Monday, September 24, 2012

Gone Fishin' in Shanghai

We are coming from Florida where at least one fish is caught on every fishing outing.  It didn't matter whether it was fresh water, salt water or off the beach we knew how to fish, what to use as bait and how to reel it in. So, here we come to Shanghai and nothing of fishing seems the same.  The locals use 15m bamboo poles, many without reels, and just flip the line out from there.  There is a very light bobber on the line that they watch and tug when it moves the slightest bit.  Bait consists of a dust that you add water to and must have some type of flavor that the fish like.
Yu Gege fishing at Century Park
Honestly, it is just as well that we haven't been so lucky.  If we did catch fish then I would have had to clean and cook them.  We have eaten these as bought and clean at the local market and they have a very 'fishy' taste like the water.
We bought at collapse-able rod and some tackle that we
had to learn how to use.  

Yanyuan with the only fish caught on this day.  

Century Park allows fishing for 20 RMB ($3.5) for a chair,
worms and the ability to fish in the pond.

We were with about 75 - 100 others fishing but we were
definitely not doing it right.

These were not our fish...  But someone did well.  He had
to pay by the kilogram for these - that's the other 'catch' to
this type of fishing.

Here was a second day at a man-made fishing hole.  We didn't have to pay to enter but would have had to pay if we caught any fish.  Others did catch a few but we came up empty...


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chinese Food - Not like home

Mandarin Squirrel Fish - The best fish we've eaten in China (Suzhou)
The food is one of the most unique aspects of living in Shanghai.  The majority of the cuisine is Chinese but if you are craving a cheeseburger then you can get that too.  There is all types of fish, all kinds of known and unknown vegetables, many mushrooms, noodles and as you can guess, plenty of rice.

The Chinese don't have a concept of 'low-fat', which is good since there is a much better balance of carbs, fat, protein  etc.

Ayi Noodles - Home cookin' and Yangmei's favorite!

They eat the whole animal including the pig nose.  No, we haven't tried this yet.

All-you-can-eat Marriott breakfast.  Chocolate covered pancakes!

As you can see, fish is always served whole.  Be very careful of the bones!

Look at Yanyuan with those chopsticks!  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shanghai Zoo Experience

Have you ever been to a zoo in the 1970s?  We were expecting to see Austin Powers as we walked about this zoo built many years ago.

The Shanghai zoo is a huge park with many concrete cages for their animals, like what you would have seen before it was cool to be 'humane' to animals.  Granted, many of the cages have been expanded to allow the animals out of the concrete and into the sunlight but it was still somewhat sad for us Americans.

But all-in-all, it is a great place to see a bunch of wild animals - some that you wouldn't be able to see in the states (e.g. pandas).  It is all for a reasonable price of about $7 for adults and $3.50 for kids over 1.2 meters, not Caomei (free).

No concept of "Don't Feed the Animals"!

A bit sad...  The conditions were not good for many of them animals.

Baba's favorite animal!  A Rhino!

Yangmei had trouble staying in this room with Elephant.  There was one that had it's chain stuck on the cage and was bashing it very loudly.

These bumper boats were awesome!  It was about a 6hp motor.

The token picture on the 6 ft stone elephant

As you would guess, 'lazy' pandas

Can you see the tiger in the photo?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Concordia International School

This is an entry about the kids experiences at their school.  We selected this school since it had great reviews, the teachers seemed great, the facilities were very new and it is Christian based.
Ying children on their first day of school at Concordia International School

Yu gege:  Here is my experience of being at Concordia International School for the first 3 weeks.  The biggest surprise when during PE we went outside of the school compound and we ran around a local housing development.  It was a one mile run.
I like that I don't have to walk around the halls with a teacher and that we have lockers.  The curriculum seems to be about the same but the pace seems to be much faster.  I also like how we have to wear a uniform for PE.
My Chinese is really fun since I get on the computer and listen to CDs.

Yanyuan:  My teacher is very good and nice.  The lunchroom is great, even last Friday they had fried fish - very yummy.  I feel that this school is the same or maybe a little better than Harbor City.

Caomei:  I like school too - I'm in kindergarten.  What I love the most is that we only read books in Chinese and English.  I like learning Mandarin.
Concordia Entrance

Impressive playground

Yuyuan and Caomei on the token school sign

Caomei's kindergarten setup.

Ma ma taking Caomei to school

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ying's in Suzhou

It's been a while since writing and since we took a trip to Suzhou but I thought it would be good to post some photos anyway.  We were there in mid-August and it was about 95-100 degrees and wicked humid.  The city is about 20 minutes away by fast train and is known for its gardens.  The kids were a bit museum and garden'ed out so we spent the first day at an amusement part.  Here are some photos of that park and the main attraction - Tiger Hill.  Suzhou is known as a river town similar to Venice, Italy where they transport things around by small boats.

Amusement Land, aka - Shanghai Disney.  $20 entry and some nice things for the kids to do.

Impressive roller coaster.  This is the type that your feet hang - no one was courageous enough to go on it.

More strangers wanting photos with Caomei.  

Happy kids waiting to go on their roller coaster!

This was our entry into to Tiger Hill.  It was filled with temples, gardens, water and one big pagoda.

A large bridge in the Suzhou across a canal.

A boy doing his business behind the wall but he forgot about those watching from the street.  This is a common behavior in China (i.e. going to the bathroom in public places).

Tiger Pagoda - leaning a little to the right.  You couldn't climb it any longer but it was amazing to look at.

This is the China diaper training technique.  The small children have a slit in their short so if they have to  go then they do something similar to this position.  It is quite a good idea to save trash and money!