when antique pottery fails so hard

You ever have those days where you’re just, like, so over things? But to your sleep-deprived and highly-caffeinated mind, it’s hilarious? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. And that’s how I felt when I saw these pieces that were on display at the Aurora Museum in Shanghai. They’re probably still there. I want to meet the curator and shake his/her hand for displaying such wonderful pieces that scream “FAIL” in such a wonderfully amazing manner.

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Because even though these two pieces of pottery totally fail (all collapsed and what-not), the fact that they’ve survived from the Yuan Dynasty and made it into a museum collection is just fantastic. I love it. When we see historical objects in a museum, they’re usually all just so pristine and untouchable and holier-than-thou perfect, even when they’re broken fragments. But these aren’t just ‘broken’, they’re failures in craftsmanship. That just makes me smile!

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rubber ducky, you’re so fun!

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Rubber Ducky, you’re the one, you make bathtime lots of fun!

Sometimes I just love contemporary art. Like this. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is indeed a giant floating yellow rubber ducky in a lake in Shanghai. And yes, it is amazing. And pretty darn adorable too. The art piece was created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman in 2007, and has been touring the world ever since. Note that I called it an art piece. Because … what else would you call a giant floating yellow rubber ducky?

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I read an article about how it was coming to Shanghai, and since it’s one of those unusual ‘when else are you going to see this?’ kind of things, I just had to go see it. It’s in Century Park in Pudong … and yes, I actually went all the way over to Pudong to see a giant floating yellow rubber ducky. But it was worth it.

It’s only been in Shanghai a few days, and will stay here until November 23. And tickets to the park are only 10 RMB! There had been talk of raising the ticket price to 40 RMB, but eventually the powers that be backed down due to public pressure. The one downside of those cheap tickets were the crowds and crowds of people. But 40 RMB would have been ludicrous, because really, it’s just a giant rubber duck. You see it, you take some pictures, and you’re done. Very cool, but … that’s about it.

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Aw, but look at that cute duck bum! Although its size relative to those buildings makes it seem a bit Godzilla-like …

adventures in a missed flight

Today I had an exciting new experience: I missed a flight. Oh my gracious goodness. First time for everything, right? And I’m normally so responsible! So here’s a photo essay to document the experience. Because I have lots of time to kill before my rescheduled flight.

My flight was scheduled for 8:25 AM, and lately I’ve been too busy to prepare, so I decided to stay up to pack and grab a taxi at 5ish. I closed my eyes for a second and the next thing I know, it’s 7 AM. Whups. Threw stuff in my suitcase, ran out the door, and hailed a taxi. It’s about an hour’s drive, so it was obvious I wasn’t going to make it, but in case there was another morning flight, I thought getting to the airport ASAP was priority.

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In the cab I called the travel agent, and when I was told there were no flights until the afternoon, I had the taxi stop at Twosome Coffee instead, because coffee makes everything better. Newly opened on Taixing Road, between West Nanjing Road and Wujiang Road, it’s located in a great location next door to Cachet Boutique, which is a nice boutique hotel I’ve been working with. The coffee was pretty good, I had an Americano … because I’m patriotic like that.

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Was waiting for the agent to call back with availability, and decided to once again head to the airport, this time taking the Line 2 metro, which is slower than a cab but cheaper. On the train they called and I booked a new ticket leaving at 3 PM.

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I was already way far out in Pudong at that point, so it would’ve ridiculous to go home to wait just to come back an hour later. I arrived at the Pudong International Airport at about 10:30 AM.

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Check in wouldn’t start until 12:30, so I chilled. Wandered around the few snack shops and bookstores.

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Ended up at Burger King even though I had BK for dinner last night … not many options for food outside security. Tried their chili cheese fries, aka Cheese and Spicy Beef Sauce French Fries. There wasn’t enough sauce for the amount of fries and the sauce was too sweet, but they were decent enough and today’s a day for new experiences.

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The check-in process was easy enough, but since I only have a carry-on with me, I much would’ve preferred to use a kiosk, but alas, China Southern Airlines isn’t that technologically advanced.

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Then there was customs, which I breezed through like a boss. I’m so glad they’ve gotten over the whole taking off your shoes part of the screening process! I’m by no means a frequent flier, but I’ve flown enough to know how to get through without getting stopped, having anything confiscated, or beeping in metal detectors – lessons that were hard learned (ah, my favorite embroidery scissors … I’m sorry I had to abandon you in Xi’an!).

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After the security check I still had over an hour, so I browsed the duty free shops.

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And the other duty free shops.

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And the others too. Might as well, right?

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And wandered up and down the terminal. What did I find? More gates – yawn.

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Finally I sat down at my assigned gate, took a deep breath, and opened my suitcase. Wow that was a mess. When I say I threw things in this morning, I wasn’t kidding. And yep, I forgot my toiletries bag. Sigh.

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A gate change brought me to the lower level … which is the same area I waited in on my way to Hong Kong and to Tokyo. Huh.

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Boarding! Ciao! And only six and a half hours behind schedule. It’s been fun (not really)!