June 30, 2005
Once it starts raining, you're not finding a single taxi
The pasts days were coined with prompt heavy rainfalls which turned the sky into a black wall, just as it would be late in night. Really impressive. On the other hand, in such situations, you are desperate getting an empty taxi in Shanghai. Unbelievable but true. In this 17 million residents city, where 2/3 of all cars seem to be taxis, it's hardly impossible to find one. Thus I ended up queuing at the Jinmao's entrance for at least half an hour until I finally got my taxi which drove me back home in the evening.
In Germany you would get mad like a cow waiting that long. However, here in China, these situations are just normal. Well, not normal, but there is nothing you can do about it. Just stand and wait and be patient.
June 28, 2005
First Burgerking in China opened in Shanghai today
It took some time, but today the first Burgerking restaurant opened near the Jingan Temple.
Today is such a day...
...where you are just fed up with China. Chinese taxi drivers who want to use the opportunity to try to drive a westerner to a complete wrong direction, Chinese burping in the elevator while shouting against each other. The waitress who takes 15 minutes to bring your one dish meal....and so on...
Well, yes this is part of being in China. But to be honest, I do recognize that to some extent the level has changed from the first time I was here in 2003. I shall get back to work now to better forget all about this.
Car accident at Fuxing Lu
Really bad what I just experienced last night. While sitting on my balcony and thinking about something stupid, I then heard a big bang.
First, I thought it would have been a normal car accident with two vehicles involved in it. Seconds after I stood up from my chair to see what was happening down there, at Fuxing Lu. Well, it was dark and quite far away so I couldn't see anything precisely. However, what I say was just enough for me.
A taxi lighted by warning lights and next to the car, a motionless body lying on the ground. The best, at first no car who passed by didn't stop at all to see what really happened to the person.
Minutes later, a crowd of people from the other side of the street went to the middle lane and just watched the person doing NOTHING!
I felt kind of awkward. I thought that somebody has to call an ambulance immediately. After a while where nothing changed I picked up my phone, called the operator and kindly asked them to inform the ambulance and the police...well she didn't know the number of both institutions. Well, isn't that miserable? I gave up then and just felt bad at all as I wasn't able to communicate what just happened.
In the end, many more cars driving along the street did pass the body, while the police who in the meantime arrived at the scene didn't want to or was not able to stop the traffic in front of the body. An ambulance came and with a peace of mind they went to the person, did do something which I couldn't identify from the place I was standing and brought him/her to the ambulance car and drove away.
I assume the person lying on the ground was hit by the car in such a manner, that he or she didn't make it given he/she didn't move at all while I was observing the scene. This was really really bad, folks....
June 26, 2005
Climate is getting insupportable
Welcome to the summer and rainy season in Shanghai. Few days ago it started to become hotter and even more humid. It's just too bad going outside anymore. The aircon is doing its best to keep my room comfortable.
This morning I woke up due to a heavy wind breezing along my window on the 30th floor. Man, it seemed like the building was shaking. Well and it didn't stop doing so until now (actually it's 9:42 PM already).
June 25, 2005
Relaxing Friday evening
I really fell into my bed yesterday after having watched the Ocean's Twelve movie on dvd. It was good to get a rest. Today, after waking up around noon, I decided to go on a adventure buying myself an ironing board. You might laugh, but I went to several store and I couldn't find a single board....arg. Now I know what I am going to do tomorrow.
After my disappointing search I decided to head to Aroma Age, an exclusive massage salon in Zhenning Lu 11 / ZhaoHuaDong Lu as my boss and other colleagues did give me one session as my birthday present. Oh 1 1/2 hours great message was definitely the right thing to do on this lousy saturday ;-)
Later I am going to a home party, together with Florian where we are supposed to watch the Germany vs. Brasil football match at midnight.
I hope you are all well back home.
June 24, 2005
Intercontinental & ShangriLa Hotel Pudong
Ohhhh, it was not a good decision to go out for a beer with my boss yesterday evening. We headed off from the office to the Bar of the Intercontinental Hotel here in Pudong and started ordering a pitcher of beer. After having ordered and drunk another one, we decided to switch the location. So we went to the "Bats"-Bar at the ShanghriLa Hotel close to the Huangpu River and ordered some more fluid. I returned back home at 1 AM and you may imagine how I feel today.
Indeed it is not a very efficient day for me today. I am looking forward to the weekend now, and to my bed! Bad that I shall go out with some folks for Karaoke tonight. Better I call this appointment off.
June 22, 2005
19 million residents and no Taxi available
Unbelievable. If you just wake up half an hour late you might end up with getting no Taxi in the morning. Even if it's not raining!!! That's what happened to me again this morning, so I was standing at the pedestrian and waiting for an empty taxi to pass by.....holy, I think it took me 20 minutes to find one! Bad start of the day.
