It’s hard to believe that it is already December 8th and that we’ve been in China for 5 months! We only have 2 weeks of school left until a well deserved 3 week break! As you may have heard in the news, Shanghai has been hitting some crazy high pollution levels. The beginning of the week, the pollution was over 200. By Thursday it was pushing 400 and then on Friday Shanghai broke records with air quality above the index 500. It is hard to explain what it’s like, but I”m really hoping this 500 business is not a reoccurring thing.
Jason and I had our first Thanksgiving abroad and unlike our family members back home, we had to work! It actually wasn’t too bad since we knew that Friday would be a professional development day! We started our week with a Tuesday night Sushi date! Even though it was only Tuesday, it was great to get out of our neighborhood and eat some delicious sushi! On our way home we stopped at a new Mexican restaurant to get Corona-ritas! Let’s just say, it was the perfect night cap!
Angela and I have both spent the past week teaching music and playing in the pit for our school musical. This weekend was the performance, so the week prior was what many musical enthusiasts refer to as ‘tech week’. We had to be present at rehearsal every day from 4pm to 8pm. That made for quite a long week. I played trombone, so my job was relatively easy. Angela played piano for the musical, which is the most important job, and likely the most difficult. She did a great job. The best part was the very beginning; Angela played three chimes to begin the overture. She misplaced her fingers, and played a rather hip alteration of a chord. That was my favorite part of the show. Here she is wearing a wig and playing the piano.
Believe it or not, Jason and I actually have jobs here in Shanghai! And due to these jobs, we are busy, well at least one of us! Jason is always off doing something! Since August he has been coaching cross country Monday, Tuesday, Thursday! Thankfully, that just ended this last weekend! Besides coaching, Jason is in a community Jazz band which rehearses on Tuesday nights. On Mondays Jason and I have been going to an ultimate frisbee league! It’s been fun so far, besides getting yelled at by our ‘teammates’ and it’s great workout! We’re on different teams so it’s allowed us to meet other people! I’m not sure how I’ll feel when we have our games in late November….may be a bit chilly!
It’s amazing what you can do in one weekend! This weekend Jason and I traveled with some other friends to Nanjing, China! Our travel group consisted of 8 people: Kathy, Heather, Boramy, Kat, John, Catherine, Jason, and me! We took the train from the Hongqiao Railway Station. This was our first time to this train station and it was very easy to navigate although it looks confusing. There was a minor security check that everyone was herded through, and then we just had to find our train number and platform. We were running behind and nearly missed the train. Our ride to Nanjing was very pleasant and comfortable and was only one hour and 45 minutes.
Angela and I continued our streak of fun exploring through Sunday today. I won’t talk too much about Saturday as Angela already did, but I will add a few things.
On Friday, we met Angela’s co-worker at a wine bar on a nearby pedestrian street. We hit up a place called “Whiskey Village” right next door that is brand new, and chatted with the staff a long time as we were the only patrons. They do not appear to be doing very well, but were very pleasant to talk to.
There is always something going on in Shanghai. We decided to pass on watching a Rugby game and instead chose to explore the city. Jason and I haven’t really seen much of Shanghai, so we were excited to get out! My Saturday morning started with getting my permeant visa! Luckily, I didn’t have to do much for this, and it was just like a trip to the DMV, take a number and wait. The whole process took about an hour! For some reason Jason did not have to go so when I got back home we biked to get some coffee and breakfast. My whole plan after these excursions (since it was just 12:00) was to take a nap, but instead I laid on the couch and Skyped with Julia and my parents! So no nap for me!