On Saturday, I enjoyed meeting up with some friends for Ladies Day with the Shanghai Tigers – a local Australian football club. Two buses took the lot of us to the field in Pudong, where they had tents & refreshments set up. I don’t know the first thing about AFL, but I do know that I enjoy watching the men play!
After all the games, everyone stuck around to drink a bit & take part in a kicking contest – a traditional event – for ladies only. We were to steal a “footie” from a player & then attempt to kick the “football” into the goal. I did not do that well – it didn’t help that the shoe I had on was twice the size of my foot! It was all in good fun though.
The bus ride back was rowdy, as you can expect after a day of drinking, & more games were played until we reached The Camel (sports bar). I had my friend Joey, this cute little Irish gal, meet me so we could catch up & then Chris and his friend Ray joined later to play some pool. It turned out to be a great day – can’t beat free champagne, homemade treats, & good company!
Sunday, I had to pick up my skirt at the fabric market. To my dismay, it was not ready, so they offered to deliver it to my apartment that evening free of charge. I was disappointed because I had hoped to try it on there, in case it needed alterations, & if I liked it, I planned on having another made. Chris’s shirts needed alterations, so he was having them delivered also. I kid that if he keeps eating 20 eggs a day, like Gaston, he’ll need alterations every week!
We went back to the fake market to look around for some good deals, though I wasn’t too pleased with what they had. Of course, the only time I am looking to buy a pair of flip-flops – I have previously seen in almost every store – they suddenly disappear from the shelves! I did a lot of haggling and got good deals on a dress, some jewelry, & a purse.
Bargain shopping is fun, but takes skill, in my opinion. You have to go from shop to shop to see what is offered, & find out the different asking prices of whatever item you’re interested in buying. Most of the time they are all in the same ballpark, but you have to find the right seller that will really bargain with you. Some of these sellers will tell me my offer is a “joke price” & let me walk away, while others will chase me down & work with me until we meet a price we’re both satisfied with. I think my skill level has increased twofold since arriving here. Now, instead of taking them seriously when they say “joke price” & walk out empty handed, I just tell them their price is “joke price” & I can get the exact same thing for much less at another shop. That’s when they change they’re attitude & call themselves my friend & give me “serious, friend price”, which still isn’t good, so I haggle more until I pay what I want to. They say “you very clever girl” & tell me to come back again – ha!
So, I had to cancel dinner plans with some girlfriends that evening because my skirt was supposed to be delivered. It wasn’t until a quarter after midnight that the doorbell rang! Can you believe that? Thankfully I hadn’t fallen asleep yet. And I am very pleased with how the skirt turned out, so I will most likely make a trip back to the fabric market next weekend. I wish custom clothes were this inexpensive back home – I may return with a whole new wardrobe!
Speaking of my return…I’ve been here just short of three months, & the one question that always pops up in conversation is “will you stay longer?” At this point, I could see myself staying past September. My boss brought it up the other night, & I shared my thoughts. I think it surprised him to hear how much I enjoy Shanghai. If that will actually happen, I cannot say, but should an opportunity arise, I would go for it.
On another note…it’s Shanghai’s first Beer Week this week! Hopefully I will find the time to check out some of the events.