Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Cool Apple Store in Shanghai

Apple Store, Shanghai

Apple Store, Shanghai

Check out this really cool Apple store in Shanghai.  Apple is very popular here, and so are their fakes!  You have to be careful about where you buy.  Any deal is probably going to be a fake.  You know the saying, “you get what you pay for”!

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Tetley

Tetley

Tetley

Our million dollar dog, Tetley is now legal.  We paid an absolute fortune to ship her from USA to UK when we returned there in 2010 and we have paid another small fortune to bring her to China with us.

After a month of home quarantine in the UK before we left, plus many vaccinations that China require and a very expense flight (her trip on British Airways was more than all of ours put together!) she arrived in Shanghai at the same time as us.  She had to do 7 days of quarantine in Shanghai, but was obviously looked after there and returned to us in good spirits.

Then, she had to put up with a month in an apartment home so had to get used to riding the elevator every time we went out with her.  She was still on home quarantine for another 23 days.  We also knew that we had to get a license for her.  So, this Thursday Owen took her to the annual registration process at our compound.  This is where the police come and register all the dogs in one go.

Now, there are some quite strict regulations when you research the process for getting your dog registered in China, but it appears that as long as you pay 100RMB (£10$15) then you get the official piece of paper.  I am so relieved to finally have this important piece of paper as the Chinese are not very tolerant of un-licensed dogs and will confiscate and destroy them without a second thought.

Meat!

It has proven difficult to find good meat that we can trust where it has come from.  Until now!  Yasmine Butchers (and Restaurant) in Jingqiao had the best selection of meat we have seen since we have been here.  It is run by Aussies, and the selection of organic, cuts and types resulted in an “oh WOW” reaction from us.  We have stocked up on Lamb shanks and pork sausages; bought a proper plump chicken for dinner tomorrow and had a fabulous lamb loin tonight.  I think that Yasmine’s will be getting a lot of our money.

After we had bought the meat, we thought we should check out barbecues.  And, where else do you go to look at these, but B&Q.  Yes, B&Q are here in Shanghai, same store layout, same colours and same uniform – just a different language!  We could not make ourselves understood (the frustrations of language difficulties when we do not speak Chinese and they do not speak English) so we left without purchasing anything.   I am positive we will work something out soon.

Haircut!

Oliver’s first Chinese Haircut

Oliver had his hair cut today.  He got to sit in a racing car seat while Mr Peter did an expert job on his unruly hair.  Owen had been earlier this week and was very impressed.  He had found “Top to Toe” in Jingqiao through an Ex-pat site and I think it was a great find.  Owen said that he would be going back for the next 2 years!!  They speak excellent English and the prices are very reasonable.  It only cost £4 for Oliver’s cut today.

First Work Trip

After a long weekend (it was labor day on May 1st, so I had Monday and Tuesday off), I travelled to Hong Kong to work with our team there.  Last time I was in Hong Kong was in 1995 and it has certainly changed. So much so, that I did not recognise anything!

View of Hong Kong from my hotel room

It was a very productive trip and even got to enjoy a night at the horses- a customer event at The Jockey Club (which was the Royal Jockey Club last time I was here!)

Night out at the Jockey Club

Down by the finish line

Mail

We received our first letter yesterday!  Thank you to Laurence for his lovely card.  This is a big deal as we have been told that mail  is very unreliable here and not everything arrives.  Using the Chinese address is also highly recommended (Laurence wrote in plain old English!).

Apparently I used my UK debit card at an establishment that is known for fraud activity and my bank told me they would send me a new card.  That was almost 4 weeks ago and it still has not arrived.  I had this sent to my work address too!  Today, I requested a DHL shipment instead so hopefully it will be here soon.  Good job I have a local bank account!!

Thinking ahead to Christmas, I think we will be opening cards well into January, based on our Ex-Pat neighbor’s experience.

New Home!

We are in our lovely new home for the next 2 years.  It is so nice to have some space and a garden.  Tetley is loving the garden too!  It was a frantic, busy weekend at the end of April packing up and making several trips across town.

Our home is in an Ex-Pat community and it is quite the United Nations in our street: neighbors from Norway, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, America and England.  Everyone is so friendly and there are plenty of children the same ages as Isabelle and Oliver, so they are very happy to have so many friends to play with after school and at the weekend.

Now, we are just waiting for our furniture to arrive (so we are living with rented furniture for the moment).  The ship with our container docks on May 25th, but who knows it will be sitting in customs…..

After a week we are working through the teething issues.  We have appallingly slow internet connection, so need to get that corrected.  We have hot weather already and the air conditioning is struggling upstairs.  We have had 15+ light bulbs replaced and some other minor problems.  The landlord and the management office at the community seem to be responsive so far.

I think this will be a good place to call home…….