And you thought ketchup was a condiment…

It’s official.  I (Michelle) suck at blog updates!  As interment and unreliable as the internet is over here, I thought it would be far worse (I liken it to the interwebs of the old AOL dial-up days circa 1997).  With the VPN Gods on my side, I’ve been able to keep you all updated via Facebook and Instagram.  But there’s SO much more that has been going on since our last blog post from March 1, 2016!  I guess the only way to catch you all up is to go month by month…

March 2016
Paul has a friend from Charlotte, who has friends (Ashley and her husband Jason) that also moved here in January for her job. We’ve since ended up becoming great friends with them and have gone on several double dates and game night. We’re (hopefully) going to go on a weekend trip together soon. This shot was from our first “date night”…Italian dinner then bowling!  They too are blogging about their experiences and adventures. You can check it out here.

I’m (Michelle) was about 2 weeks deep into Chinese language lessons.  And let me tell you, it is HARD!  My teacher was super sweet, but her pace had me leaving the other 2 students behind to seek out a 1:1 teacher.  Best decision ever!  Prior to switching to my current teacher, teacher number one took us on a few hour trip to a water town about an 45 minutes outside of Shanghai called Qibao.  Here’s a few shots…

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Adorable steamed buns!

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Popcorn roasting dude

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And shots in and around Qibao Temple
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Monetary offerings

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We’ve been on the hunt for a cool piece of furniture to decorate our apartment with and eventually bring home with us.  We had heard about an antique warehouse and decided to check it out.  Directions to get there were kind of sketchy and when we arrived in the general area, it was a bit disconcerting to say the least!  Rows of empty warehouses, a few mean, chained up dogs snarling at us and a man chasing us away with that palm down/ fingers flicking/ wrist snapping motion of “get the hell out of here!”  Just then, two youngish (late 20’s – early 30’s) guys emerged from what USED to be the antique warehouse location with a few goods in their hands.  It turns out, they’ve relocated about 10 minutes away, were transporting the last few things and offered to give us a ride (a lot of gesturing going on with not language what so ever).  Skeptical by nature, I was reluctant to jump in the back seat while Paul was already belted in!  We joked about being hijacked, our escape plan and I even sent Ashley a note of a description of the car and the license plate number incase we turn up missing!  We arrived at the new, expansive location with TONS and TONS of really cool, odd and unique things…including this BEAUTIFUL Chinese medicine cabinet that caught my eye with all of the drawers (shown on the left).  Paul was not a fan at all, but he finally came around a while la and when I returned to buy it, it was sold.  Gone.  Heartbroken…

I did, however, snag this (resin?) guy the day we went there to add to our ever growing monkey collection…
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As some of you may (or may not know), I’ve taking a liking to glassblowing and have gone about 8 times back home in the CLE.  I figured since we’re over here, I’d take a stab at it.  I found a place to blow, but it wasn’t as “hands on” as I like.  The very helpful guy was too helpful and I really didn’t get to do much (even after telling them I have a smidge of experience).  *shrug*  Anyway, here’s a shot (both sides) of a vase I blew.  It’s about 8″ tall and really thick. It was fun, but I stumbled across something even MORE fun…coming up in our next post!
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