Saturday, May 25, 2013

Boss's American BBQ Party

My team is comprised of half foreigners and half local engineers.  To help build team relationships I had a cookout at my house.  The theme was an American BBQ - mostly since for my birthday Yangmei bought the family a gas grill.  

About 20 engineers with their families showed up so about 40-50 people total.  We had a great time eating, playing, jumping on the trampoline and getting to know each other a bit better. 

Kids and people from all over the world - USA, Canada, New Zealand,
Shanghai, England, Egypt, ...
All of the local engineers live in apartment buildings so dwelling being a 'villa' with a yard is unique to them.  
Yangmei bought a Majong table here in China.  This was it's first accurate use.

Pretty intense game.  In the parks around Shanghai you can see crowds
of 20 people around a Majong table watching the action.

That is our trampoline - donated from a neighbor but huge fun (as you can see)!

They even had dessert on there - Magnum Ice Cream bars.
There was a variety of foods brought by the guests.  I asked them to bring a traditional food from their country.  So there were many fun treats.
I should have gotten a photo earlier of the cheeseburgers but I was too busy
cooking them to photograph them...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Jinqaio 8k Running Race

Shanghai, or China, is not known for their runners.  There are about 25 million Chinese and less than a million foreigners but the you see about the same amount jogging.  The locals also like to walk while hitting themselves, walk backwards and wave their arms alot.  So when it comes to an actual organized race, they are anything but organized...

This race was about 200 meters from our house so there was no excuse to miss this one.  We live in Jinqaio, aka-Green City, where there are many foreigners.  

This is the second race that I've entered here in Shanghai so I knew a little more what to expect.  For example, the race organizers don't put the fast people in the front.   As a result, the front-runners will run for about 1k then walk the rest.  Runners find it like running for your flight in a crowded airport, you have to dodge all the walkers - and most of them are walkers.

The local media was invited.  They were standing in front of the racers within seconds of the starting gun.  When the race started they moved partially to the side so the runners had to navigate around them.
Here is the media.  I don't watch the news so I didn't see the

This was a celebrity in the yellow shirt, no idea who.
It seemed like most runners were excited to have this guy in the race.
We were on the Baobei team.  It is a local charity for Chinese babies that need life-saving operations.  Each one of us had a 'cape' of the sponsored baby.
This is Angelina, she was born with an esophagus that wasn't
connected  to her stomach.  The surgery at birth was botched
 so the donations were going to her new surgery.
This kids did the 2k distance, Dad did the
8k (about 5 miles)
Our capes.

The locals love flags at races.  It was a fun atmosphere.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Science and Technology Museum, Pudong

There is a great museum close by to our house called the Science and Technology museum.  It is on Metro line 2 and is also famous for the 'fake' market.  The fake market is where you can buy every type of Gucci bag, polo shirt or Oakley sunglasses for less than $5-$10 but it's all fake.  That will be the topic for another posting.  This one is about a day out at the museum.

The front of the museum
The back of the museum is very unique with a large glass ball
in the center.  (photo from internet).  

An amazing collection of taxidermy animals in action poses.   

North American scene with deer, elk and turkey.

This was a wolf enjoying a venison dinner.

The walk through the museum was very well done with a
rain forest-like area.
This robot was one of the highlights of the visit.  He would hand you a rubics cube for you to mix up.  After you think that there is no way that he can solve it, you place it in his hand.  He pulls it in, observes it for a couple minutes and then proceeds to turn the squares to solve the puzzle in a minimal amount of moves.
Handing us back his proud completion of the cube!

Here is the finished product.

Mom's favorite section, the spiders!  Many hands on exhibits
for us to play with.  They even had real spiders in drawers,
kinda sad actually.

This was in the genetic engineering section.  They are very proud of their
progress when it comes to food modifications.  This is a mouse with a human
ear on its back ---- I'm sure that's tasty!

A two headed cow.  Not the most productive part to have more than you need.

In the lobby they had some impressive dinosaur skeletons.
This is just a small sample of the museum.  It was quite impressive and included a space section, IMax theaters, exercise exhibits for testing coordination, environmental sciences research etc.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mike (Baba) & Els' (Yang Mei) Day Out

It was a holiday so Mike did not have to work on Monday.  The kids went to school and we got to spend the day in Xintiandi, a historic part of Shanghai. We rode our bikes 30 minutes to a subway and took the subway across the river an old part of town.This area is more widely known for its boutiques, the building where Communism was "born," and lovely old homes.  We enjoyed all of that but also explored the side streets.
Here are some of our highlights!

Empty pots waiting to be filled with liquor again.

An electrician's dream or nightmare, depending on how he/she views this.


 A noodle shop!

 Fresh noodles.  Another "yum."

 The noodle shop open to the street.  The bags of flour and ingredients 
are stacked on the "loft" above and behind.

Adorable frogs await their doom.  Not a "yum."

 They cut your portion of fish and fried it on the spot for you.  
The fish's head was still "gasping for air" as it sat on the table top.  

Els saw this gate & opened it a crack to discover ...
...her next home remodeling project!
This incredible home, built in 1928, is now converted into little apartments.  Els spoke with an old man who was hanging up his laundry in the garden.  He lives in an apartment around the back of the house. This place is amazing!  The plaque on the wall said that in 2005, the house was declared as a "can't be moved" relic.  

And there you have it!