Friday before Christmas
I got invited to a Christmas market and then a Christmas party. Didn’t have any idea where and what kind of party, so I just went on my way wearing my Christmas earrings!
Well, it turned out to be a Weihnachtsmarkt and a rooftop party in someone’s apartment. The market was small, with stands selling stuff you really do not need, as usual. I think they had only 1 Christmas CD, since I heard the same songs coming by again and again. The funny thing is that ‘Christmas is all around’ from Love Actually was also on that CD! There was also glühwein and bratwurst! For the second time since I arrived in Shanghai, people were making pictures of me! While I was sitting down and eating my hot dog, how charming! The girl from the glühwein stand was very nice. She studied in Germany for a while, so he could also speak some German (like the person I was with). We hung out with her till closing time.
The rooftop party was fun. The basis of the group was the guys from the same (international) Kung Fu class. Met a small man, forgot where he’s from, who said he was 65 (he looked not a day older than 40), he still has an apartment in the Hague (the Netherlands) and he just came back from an assignment in Kazachstan. Also met a Spanish guy who was probably one of the youngest ones there and already experienced way too much in his life, but he was the neatest, most caring person there.
The night ended with a short visit to club Lola and a big soft bed all to myself!
My roommate and her sister wanted to take me out for Christmas. More friends would join us. So we went to a club, had to pay around 20 euros to get in (incl 2 drinks), but once in, there was nobody yet and the tables had a spending minimum. It was more than 400 euros for the cheapest table! So well, this wasn’t really what we had in mind, so gladly we were able to get a refund and went to Xintiandi.
Well, Xintiandi, the place where it all happened… It was so crowded and most places you had to pay almost 30 euros to get in and drinks were about 10 euro a piece. And then you got to enjoy a live band dressed in Christmas costumes (seriously, most places had something like that). So they were all too expensive and not even bar like, so not great to meet people. So in the end, we ended up at the Windows bar again.
Again they proved they have the worst DJ ever! About 70-80% of the songs he played, he played last time we were there as well. Almost in the same order! And the mixes he uses, just awful. But the atmosphere was great nevertheless.
I’ve met some Aussies, but they were clearly not interested in chatting with anybody else than themselves, too bad. Also met some Austrians and they clearly did want to chat with others. We created our own little dance floor and acted a bit crazy. Had lots of fun again! Too bad the handbag of one of the friends of my roommate got stolen and later I heard that the phone of one of the Austrian boys got stolen as well. For a city with so little crime, a lot of stuff gets stolen!
We were home pretty late again (I really should stop saying that I don’t want to stay too long…), while work is waiting in the morning. My roommate was clever though, we’re going to extend my visa in the morning, so we can sleep in a bit.
Didn’t work so much today. We slept in a bit and then went to extend my visa. We apparently had to go all the way to the other side of the city, so well, that took some time.
I had some proper Chinese fast-food today. Part was a sort of soup with egg, a sausage (knakworst) and seaweed. The other was like a ‘broodje Bapao’: soft dough with meat inside. This is so much better fast-food than KFC! And soooooo much cheaper!
Despite the fact I really like the Chinese food, sometimes I just long for something Western. Especially on a day like Christmas. So I went to the supermarket, spent forever there to find some nice things and made myself a home-made tuna pasta. It was a sort of fusion dinner since it included Chinese red wine (Dynasty) and with dessert a Chinese Milk tea (lovely).
I Skyped with my family back home today while they were preparing dinner: Chinese food! It was really nice to see them all again, felt a little bit like real Christmas.
I want to end this Christmas post with something that was written on the bottle of wine. The Chinese think lots of food and drinks are good for your body and health, which I agree on. The quote on the bottle made that very clear again: “This wine is made from world-noted grape varieties. Moderately drinking this wine is good to your health”.