Saturday, March 26, 2011

Flashback to Shanghai

My Belgian host parents, Philippe & Michelle,
during my visit to Brussels in Jan. 2011
My Belgian host dad, Philippe, just got back from a week-long business trip to Shanghai.

He says he didn't have much time for sightseeing, but walked down to the Bund (a river through the middle of the city) to see the illuminated boats.  I spent a balmy summer evening with my friends at cafe on the Bund when I was in Shanghai in 2008. It seems like a LIFETIME ago -- a life where I could order dinner and drinks - anything on the menu - without having to worry about the bill. I love St. Petersburg, but I will never get used to paying $10 for a very average cup of coffee.  

Oh China....those were the days when I bought an extra suitcase and filled it to the brim with really cool souvenirs for my family and friends: genuine silk scarves, hand-painted porcelain figurines, special Chinese cosmetics made with seaweed, original drawings and paintings, books, jewelry, handbags, clothing...all for around $200!

Phil also mentioned walking past seniors doing Tai Chi every morning. I always liked seeing them, too. So calm, peaceful, and controlled -- like the Chinese warriors you see in films -- but you can't help but smile when you see them because you wouldn't expect it from the senior citizens. 

Chinese senior citizens practicing Tai-Chi
Thanks for the photos, Phil.  Good luck with the jet lag!


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