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Urban Soup Kitchen

Treat yourself to some hearty fresh Soup, Salads and Sandwiches at Urban Soup Kitchen! Found this place a week ago located near Xintiandi and it’s perfect for a healthy quick lunch! They also have free delivery within 2 km if you order directly.

Try their Carrot Ginger soup and Tuna Sandwiches, they’re Deeeee-li-cious!

You can also get a Combo Deal  and get a Salad or Sandwich+soup for half the price!

Phone: 021-3331-1861

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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Food, Uncategorized

 

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Hao Taobao!

Image representing Taobao as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

One of the pros of modern technology and China is it’s invention of Taobao. This online marketplace is China’s own version of ebay/amazon. They have anything and everything there plus it’s supposedly cheaper than anything you can find at the stores! Although one of it’s famous drawbacks was that it only accepted China cards (I had some trouble setting up my online account at Bank of China, see my Bank of China post) when I first arrived so I stayed clear of taobao for awhile. After months of steering clear of Taobao and lots of window shopping since imported items were 3 times US prices, I decided to check out Taobao once more.

Today, I went on taobao to look for some filters for my Philips air purifier. I wasn’t able to find it anywhere else online and even googled stores in Shanghai that sold them. So my last resort became my best resort! As I opened up the Taobao site once again, I found about 10 full pages of filters!!! Yay, I was so thrilled! Then, click  click, click THERE WAS A VISA OPTION and this time it was simple, fast and easy! “Taobao…you’re a life saver!”

Please note if you have a hard time reading Chinese like me, you can use Google Chrome. It will translate the page for you.

And delivery usually takes about 2 days. Happy Shopping!

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Shopping, Uncategorized

 

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Cleanliness is next to Godliness~Air Pollution

Air pollution can be a serious hazard for expats who move to Shanghai. To be sure, you’re taking care of yourself and being on the right side of things, below are a few precautions you can take:

1) Check out the website: http://shaqi.info or keep the China Air Pollution Index iPhone app handy.

2) Buy plants such as: money plants, snake plants and spider plants to absorb the harmful air pollution. Check out the NASA’s study of the 10 most purifying plants.

3) Use Face Masks(particularly N95 from Taobao) to protect your lungs!

4) Buy an air purifier for your home. I recommend IQAir, BlueAir or Allen Air as compared in this article.

Good Luck!

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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Does subtotal=total?

Today I was at the convenient store buying water and there was a waiguo ren(American) standing in front of me. I noticed he was asking the clerk for his fa piao. The 2 clerks behind the counter instead acted as if they did not heard him and turned their backs on him while counting their money. The guy and his 5 year old boy were standing there furious for 5 minutes and they still didn’t give him his fapiao or acknowledge him at all. After getting no response from them, he turned and looked at me. Trying to reassure him, I said, “This happens all the time!” He was confused and asked why??? Then came to the conclusion that they were being dishonest, he yelled, ” Bu Chengshi”!

Then I noticed that they only rang me up as a subtotal and not actually total!

Is no system a system in China? Has this happened to you before?

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Markets, Uncategorized

 

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Lost in Shanghai?

One of my favorite past times in Shanghai is to try the different cuisines and new restaurants here! A friend of mine brought me to this restaurant when I first moved here and last night we had another fun and amazing night there. We had a group dinner date there consisting of about 12 people and everyone had a blast! The atmosphere was warm with dimmed lighting and they served a handful of fine tuned exotic Yunnanese dishes.

Imagine deep fried lamb samosas, fragrant fish in banana leaf, silky tofu with eggplant and Dali style Chicken…(I think my mouth is watering again:)

If you’re lost in Shanghai, dont’ fret and go to “Lost Heaven“!  This is the essential place to go for the ultimate foodie in Shanghai! 

They have 2 locations. One on the bund, and one in the French Concession. I felt like I had a better experience at the one on the bund. 

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Food, Uncategorized

 

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Wild Wild West!~ cont/Yunnan1

Yunnan was my last and final destination of this trip! Positioned next to Tibet, Yunnan is one of the most spiritual places in the world. There I had a completely different experience from Xian and Sichuan. Some people would say I felt “one with god”. This was a land of peace, beauty, hope, and wonder, the magical secret garden of China. This is a simple world filled with simple people just like you and me and surrounded with the only medicine in the world, kindness and love.

When I first arrived, I flew into the Lijian airport. Lijian is the closest city abound the famous snow capped mountains, Tiger Leaping Gorge and the legendary Shangri-la. Many travellers usually fly into Kunming(the capital of Yunnan) and take a tour via Dali-Lijian-Shangri-la-Kumming-home. I was a little strapped for time at this point in my trip so I decided to fly directly into see the nature sceneries and less of the city sights of Yunnan.

Back in Shanghai, I had just received a we chat message from one of the employees at my doggy day care where I had placed my 1 year old rescue pup. I found out that the doggy day care which I have been using everyday for the past year had gone from “ok” to “out of business” in a weeks time, and when I asked them how long do I have, they responded with a stern answer, “a few days”. So after hearing that sudden news, I knew I only had a few days in Yunnan to explore and had to make the most out of the time I had.

There are many minorities that live in Yunnan.  Ethnic minorities in Yunnan account for about 34 percent of its total population. Major ethnic groups include Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai and Miao. I stayed at a little village in Lijian on the outskirts of the city where there were many Naxi and Bai people there. The minorities did not speak the same language however everyone was required to learn Mandarin at school so there they would communicate through mandarin.The hotel I stayed in was situated on the bottom of a snow capped mountain called Jade Dragon snow mountain. When I arrived, the hotel employees greeted me with much kindness and compassion and would take me on a tour around the small village, and cook me dinner at night. We shared laughters and share stories everynight over pots of Pu er tea(which is Yunnan’s staple) and watched Chinese TV on a huge flatscreen. One story I learnt while I was there was about the tea trading from Yunnan to TIbet. Back in the days, Tibet wanted tea and China wanted horses. So the story goes that the Yunnanese traders packed and compressed inferior fermented Pu’er tea into bricks and put them into sacks carried by mules. On the road around mountains and plateaus for miles baking under the high-altitude sun, the tea absorbed the sweat and heat from the mules carrying the bricks creating a new flavor altogether that the Tibetans liked. This became the fermented Pu er tea that we now drink today.

The next day, the hotel receptionist took me on a sightseeing tour to see the Tiger Leaping Gorge. The driver drove us about an hour and a half away from our hotel and dropped us off at the entryway of the gorge. There were darkly tanned Chinese men with red colored man carts lined up all around the side of the paved pathway. Since it was about a 40 minute walk to the end, I decided to request a cart there and then walk back. Rocky bumps, dark hollow caves, and bridges made the ride ever so exciting! We kindly asked the cart driver to stop along different scenery points along the way and he was very patient with us and would even offer to help us take pictures along the way! The people here were simple yet grateful for what they have and I for one was inspired to be in their presence.

I came to find that in almost every historical sight, chinese people have a story to tell. Legend tells that in order to escape from a hunter, a tiger jumped across the river at the narrowest point (still 25 metres (82 ft) wide), hence it’s name.

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To be continued…

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Travel, Uncategorized

 

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Midnight delight

My cousin got off late from work the other night and was starving! We knew we wanted American food but didn’t know what was still open. By that time, it was already midnight and most of the restaurants were already closed.

Don’t worry, there’s always Dakota! My cousin ordered a burger and we shared their unforgettable donuts with vanilla sauce for dessert! YUM!!!Image

Dakota

38 Donghu Lu, 
near Xinle Lu 
东湖路38号, 
近新乐路

5403 8906

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Food, Uncategorized

 

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