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September 2006



the Birthday Boy


When I worked at Wall Street English the last time, I worked at the corporate headquarters center, Jin Mao.  There were over 2,000 students there.  The center I work in now has many less students and as a result, the teachers and students know each other much better.  A few Saturdays ago, I was invited to dinner with a few students that were getting ready to 'graduate' from Wall Street.  We went to a nice restaurant near-by then went to play a cute game.  It was a kind of card game and we all had an enjoyable time and laughed alot.  This week, I was invited out for a 'birthday' dinner.  It was really great to have someone who could help me read the menu and order.  Mmmmmmm.

In many areas of Shanghai are, of course, restaurants AND food vendors.  The food vendors set up their breakfast cooking stoves and ovens early in the morning to catch people going to work and in the afternoon for snacks for people shopping and coming home.  There are all kinds of food available.  Buns, like 'pork buns' that we have in the states; crepes, both plain and stuffed; fried stuffed breads; and many wonderful drinks like fruits and teas, are all available.  I've added a FOOD Image page to show you some of my favorites.  I'll add more images as I have time.  The first two are my personal favorites that I have almost daily.  MMMmmmmm and enjoy.

Yanti and the kids arrive

Well after being here in Shanghai alone for 3 months, Yanti and the kids arrived on Sept. 23rd.  Yanti had to make all the arrangements in Bali so the kids could come here.  First it took her almost 2 months to finally obtain the kid's passports.  It turned out to be very complicated, mostly because they are Yanti's brother's children.  This made it very complicated with much paperwork and many visits to the immigration officials for both Yanti, the kids, and their parents.  Finally, in early September she had the two passports in hand.

Next was obtaining the Chinese Visas for all three of them.  This now takes almost two weeks.  So, she finally obtained those.

Next was getting the airline tickets.  We had planned on purchasing just one-way tickets and getting the return tickets next year because they will be here for almost a year AND we aren't sure of our return date.  HOWEVER, the Indonesian immigration officials REQUIRED that we obtain round trip tickets for the kids.  I guess there was some fear the kids would be sold in China!  Can you imagine?  Oh, well.  So what we did ("where there is a will there is a way"), was buy the cheapest round trip tickets we could that would allow us to return the unused portion for a refund.  So, even though they missed arriving in time for my birthday, they did make it in time for Yanti and my third anniversary!

(I'm writing this before they arrive, but I can't wait!  I'm anxious to see everyone, of course.  But also I want to see what they thought of their first airline flight, and to show them all around Shanghai.  I'm curious to see what the kids think of China, the culture; all the people; all the cars, bikes, and traffic; the food; the clothing; and the way people live here.  You have to remember that they're coming from an island with a population of 1.5 million!  The population of Shanghai is around 20 million.  There isn't much traffic or high rise buildings in Bali, the max height of a building in Bali is about 4 stories ("no higher than a palm tree"). The food here will be much different.  And there will be so many things different here than in Bali that I can't even imagine.  I'll keep you posted.)

Coming up:  The first week of October is the 'October Holidays' here in China.  One of two major holidays.  most people take off work at least a week.  I've been invited to two weddings this holiday period.  The first wedding will be a combination 'western' and 'Chinese' ceremony.  So that'll be interesting.  But, not only that, I've been asked to be the 'minister' for the 'western' part of the ceremony.  The kids will be here and Yanti and they will either wear traditional Balinese costumes or we may try and buy them traditional Chinese clothes.  I'll take plenty of photos.  The next day we're invited to another wedding (Chinese, I guess) and will just be guests.  I'll add all the details in next month's entry.


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