The Dirty Warehouse

I’ve been exploring the city with one of my best mates, J. Her Aussie-ness necessitates the use of the term “mate,” as opposed to friend. The other day J took me to “The Dirty Warehouse.” While the name suggests something deliciously salacious, TDW is in fact an antiques curio shop, stuffed in a dirty corner of a dirty street…

Dirty street

Entrance. Ta da!

Stuff galore, including old tins.

Need a lift?

Adding to the collection.

J and I, getting dirty.

Magical Numbers Revisited

1. 4. 3. 2:15…

As in: The Circus has gotten up the past week at 1 a.m., 4 a.m., 3 a.m. and this morning at 2:15.

A friend and I were messaging each other on Facebook yesterday. At 4 in the morning. She returned to Shanghai a week ago from the U.S. with her two boys and they are still readjusting to the fourteen-hour time difference.

We decided Jinqiao needs a good 24-hour venue, like IHOP. We could hold middle-of-the night playdates there, where sleep deprived moms could mindlessly stare at each other while our children entertained one another. And eat bacon and pancakes. Yum.

I’d write more or post a photo, but I’m falling asleep at my keyboard. At 6:10 p.m…. That’s okay, I need my beauty sleep, especially if I’m waking up tomorrow morning at 3.

For the Five

There are five people who read my blog religiously. Okay, maybe eight people. And, shockingly, they’re not all blood related to me. Since my little, er, writing hiatus, they’ve given me grief for being a slacker. So, time to get back to the electronic pen and paper.

If you’re one of the five (or eight), get ready for this Banana’s experiences in Shanghai… Year Two.

Prepping for Camp

I am prepping (emotionally, let me tell you, heh.) for tomorrow’s Cub Scout Camp. Wish me luck. I’ve been told it’s completely disorganized chaos, every single year. Who knew I’d be leading a den of mostly Asian boys in an American institution out here in Shanghai? Photos of “disorganized chaos” on Monday!

Happy Halloween from Shanghai!

Dongjiao Villas, Pudong. All photos in this post taken by V’s husband FF.
On Saturday, our church hosted its annual “Trunk-or-Treat” party for children. V was in charge of food, decorations and games. It was a fantastic event. LL helped decorate and she and I ran a game station. The kids really enjoyed it. After all the partying, we walked from car to car, collecting more sugar.
My peeps, LL and V. Love these ladies.
Miss M and The Kid.
Princess Pinky Stinky.
Laughing with my friend Alison.
Thanks to FF for these fantastic photos. He is a stellar photographer. I’ll post some of my photos tomorrow…

The Junkateria

Need some googly eyes? Or lanterns? How about some cross stitch?

Back in the U.S., I posted a “gratitude post” about craft stores. Allow me to introduce you to The Junkateria, where I go to search for things like rubber bands, gift bags, stickers, marbles, embroidery floss, pipe cleaners, floral foam, ribbon and other craft items. Located near Yu Gardens, The Junkateria is a thirty-minute commute across the river to Puxi, the other side of Shanghai.
My friend Susie C. measures the distance between the different shops.
Shops sit side by side and collide into each other through intersecting hallways. It’s a five-story building with mazes of stalls full of junk, hence the name Junkateria. Many of the shops carry the exact same items and moderate bargaining is allowed. The air is hot and stuffy, with smells of sweat, body odor, cigarette smoke, bad breath, loogies on the floor and throngs of people pushing you in all directions. I carry Pinky Stinky for two reasons:
1. Safety. I don’t want her to get crushed by the onslaught of people.
2. Hygiene. The floor is littered with trash, cigarette butts and dreaded loogies.

The Junkateria is an experience to remember. It’s full of adventure and memories in the making, but not for the faint of heart, nor the Claustrophobic.

I trek out there whenever I need a craft item. But most of the time, I just want a JoAnn’s.

Magical Numbers Redux

Wow, what happened to my blog? I’m back…but not really. We returned to Shanghai on Friday, right in time for Typhoon Muifa. Fortunately, it changed course and skipped Shanghai, leaving us with only torrential downpour and an extremely wet Saturday and Sunday.

I am tired. PS has been bright-eyed and awake at:
Saturday: 3:00 a.m.
Sunday: 12:40 a.m. (Seriously. Until 10 a.m. while we were sitting in Church.)
Monday: 3:00 a.m.
Tuesday: 3:49 a.m.

Curse those “magical numbers“!
I owe you the rest of my Gratitude list. Come back in a few days when I’m awake…zzzzzzz.

Lucky Ducks

I’m in Santa Monica and The OC, enjoying time with friends and hanging with The Circus at Disneyland. What can I say. The Circus and I are a bunch of lucky ducks. Be back soon…

Gratitude Post #19: School Supplies

Happiness is a brand new box of crayons.
Or a new notebook.
When I think about the children in Afghanistan or Africa who don’t have access to and can’t afford simple school supplies like pencils, I feel extraordinarily grateful that I can walk into any store and purchase a new box of crayons for less than two quarters.

Just some food for thought, as we prepare for the new school year.