don't have enough time to take the subway, we usually take a taxi. Since the taxi drivers do not ever speak or read English you have to do some research on  your location beforehand and give them the address of where you are going in Chinese characters. They also do not understand maps and cannot read one. I have taken a survival mandarin class and they covered the basics of talking to your taxi driver. I know how to say "turn left" "turn right" "straight" and "stop". Going in a taxi is ALWAYS an adventure.

That night we went together to a acrobatic circus show in Shanghai that was really remarkable. It was like Cirque du Soleil except they did not have any harness's or ropes supporting them. 
We  had such a great time with the Riveros. Their visit lifted my spirits incredibly and it was so nice to see someone from home. I loved showing them where our house was and the little bits of the city. I was actually a pretty crappy tour guide considering that I had only been here 2 weeks when they came! Thanks Jorge and Diane for coming to visit us in China!