Friday, November 28, 2008

More Layoffs in China

The backlash has begun for Chinese companies laying off workers.

Read this article from the San Francisco Chronicle to learn about the riot at a plant in the South China city of Dongguan.

"Workers riot at Chinese toy factory"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

German Bread in Shanghai

I was pleased to discover a German Bakery in Shanghai that takes online orders and delivers!
Woo hoo!!

Abendbrot German Bakery

They have a shop out in the Hongqiao area near the German, French, British and American Schools but they do daily delivery to different areas of Shanghai. Looks like I'll be able to get my whole grain bread fix every Friday!

China's Ecomony Slowing?

In comparison with what has happened across Europe and the United States, China's economy is doing well but there are signs of a slowdown. Lay offs in the blue collar sector (factories mainly) are happening in many areas of China, including Shanghai. There are even rumors flying all over the expat community of expats being sent back home, or laid off because the costs are too high to keep them here. It's becoming easier to find a local person to fill the shoes of the expats.

Here's another example I ran across in the New York Times this morning.

"China's Great Engine Slows"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A new neighbor

Just saw this article in a local newspaper online. Looks like this new "monster substation" will be less than 2km from me. Great.

Downtown to be powered by monster substation by -- THE world's biggest underground substation is expected to be put into operation in Shanghai next year, local power authorities said yesterday.

The substation will satisfy power requirements for the downtown area...

Kanye West

I went to the Kanye West Concert here in Shanghai a few weeks ago (sorry for the slow posting!) and I've been meaning to blog about it. So, here we go - finally!

Musically it was great - he sounded fantastic, his band was awesome and his backup singers were really freaking cool. Everyone was clad in these all black outfits, some with these funky helmets and glasses. It all went with his "Glow in the dark tour" theme.

A note on concerts in China:

1. They are short. Typically no more than 1 hour. I think Kanye was actually on stage for 1hour 15 min.

2. Stage theatrics are at a minimum. I had heard that the Kanye show was supposed to be amazing - lots of theatrics, lights, etc. What I saw was just kind of average. He had lights and some smoke but nothing really amazing.

3. Nothing controversial allowed. A song like Jesus walks wouldn't be performed. From what I understand all performers have to show their set list and lyrics to some sort of government official who checks it all and then gives approval.

So, based on those "stipulations" all in all the Kanye Show was entertaining and a good time! I was lucky to have great seats way down in front and I got some decent video of the show. Unfortauntely due to the slow internet connection I'm not able to upload any of the video.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Give a proper Christmas Gift

I recently learned that Oxfam has set up a fantastic online store selling sustainable items for farmers and the poverty strucken all over the world. We can all go and buy something in just about any price range in our loved ones name. What a perfect present, especially in these economic times.

Some examples are:

Plant 500 Trees for $250

Buy a Farmers Flock of Animals for $150

Buy a Pair of Sheep for $90

Provide HIV Testing and Education for $35

Hong Kong is AMAZING!

Last week we took a short trip to Hong Kong. It was my first trip there so I was pretty excited after hearing everything my friends here in SH have told me about HK. And I wasn't disappointed! The weather was fantastic, and I spent my first day shopping in Central. When people say the shopping in Hong Kong is great, they aren't lying. It is fantastic!!

Everything about Hong Kong is fantastic. It's small enough that getting around is very easy, all modes of transportation are great. Taxi, Subway, Walking, Ferries, Tram or Bus, you name it and it's pretty simple to navigate. The landscape is beautiful - water, decently clean air, many many tress and lots of outdoor activities. Hiking trails are abundant. The seafood is fantastic - we ventured out to a seafood market one night for dinner. You can see some of our photos below. Delicious! I can't not mention the great Dim Sum! Yum. It was nice to also have a brief respite from struggling with speaking Chinese everyday. The majority of the population in HK speaks english so daily interactions are much simpler and easier.

The people are still just as friendly as the majority of people in mainland China and I can't wait to go back for my next Hiking/Shopping trip!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We're back in the game! Today I am proud again to say that I am an American and I am finally hopeful and looking forward to the next 4 years.

Obama = Change

We attended an election even this morning at the Hilton Hotel here in Shgnahgi (hosted by American chamber of commerce and American woman's club of Shanghai). It was fantastic - full of all people, Americans, Chinese, and other nationalities from all over the world all hopefully and enthusiastic to see Obama elected the next president of the United States. There were tears of joy during his acceptance speech - it was like nothing I've ever seen. Let's enjoy this moment before all the hard work begins...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's official. There is nothing we can eat.

What a pain in the ass.

My current strategy to keep my husband and I as healthy as possible:

1. Order all organic vegetables, fruits and dairy products from, a pretty reputable online organic grocery.

2. Buy only imported canned and boxes goods from City Shop Shanghai, or bring these items back from the US.

3. Buy only organic meat from Shanghai Better Meat Supply company, which offers organic pork and imported beef from the United States.

4. Never wash my vegetables off with regular tab water-only use filtered water.

5. We (like most people) have water delivery service which brings big water "filtered" water jugs to our home but because I don't think I can trust that the water is really filtered well I still run it through a brita water pitcher before drinking it.

6. Use two high end, imported air filters in our home to help eliminate any pollutants and toxins in the air (from outside, inside paint fumes, fabric fumes, cabinetry fumes, etc.).

Do I think I'm going overboard? No.

Here's what I've learned in the past 10 months of living in China. You have to assume everyone is lying to you, or trying to take advantage of you. I hate that I have to think this way about everyone. Obviously not everyone is trying to take advantage of you. There are great people here, honest and caring people. But the kicker is that there are also so many corrupt people that in order to really watch your own back you have to be very very careful about everything.

Welcome to China.