An American we met yesterday told us after living here for 3 years they categorize their days as Shanghai days or Shanglow days. I already get what she means, although I am not going to go as far as saying we have had a Shanglow day yet…
We have learned that nothing is easy to find here. Nothing. Google maps and the internet may say its there….but it is not always actually there. In addition, a particular address might be a 30 story building – good luck finding the one store you want in all of that. Shops and restaurants could be on any floor and are often not on the street level. Even if you know the shop or restaurant you want is in a specific building like Hong Kong Plaza, you get there to realize HKP covers two entire city blocks. Not that we could read them, but it seems like they don’t have directories. It was a hunt and seek kind of day, that turned up zilch.
Mike had to work today so the boys and I decided to attempt to find a toy store to buy a chess board. We identified a store, had an address, and decided to trek the 1.5 miles, knowing full well it was a shot in the dark. No toy store, 1.5 miles back empty handed. On the upside, we saw another new area of Shanghai and thrilled another street full of people with the spectacle that is the one white woman with 4 white boys. We get exclamations of “si ge nanhai” (4 boys) and “si ge erzi” (4 sons) everywhere we go. “Shi de, si ge nanhai” (yes, 4 boys) is my response and I ALWAYS get two thumbs up like I did a great job or something. It is funny, but the boys just don’t get what the big deal is.
Despite the long walk, which the boys are getting used to, and the unsuccessful mission – we were still smiling.