Monday, August 27, 2012

Week Four!?

I can't believe it's almost been a whole month!  The weeks have flown by but I've also had plenty of time to explore and soak it all in.  Here's a quick chronological recap in pictures and captions.

I finally got my classroom all set up!  There were some issues when I first arrived, but it's been great.  The only problem is the big tin roof.  When it rains hard (which it does frequently, since it's typhoon season) I can hardly hear the kids!

I found JinLing Lu, the music street.  This one had traditional Chinese instruments, but there were plenty of other shops with guitars, ukeleles, pianos, string instruments, recording equipment, and basically anything else you can think of that's music-related.  I bought a hulusi, which sounds like a clarinet and a bagpipe.  Kind of a grating sound, but fun to play!  They're made from bamboo and a gourd, and are played like an oboe.

A hulusi, much nicer than mine!

I visited the Yuyuan Gardens on a hot Saturday.  It was finished in 1577 during the Ming Dynasty, but has been destroyed, restored, and added to many times since.  The buildings were beautiful, and the whole place was like a maze.  It was pretty touristy and busy, but I'm glad I visited!  I'd love to go back later when it's not so busy and humid.

I ended up at The Bund, the waterfront area along the Huangpu River.  It's right downtown, and Pudong is across the river.  The famous Pearl Tower is to my left.  It's a crazy mix of people on the wide boardwalk, and it's fun to just sit and people watch.  

This past weekend, I visited People's Square.  There's a matchmaking market where parents sit around with pictures of their eligible children and try to set up marriages.  It's very bizarre.  The rest of the park was gorgeous though.  I also went to MOMA, the modern art museum.  

Now we're gearing up for two big typhoons.  Apparently they're colliding and converging right on Shanghai!  See the little red dot?  I'm all stocked up with plenty of food in case it hits hard tomorrow and school is cancelled.  Typhoon days are the new snow days!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Week One in Pictures

Made it through typhoon Haikui, got settled into my cute new apartment, started setting up my classroom, and gearing up for the first day of school on Thursday!