Monday, December 19, 2011

Shanghai Update

I want to tell you all I had to go through to get these pictures posted, but I don't want to bore you with the details.  So, celebrate!  There are photos at the bottom for your viewing pleasure.

So far, this probably counts as my least-favorite trip to Shanghai.  It is cold here.  Like, eye-wateringly cold.  It's been cold enough to kill the wanderlust that usually has me walking all over.  And then, I'm only in the office this time.  Usually, I go visit suppliers in and outside of Shanghai, so my days are varied.  But this time I just cross the street (which I am amazed I have survived at doing thusfar... these drivers be cray-cray!) to our office, set up my laptop, and get to work.  Ho-HUM. 

But the worst of it is, I've been under the weather.  We're talking in bed all day yesterday with fevery-freezing fun!  (Open note to the housekeeping staff at the Pullman Hotel:  If the DO NOT DISTURB button is lit, please mind it!  After the first and second times of me getting out of bed to tell you that the room will not be cleaned today, please go away.  And also, I heard you when you slipped the form under my door stating that the room could not be cleaned that day.  Give it up already!)  I am hoping it's just a 24-hour thing, because I have dinner plans tomorrow.  Food bugs need to be gone!

What else this trip? 

There is Christmas music everywhere.  It's like the whole city is one big American mall with the holiday tunes.  So it's sorta "homey" in a way. 

The dogs are all dressed up like crazy!  (And it's also popular to put color in your dog's hair, as well.)  Even my favorite pink-eared poodle has been outfitted in a santa suit.  (Gender roles be damned.)  I passed up the photo opp of a lifetime this morning when three different dogs in three different outfits were standing around, having a sniff.  I knew I wasn't feeling well when I couldn't even be bothered to get out my camera.  One of the girls I work with told me that the dogs are all dressed up for the cold.  This was after showing me a photo of her cutie-patootie dog in a polo shirt.  I don't know how much a polo shirt will stave off the cold, but no one could argue that it's not adorable.

The food at this hotel is terrible.  I mean, really bad.  Even at the "fancy" "French" restaurant on the top floor (which is always suspiciously empty... now I know why), where the ingredients and the prices are more dear.  Most of the room service or menu items (at the regular restaurant) are also either the breakfast buffet or the dinner buffet--or both. 

My theory has always been to order something that doesn't appear on the buffet, so that I knew they had to make it special for my order.  (My theory has also been that the sushi, noodles, and fried rice on the breakfast buffet are total has-beens.  Yeah, I see you trying to get rid of your leftover sushi... gross.)  But this theory was disproved the other night when I opted for the "sweet and sour chicken", which I hadn't noticed on any buffet... so it *must* be made fresh!  Bad move.  This chicken was smothered in the thickest, sweetest, pastiest, reddest s&s sauce I'd ever seen.  Like if you left a bottle of s&s sauce to age for years in the back of a pantry, this might happen.  Basically, my chicken was covered in ketchup.  Sick.  And... I was.

I guess that's it from me for now.  I have been trying to watch the 5Monde channel at night, so that I am still getting some French in my ears.  But really, I have been flying through books on my Kindle (OBSESSED) and watching more Parks and Recreation than you can imagine.  (Boy, is that show funny!)

So I leave you with some photos, hard-earned up on the blog...

Hotel lobby.

My meal partner.

Yawrrr!  It's Caribbean Pirate Pizza!

Chinese gluhwein?  With these temperatures, sure I would!

This guy is threatening to replace the pink-earred poodle as my favorite Shanghai dog.  I have seen him in two different outfits now (the one pictured is a teddy bear, the other one was a ladybug) and he sleeps up high on the stack of soda cartons.  He pretty much rules the convenience store next to my office.