Long Time No See…

…which, by the way, happens to be a phrase that comes from Mandarin.  It is a word to word translation of Hǎojiǔ bùjiàn.  But that’s not why I am here.  I came back here to state the obvious which is that I haven’t been here in a long time.  What have I been up to?  Well…a lot, I guess.  I happen to have a very busy social life.  In the last few months, I have made more friends that I did In Seattle over 5 years.  I have met and made friends with people from Japan, Malaysia, China, India, Sri Lanka, Germany, USA & Finland.  And do I love it or do I love it?!!!

So, that’s what I have been doing.  Making friends, exploring Shanghai and having truck loads of fun!!  You will be happy to know that I have totally gotten used to this city now.  I am very confident about taking the metro.  All I need is a map and my notes from the Mandarin classes I attended last month.  I know enough mandarin to ask for directions, bargain at stores, give the cab driver directions and talk to the Ayi (although she completely ignores all my instructions and does exactly what she wants the way she wants).

I probably am going to sound like a broken record saying this but I LOVE SHANGHAI!!!  I love that I live 5 minutes away from the fruit and vegetable markets and I can buy fresh fruits everyday.  I love that I can bargain at shops.  I love that cab drivers get all excited when we get in their cabs and can’t stop talking to us.  One of them seemed to love old Indian movies. In fact, he just couldn’t resist singing Raj Kapoor’s ‘Awaraa Hoon’ for us.  I love that I can walk out in the rain without an umbrella and still not feel cold.  I love that I don’t need a car here.  I love that  I can have an Ayi without going broke.  I love that I can get someone to come home and give me a pedicure, manicure, haircut, facial and whatever else I need and pay less than I would if I went to the salon.  I love that people here are so helpful that when I go out and ask a stranger for directions, there is a good chance that they will accompany me to my destination if it is at walking distance.  I love that I can go on the metro till midnight without fearing for my safety (unlike other big cities and definitely unlike India).  To cut a long story short, I love everything about here.  In fact love it so much that I wish I could become a Chinese citizen and then join the communist party…


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