Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 2: Indoor Skiing (YinQixing)

So sorry for the late post (again). My hands are full these past few days due to my resignation and joining another company. Whew! My body is still adjusting to the graveyard hours as I've been on a day shift for more than two years.


Right now, the phone system in our office is down so finally I have in my hands the power to continue my story. Anyway, hope your still waiting for the continuation of my Shanghai vacation so here it is:


DAY 2: February 15, 2010: My sister told me that we need to get up early as we will be meeting her friends in their office. She decided for us to join her friends in going to an indoor ski and experience the fun. By 6am I am already awake. We need to get out of the house at 9am so I hurriedly took a bath and prep myself.

My sister and I arrived at their work office at around 9:30am. I've met her colleagues and few of her superiors. Some of them are working overtime(holiday) while others have a chance to take an off. We are still waiting for her two colleagues to arrive so I just lounge in my sister's workstation. At 10am, the gang is complete! One of he colleague is waiting patiently for us in a train station in Line 2 (or is it Line 1?).


It was cold outside since there's a drizzle of rain every once in awhile. This got me thinking of how cold would be the indoor ski once we are there.

I'm not sure exactly the train line we have to take to go to our destination. I assume it's Line 1 since some of it's stations are pretty old. All I know is the last station is Xinzhuang and it looks like the place is in the outskirt of Shanghai. No malls visible, same as for the buildings. All we can see are trees and some apartment houses.

Upon arriving to the last station where we have to take a bus going to the indoor ski, we decided to eat our lunch. There's a McDonald store so that's where we eat. It was comforting inside the store. It's not cold at all and if I only have a choice I would rather stay there than go outside and brave the temperature. But of course, that is impossible. Some Chinese eating inside McDonald's are eating sundaes! I wonder how they manage to do that. Guess they are used to the weather.


After eating our lunch, we went down to find the bus terminal that has a route going to the indoor ski. It's a challenge riding a bus in Shanghai since their signages are in Chinese characters plus the drivers doesn't know how to speak English! One of my sister's friend whose with us have to call their Chinese colleague in the office so he can talk to one of the drivers for directions or instructions.

While waiting, it was freezing cold on that area. I have to make some side steps each time to keep me warm. If I didn't move I feel that I will be turned into a statue or I will experience hypothermia! Yikes! After the phone call, the driver pointed us to the right bus where we should ride. We are still uncertain if that's the right one but knowing that there are 7 of us who will be lost then it's still pretty comforting. At least you have a company rather than being alone...hehehehe.

As the bus took off we are discussing the next plan in case it's not the right bus. Luckily one passenger knows how to speak in English and he assure us that we are on the right bus. Yey! He asked us on what country we are from. One of my our colleague answered, Philippines. The Chinese guy replied, "Is that in Europe?". My sister colleague, "No...it's in Asia as well". Me saying to my sister, "we didn't look Europeans right?" :p My sister replied, "I think that's the only place he knows abroad that's why he said Europe". Makes sense.

Going back to the bus ride, we are pretty attentive of the streets where we have to alight. Finally, after 10 minutes, we are on Qixing road where the indoor ski is located. We just need to cross the street and walk a little bit.


There was a little rain so we hurriedly walk to the comfort of the building and I was thinking that maybe there will be a few people who will be skiing but I was wrong! Upon entering I saw a lot of people waiting for their tickets. So much for my theory that since its raining there will be less people going out of their homes.

The tarpauline right behind us shows the website of the indoor ski - http://www.yinqixing.com/english.htm


rates and schedule of the indoor ski


above TV screen shows the indoor ski


the gang

their ticket that looks like the MRT card that we have here...hehehehe....too bad that you have to return it.
I was thinking of keeping it for souvenir =P


inside the indoor ski

ready to ski!!! (boy, the boots our heavy)

I was tired when this photo was taken
Beleive it or not I perspired when I was skiing. I thought it was a breeze to skii but it's actually hard. You have to control your legs and your posture. Apart from that after you went down the slope, you have to remove your skii plank and boots and carry them to go back to the top! Yeah! The very reason I was exhausted. It was fun but it's tiring...hehehehe. We only paid for an hour for the skii at the entrance. And on my one hour, I only got to skii twice! Blame it on the malfunction skii boards/planks that my shoe won't fit into them. We have to find a skii coach on the area to adjust it using a screwdriver. Hmp! We were 26 minutes over an hour so we have to pay the extra charge before we are cleared to exit.  Oh well.

