torstai 22. huhtikuuta 2010


Shibo, which is chinese (well, pin yin) for Expo, is near. 11 days, said the sign this morning. I have tickets, and IF(!) my guests get to come from Europe, we plan to go.

Only issue is, that we are most likely leaving Shanghai on 3rd of May (to visit Hong Kong before truly returning to Europe). Expo opens on May 1st. All Shanghainese haven been given official day offs for the first few days of Expo.

Do you know what that means? The first few days of Expo... I'll be damned if the place is not packed. Super-packed. Over-packed. Europe airports-at-the-moment-packed. Shanghai-metro-during-rush-hour-packed. This packed.

According to Shanghai Daily, about 200,000 visitors thronged to the World Expo site in Shanghai today for the event's first trial, stretching public transport and services.

Where do you find 200,000 people on a normal working day to queue several hours and test the arrangements? Well, in Shanghai, apparently.

Below is how Shanghai Daily reported about the on-goings. I sure hope they manage to oil the wheels before it actually kicks in, but I'm not too sure about that... Had I chance I think I would opt to visit Expo in the autumn time :o) Now we just have to make best of what is available.

Passengers on Metro Line 8, linking Expo Park with downtown Shanghai, complained that trains were so crowded that doors couldn't close. The trais stopped between stations from time to time and a half-hour ride from People's Square to Yaohua Road took more than one hour this morning. At Yaohua Road station, near the entrance to Expo, jams formed at turnstile exit gates. Several turnstiles broke and visitors had to jump the barrier.Safety checkpoints were canceled outside some Expo entrances because there were too many people waiting outside.

At some gates, visitors waited for half an hour to pass through bag X-rays and body scans. Only a few pavilions were open today, attracting thousands of people waiting in line for hours because reservation machines were not working. The Chinese Pavilion stopped bookings about 10am and announcements repeatedly warned visitors to avoid the area nearby. The British Pavilion was closed at 11:30am because staff could not cope with so many visiors. A minor conflict broke out when some visitors tried to jump the queue, according to

People faced long queues for food and drink, too, with some complaining about high prices. Rubbish was also stacked in public water fountains after visitors threw meal boxes into the basin.

maanantai 19. huhtikuuta 2010

New home

I have about two weeks before returning home for good (or let's say for the immeadiate future) but bacause my lease here in Shanghai was due and could not be continued. They, the management company, claim the building is full, which I find hard to believe. But what do I know about anything anyway. So, I needed a new place to stay for 17 days. About. Thus this past Saturday I moved my remaining clothes, DVDs, books, Orchids and other things to a new place. It is about ten minutes walk away from the office, which, thus, doubled the time I need to get to work :o) Well, not really, since most days I need 1h 20 minutes to get to the mill.

But. Why didn't we pick this place two and hald years ago? Why? I 'm sorry, I don't have an answer to your question.

I love the light in this place! It is 30rd floor, and only downside is it only has a shower with bathtub. I do love a bath, but I don't like to climb to the tub for normal shower. Well, the window in the bathroom makes up for it. Light! Light in the bathroom. Me likey.

I immediately started to want one in home, too. Then I remembered we just bought a house with two bathrooms, one shower-room and two wc's and none of them has a window. Well, maybe next time. Which I hope, is never.

Guest room. Might not get any use if the ash keeps flying in the Northern European air space...

I am an excellent photographer, don't you start to argue with that. So this is a sligthly dark shot? I wanted to emphasize the tranquil atmosphere of the bedroom... No? Didn't think so. I love the almost meter wide window sill.

Plus the door men are were courteous, and when ever I have something heavy looking with me they bring it all the way up. I think I can manage here for few weeks...

What I'm not sure how to manage is how to get my 4 suitcases to Finland. I was sort of counting on people coming to China and helping me with them...

perjantai 16. huhtikuuta 2010

Oh for ash's sake!

