buying chinese

Today was kind of sucky. I planned to check out the Xujiahui Cathedral this afternoon, which, after a whole lot of wandering, did not happen. I have no idea how I could have missed it, but after half an hour of walking up and down the same roads (after half an hour of walking to the area), I gave up. Before the cathedral, I was on Panyu Lu, looking to see if I could find the mirrors of the mirror war (described here) but no luck on that either. Very frustrating. Oh, and did I mention that it started SNOWING while I was walking? Yeah. Thankfully not too cold. Stopped by a little park, which was nice.

By that point in time, my feet were killing me. So I did what I normally do when I’m kind of stressed out. I bought stuff. Went to Ikea. Didn’t buy much, just some candles and containers. Had some meatballs and tiramisu too … their tiramisu ain’t good. Whatever. Meatballs (Swedish) and tiramisu (Italian) at Ikea (Swedish) in China. Heh.

Now to explain the title of this post (and the picture below). Went to the grocery store. They were out of Nutella (Italian), but there was this jar labeled “Hazelnut Chocolate Spread.” Well, that’s essentially the same, right? Except it’s a Chinese brand. Hm …. Then looked for some peanut butter. Skippy (American). Hey, that works. Except the packaging was Chinese. Hm …. Oh well, bought ’em both. Then went to the local fruit stand. Picked up some oranges, picked up some grapes. Then they got rung up. Oranges: 4.3 RMB. Grapes: 34.6 RMB. Wait, what? I really wanted grapes so I just bought ’em. Looked closer at the sign. Oranges were local, grapes imported from the US. Yep, I need to pay more attention to signs.

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now what?

Classes are done! At least for the next two weeks. The summer session has ended, and I have two weeks before the fall semester starts. And apparently we register a few days before classes start and everything sounds like a bit of a headache. What else? Oh, I might have a job for a few hours a week. We’ll see, it seems rather fluid and uncertain at the moment.

Saw some giant order Ionic pilasters on a building yesterday. Made me realize that one of these days I have to go to Rome. It’s hilarious to me when I see classical columns in Shanghai. It’s just so wrong.

Other random things I have noticed: Grapes here are annoying. There are no seedless grapes, so they all have seeds. And moreover, they all have to be peeled. Well, you could eat the peel, but it’s tougher than in the US and even if you wash them really well, they’re still not really really clean (especially since the water here isn’t that great). The elevators skip a heck of a lot of floors. The number 4 is considered unlucky because when pronounced in Chinese it sounds a lot like the word for death. Therefore, elevators (at least the ones in my building) skip every floor ending in 4 and the number 13, like in Western countries. It confuses me every time when I see it skip from 12 to 15. Weird, eh?