There's still a drizzle of rain when we went out. The freezing cold stings in my skin...again. This time we opted to take a cab rather than by a bus. We are going back to Xinzhuang train station and our destination this time is to have our dinner in Grand mall (that is near to my sister's place...sweet!). Everyone was dead tired that all throughout our train ride we were all asleep. Zzzzzz.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Looking for a Gift

This coming Saturday, the husband and I will be attending a children's party. I was surprised that the husband will go. I can't blame him since an old friend/colleague of his who happens to be his buddy in his first work was the one who sent the invitation. Of course, his probably shy to decline. I'm glad that he will learn to socialize every once in awhile...hehehehe.

His friend actually found my profile in Facebook (the wonders of social networking sites) and he asked for my husband's contact number and the rest is history. Long lost friend found each other!

Now we have to find a gift for the birthday celebrant. It helps to know that it was a boy as I might buy something for girl which is easier. Good thing there are some things that are unisex like personalized backpacks or something that can be use everyday like a nap mat. But I like more the stephen joseph backpacks which is full of colors. It is perfect for a baby, toddler and pre-school. If only there is a Stephen Johnson bags here in the Philippines then finding a perfect gift wouldn't be that hard. So much for my drooling over these online finds. I have to look for other options which are locally available. I only have two days to buy a present.

Most likely I would be buying a toy because that's the easiest option that I have now granting that I only have a short time to look for other gifts. This is one of the downside when you work at night. It seems that your free time is shorter. Plus malls are open at 10am and I have to get to sleep at 11am! Sigh! I have to make a plan this Saturday so we can have a gift. Most probably we have to make a quick pit stop in a mall before heading to the birthday party venue.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cleared!

Apologies to all especially those who are following my blog. I know I don't have much updates for the past week (?). My nw work is eating up all my time thus blogging is impossible. I found out a way to post entries like before and that is to simply make them at home like a draf and then all I have to do is paste them here ;)

Earlier this morning, I went to my previous employer to finish up my clearance. Good thing that I was able to get the signatures that I need. All I have to do is to simply wait for my backpay which I will get next month. Most likely last week of April or first week of May.

For my China vacation story, I have yet to complete the details for the Day 2. I already started writing down the draft yesterday. I just have to confirm some details from my sister since I'm confused with the names of the places we've been to in Shanghai. They all sound alike...hehehehe.

Again, my apologies to all. I will try my very best to be a diligent blogger starting this week.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Turn-over

It's been awhile since my last post. So sorry about that. My Day 2 Shanghai story is still under Drafts and I was hoping I can finish it this week, tomorrow is my target if time permits.

Anyways while y'all wait for the continuation of my story I just want to keep you updated on what's going on with me these past few days. I actually filed my resignation two weeks ago and now I am rendering the final days of my work here in CAI. I've stayed here for more than two years and I feel sad of leaving my US recruiters who has been very supportive and helpful despite the distance. I'm looking forward of keeping in touch with them. Thanks to Facebook for making it possible!

I was busy performing my daily duties here at work and turning over the things that needed to be learn by the person who will replace me soon. Tomorrow is my last day here (suprise!) and I still have a lot of things to do like packing up my personal stuff and emptying my drawer bin. Then I have to secure myself a clearance and collect the signatures needed in the form. Just thinking all about it gives me stress. Sigh!
I hope you don't take my blog off your list. As soon as this week is over, everything will be back to normal on this blog ;)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sleepy

Y'all probably wondering why I'm still awake at this hour considering that I will be reporting for work in the morning. I'll be mum about it for the time being and soon I will spill the reason behind my endless (hopefully not) "sleepy" state that I am in.

One thing is for sure, I decided to make a BIG Leap. I just hope that I will do well and that I made the right decision. It's time that I step up and prove myself of my skills (career and professionall speaking).

On a different subject, I hope I will be able to share my Day 2 experiences in Shanghai later. My blog will be flooded with pictures from that trip...hehehehe.

After experiencing to travel outside the country, I can't wait for another escapade.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 1: ERA (Shanghai Circus World)

So sorry for the delayed of my Shanghai story. I forgot to bring my USB flash drive last Friday so I was not able to post anything. Good thing I had it with me today ;) On with my story....

After spending our late mornings and early afternoon in the World Expo exhibition, my sister and I went to the location of the Shanghai Circus World. We have to take a train going there since it's slightly far from the central Shanghai where we are located. According to my sister's friends, we have to watched the second show which is shown daily at 7pm titled ERA (The Intersection of Time). They say it's amazing and you will get your money's worth watching it. My sister haven't watch it so it's a perfect timing for us to see it together. Quality sister bonding I'd say!