June 21, 2005
Busy working and time to safe some money
As far as I know, Flo safely arrived in Munich. Time for me to concentrate on my thesis work again. It's almost 7:30 pm and I am still in the office, at least for a couple of hours more. I didn't expect it to be that challenging to write such a mess....well hopefully I am proceeding a bit more in the near future.
However, it keeps me busy. So no time for leisure and drink orgies anymore. Good news for my wallet, actually.
June 19, 2005
Flo left Shanghai
Hmm, I just said goodbye to Flo and brought him to a taxi which will drive him to the airport. Strange, that he is gone now...hopefully he'll have a good and save trip back home.
Birthday, third time in a row abroad
Many thanks for calling me at midnight, buddies! It was great hearing you all.
What a surprise! My roommates just presented a birthday cake. ;-) Very cute.
Cloud9, Prawn restaurant and Teppanyaki
Sorry for not posting that much the past days. I was kept busy and went to bed quite late. Well, where shall I start reporting what was going on the past days....
I did bring Flo to the Cloud9 bar on Friday evening. The bar is located on 88th floor of the Jinmao Tower, always a good place to hang around. After having had some drinks, we ended up in downtown.
Finally at around 2 AM, Flo got veeeeeeeeeeeeeery hungry and decided to get into a small Chinese restaurant specialised on prawns....
I did took few great shots when he was trying to eat those animals :-) (Check out my picture gallery!)
Yesterday, on Saturday, Flo did buy some more clothes and stuff. In the evening, together with seven friends of mine, we went to my most favourable Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant at Dongping Lu, corner to Hengshan Lu. As always, it was just delicious!
At midnight we raised a toast on my birthday before we left for O'Mailey for more jugs of beer. The evening ended in Dragon Club, a new Venue at Fenyang Lu, I have never been to before.
June 16, 2005
Windows at Jingan temple and Zapata's
After returning back home from work yesterday evening, we went out for dinner at Huai Hai Lu before we continued our journey to Windows at the Jingan Temple. Nothing has changed there in the course of two years. Gin Tonic still costs about 1 Euro...a good appetizer venue.
Then we went to the always crowded place Zapata's. As every Wednesday, Ladies night is coming up. Having been there I just crossed the road to Dongpin Lu to make a reservation at my most favourite Teppanyaki restaurant in town for Saturday evening, when I am going to have dinner with a bunch of friends.
Back to Zapata's, I tried to find my way to the bar to order a cool draught beer for 4 Euro, incredible how expensive Shanghai has developed. Funny, I met Kathleen again on my way to the bar. Since I have been the first time to Shanghai in 2003, she is still working there. In the meantime Flo was talking to my boss, his wife and a colleague of mine. In the end we ended up in bed at around 1:30 AM....uuuuuuhhh.
June 14, 2005
Delicious Beijing duck
Mhhhh Flo did want to eat a delicious Beijing kao ya = Bejing duck. Here is the outcome of our adventure as the Chinese waiter did show us how to eat it properly :-)
I am getting too fat man....have to stop eating for months now to get my proper weight...unbelievable!
June 13, 2005
Shanghai 2005 pictures
If you wanna see the pictures of my 2005 summer stay in Shanghai just use this link. I am going to add new pictures from time to time.
Back to work
While I was back working today, Flo enjoyed sleeping until 2 PM....that's how life should be, ah?! ;-)
When I came back, we went out for a walk and then found a nice Chinese restaurant on the corner where we had our dinner. After that we went to Nanjing Lu near the People's Square and had a drink at Barbarossa, a bar which should be quite new here in town as I don't remember it from the past times I've been here. Although prices are very high, the place is worth visiting.
I am curious to see and know what Flo is going to do tomorrow when he will be moving around by himself for the first time ;-)
June 12, 2005
Weekend in Shanghai
After Flo arrived on Friday we took the Maglev train (Transrapid) which drove over 430 km/h along Shanghai....impressive.
On Friday we went out eating in my little Chinese restaurant I know from 2003...very delicious food and then went down Nanjing Lu to Tongren Lu where a bar strip is located. In the end I went to bed at 5 AM....
On Saturday we decided to go to the Fake Market to buy some stuff for him....that was funny...bargaining with the Chinese for shirts, trousers, shoes, ...
Then we ate in a restaurant at Huai Hai Zhong Lu for dinner before meeting a colleague of mine at Julu Lu in a lounge called Mesa. A very noble lounge with some separés where we stayed along with 10 other Chinese, French, German and Swedish guys.
