olympiadeMy daughter’s school participated in it’s first inter-school sports day last week. The opening ceremony was of ‘Olympic standard’ – and I wondered whether as much effort had  been spent on preparing the girls and boys for sport.

imageThese children know how to march in unison. The French-section of the school was …..well…. less ordered..but perhaps that was part of the act…they were dressed as Gauls after all (think Asterix and Obelix).



Then my son’s school put on a 3-hour (I kid you not) Christmas show. As I was watching each class perform 2 acts (one in Chinese and one in English or French) and yawning – just a little – I was wondering just how many hours had gone into preparing this event?


Here he is! – far right – singing at the top of his voice in Chinese.

DSC_1382The costumes were elaborate and the music VERY loud. Come to think of it, Shanghai is a pretty loud place generally …with horns blaring, people talking/shouting at each-other, bicycles with loud-speakers attached to the handle bars advertising their services (from heater repair to collecting old electrical goods).

The highlight of the concert had to be the teacher’s rendition of Snow White. It was hilarious to watch the enthusiastic school staff perform for the students and parents, each reciting their lines in their native language.(Chinese/English/French). It was also refreshing to know that after putting the kids through hours of rehearsals, that the teachers were doing the same.


One of the MANY delivery scooters piled high.

I don’t believe I’ve posted about deliveries, but I simply must because a huge proportion of the population in Shanghai buy their goods on-line and receive their goods in a couple of days – if not on the very same day….amazing!. A large number of people use a site called TAOBAO on which you can find absolutely everything (I challenge you to try looking for something obscure). If I enjoyed shopping I would have probably mastered this site which requires being able to read Mandarin or spend hours running everything through a translator…not to mention risking buying fake goods and dealing with the bank.


I wanted some shelves installed in our new apartment and when the maintenance guy arrived brandishing only an electric drill I was a little worried. Our last book-shelf installation left us with crooked shelves… and so when he held the shelf up to the wall and started drilling I cringed. Where was his spirit level? (‘spirit what?’….. I’m still not sure if they actually exist here as I’m yet to spot one). When he left I was convinced that the shelves were not straight and thought that there must be an ‘app’ for that. Sure enough there were several ‘spirit levels’ and so after downloading one, I placed my phone on the shelves and to my surprise, they were absolutely horizontal. Talk about precision! (luck?)

Shanghighs‘: Got ourselves a Christmas tree. I went to a flower market and found someone making wreaths and asked if I could buy a couple of big branches – voila for around $8.00 (slightly better than the options in my previous post)

Shanglows‘: The weather has ‘turned’. Some nights drop to 0 degrees.


Shangunusuals‘: Can you see the funny contraption between this guys feet? It’s a Solowheel (or more likely a Solowheel copy). A ‘one-wheeled, self-balancing personal transport solution’, these are becoming more and more common around the city. Yes, he is in the middle of the road without a helmet.


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