Finally back in Shanghai after working in the U.S./Hong Kong/Beijing for two months, I enjoyed a rainy weekend being back among familiar things. My very own bed and pillow-heaven! Access to all my clothes and a refrigerator I stocked quickly-oh joy. You don’t realize how much you miss having your own kitchen until you live in hotels for two months—being able to have a quick snack at 9 p.m. that doesn’t require getting dressed and going out is quite wonderful.
Walking around the neighborhood filled with familiar sights and sounds was lovely. I bought the latest Jack Ryan movie at the DVD store and watched the shop dog getting a proper grooming on the sidewalk. The fruit lady was busy selling her tasty morsels on the sidewalk and gave me a big smile as I walked by. I swear the little cherry tomatoes of Shanghai are like fruit-sweet and delicious. Being raised in all that toxic water enhances the flavor so who am I to care? Sometimes it’s best not to think about where the food comes from in China. Just eat and enjoy. Life is short, especially here.
The Beijing TV programming for Westerners leaves a lot to be desired compared to my satellite package at home so I soaked up all the reality shows, though I have to have seen the finale for The Voice at least 20 times…give it up, folks, it’s been over for weeks. Usher’s dude won and rightfully so. Move on.
Eager to indulge in my favorite foods, I hopped a taxi to Egghead Bagels on Shaanxi Lu and gobbled up an egg/cheese laid out on a chewy, dense Everything Bagel with a sack of Strictly Cookies to take home. Limiting myself to just one moist Peanut Butter delight took huge restraint and a stern conversation with myself about how that other cookie was not necessary so I managed to wrestle with the diet devil and leave the rest in the freezer to await my return. I also found a new favorite bookstore, Garden Books, just down the street that has all the recent English titles to buy and even magazines. The mother lode! I can’t wait to take Thom there.
After having a reunion party with my Ayi, Pink, and my Chinese tutor, Fiona, we talked to Thom via Skype and the ladies all enjoyed hearing his voice and mocking his Chinese skills. It’s just not the same without Thom around. Having never done laundry before, I managed a few loads with only minor flooding of the floor. Oopsie! With Fiona’s help, I figured out how to pay the utilities bills and felt very self sufficient indeed.
I decided a massage/mani/pedi was in order to treat myself so off to Dragonfly I went. After 90 minutes of being physically manhandled with hot stones, I was just glad to be alive. Seriously, at one point after screaming in pain, she let up a little but I would love to know why she kept digging her thumbs into my hips. Is that a healing action because after enduring that pain, there better be some medicinal upside.
Catching up on life after being gone so long felt so good, well not the massage part, but I look forward to at some point getting off the road and being home more. Until then, it’s off on the bullet train to Beijing!