I hope you will follow my journey through Shanghai with twocities art gallery to plan a community art event...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm HOME!!!

My last two weeks in China were an absolute blur...

From rafting in Hangzhou where Trenia, 3 Latvians, a Kenyan and myself won the competition -
a. Who even knew it was a competition?!
b. Who even knows anything about Latvia?! (Trenia and I do now!)
c. I wish that we had gotten clips of the news in Hangzhou that night; we were all interviewed!
d. Todd Morre rocks for hooking us up with the trip!

To Beijing -
a. If I have ever been a super tourist, Trenia and I were there - Olympic Village, Summer Palace, Tienman Square, Joshan Park, Forbidden City, GREAT WALL...
b. The pollution really is ALL that it is cracked up to be. It was ridiculous.

To last minute gift shopping -
a. PRETTY LADY - Gucci Watch, Sunglass, BAG - Come into my shop!

To dinner with Wendy -
a. I met this woman at an Open Mic - Art Jam at one of the galleries I worked with.
b. She sang - I believe the children are our future (insert Chinese accent, it will put a smile on your face)
c. She treated me to the closest thing to drunken shrimp that I was able to find, JELLYFISH, and many other traditional Shanghainese dishes!
d. She told me how to balance my Yin-Yang! (I don't know if my American lifestyle will support it, but I sure will try!)
e. The dessert soup served after dinner was one of my most favorite things I ate in China!
f. She took me to a Chinese foot massage after dinner.

Given the amount of details with the last event listed, you can probably tell that my favorite part of my time in China was the relationships formed. Even if only for a minute on the metro, through buying food or a mango smoothie, during an interview, or a simple glance while walking down the busy sidewalks - all these exchanges will forever have an effect on me. As my clas5mate Kate Raum said when giving Rebecca Morrison advise on where to travel through Australia: (I'm paraphrasing here) "There is no comparison to experiencing the human spirit." This is so true. I experienced a human spirit - a very old, tough yet kind human spirit - that I hope to experience again.

Blogging has been an amazing part of my experience. I have LOVED all the comments and have appreciated everyone taking this journey with me! And as my new t-shirt says, "I heart CHINA."

After being home for a minute... I think I need to make a t-shirt that says, "I heart USA." It's great to be back. I can't wait to catch up with everyone!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

AT's House...

I had to post this... I passed this massive orange building everyday on my way to work...
I desperately need some photoshop lessons! I feel like a toddler holding a crayon for the first time when I'm navigating this graphics business!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Break Dancers and Magician...

This weekend, Trenia and I were entertaining ourselves by walking around, as usual. Literally. Just checking things out. A mall by our house always has something going - whether it be someone peddeling nail polish, DVDs, the Expo Mascot, Umbrellas, Cuff Links, Wallets, Socks, Purses, Fruit, McDonalds Coupons, Hair Clips, Clothes, Scarves, Luggage, WHATEVER YOU CAN THINK OF... it will probably be there. Long story short... Trenia and I enjoyed far more than an open market. We were treated to a show from some break dancers and some magic! The magician actually called me and a Chinese woman up on stage to participate in the act. Many of the tricks were visibly lame, but some, I was wowed by! The best part - the Hello Kitty Pen for participating. What more can you ask for when all you really wanted was to walk around outside?!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Yesterday for the SECOND time since arriving in Shanghai, we saw a blue sky.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Smells of China...

One thing I will not miss about China is some of the foreign and not-so-foreign smells.

1. The smell of damp heat rising off dirty streets and seeping out of grimy buildings…

2. The smell in convenience stores of boiling processed meats, seaweed, and tofu in some kind of broth…

3. The smell of eggs that have been hard boiled in tea…

4. The smell of cigarettes. EVERYWHERE.

5. The smell in public restrooms...

There are more but these are the top 5…. Wow.

A Weekend with the Lindsey and Company...

I mentioned earlier that we (Lindsey (classmate), Graham (her husband), and Craig (her brother)) conquered Shanghai. This is how and why.

They arrived Friday evening. I took them down the strip of street vendors that line one side of our apartment. Trenia and I have our set places that we like at this point:

Fried Noodles = First place with a blue awning
Cold Noodles = Lady in the middle
Fried Rice = A cart that changes locations, but they have a guy who appears to be about our age whose name is Dream, and his dad cooks the rice.
Dishes with Meat and Vegetables = The little guys who wear the white hats (Cut me some slack. If I could speak Chinese I would find out more about what they hats mean and why they wear them!)

Anyway, we went to get some food. There was a new cart in town with a HUGE selection and a GREAT WOKER! Not only did I get my dinner there, but Lindsey, Graham, and Craig did as well. I felt like I was cheating on the fried rice crew who was sitting next to the new cart. It’s crazy how loyalties can be formed in a few short weeks!

We turned it in “early” and got up on Saturday to hit the ground running. Saturday morning we toured the East side of town along the river, hunted down a famous dumpling restaurant, and trekked our way to the Expo! It was a brilliantly exciting and adventurous day! (note: check a Johnson in Jilin for a great recap) Touring around with them made it feel like I was in a new city! I loved being a super tourist!

Sunday we were slower moving in the morning dew Saturday being so exhausting! Sunday was a rainy day. We were stoked we had made the most of Saturday when the weather was nice! We went to the aquarium with one million Chinese kids, shuffled around town for far too long looking for drunken shrimp, got a CUPPING MASSAGE, took a power nap, and then headed out again around 230am for the Holland v. Spain final.

Craig and I grabbed awesome videos on the walk home from the soccer match… FRESHLY SLAUGHTERED HOGS STRAPPED TO THE BACK OF A BIKE! T.I.C. (I’m stealing this from Team Africa… This. Is. China.)

After sleeping in until about noon, we started moving again and tried our hand at finding the allusive drunken shrimp! This is shrimp that are still alive, but have been bathed in sweet alcohol. Thus, making them intoxicated enough to be able to eat them alive!China strives to have the freshest food in their cuisine! Craig and I were DEAD SET on finding these things. We wrestled over a half hour through a game of of charades with the crew above to find out if they had the drunken shrimp google told us they had or not. Long story short, I’m glad we were with very patient people, or else we would probably have been ditched in the search. Our hunt for drunken shrimp lives on… I will find them before I leave China. Now that I think about not completing the drunken shrimp conquest, maybe conquering Shanghai is a bit exaggerated, but it doesn’t lessen our great time!

In defeat, Craig and I ate cooked shrimp... Sadly, Lindsey and company had to leave town and fly north. Their visit rejuvenated me and my relationship with Shanghai!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I know I still need to blog about last weekend, and I also need to blog about a couple of other things going on... BUT THIS IS CRAZY!

There was a UFO sighting in Hangzhou, the city that Mirch, Trenia, and I visited with Roger (the guy who sat next to me on my flight to Shanghai).

I'm not saying that I don't believe it. I'm not saying that I do. All I am saying is that the air traffic controllers completely shut down the airport near Hangzhou for over 4 hours due to an UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT!!!!

Maybe I can catch a ride on that thing back to the States!!!