Saturday, 28 May 2011

Your doors on back to front!

Now I do not know much about that building jiggery-pokery, but don't the hinges go on the inside because someone could just knock them out and pull your door off? That's what I've been wondering at least, since my neighbours (who have thankfully lessened their construction efforts) removed their door and put it back like this.

2011-04-13 - Apartment building - 01 - Neighbour door

Shanghai Thriving Hotel

Maybe it is just a KTV outlet that opens at night, and not or no longer a hotel with a hopeful name.

2011-05-21 - Shangai Thriving Hotel - 01

Friday, 27 May 2011

Chinese tea

I'm not a big green tea fan, the flavour is generally unremarkable so I don't go out of my way to try Chinese teas. And in addition, I've been avoiding caffeine for the past couple of months. Because of this I've been drinking western herbal teas, like peppermint, or the most excellent rosehip. My coworker noticed this and has been offering me samples of his teas.

This was chrysanthemum and goji berries. You can see below, that he buys it in bulk.

2011-05-10 - Work - 01 - Coworker tea ingredients

Bung some in the cup - but not really that much.

2011-05-10 - Work - 02 - Tea cup without water

Add water.

2011-05-10 - Work - 03 - Tea cup with water

And it wasn't too bad. I'm not sure how you are supposed to drink it without all the bits getting in your mouth. But clearly the Chinese have mastered it.. or more likely gotten used to spitting them back into the cup, as they don't bother with all that teabag shenanigans when they do this. I'd seriously consider working out some blends I like and doing this myself.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

New jian bing

Hurrying past one of my favourite jian bing vendors the other day late for something and not having eaten, I noticed they had these savoury turnovers. I bought one in addition to my usual order of pancake and.. definitely worth it. Full of fried vegetables with enough crispness left to ensure me the nutrients haven't been cooked away, with a bit of spice to it.

2011-04-30 - Street snack - Fried vegetable jian bing

Need to remember to keep an eye out for this snack and buy it again.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Lunch at some mall food court

I was walking around some mall and checking out the restaurants. Eventually, I made it down to the food court after not seeing anything that particularly grabbed me. This place was picked at random. When I say this place, I mean the place to the right with the chefs who would otherwise be working there eating in front of it.

2011-04-20 - Shanghai - 01 - Mall food court

Unfortunately, I tend to forget to take pictures when I am with other people, so I don't have any of the food. But I got the second down, second from the left. I think most of their dishes are seafood, and mine featured squid and chicken fried with various vegetables. It was spicy but good. And only cost 20 RMB. If only New Zealand food court food was this flavoursome and this high a quality, and for that matter this good a value.

2011-04-20 - Shanghai - 02 - Mall food court menu

If I could only remember what mall this was in, I should definitely go there again. Afterwards I headed outside to see what was around, as I arrived by metro and took this picture from a pedestrian overpass. Shanghai's much better than most American cities that I have been to for pedestrian friendliness.

2011-04-20 - Shanghai - 03 - Spring traffic

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Bund and Pudong

There's a river in Shanghai, on one side you have some banks and stuff and a bit you can walk along. And on the other side, you have some other buildings and a bit you can walk along. And there's a sightseeing tunnel you can take to go underneath.

I ran into this statue. It's on one side or the other, I get confused which is which because I always take the metro.

2011-04-17 - Shanghai - 01 - Pudong statue

And then this statue. What are they? Well, beats me. But it beats looking at an oil painting, or ancient scrolls or seals or endless pots.

2011-04-17 - Shanghai - 02 - Pudong statue

Then the sightseeing tunnel was taken back to the other side.

2011-04-17 - Shanghai - 03 - The Bund sightseeing tunnel

I know what you're thinking. Sightseeing tunnel! You must get to go underwater and see fish swim past as the clear blue waters pass by. But no. Think some disco lights, and projected images onto the side of the walls. Some of the images are projected clear blue water and fish, but they're clearly not from this river. All you're going to see here if the walls and ceiling were glass, is murk, grime, discarded condoms and other garbage. What a gyp.. how can they call this a sightseeing tunnel? Given all the lasers and flashing lights, it felt more like an epilepsy tunnel. I felt ill getting out of it.

However, there was some cooing and gasping at the "sights" from behind me in the car. I'm glad some people got their moneys worth.

Monday, 23 May 2011

The gu zheng

Someone who has gone away on holiday kindly leant me their gǔ zhēng (古筝) while they are away. Initially, when I first saw it, I wanted to try playing it but.. before doing so reflected on it and realised that I was more interested in learning a western instrument. That the gǔ zhēng was too Chinese for me, and something I couldn't identify with. Anyway, here it is in my apartment. It's a pretty big instrument, you need the table leg props for it because you wouldn't want it on your knees.

2011-05-21 - Gu zheng - 01 - Instrument

And this is a picture of a book I bought on playing it. The girl in the book store told me that it was supposed to be a book for beginners, but I can't even read a word! :-) For that matter, she wasn't speaking English so who knows what she actually told me..

2011-05-21 - Gu zheng - 02 - Lyrics

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Health food snacks

I eat a pretty healthy breakfast I make out of various nutrients, and in order to source them I need to go to a health store for at least some of them. The store I went to in this case was called Helekang I think, although I may be remembering it wrong. While I was there, I bought some of their "healthy"-esque snacks.

There's not really much to say about these, besides documenting that I bought and tried them. Let's face it, fruit is just sugar, water and a bit of vitamin C. And dried fruit eventually tastes pretty generic after you get over the initial flavour detection.

Blueberries are supposed to be healthy, antioxidants and all that. These were okay, but not really substantial enough to be satisfying.

2011-04-04 - Health food store snack - 03 - Dried blueberries packet

2011-04-04 - Health food store snack - 04 - Dried blueberries

Freeze dried peach. Peach is reasonably popular in China as a flavour, but usually it is accompanied by extra sugar and maybe some sour tangy nastiness coating it. So these were a better peach experience than your average Chinese peach experience.

2011-04-04 - Health food store snack - 01 - Freeze dried peach packet

2011-04-04 - Health food store snack - 05 - Freeze dried peach

Freeze dried apple. Not as much flavour as a dehydrated apple, but okay.

2011-04-04 - Health food store snack - 02 - Freeze dried apple packet

2011-04-04 - Health food store snack - 06 - Freeze dried apple

I'm almost out of flaxseed so I'll be going in again soon, I'll have to see what other snacks they have available.