Snap Back to Reality: Oh, There Goes Matt and Me.

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Asia » China » Shanghai
July 25th 2011
Published: July 25th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

Will the real slim shady please stand up? No? ok. So last time I realized how awesome embroidery can be, lost function of my jaw, and bought a work of art from a really famous artist. In this midst of awe and excitement, it sadly had to end, and thus back to my story:

July 23st:
So afterword we were suppose to have lunch with the Chen family, but Matt’s Dad’s business partner needed to have a business lunch for some reason (I got lost in the Chinese) which was super sad, but I digress. So we went to lunch, had an excellent meal, which gave me time to recover from my embroidery coma. The business partner didn’t talk with me, but he seemed to be in a rush, as he actually talked business during lunch (In china, you don’t talk any business during a meal) so I guess whatever was going on was a rush job. We then went to the guy’s office, and there I concluded he owned a stone-smithing company, judging by all of the stone and stone cutting people equipment, and people cutting stone with the stone cutting equipment (and Watson still failed to show up on time, seriously). So I got to watch a business deal happen (I don’t think it’s any different than how it would have been in America, but I’m not 100%).
Afterword we drove to Shanghai. Or met a unicorn who teleported us there, I don’t know, I slept the whole time (being wowed takes a lot of energy). At the Wang’s, I dropped my stuff off, and went off to go meet Ross (remember? He was in Shanghai the whole time!) and Matt’s good friend. Matt’s good friend is named ZhuYue, and she has just graduated from High School. She’s in a rather interesting position at the moment, as she didn’t do great on her GaoKao (College entrance exam). And didn’t get into the quality of college that she wanted to. So she’s taking the TOEFL to try to go to school in Canada. And she’s really worried about the test. Which is stupid, cause her English is the second best out of any Chinese person I’ve ever met (Matt being # 1). But anyway she’s local Shanghaiese so between Matt and ZhuYue, Ross and I had awesome tour guides.
After some Thai food, we went off to see the Bunt, and the whole river scene. It was rather cool, a lot of shops, a lot of lights, and an awesome view at the river. We stopped in a Haagen-Dazs (cause Matt had a gift card), which was kinda trippy, cause they treaded it like a sit down restaurant. A lot different than working behind the line at Marble Slab. We also saw a memorial for the liberation of Shanghai, and next to that was a bridge. This bridge is famous because many films located in Shanghai for a 20’s/30’s setting (apparently there are a lot) have a lot of kissing scenes on that bridge, and thus the bridge is kinda a romantic spot. This made for some rather interesting joke dynamics, seeing as we had a 3:1 male : female ratio – and thus a lot of tongzhi jokes were made (look that one up yourselves – hint, the literal meaning is comrade.) Afterword, we took a cab to the other side of the river, (and for those of you who were smart enough to question how that happened when I just crossed a bridge, it’s cause the bridge was to the same side of the river as before – but good job, I like where your head’s at. Starting to get to my level) and got dropped off at a mall. With a bunch of high-end stores. And when I say high end, I mean that Niemen and Marcus would have been one of the normal shops, and Louis Viton (?) was one of the super stores. After being wowed (and Ross nearly having a heart attack) it brought up a discussion of Shanghai vs Beijing. And since nothing else really happened that night besides looking at the river some more, lets get into it.
So the best way to think of this is Beijing : Shanghai :: DC : New York. Beijing is the political and (historical) cultural capital, while Shanghai is the economic capital. Further emphasizing these points are the stereotypes that Shanghai men are generally more feminine (or care more about appearances, depending on what city your asking the question in) and Shanghai girls are a bit more concerned about wealth (or gold diggers, again, depending on what city you ask the question in). While Shanghainese view Beijingers as more old school, a bit more communist, and a bit more “shmucky” (aka: don’t really care about apperances – so a T-shirt and shorts is totally kosher). And most of this is pretty on point (though degree of opinions change). And it kinda explains why I’m more of a Beijinger (cause I don’t care about money that much comparatively) while Ross was more down the middle.
On a final note, Everything in Shanghai is more expensive.

July 24th:
So today we woke up at 8:30, Mrs. Wang cooked us a fantastic breakfast (sooooooo good), and Matt and I went off to meet up with Ross and ZhuYue to go to TianZiFang briefly. It’s basically a maze of a shopping center, and we went into a few different shops with some art. Some were interesting, a lot were western abstract, a lot were really weird. None were as good as the embroidery though (although the picture of the pig staring down a little girl with a frying pan was pretty funny). We also went to a perfume shop (ZhuYue’s idea) and it was then I understood why I generally don’t like women’s perfumes. Y’all think the weirdest fragrances are attractive. My top 3 “favorite” ones were 3) dirt (and could be mixed with grass if you want to remind your man of yard work) 2) Gin and Tonic (cause nothing says sexy like smelling as though your drunk) and 1) fuzzy navel. I don’t care if this is actually a fruit, nothing should ever be named fuzzy navel, especially a smell. Ever. But they also had really good ones like waffle cone and chocolate chip cookies (and for the female readers that want to woo me when I return state side, wearing a perfume that smells like a delicious food will have me in a heartbeat). We then went to a coffee shop where they had BAGELS AND CREAM CHEESE (Gasp!) sadly, since we were about to have lunch at Matt’s place, we couldn’t get it (WHY GOD?!) and then to add to that the tea I ordered was awful. How does China screw up tea? Whatever, anyway we went back to the metro, said goodbye to ZhuYue (though I got her number cause I’ll be back in Shanghai before I leave for Taiwan, so later you should hear about her TOEFL results), and then went to Matt’s house for Lunch.
We arrived, and Ross and I gave our presents of thanks to the Wang’s (remember that wine from the first blog? No? Well you’re stupid 99-100% of my readers. Get on my level). We had a mostly Kosher Chinese meal, because Ross is Jewish, which was mainly a lot of seafood and veggies. It was super good as normal, and then we got to see the super famous Chen HongYing Embroidery that the Wang’s bought. Just fantastic. I’m going to try to find a picture posting website tonight that isn’t blocked by China so y’all can see (no promises). Then Ross and I said our goodbyes and now we’re on a bullet train (that left an hour late). And that’s my super awesome Shanghai adventure. And here are your brain teasers:
Are you more Beijinger or Shanghaiese? Which one makes you a worse person?
Why is it that a homed cook meal is the best when you have to pay for restaurant food?
How does China screw up tea? That was seriously a bummer. I love peppermint tea…


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