Xiaolongbao, flowers galore and a trip to the hospital!

In our previous blog post, we mentioned our stellar relocation counselor named Claire. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to spend a full day of city orientation with her. I can’t even express our excitement leading up to this day! Claire showed up at our (temporary) apartment at 9:30am…ready with an awesome map she had written all over of things to do and places to go that she thought would be of interest to us as well as having a set agenda. So off we went for a full day of Claire showing off different neighborhoods of Shanghai, where to go, what to buy, where to avoid, how and where to pay utility bills as well as a ton of other things.

Map of fun!

We first went to a short, one way stretch of street right around the corner from us that has some really cool restaurants and shops including two places we ended up eating at…D.O.C (for Italian dinner last night) and Green & Safe (specialty grocer/ organic hotpot for brunch today). We then made our way over to the general area by my school and found a TON of awesome and amazing places including a few salons, where to buy charcoal for our grill and bagels. Then the fun really began…checking out produce stands with unknown fruits and veggies!

So pretty, but who knows what it is!

Dried fruits and nuts


Check out these steamed buns!

We of course had to check out the “famous” Avocado Lady (on 274 Wulumuqi Lu). What ever you want or need, she’ll have it.

Need a bottle or two? You’ve gotta sift through!

A line up of locals near the Avocado Lady for some tasty food

Found at the corner convenience store

Passing by our new street…here’s a view from one end. Did you vote yet?

And now, one of the most fascinating spots in Shanghai so far…Tianzifang! It’s an older section of the French Concession area that has tightly woven paths lined with shops, art galleries, bars, restaurants and boutiques.

As you can see by the map, you can easily become lost!

“Create your beautiful life”

Custom made bobble heads. You can take in photos and ta-da! Possible wedding cake topper?

Off to lunch, but not before seeing a few other cool things…

Cool little 3-wheeled nut truck

Creepy kiddy rides outside of a store

While stuck in traffic, we saw some random guy doing a little sidewalk Tai Chi…very cool! We were stuck there for about 3 minutes, so what a treat it was to see!

Year of the Monkey stuff EVERYWHERE!

For lunch, Claire suggested we go to Din Tai Fung. Check out this cute xiaolongbao guy out front!

Part of the menu

I’m a super picky eater, so Claire suggested a few things for me and a few more adventurous items for herself and Paul. I didn’t get a good look at the menu until editing my (iPhone for now) shots, but wish I had known that shark fin was one of the ingredients they use. I would have left.

The proper way to eat xiaolongbao

Remember the fresh veggies from above? Well, here it is at the restaurant! It was pretty flavorless, but good. And let me tell you…fresh bamboo trumps the canned stuff we had as kids!

Veggie dumplings…my favorite!

Pork and hairy crab filled xiaolongbao…

and chicken filled!

A few of the cultural things we learned while dining is that you are never to jab your chopsticks into your bowl of rice, use the chopstick rest and do not point them at anyone

With full bellies, it was off to the hospital! But don’t worry…one of the things Claire highly suggested is to register at a local hospital just in case. If we were to need to go for what ever reason, being pre-registered makes things a LOT less complicated, they’ve already got our info and our insurance info. We got a (about 20 minute) tour of the hospital and left with a sense of relief knowing it was really nice and having all of the necessary info in place.

A huge variety of doctors on staff that all speak English as well as other additional languages stated on their business cards

One last stop before finishing up our full, yet chilly day…the flower market. It was vendor after vendor after vendor of plants and flowers. We were blown away by the beauty and variety that was available.

Bicycle delivery about to head out

Orchids…oh how I love you!

And Proteas…I think I love you more!

They also have other miscellaneous vendors that sell kitchen goodies, antiques, stuff for the home and just general junk stores. But I’ll be back to give one of these a nice home…

It was a fun, VERY informative and brisk day…and low smog to boot! Thanks again Claire…we look forward to grabbing drinks with you and your husband soon!

3 thoughts on “Xiaolongbao, flowers galore and a trip to the hospital!

  1. Absolutely incredible! I know the two of you are always happy together but the look in your eyes takes it to a whole new level. Crying with excitement (and intense prego hormones) for you two!

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