A small group of us went then to the newly opened VIP Room. An interesting interior. 50 RMB entrance fee, I hate this new style to have to pay for the entry here in Shanghai. The music, very loud Chinese techno was definitely too much for us so we then decided to leave. In the end we ended up at Fuxing Park in Park97 Upstairs, always a good venue for relaxing drinks.
Today we're going to see the Bund as the weather - for Shanghai - is quite nice.
Holy...look who just appeared in China with no luggage and food. A very good friend of mine arrived in Shanghai and will be staying here for a couple of days.
June 09, 2005
Zapata's Ladies night
Although I didn't want to go out last night, one of my roommates, Thomas, did convince me to go to Zapata's at Hengshan Lu / Dongping Lu. As every wednesday, Ladies night is taking place. Given the crowd, nothing has changed from last year. It's just developed to an even more decadent expat place as before. Well, not surprisingly for Shanghai nowadays. Many things have changed in this context in the course of the past two years. As I mentioned before, a development I do not appreciate at all.
However, so my roommates Thomas, Gen and I went to Zapata's where I met Tim, another German guy who I met last year. He's due to sign another one year contract in Shanghai this August. I spent a while talking to Kate, Gen's American friend, who is teaching Chinese adolescents English at an international school here in Shanghai.
June 07, 2005
Mhhhh how comfortable....I am just sitting on the balcony with view over pudong and writing these lines from my notebook... :-)
Registering at the Police station
Today after work I went to the Police station inside the Yu Garden together with Gen, one of my roommates to register my appearance in Shanghai. It's a compulsory task for those staying in Shanghai not in a Hotel and for at least a couple of weeks. Many western people actually don't know it and get surprised if they are asked about the registration certificate when they want to leave China again.
June 06, 2005
First day at work
Good morning Shanghai.
What happened since my last post. Well, together with my roommates we went out for dinner to People7 at Julu Lu which was nice. After that I met Florian, my former Shanghai roommate from 2 years ago. It was great to see him. We've been out for some drinks and we did chat about our stories we experienced together in 2003.
After taking the taxi this morning to Jinmao tower, the building I am going to work in for the next two months, I said "Hello" to all former colleagues I know from 2003.
June 05, 2005
Pudong view and Shanghai dog
What an amazing balcony view, isn't it? May I introduce you to Shanghai dog, the pet of my roommate.
Welcome to Shanghai, Baby!
After 11 hours in the plane, we savely landed in Pudong. The plane was half empty, which was quite enjoyable.
The I met my first roommate, Gen, a french national and her small dog. The appartment is well situated in Shanghai right in the old city ring and close to the Yu Garden. Unfortunately a subway station cannot be reached in walking distance which means I have to take the taxi to get to work...hmm.
The appartment is nice, awesome views from the balconies over pudong and renmin square.
On the evening of my arrival, I met with my boss, his wife and another former colleague at the New Heights Bar. What a splendid view to Pudong New Area. My boss and I decided to move on and went to Bar Rouge, Judies (tongrenlu), Judies (Maomingnanlu), Manhattan (Maomingnanlu). After that he took a taxi back home and I decided to check out the Windows place near Jingan Temple, but they already closed it.
June 03, 2005
Hello from the sky
Here I am, 10.000 m over the air writing these lines into my weblog. Thanks to a voucher I am able to use Lufthansa's internet service in the sky half an hour for free.
The flight has been relaxed so far. The movies are ok and we expect to arrive in Shanghai in about 9 hours. Talk to you later on.
Once again, ready to go!
Well, fortunately nothing similar happened after my shock scenario before. I have now finished to pack my stuff....let's see if I have to pay a surcharge for my luggage - hopefully not!
If Lufthansa's internet voucher works you will here from me during the night from the sky. If not, well, than I'll post a note once I am arrived in my new home in Shanghai.
Simon, I wish you a pleasant last week in NYC...rock' it baby!
Take care guys. See you in about two months.
Horror scenario hours before take-off
Dear guardian angel, thank you!
Incredible what just happened to me. I drove back home from F. and while I was crossing a large street I lost sight of a motorcycle driver who drove along the street.
I don't know how, but luckily I didn't touch him. I am sure there was only space for a package of cigarette between his bike and my car.
Unbelievable what could have happened to the motorcycle biker if he would have crushed into my car with a speed of 50-60 km/h. Just few hours before my flight to Shanghai.
Indescribable...I am still trembling.
Once again, for the fourth time, it's time for Shanghai. I am leaving Germany today and will be arriving in Shanghai tomorrow afternoon (local time).
Let's see if I get my luggage below the weight allowed by the airline...as usual, a difficult task.
June 02, 2005
Last arrangements, t-1 before take-off
The time is running now. Tomorrow I will be already on my way to the airport. Time to make my last arrangements, which without any surprise, turn out to be very chaotic.
Slowly, but steadily, once again it's time to say goodbye...