Okay, another (hopefully) short recap of my weekend… I should try to use my blog for other things aswell I think… I’ll try, promise!
Friday after work I picked up Andy from the station. On Friday I don’t have any regular lessons, only my extra curricular Art class, and I must say these lessons are great! The students all like to be creative, the only very annoying thing is they don’t really know how to be punctual, one of the students was 40 minutes late (the lesson is one and a half hour long)!
Anyway, Andy and I had planned to go to the Expo that evening (I got free tickets from a colleague), but both of us were tired and we decided to hang out watching some movies and to go the next day.
The next morning Andy woke up ridiculously early (seven o’clock) since he fell asleep at half past eight the night before and decided that eight o’clock would be the perfect time for me to wake up aswell even though I went to sleep at twelve (and I had been looking forward to sleeping in the whole week). His decision irritated me gravely but it did get me out of bed and hour later (sleeping and irritation don’t go well together).
We went to the book store in the center, Andy scored the book “The wisdom of Chinese characters” and I a cool art book and “the picture of Dorian Grey” by Oscar Wilde. Later in the day we would be very grateful for our purchases.
The bookstore we went to is really great, since it has a large diversity of books and a lot of them (also a lot of import books! Read: English books) and it is near a good well priced restaurant, where we had a good lunch.
On our way we saw some kind of concert with Chinese people playing bagpipes! One of the spectators pointed out to us that these bagpipes players were not Chinese, but from Hong kong…. Owkay…
From there we set out to People’s Square to get the subway to the expo. On the square we took a rest.
A few months ago, back in Nederland, Andy and me were walking the streets of Rotterdam on our way to see some friends. We were talking about going to China and being separated for three months, which made me feel a bit sad. At one point Andy said to me, as we were waiting for a traffic sign: “remember this moment, soon we will be in China together and I’ll remind you of this”.
Sitting on People’s Square, in Shanghai China, Andy reminded me of that moment, he took out a ring and asked me to marry him.
It was very romantic! Andy was a bit worried though, because the ring does not fit my ring finger, only my thumb, but I don’t care!
We don’t plan to get married soon, because our first goal now is to live together and that might take some time since Andy has his work in Jingshan and I have my work in Shanghai.
Around three o’clock we arrived at the Expo site and it was very, very busy! We later found out that it has been the busiest day since the Expo started.
Waiting in line for the ferry we met Micheal, a nice Chinese guy who helped us to cope with the enormous group of Chinese waiting with us.
Also, this was the moment where we were so very grateful for having our books, for we waited at least two hours for the ferry! It was crowded, it was smelly and irritating! People were pushing and cutting the line and at one point we arrived at what was no longer an organized queue but a big crowd of pushing people, who at one point started running as well!
Finally on the ferry we were already tired and sick of the whole exercise, but once we saw all the pavilions lit up against the darkening sky we were happy to be there (still amongst ridicules crowds by te way).
First we went to the Ireland pavilion and normally you don’t have to wait in line when you’re a national of counties pavilion, but Andy did not bring his passport to prove his nationality… Thankfully though we caught up with an Irish guy working at the pavilion who took us in.
Next we went to the Dutch pavilion, where the Dutch pavilion is ugly (to my opinion) during he day, it it’s flashy and almost ridiculous during the night with all it’s lights.
We came up with the plan to try to get in to other pavilions with out standing in line. We tried the German pavilion, but I am not a convincing german. Then our eye fell on the UK pavilion and found a group of English guys who got us in with their passports. The UK pavilion was the best! The outside as well as the inside was (is) original, artistic and well though of. Without a lot of written information they succeeded in bringing across their message of green living and green innovation. The whole structure seemed to exist out of big glass fibres that contained seeds of all sorts of plants and trees on the inside.
We then went to the USA pavilion, but we couldn’t find any Americans! I couldn’t help but think that everywhere you go you see and hear Americans, but when you need them they are no where to be found!
By now it was around eight o’clock, we were tired and a bit sick of the crowds, so we decided to go home. On our way to the exit, we came across some pavilions that weren’t representing countries but companies. We wondered if companies were as well represented in previous World Expo’s .
There were many companies and they were quite popular. Andy made the comment: “welcome to our country, we live in all of yours”
On our way out of the Expo we stopped to ask some Expo volunteers where we should go for the subway and I made a comment about their buttons (all the volunteers have a lot of buttons, all shapes and sizes) and asked if I could have one, the guy immediately gave me two buttons! I wish we thought of the buttons earlier because all the way of the site we went to all the volunteers we spotted and asked for them. We found out that the volunteers traded them between them and I traded buttons untill I had three really nice ones!
Finally, after two very very busy subways, we were back in my neighbourhood. Our feet sore and our legs tired we wanted a massage. There are several massage parlours in my area and we went to one we knew was okay, but they didn’t have enough staff so we had to wait for an hour, which we didn’t want to do so we went home.
I was so happy to see my bed! We watched another movie and slept like babies.
Despite all the irritations and exhaustion it was really a wonderful day, that I hopefully remember for a long time!
Sunday, our legs still felt sore so again we tried to get a massage, but still there wasn’t enough staff, so again we would have to wait and again we didn’t. This particular massage parlor is quite nice, but a bit pricey and for two times now we would have to wait, so walking away was a clear message (we thought).
Back home we tidied up my apartment, my apartment is neat all week untill Andy arrives, for some reason it instantly turns into a mess!
Now the day is coming to an end and I’m alone again looking forward to another week of work.
The words I learned today:
jia = home/household/family (djaa)
fáng zi = house/apartment (fong dji)
zhù = to live/ to recide/to stay