I have no idea how many people are stranded because of the gigantic ash cloude which erupted from a volcano in Iceland. What I do know, is that your own worries are always closest to your heart. Thus, yesterday I was seriously p****d off at the Eyjafjalla. That's the name of the volcano. Volcano, which has pretty much closed the North European skies for days. No one knows for how long.
My mother-in-law (technicalities aside) was supposed to arrive to Shanghai today. And it would have been a bright, sunny, beautiful day to come. And I know she had waited for it. And I know it is not likely she'll ever come to this part of the world if not now... I have 16 days left. Eyjafjalla, if you know what is best for you, you start to behave right now!

tiistai 13. huhtikuuta 2010

Getting ready...

... to return to Finland.

Btw! If I ever move again, I will definately get a moving company to do it. It was so efficient, easy and headacheless, that it is definately worth the money. Not that I paid this one myself, but still.

Of course there are still the numerous hours of checking what will be taken, what will be tossed and what will be given away. It's not quite as fun as Sex and the City (the movie) made it look like, if you know what I'm saying...

And there was the trouble of deciding which things I will need in the coming eight(!!!) weeks. But now it is all done, and all I can do is to wonder how I get all those things I need in next eight weeks to Finland...

maanantai 5. huhtikuuta 2010

Rush hour

I had a "try to be a really good Chinese" day last Sunday. I went to see elementary / middle school ping pong tournament. I bough a kite. A big kite and a 250 meter line, with a shocking price tag of... 3 euros. I flew the kite. I had real home cooked chinese food. And I played Ma Jiang (or mahjong, in real english).

I did all that in a smallish town (well, in Finnish scale it was a huge metropol, with some 1,5 million citizens). So, do you think I blended well in? Nah, not really. I was honestly worried for the traffic safety, as the mopedists and scooter drivers bend over backwards to stare at me with my kite. They don't get to see a lot of waiguoren, I can presume, and they propably thought I was the girlfriend / wife of my Chinese colleague. Which they propably see even less.

It was a fun day! And getting the kite high, high up in the air was really satisfying. But! There were maybe twenty people flying their kites in a very, very small park.

With a modest exaggeration, I can say the air was full of kites. Really, there were so many of them, that you were in danger of getting the lines tangled all the time. I didn't think there would be a rush hour for kite flying, but live and learn!

Well, soon enough* I'll be in the Finnish "country-side" (i.e. our own yard) and surely enough there wont be a kite-congestion there :o)

* 25 days and counting...

sunnuntai 4. huhtikuuta 2010

Rules of the city

The other night I was walking on Hengshan Road. Not much to do (except work, but cannot work all the time, and I had a flu, so couldn't go to the gym), so I decided to spend an hour walking to the bakery and back. Nothing to do with the delicious lemon tarts they do. Oh no, not at all.

Anyway, on the way there, a street vendor was selling kiwis. I veeery very rarely buy anything from the street vendors, and this time was no exception: xie xie, bu yao (thanks, but no thanks), I said.

But uncharacterasticly and without explanation, I started to feel bad for the man. After all, he is just trying to make a living for his family. Can't be easy. I like kiwis. Why don't I buy a few kiwis from him? Why shouldn't I get some kiwis and, at the same time, help this man?

The man was still there when I came back, and handed me two kiwis to try. They were firm and nice, so I bought 8 kiwis for 20 RMB, which is about 1/3 of the price I would pay at City-Shop. Why have I not bought my kiwis from this guy earlier? Stupid, prejudiced me.

I felt good about me, Shanghai, and world, and walked home via the Xu Jia Hui park, where dozens and dozens of dancing citicens made me feel even better.

I got home, and started to put my kiwis on a plate to ripen up. Except that I noted if they ripen up any more, they start walking!! Each and every one of my kiwis was rotten. The man had done the old switch-trick: given me the good ones to try, and while my both hans were occupied holding the two good kiwis, he put no longer edible kiwis to the bag.
Well, I lost 2 euros, but got a lesson. This reminded me never to forget the basic rules (in order of importance):
1) Check your kiwis one by one.
2) Do not get sentimental and mushy (this one should also apply to kiwis, if you ask me).
3) Never trust anything or anyone in this city. They are all there just to get you :o)

perjantai 2. huhtikuuta 2010

If qulity...

... is what you are looking for, Nanjing road's fake market "ONE PRICE" shop is clearly the way to go.