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秋春粉墨

若兰的上海生活

 
 
 

日志

 
 

The New Neighborhood  

2013-03-18 00:36:41|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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One of the guardians of my new home
The New Neighborhood - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨

My area is patrolled by a team of about six cats.  They greet me every morning as I leave the house for work, and when I come home I'll find them napping in the basket of my bicycle.  Just too darn cute.

Anyway, I decided to go explore my new neighborhood.  I just moved to a new area here in Shanghai and, well, everything is pretty different.  Like 80% of all the other foreigners in Shanghai, I live in the French Concession.  When Shanghai was occupied by Japan, France, England and the USA; each country made their own little 'quarter' to live and gather in.  Although I don't know what happened to the other quarters, the French one is up and thriving.  The French concession is like a collision of Europe and China head one, creating this crazy fusion that has you thinking--just where am I? 

The atmosphere is hard to replicate.  Living in a weird fake-European-China house with a 1920's old Hong Kong movie feel.  It's special. 

I'm a sucker for that stuff, so yet again, I'm living in a 'lao fang zi' (old home) that is very 'lao shanghai.'  The house is basically a million years old so it's sometimes of a pain than a charming abode, but I enjoy the environment nonetheless.  The neighborhood and location of my new place is, well, pretty hard to match.

The New Neighborhood - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨


There it is.  My house that is about 800 years old.  Or whatever.  And for some reason the parking lot is filled with expensive cars, which makes me confused.  Why live in a house so old when you can buy a porsche?  Ah, whatever.

The New Neighborhood - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨

And yes.  I have a Koi pond in my backyard.

Actually, a crazy Chinese millionaire family lives next door to me and they have their own private garden.  Initially I thought it was a public park, but imagine my surprise when I find out that it is gated and locked.  But Mary, you ask, how can you take this photo if it's private?

Well, my window has a clear cut view of their garden.  I can stare at koi fish (and the gardener) while sipping my morning coffee.  Thanks, millionaire!

Enough of my house.  Onto the neighborhood.

The New Neighborhood - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨

My front door view

So this is what I'm greeted to everyday of my life.  Bikes and craziness and clothes hanging everywhere and dodging vehicles.  It's a hectic, fast paced life here in Shanghai.. but sometimes I forget how charming and simply amazing this city is.  When I took this photo and actually gazed at this scene, I was almost left breathless.  I remember when I first stepped into Shanghai, that feeling of excitement and unknowing adventures, and I felt like a 24 year old girl on her way to JET again. 

I love the European style of the apartments above, but if you look directly below you'll find fruit vendors, motorbikes carrying sacks of rice or other goods for delivery, and a laundry store. 

So Chinese.  So Shanghai.  And although it drives me f'n nuts sometimes... I still love it.


The New Neighborhood - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨
 

Cute little shop.  And two old dudes.  So Shanghai-style.


The New Neighborhood - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨
 
The weird thing about Shanghai is, you can be in some stinky alleyway where they're literally selling pig brains freshly dissected from the body itself--then you turn the corner and you find yourself in some posh neighborhood with French people sipping espressos on outdoor patios.  Like the above picture.  Before I turned the corner to find this new, happening area called "Jia Shan Market," I had just witnessed a butcher killing a live chicken and duck and de-feathering it for the customer.  I'm saving you from those photos however, and you can just look at the pretty market above.

The New Neighborhood - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨
 

This is actually the first time I've seen this in Shanghai.  Someone getting a haircut right on the street.  I saw this in Vietnam once (and also took a picture), but this was new to me.  I love the dude smokin the cigarette there.  Awesome. 

I saw a wood-worker making some awesome pieces of work, but when I tried to take a photo some crazy Shanghai lady yelled at me like asteroids were raining on us from the sky.  Her comment put me in a sour mood, she literally made a "I want to beat the shit out of you" gesture while yelling

不好照,不好照!!!!!

which translates to

GET THE FCK AWAY FROM ME YOU FCKN FOREIGNER HAVEN'T YOU EVER SEEN A CHINESE PERSON BEFORE!?  GO FCK YOURSELF

 
I apologized and ran away as fast as possible and was too scared to take another photograph afterwards.  Goddamn grumpy old lady.  I wasn't taking a picture of you anyway, hag.

Weekend was nice but busy, filled with an abundance of alcohol as usual.  On Friday night I went to my favorite bar Masse with my favorite gals (J and Carol) finishing a bottle of wine and some weird margarita beer cocktail while starring at the city view, then on Saturday I went to Yoko (one of my good Japanese friend's) birthday party and drank tons of tsingdao and guiness.  Her party had over 20 people there from 5 different countries, so we had different languages going all around.  I was speaking Japanese/Chinese/English at crazy short intervals and basically lost my mind.


Anyway, I had a busy streak of about 2 weeks and thought I was going to lose my mind (half my hair turned grey and I needed an IV of beer/wine), but things finally feel like they're cooling down and life is getting it's tempo back. 

Big meeting tomorrow.  Let's hope I don't fck up the interpreting.  頑張る!
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