Rough Start to Round II to Smoothed Out Shanghai Sessions

My oh my! Where has the time gone??! Hard for me to believe that I’ve been in the ‘Hai for 2.5 weeks already… while it feeeeeeeeels at the very least .. 1 month…
I have soooooooo much to blog about… and I totally feel like I’ve been neglecting my fans ( ☺ ) out there, so here we go:

Upon initial landing, I was pretty much, miserable; Questioned what I had gotten myself back into; Already missing home/stateside comforts. After a pretty awesome couple months in the States, I hated the fact that I was leaving folks that were so near and dear to me, ala comfort zone. Family and lifetime buds: many of whom I wished to pack up in my suitcase for my 2nd year journey in Shanghai. Hmmm, what else? At first, I was immediately NOT welcoming of all things “new” for my Year 2. I had missed my old apartment, my old neighborhood and my best friends from last year who had returned to their respective motherlands-for good.

I now live in the crazy, crowded, commercial district of downtown Shanghai, called Xujiahui. Think: Times Square, for real. (The main Xujiahui shopping district is centered around the intersection of the streets Hongqiao Rd, Huashan Rd, Zhaojiabang Rd and North Caoxi Rd. Each of these streets end at the intersection, which is home to three supermarkets, six major shopping malls and nine large-scale office towers. Everything from cosmetics to cars to cucumbers is available within five minutes, but the type of product that Xujiahui is most famous for, is electronics – from cameras to PSPs to XBoxes and accessories. Best Buy and electronic fakes and reals are all here. I picked up a nifty portable laptop/ipod speaker last week. ☺ )

As soon as I walked into my new apartment and dropped my suitcases, I began to call and text pretty much everyone else that I knew in the ‘Hai to alert them that I was back and to bitch to them of my discontent… and already feeling quite lonely in this bustling section of the ‘Hai. The grogginess from jet lag definitely didn’t improve my situation either, but only added fuel to my freak-out session. I was soooo looking forward to my new roommate, Nate (friend from last year, native New Yorker) coming home that evening from work; kept bugging him on the phone to simply, “come hoooooooooooooooome already.” Yeah, sounds pathetic right? But yeah, I felt that way. Real talk. That went on from Tues-Friday; basically till the weekend when I got to rid my jetlag, unwillingly unpack and catch up with my ‘Hai peeps.

Fast forward to NOW: I’m ALLLLL betta! ☺ Getting over jetlag, re-acquainting with some ‘Hai peeps and settling into a routine…. I’ve realized and am very thankful for having some good folks around me in this though sometimes, frustrating due to language barrier yet still amazing city. I saw some incredible fireworks last night at People’s Square.

The morning commute for one thing is fantastic! 30min door to door via the public bus for 2rmb each way! YUP, I said public bus! I feel so much more “local” already! No need to wake up at the crack of 5:30AM! Though, its been weird, I’m still waking up early, sometimes even around 5ish automatically… but I eventually persuade myself to fall back to sleep and get up around 6:45ish….and out the door at 7:20-30AM.

New school has its positives and some irking negatives as does everything else, but I’ll save for a designated post on this matter. But I’m cool with it for the most part.

I’ve joined the gym in my complex; bargained hard to get the pricing down. Yeah, EVERYTHING is bargain-able; persistence is key! (Took a few days of phone call negotiations.) Talked it down to a price-point where the GM said “OK, but I can not give you a receipt.” Which means………….. the price that I’m paying is lower than the norm, so he can’t even file it away in his records, which means……… he’s probably pocketing the money, but I still get my access. ☺ You’ll hear no complaints from me. I’m stoked at the idea of actually having time for the gym this year…and ultimate Frisbee on Saturday mornings with multi-culti expat folks.

Overall, living and working in the Puxi side of things has definitely gotten its benefits, and I’m getting used to living in the electronics/commercial business hub of Shanghai. I guess, in a few years looking back – it’d be pretty cool to say, eh? Meanwhile, I’ll continue to truck along in this concrete jungle, as I’ve done so well in a little town called NYC back in the day.

Quite a mumbo jumbo of a post, but I hope ya’ll get my drift….
PS. We’re still in the process of trying to get our legit internet and wireless set up in the apt, so until then… skype/g-video appointments, in addition to major picture uploads will have to be on pause. Hoping to change this sooooooooooon!

. . don’t burn the day. .


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