Monthly Archives: March 2011

Don’t waste your time or time will waste you

I thought that it would be quite easy to update the blog daily but it`s so hard when you want to see all things in Shanghai and don`t want to miss happenings. But I really try to uppgrade my blogging habits now!

In this week weatP3260113her has been quite warm on daytime and flowers have start to blossom. It`s a spring! It`s funny to see how much energy you will get when the sun shines and you start to dress up more lightly. I have been so happy on this week. I really am glad that I am here! Some Finns have started to ask the question what you miss about Finland and complain quite much almost about everything. I am so proud of myself how well I have managed allthough I am picky concerning food, company, toilets and sleeping places I have to admid! Maybe I am coming to be more and more grown up (?) Hopefully… Now when I started to talk about what things I am proud  and happy about I have to tell that I found new set-ups on camera! Taddatadaa! I thought my new camera was bad but flaw was probadly in the user! I am so bad with everything that is technical… But there is just one way to go up and learn more! So my pictures are not YET perfect but I let you enjoy my photographing education.

Inside JianMao Tower

Inside JinMao Tower

In the end I think I have to put list about things what I miss (just a little bit…)

* of course family and the dearest friends

* clean water and fresh air

* Dad`s food and dark bread (limppu)

* and so bad I miss dry apple cider (or any cider!) It unfear for all the girls (or for a girl who drinks almost only dry apple cider) that they sell beer and strong booze in every shop and bars but NO CIDERS!!! Luckily Lonely Planet`s Shanghai city guide tells that there is some pub who sells that! I have too check the place on next week because i need my cider…

Okey that`s all for now! Hopefully you will get my moans and as you can see I have managed quite well in Shanghai, the Republic of China.


This funny building with three baubles is more fancier in the evenings with all glinting lights

The tallest building in Shanghai

Very big building! It has said that the best view of the city is from deck 88 (almost 500 meters). There it is really seen how big this city is.

(NOT) Picky me…

Happy or sad face?

Happy or sad face? This sign is on every restaurant in Shanghai ( but I have doupt that there is`nt corruption on who gets good results from food inspections)

After one week I noticed that how picky I really am concerning what I eat. At home I am used to eat really good meat (without bones, well cooked, no strings and preferring beef, lamb or chicken). Couple times in here Shanghai I had to endure with my stringed and bony meat in order to not be impolite. Chinese people use all parts of meat  when they co

ok in the most restaurants which is quite clever I have to admit. Many people in the whole world would be grateful of piece of meat. So pickiness is not allowed from the European girl!

And what an international student buys from food market? -Off course, mainly international known products. Today I bought for example Nestlé’s water, Haribo`s candy, Lipton`s tea, Pringles, Kinder`s chocolate, Ferrero`s yummy candy and fruits that I know already. I have to improve my buying habits and try more Chinese products but it is so difficult when everything is written in a Chinese character but maybe I just have to be daring (little by little…)!

Price level at restaurants in here Shanghai is quite same than in Finland if you are not eating at Chinese restaurants (without English menu). I was bold with Emma and tried to order beef, chicken and rice in Chinese restaurant (where was spoken only Chinese) quite successfully. Thank for Lonely Planet`s help! In the back of Shanghai`s city guide is helpful language section. However, we didn`t eat the chicken because it was quite red from inside… But beef was very good and cheap!

List of unusual things what I have eaten or drank after one week in China (I am proud of these so no laughing)

-different kind of mushrooms and cooked vegetables

– Octopus  (We finished eating when we found octopus` head)

– Coffee (I never drink coffee in Finland)

– Shandy (beer and Sprite) and Chinese beer (just practicing…)

– Rice wine (not good… I think that taste something alike kilju)

– Oyster

– Sake

In Japanese restaurant

The best place where I have eated! The chef makes food in front of you. It is really cool show.

The First Week in Shanghai

My past few days have been quite boring and depressing because I have been sick. I think I have some kind of pox but it shouldn’t be serious because I have these red points only on my feet. Yesterday I slept all day and that`s my plan for today also. Girls were lovely and brought me Finrexin, noodles, chips and some magazines so I won`t get too bored. But now I have time and some power to write my blog. Tomorrow I have to do something more interesting, otherwise I will become crazy.

