Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Weekend in Huzhou.... and Shanghai... and Hangzhou

Happy New Year!

So this weekend I went to Shanghai to see the PS2 seller about my PS2 prblem. When we (Jean went with me) arrived there, the clerk hooked my PS2 to their TV, popped in Guitar Hero 3 (their disc) and let me play. Now the thing I was worried about is that the problem happens about 90% of the time. Perhaps 10% of the time it gets through the whole song without a problem. Luckily, it DID mess up in the song. So they got out another PS2, and I played the same song, and it went smoothly, no problem. SO they agreed to swap out the PS2. However, I had originally bought a red one and they didn't have another red one to swap it out with. It wouldn't have bothered me to have a different color one, but for whatever reason, they decided to have one of their workers leave the store and go to, I suppose, their supplier and get another one. (I'm not sure why, maybe it was that one they tested it with was theirs and they didn't have another one in the store of ANY color.)

Anyhow, we had to just stand around waiting for about 30-35 minutes before the guy got back and I tested it. I played three songs with no problem so I exchanged it.

I was glad to have that taken care of, but Jean was visibly bored and perhaps slightly annoyed at all the 麻烦 (ma fan, trouble). To add to her displeasure, when we planned to go to Shanghai, she asked if we could also go shopping at the fake market, to which I of course agreed. However, because we arrived in Shanghai a bit later than we originally planned, and because it took longer at the video game shop than anticipated, there wasn't enough time to to go to the fake market, and barely enough time to eat lunch (which by 4 o'clock we had not yet eaten) before catching a bus back to Huzhou.

At that point we would've gone ahead and eaten lunch/dinner, but I had ALSO forgotten to look up where to find a nice restaurant in that part of Shanghai, and Jean wasn't very familiar with that part of town. So, hungry, bored, and cold, we decided to go the bus station to head back. She knew there was at least a McDonald's at the Shanghai South Bus Station, so at least we could grab a bite before heading back home. I promised her that once we got back to Huzhou we could go to a 火锅 restaurant (huo guo, hot pot, like a fondue restaurant where you have a boiling pot and they bring you stuff you cook in it yourself).

However, as we were walking to the ticket counter, we came across a Papa John's. We hungrily and happily decided to go ahead and eat there! Our bellies full, and our moods both much improved, we left the restaurant when I noticed that also in that bus station was a Cold Stone Creamery! I had yet to find a decent ice cream place in China and it seemed like a good choice for dessert, so we got some ice cream. Finally we headed to the bus ticket counter only to find out the last bus for Huzhou had left at 6:05 pm and it was now 6:20 pm.

So we decided to take the 7pm train from Shanghai to Hangzhou and stay at Jean's place that night. It wasn't all bad though. At her place, we were talking about movies and she said she had never seen Back to the Future, so we watched it. (On a side note, Ellis, the other foreign teacher living at my school had ALSO not seen Back to the Future. Which is pretty unusual considering she is an American and even MORE unsual considering she was a FILM major!) Anyways, I was able to find the movie on a Chinese “youtube” like website. When I was clicking the link to it, Jean noticed the info listed about the movie, that it was made in 1985. She said, “That movie is 24 years old?” .... I had never thought about “Back to the Future” being an “old” movie, but the truth now is, at 24 years since its release, it is a fairly old film.

The next day in Hangzhou we ended up eating hot pot for lunch, went around, got some shopping done, ate a cheap pizza for dinner and finally hopped on a bus to Huzhou. By the way, speaking of shopping, there is a brand of clothing that I've never seen in the US before called Kappa. I find their logo very interesting, as you can see here. A Chinese friend of mine mentioned that the logo gets even more interesting when you cover the top part of it with your hand...

One other interesting thing I noticed is that they actually have an MLB store there in Hangzhou!
As expected the majority of the gear was Yankees stuff, but the most disappointing thing of all was that there was NO Rays gear. Nothing. Not a cap, not a hoodie, not a jacket, nothing. To be fair, the Rays weren't the only team for whom I didn't see any stuff. Neither did I see any Marlins, Orioles, Rockies, Cardinals, Blue Jays wear, or even anything for the Phillies or the Braves! So, I blame it more on lack of inventory.

After shopping, we headed toward the bus station. On the walk to the bus station though, I saw a strangely familiar sight... the Goodyear Blimp!

Anyways, this week in classes are final exams, and my students will be giving oral presentations in class. Then Thursday, if I can (meaning, if the field is open), I'm going to try and teach some of the students American football (for which I will try to fabricate some flag football belts) and then Friday morning I will wake up and watch the National Championship game through Slingbox. Go Gators!


  1. Colts and San Diego are playing now. It's 11:00 our time and it is 17-14 at the 2 minute warning with the Colts ahead.
    Anthony Arenas likes the Yankees so he would be thrilled to see that! LOL
    Sounds like Jean has patience! Would be boring for me as well! LOL
    take care. stay warm.
    Love ya,


  2. Whats up TJ. I've seen that Kappa around here but never an actual store though. I think its pretty popular in the soccer world. I remember that symbol going down the sleeve of a warmup shirt. Anyhow, Tara is ready to challenge you at Guitar Hero so you better be ready when you get back.


  3. o BTW, San Diego won the above game I was blogging about...pulled off a good one!
    But I tried to put my hand over that Kappa sign like you said and I didn't see anything...neither did dad....?