Friday, April 30, 2010

A Weekend in the City

I finally have some time to blog about my trip to Shanghai that I took a few weeks back. It was an amazing weekend. I just had this wild hair up my ass about getting out of the city and when i realized that the Shanghai Formula One race was going to be on the weekend of the 15th I decided to pack a bag and hop on a train. Hefei is about 3 hours and 45 minutes away from Shanghai by highspeed train. It's basically like taking a trip from Indianapolis to Chicago.  Here's aChinese Travel Guide TOP TIP: IF you ever want to take a train trip anywhere, buy your ticket early, and make sure it's a soft seat软座 (Ruǎn zuò). Soft Seats are like economy plus seats with those essential extra 5 inches. I got into Shanghai in the evening and got a hotel room at really decent hotel about 3 km away the Shanghai downtown skyline. I called one of my friends from high school, Kirsten, who lives in Shanghai and we got together. But before that I had a pretty eventful Sunday afternoon. Here's a timeline of some of the things I did that day.
  • 11:30 am - I went to the Shanghai World Financial Center, currently the Guinness World Record holder of the World's Highest Observation Deck. I affectionately call it the Bottle Opener... It looks like a giant bottle opener from far away. I went up to the Park Hyatt hotel bar/lounge on the 93rd floor for a brunchy-time cocktail - The Bloodless Mary Martini (Vodka, Tomato Juice, Fresh Ground Pepper and some special ingredients served with an olive.) When I went their with the Aussies back in January one of them suggested I try the toilet... That's getting it's own dedicated post later...
  • 12:30 pm - I walked around for a while. I went to one of many malls the Oriental Pearl Tower and hit up a Burger King; Hefei doesn't have the King so I was chuffed to bits to smash something flame broiled into my face. The burger I bought was was a Double Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburger but it was translated into 很牛 which literally translated back to English is VERY COW.  I took the subway from one part of the city to another part, passing under the HuangPu river... I was staying on the Pudong side of Shanghai (East) and Kirsten lived in Puxi (West).
  • 3:30 pm - After trolling a 9-floor mall I decided to get in a movie at the Grand Theater outside out the People's Heroes park. I went to see Clash of the Titans 3D, which was in English with Chinese subtitles. The movie was okay, and the 3D was an unnecessary addition, but what made it such a funny experience was the fact that the Chinese subtitle were the only thing in 3D that actually popped out of the screen during the movie. I caught myself laughing at that, in a room filled with 129 Chinese people. 
  • 6:00 pm - I walked around the shopping road (Nanjing Rd.) for a while and found a mall with an arcade... I spent about an hour and a half sweating like crazy playing some insanely fun arcade games like a Rambo trilogy lightgun game... and I even got to play that drum game for Lost in Translation
  • 7:30 pm - I met Kirsten outside of a McDonalds where a creepy old baglady was loitering a few seats from where I was loitering, attracting far too much attention. We walked around for an hour or so until we found a noodle shop who's Storefront advertised that they had the best noodles in the city. So we decided to see if the sign was true, it was so-so.
  • 11:00 pm - After eating dinner and walking around for a while we walked to an American pub called O'Malley's for a milkshake nightcap. They were showing the F1 race I was in town for but didn't got to because it was raining.
All and all, a very fun day. I got back to my hotel around 12:30 am. My hotel room is going to get it's own dedicated post, but here's a SPOILER ALERT - My hotel room was designed for sex. 

So I listened to a lot of music on the train rides, including the entire Coheed & Cambria discography in the Armory Wars Chronological Order starting with their newest album, The Year of the Black Rainbow. I also listened to four albums from The Mars Volta and a playlist of music dedicated to cities and travel.

A Weekend in the City Playlist
  1. California English - Vampire Weekend
  2. Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  3. Devil in Jersey City - Coheed & Cambria
  4. Shipwreck - Hot Club de Paris
  5. Song For Clay (Disappear Here) - Bloc Party, A Weekend in the City
  6. Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles
  7. Paris - Friendly Fires
  8. It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry - Glasvegas
  9. All The Pretty Faces - The Killers, Sam's Town
  10. Talihina Sky - Kings of Leon
  11. Bishopsgate - Look See Proof
  12. Bombs Over Baghdad (Rage Against the Machine remix) - Outkast
  13. London Beckoned Songs About Money Written by Machines - Panic! At the Disco
  14. Englishman in New York - Sting & The Police
  15. Carolina Drama - The Raconteurs
  16. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa - Vampire Weekend
  17. California Queen - Wolfmother
  18. Yeah! New York - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  19. Kruezberg - Bloc Party
  20. Why Georgia - John Mayer
  21. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
Wow, that was a long post... I hope I didn't forget anything... Oh you should check out Kirtsen's China blog. My Life in China


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shadrach meshach and abednego
Shadrach Meshach and Abednego
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Oriental Pearl Tower
Oriental Pearl Tower
Me and Kirsten
Me an Kirsten

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Clandestine DVD Pickups of the Week

So instead of focusing on all of the awful things that I've seen in the last week and a half (homeless old man in longjohns and no underwear walking with his balls dangling, three different piles of human shit in open areas) here are the Clandestine DVD's I got this weekend.

  • Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2
  • Transformers 1 & 2
  • Whip It
  • Smokin' Aces 2: Assassins' Ball
  • Moon
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • The Slammin' Salmon
  • Shutter Island
  • The Men Who Stare at Goats
  • Women in Trouble
  • The Big Lebowski (Tenth Anniversary Edition)
  • Accident 意外
  • Confucius 孔子
  • Confession of Pain 傷城
My DVD stack is starting to tip over, I'm going to have to buy a new DVD case.

So I called Butler going to the Elite 8, who would have thought they'd almost beat Duke in the National Championship games... Well, Rocky didn't win his first time either.