We arrived in Gonghexin Road where the center is located. It was 4 (or) 5 pm then so we decided to look around the area. There is a mall nearby and various shops so we checked the stores just to kill time. Since it's freezing cold, we immediately look for a Starbuck store and went inside to warm our bodies and eat a snack/early dinner. The rain and the wind makes it hard for us to walk outside. At 7pm, we hit the street and walk our way to the Cultural Center:


(we didn't take this picture since it's cold outside. I just snag this pic from the web but no need to fret, the building looks the same)

There are other people (some foreigners) waiting outside but the building is still closed. All of us are freezing due to the wind and yet the people inside are waiting for the clock to strike exactly 7:30pm to let us in. Sigh! My sister are complaining in Filipino since nobody can understand what we are saying...hehehehe. That's the best that we can do on that situation. After minutes of waiting, we the doors were opened! Yey! But the guard told us that we need to buy a ticket first. Huh? We though that the tickets will be sold inside. Turns out that there ticket office is in the lower ground floor. We didn't see it due to the tourist buses parked on the sidewalk. Grrr. We hurriedly bough our tickets at 180 Yuan each (the cheapest is 80) so we can go inside, safe and comfortable on the seats.

The inside of the building looks like a mini version of Araneta Coliseum.

Then there's a huge mirror wall on the center when we came in. I was wondering if the artists will perform inside that mirror or on top of it...hehehe.

Then there's this huge wheel suspended on the ceiling...Hmmm... I wonder what is the purpose of that thing...
 

We have the liberty to take picture while the show is not starting but as soon as it started, pictures and video are not allowed as not to disturb the performers.  There are a few who are not following instructions so the staff inside have to walk to them and remind them to keep their gadgets in their bags =P

I will not tell much about the show but the performers and artisit are all wonderful and great! Truly it's not the normal acrobatic show you will see in a circus. There's are the most graceful and breath taking at the same time that even adults will appreciate and enjoy watching them.

Since we were not able to take some picture during the performance, I found some on the net and decided to post it here just to give you a preview of what we have watched:

 
(fyi, they are a real-life couple)



these girls are so amazing. they make it look so easy....which is not, of course


this is simply death-defying...some of them almost loose their balance during the performance...
and you know what happens if they do...

The show is a really must see when you visit Shanghai. The artists are all great and good with their craft. Don't you know that there show has been running for 5 years now? With the same people when they started? Kudos to them for loving and enjoying their work!

Performers lined up for the curtain call

Hope to see you again! Not sure when it will be...

After the show, we all went outside to the building's lobby. There are 3 booths selling different kinds of souvenir from the show. My sister decided to bought an Era DVD hoping that my parents and siblings can watch it back in Manila and bring the same experience that we had.

Unfortunately when we checked the DVD back at home, it doesn't have the full show of Era. Instead, the DVD contains the making of the show and the different stories of each performer. There are a few footage of some performances but not all. Bummer!

 
Era's brochure and ticket. I decided to keep them in case I decided to make a travel journal/scrapbook. 
That will be really cool!


UP NEXT: Day 2: Indoor Skiing & Hooter's Dinner - we had so much fun but it's also exhausting. I will tell you why.

Monday, March 1, 2010

School Keepsake Book, Nap Mat and Baby Book

I can't believe that it's already March and soon school will be over here in Manila. It's time for the students to take a break and enjoy the summer. Last Christmas, I forgot to send gifts to two of my god daughters and one god son. I was thinking of giving those gifts early this year to compensate. Some of them are already going to school and it will be a nice gift especially for girls to give them a school keepsake book where they can put pictures and write done the memories they had that school year. 

In addition to that, two weeks ago I was invited to a baptismal ceremony of my friend's son. As usual, I was considered to be the god mother and thankfully I was able to give him a nap mat for his sleeping pleasures during the afternoons. My friend was happy with my gift and I'm glad she liked it. I think babies and toddlers will benefit from having this kind of accessories in a house. It can also serve as a playing mat for them.

With all the talks about children and babies, I was hoping to finally have my own soon, well not this year but probably next year. I will be an OC mommy that's for sure and every moments and milestones will be documented on a penny laine baby book which I found online. They are pretty cute and hopefully they will have other designs coming out in the coming months. I have a sudden inspiration of making one on my own...hehehehe. I wish I have enough time to do that and creativity bursting when that day comes. So much for planning and getting way ahead. For sure when my baby comes, I will my have my hands full of attending to her sp let's see what the future holds.