The Lester File

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Shanghai... pre-pictures

We arrived in Shanghai last Friday morning after getting over a small teaching snag of an obligation at the University. We found out on Monday that the school required teachers to teach on Sat. and Sun. before May day... well, we'd already made plans! Meghan already had plane tickets! So we had to scramble a bit to get our classes all evened out and it was exam week, so basically this week is a very welcome rest from teaching. That doesn't mean I'm not still worried about things... i mean, I called the Secretary "Ginger" John because I was afraid that my apt was burning down because I left the space heater on. Seriously. It was a bit embarrassing to admit that small worry to Sandrine and J!
We went to a beautiful art museum and another great art gallery today after walking for miles and miles all over the city. My feet are basically big bruises with toes. Our hostel is called Captain Hostel and its the most well-known hostel in the city. It has the decor of a navy ship due to the bunk bed/dorm style situation... there are even cute little port holes. (Sandrine thought they were mirrors.) The top floor of the hostel is a great bar (should be in a magazine) with a beautiful view of the Bund (riverwalk); however... we can barely afford napkins let alone a drink at any bar! Of course, lack of money doesn't phase us entirely and we have gotten to know a little bit of the Shanghai jazz scene over this last weekend. Dad... if you're reading, there are some very talented people here in Shanghai. I was at a Jazz club on Sat night where the piano player had obviously studied hymns and church music as a base for his jazz improv... very cool. Anyway, its late and I'll have pictures and more information later.
We are going to a Buddhist island off the coast tomorrow and then on to Nanjing!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Hats Off to the Host

You wanna hear something funny and ironic? Well, Everett Paradise, Jen's little brother, has come to China with no previous teaching experience and no college degree, yet he has landed himself a job that pays nearly twice as much as ours and he has a huge apartment. What do we do when friends come into good fortune? We take advantage and cyphen some of that good luck for ourselves! Yep, we had a party! We called it Hats Off to the Host, so everyone at the party came with some sort of hat. There was a lot of trading and stealing of hats of course. For example, I came to the party with a Red Army helmut and ended up with a straw hat. It was also a day to celebrate and congratulate Jennifer on her acceptance to Ole Miss law school.