Four Iowans Abroad

Angela and I recently hosted two very special guests. Angela’s mother Cindy and her grandmother Marjorie visited us for two weeks. It was awesome! They are both very laid back people, and were a pleasure to have around. It also gave Angela and I a chance to do a few things that we had not yet accomplished in and around Shanghai.
Arriving at the Airport!

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Holiday Cheer!

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.

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A night on the town

The past month has been a very hectic month for the two Iowans abroad. Our school hosted a huge music festival called Dynamix. This was a strange event to me, and stressful. I won’t go into too much detail, but basically the festival only involves our own students, but guest conductors and workshop directors came in to work with the students. In previous years, the past band director was in charge, but now the company has broken off and ran the event privately. Since all of our students are involved, I felt personally responsible for preparing every single student on the music. I was a little frustrated by how our music program was hijacked for the first term, but I am relieved that we are now free to plan our own program.

Angela and I decided to go on a fancy date this week. I decided to surprise her by picking a fancy restaurant. A few other teachers recommended a place called Hai by Goga at our last teacher meeting. I did a little research and found that it was located in the French Concession. The restaurant is located on the 7th floor of a hotel tucked away behind a block of restaurants in the heart of the expat French Concession. We found our way up, and discovered a pleasant little restaurant with windows on all sides and a great view of the city. Continue reading

Saturday in the Park

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!

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Monday Fun-day.

We celebrated our second Monday of the year by going to our friend Joel’s apartment to watch a movie. We watched Ghost Busters. This past Friday, we had a school happy hour that a lot of staff attended. We stayed there a long time, and then went to our Canadian friend Cat’s house to have a low-key night. Saturday we went out to dinner via bicycle in the French Concession to a place called Abbey Road, based off of the Beatles album. It was a very fun adventure. 

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On Sunday Angela and I got foot massages! We went to separate places. Both of us had awesome foot massages, but my place was much more expensive! All for now.