Sunday, November 25, 2007

Short and Sweet

It's been a while, I know. Hopefully you all had a nice thanksgiving holiday. I just completed a 2 day cooking bender. We decided, at the last minute, to have a Thanksgiving celebration at our house over the weekend. Not sure if we would even find a turkey, I started my quest to find one. After the turkey was found (for over $100 US!), I began my cooking adventure for approximately 12 people.

After much cooking and eating, we played games well into the evening. It was nice, but exhausting! I think I want to go out for brunch next year and just come back to a clean house to play games after dinner.

Well that's all for now. Sorry for the short post here- we did want to let you know we are alive and well- just insanely busy. I have been really busy with school and work, so I will spend some time posting and getting some pictures up in the next few weeks.

Again- Happy Holidays!
Phil and Jen

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Morning gives way and a gentle haze floats over the city. As I watch blue sky struggle to make its way through the clouds, a cool breeze blows through the windows. It is rare in a city as polluted as Shanghai that one opens the windows, but momentary desire to experience the refreshing sense that comes on a fall day overtakes me.

Today the city beckons. The streets below beg to be explored. It is the first day in a long time that the weather cooperates with my time and desire, so camera in hand, I am off to explore the streets of Shanghai, and hopefully capture a bit of its life and people.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Blog History in the Making

As some of you may know, I am a bit dramatic. While this may not be blog history, it is certainly a personal accomplishment for me to blog a third time in less than a week, let alone a month. For those of you wondering if I am sitting at home, bored out of my brains, having nothing better to do with my time than pontificate to what I suppose is an ever dwindling audience- fear not. This is not the case. I am instead, exercising my interest in writing by diligently doing just that- writing.

I have been learning and therefore putting into practice, the discipline of regular writing. As I sit at my laptop trying to concentrate on an article I am writing for a magazine, I find that I need a break. So I write to you.

I fear until recently, that I have not been so effective at keeping you all in the loop regarding life here in Shanghai. I have kept up on most big things, but as far as day to day life goes, I haven't done so well sharing those details. Currently, I am writing an article on Chinese tea for a magazine I am writing for here in Shanghai. Last week I had my first article- an article on Chinese wine based on a tasting I hosted- published. That was fun. I will include the article as soon as I can figure out how to scan and post it properly.

Otherwise, it has been a bit grey and chilly here in Shanghai. The sun is however, peeking through the clouds right now. I feel the fog clearing from my brain so I think I should take advantage of that clarity and get back to writing my next article.

(Feel free to comment and say hello here on the blog-that way I know if you really are reading ;)


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Night Rambling

It is Sunday night here in Shanghai. As Phil plays his guitar in the study, I sit at our dining table turned temporary office space, attempting to concentrate on a writing class. My brain, swimming in a sea of pronouns, pronoun cases, pronouns with gerunds (??), seems to have taken a permanent break for the evening. Although my eyes read the pages before me, I haven’t taken in a bit of information in the last 20 minutes.

Instead, I find myself thinking about the end of another weekend. As always, it feels too short. It seems like the weeks and weekends run together in one seamless line. Today is really no different. I feel a little less rested than I normally do for a Sunday night, but I don’t mind. We had a very busy week. Aside from the usual Mandarin class and studying that comes with that, we had a particularly social schedule.

Monday night we went to our favorite Sichuan restaurant with our friends Alecia and Andy. Wednesday night I cooked a seriously American “comfort” meal for a friend of ours who has lived in Shanghai for over 10 years. Friday deserves a story of its own, but in the interest of not boring the brains out of you- I will say, with no exaggeration that I cooked all day long. (Living in Shanghai, there is no shortage of great restaurants in many different cuisines, but for some reason, until recently, there was no Mexican food here. Most Chinese people have never even heard of a taco! Needless to say, since Phil and I have moved here, we haven’t had Mexican food of any kind. Aside from the 1 Mexican restaurant we recently gained, 8 flour tortillas will cost you $11!) So a combination of wanting to make a favorite chicken enchilada recipe for our guests that night, and an absolute unwillingness to pay what it would cost to buy what I needed, I decided to take on the task of making flour tortillas, salsa, enchiladas, and a few other side dishes. I know I was crazy for doing all of it in one day, and although I was sore the next morning from rolling out 25 tortillas for 3 hours, it was sooooo worth it.

Saturday night I took a much needed break from cooking and we went out to dinner with our friends Sophie and Patrice who have just moved here from France. Along with 6 other friends of theirs, we went to a Chinese restaurant for some good old fashioned Chinese fare. It was nice to go out and be served, as well as meet so many new people. One of our favorite things about living here in Shanghai is meeting and getting to know so many different people from all over the world. It is really one of the coolest things. I never thought we would have to come to Shanghai to meet such a diverse community of people, but I am glad we have.