We arrived to Shanghai last Saturday morning. The first week has gone just handling school and housing things for example I did registration, paid study fee, got identity card, got Internet working ( which won`t work very well..), got laundry card and bought necessary items for our rooms. I live in dorm unit which isn`t very luxurious but manageable for three months. The dorm is located inside big campus area and nearby shops and restaurants. It takes about 15 minutes by taxi to go downtown.

I have been also wondering in the city and done little bit shopping and pampering . First shopping day went in fake market which was quite interesting experience. Sellers were aggressive and everything was fake and expensive. I had to try haggling and therefore I bought one little bag. I think that I still paid too much (about 10 Euros) but I just had to try! Every seller tried to explain that `you are my first customer; I just opened my store` when people haggled prices down. That`s just part of the game. The first time I was little bit scared in here Shanghai when we got invited in backroom (which was closed with a key). There was `better` fake products and in which inspectors are more interested (sellers could get fines). That was my first and last visit in fake market! After this trip we girls went to do our nails and hair. We found this hair salon in where washing, blow-drying and straightening costs only 1, 5 e! I like that! I hate washing my hair because it takes so long time to accomplish that so I think I will go there in every week.

It is quite funny to be so different from the mainstream. People are staring us and some have come to say how beautiful and stylish we are (I don`t know about that…). I have heard that Chinese people are using more and more cosmetic surgery in order to look more alike western people. This is easilly seen in every advertisements. For example all creams in here are with whitening effect (luckily I brought my own from Finland!). Only thing I like to be with whitening effect is my toothpaste!

Internet is working very badly today. I don`t know is it because of Japan`s earthquake or just China`s censorship( at evenings it can be noticed that police is little bit on alert). Yesterday I thought that I got my Facebook working but not anymore :(

Next time I will write more about  food what I have eaten and something about culture what I have experienced but now I go back to sleep and hopefully get better soon. I want to visit more sights and not just watch BBC world news from TV (although it was surprise that it is shown in television).

The last day

Tomorrow it finally comes, the day when I go to Shanghai. I am waited this moment so long but I cannot still believe that from tomorrow to end of May I am living in China. It is very difficult to express my feelings today because I have still so much to do for example to start PACKING and printing all different documents (not surprise for me, I always left important things to do on last minute…)!  But during this week I have done so much unnecessary things for example hard inventory on my clothes, painted all my nails with different colors (I do not know why?), read some homepages about Shanghai and I have been also EXTRA emotional to everyone…  I cannot believe my behavior! Hopefully tomorrow all this tension goes away.  It is just about 24 hours and I am on the plain. Thank god, it is straight flight. I think that I would be so lost if I now should fumble in some big airport alone.

I should now write something about practical arrangements before the exchange period. I do not even know have I done all but hopefully yes! I applied to exchange in last autumn. I remembered that I made my final decision about the destination on the last day. Many my friends have asked why did I chose Shanghai and I cannot answer them  straight because I really do not know the ultimate reason my choose. I knew absolutely where I did not want to go and was not sure where I wanted to go. Shanghai just sounded interesting place ( to where I probably will not get another chance to go for three months) and Chinese culture is so different so I want to experience something about that.

I took part on group flight and ordered my Visa through same travel agency. It was more expensive than I would have arranged them myself but definitely it was easier! I took travel insurance which was not so expensive than I thought because my trip last just little bit under 3 three months and my other insurances are from same company. What else practical things I have done… Off course handled Kela and school (learning agreement, grant application) things straight away when I heard that I have been chosen for exchange period in Shanghai. AND I ALSO  GOT MY FIRST CREDIT CARD! Wuhuu!

I arranged or tried to arrange my life in Finland to right condition. I try to get my practical training done in next summer so I have applied to some places and hopefully get one of them! I found very nice subtenant who lives next three months with my roommate. This was very nice relief that we did not have to move from our lovely home before my exchange period.

Here are some things what I want to achieve from my exchange :

–          Try to get out my pickiness about food (everyone who knows me little better knows how challenge full this is for me)

–          Try to control my shopping ( I have heard from my Chinese classmate that I will go crazy in there)

–          Learn some Chinese

–          Meet interesting people

–          Try to not get lost ( I promise to keep map with me all the time)

–          Be open minded to new cultures (little bit cliché but I had to write that)

Now, I have to really start packing (spring clothes and light shoes) and taking care of other last preparations. Bye Finland and HELLO SHANGHAI!