happy year of the sheep/goat/ram!

Happy New Year’s Eve! Tomorrow is the first day of the Chinese New Year, the year of the 羊 yáng … which translates to sheep, goat, and/or ram. So yeah, that doesn’t make things confusing whatsoever.


And just like on New Year’s Eve of the Western/Gregorian calendar, I am sitting at the Pudong Airport waiting for a flight. But this time it’s domestic and the flight will probably be on time. Woot!

Hope you have a prosperous year of the sheep/goat/ram!

a bit of burned love for valentine’s day

Back when I was still in New York, I attended a cousin’s wedding and they gave out these little candles as wedding favors. Pretty standard little tealights. I like candles. Yay. When I got home, I lit the candle, because that’s what you do with candles. Huh. It charred the back of the L♥VE. Kind of menacing looking, no?


I suppose I could extrapolate some sort of deeper meaning out of this, like how this means that my love life is doomed to go up in flames blah blah blah or whatever, but I won’t. Because I don’t believe in ‘signs’. This just means that the person who designed this tealight did not think things through very well.

So … Happy Valentine’s Day! May your day be less blackened.

shanghai at night … and bathtubs

I’ve mentioned this before, but I really quite like Shanghai at night. It has a semi-deserted feel to it, but there’s still enough light and movement on the streets that it doesn’t feel calm-before-the-storm you’re-about-to-get-whacked threatening, it just turns into a subdued version of the normally way too stimulated Shanghai.

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Near-empty sidewalks! Near-empty streets! Oh my, is that near-nothingness I hear? It’s so much more quiet and peaceful, even the air seems fresher. Shanghai’s never completely quiet (wait until the Spring Festival for Shanghai to turn into a ghost town), but there’s definitely much less of everything at night, which is greatly appreciated in a city like Shanghai, which is known for being constantly more of everything.

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Oh, but there’s still a lot of crazy. Yep, you still encounter some crazy obstacles at night. Like a bathtub. Weird.

munching on munchies

Because sometimes you just need a hamburger. And crinkle fries. Especially when there’s free delivery. And if that craving happens about once a week, what’s the big deal?


Oh yes. I don’t understand why people think burgers are oh so unhealthy. What’s in a burger? Bread, meat, vegetable, fruit (the tomato), and dairy. Right there you have your five major food groups. Granted there’s not much nutritional value in the accompanying fries, but they’re good for the soul, so they’re a-okay in my book.

Five years ago when I first arrived in Shanghai, I heard about this hamburger place called Munchies, which was opened by an American, so I gave it a try and promptly fell in love. A lot of the burger joints in Shanghai are the gourmet kind, but Munchies is more of a normal burger place: good service, good food, and decent prices. The food isn’t write-home-about, but it’s solid. Now Munchies has two locations, although I’ve only been to the one. And I will keep going, because it’s good eatin’.

974 Wuding Road
Jing’an District, Shanghai
+86 4008 008 420

a rare sight in shanghai

It’s been a month since I last posted. So since I’ve been a bit of a mythical presence lately, I’m going to share a unicorn with you.


Feast your eyes, ladies and gentlemen. This is a rare sight indeed. FIVE STARS. This taxi driver (a woman – go feminism!) has FIVE STARS on her taxi ID card. Most drivers are men, but from my experience, the female drivers are better (nicer and less crazy) and have much cleaner vehicles. The stars denote the driver’s level of English and service, and to get them the driver has to sit through some kind of exam. Not sure about the specifics, but let me tell you, this was special enough for me to take a picture. I don’t often see anyone with two, so five is downright unheard of. Kudos, unnamed female taxi driver!