Friday, June 11, 2010

Chicken Feet


It seems like there are always a thousand things I want to blog/write about but after I'm done doing said activities I'm too tired to post. It's nearing the end of the day at Enovate. We're heading out for drinks together and then possibly a concert. Alternatively, after drinks I might hook up with the Yale crew to walk around the Bund or watch the World Cup.

One of the things I enjoy is walking to work every morning. I could take the metro for part of it and slim down the forty minute trek but I like taking in the glimpses of daily life I get. Yesterday morning I didn't realize what was happening until a rooster's head fell by feet all bloody as some housewife was purchasing her groceries. Today there was some kind of bike accident but no one seemed to be badly hurt. Nevertheless there were five police officers and a crowd of onlookers. Chinese people are very much into that whole crowd thing. Case in point- David's exhibit opening at MoCA with cute Chinese artists. Talk about hordes of teenage girls with camera phones.

The Yale club gave us all a packet with coupons for Starbucks and McDonalds. I find this amusing but appreciate the free lattes I'm enjoying (there's literally a Starbucks outside my hotel room). There are far more xingbake (Chinese for Starbucks) in general compared to Beijing. Last summer I became very well acquainted with the locations of Starbucks in Beijing. My best friend is a complete junkie. ;) Four tall sugar-free coffee light frappucinos with 1 pump sugar-free vanilla and 1 pump sugar-free caramel a day anyone?

I'm on my last pair of clean underwear so I suppose I'll have to face my fear of the Chinese laundry machine. There's no way all of those buttons are necessary. Maybe I'll hang my bras on a line out the window like all the Shanghaiese do.

I added another animal to my list after lunch today. Bullfrog. Very very good. I really enjoy saying "another animal" because I'm actually not all that adventurous of an eater. I can pretend right? Just don't try to feed me duck soup with the intestines and crunchy bits. I'm afraid of where those crunchy bits come from.

I've given up on cooking even though I made a trip to the grocery store this morning (at 7, I woke up today without an alarm at 5!). I keep getting invitations to eat out. The social aspect is great but I really wish I knew how many calories were in say qiezi? I'm kind of afraid. Oh well. You can't ask in China.

Another favorite Chinese food I don't quite understand- chicken feet. Is there really any meat on them?

In other news, Eno has been making a lookbook so everyday there has literally been a parade of models male and female through our office. No one can concentrate.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll

The last few days can be described in three terms: Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll

except, actually neither sex, nor drugs, nor rock and roll really happened.

More of work, food, and a many drunken hazes of really awesome happenings. As such, I'm just gonna have to bullet-point it

1. Wednesday- pretty much (un)official ladies night throughout all of Shanghai. aka if you are a female, you walk into a club, pay no cover, waltz in, go to the open bar, and order every and anything you want FOR ABSOLUTELY FREE. It boggled my mind.
2. So Wednesday- we went to Tanghui VIP room. They advertised free manicures, and what do you know? They ACTUALLY had a free manicure station at the front door of the club!
3. They also advertised that if a guy came in with 4 girls (aka "queens"), he would become crowned "king" and get a free bottle of champagne. We only had three girls. Try as we may, we were unable to woo a rando girl to come be our 4th queen, and alas, were unable to get our free bottle of champagne
4. Lots of hot girls sitting around the bar being super anti-social on their cellphones
5. turned out that they were probably prostitutes or just hired to sit there to make the club look more crowded
6. I wondered how it's possible they don't lose money when girls can just walk in and drink unlimited alcohol
7. Had a vodka shot from the open bar. Worst. Thing. Ever. It was basically a cross between dog piss and nail polish remover.
8. They randomly had male models (read: really skinny asian guys with really asian hair) walk on stage and there was a mini fashion show... except they were all wearing the same thing
9.The bathrooms were fricken awesome. They were a cross between a shiny disco ball and a time machine. I thought I was gonna take off to a different era or something whilst taking a piss
10. Thursday night= recuperate from Wednesday
11. Friday- French wedding dinner at the restaurant.
12. Afterwards, got on my co-workers motorcycle vespa thing- crazy. I had never been on a motorbike before
13. Went to a Light graffitti party at Club Tipsy. They advertised free crepes and open bar.
14. Got there too late for crepes
15. Pounded the open bar
16. Came back and were all super sloppy- ate 2 huge things of ramen
17. Woke up the next there and there was dried ramen all over the floor.
18. Yesterday- Really long walk to the bund.
19. Visited the marriage market!- where old people post up resumes of their adult children and try and arrange marriages for their kids
20. Unlimted sushi ordering buffet + Bar hopping with Yale Alums. Super full. Any alcohol was absorbed by massive amounts of sushi residing in my belly
21. Afterwards, went to Mint. Was bought many drinks- discovered my new favorite: Belvediere on the Rocks + lemon+ hint of sugar.
22. French Pussy= really good
23. There was a baby shark tank at the club!
24. There was also glass roof. I looked up and asked why it was light out. It was 4:30 am.
25. Decided it was a good idea to go out to the Bund by the water. Watched old people fly kites and job slowly by.
26. Wondered why the fuck people get up at 5 on a Sunday morning
27. Got home at 5:30 and conked out
28. Today- got a free mani and pedi on Yale's tab!
29. Made a really good dinner with peeps. Everything made from scractch!
30. I really like mustard. Dijon mustard.
31. We decided our next endeavor is to make a huge rotisserie so we can roast a pig on our balcony.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Week 1 以后:

Wow this was a busy week! I love my job, especially my coworkers. I'm basically just helping people with random projects or watching them do things in Indesign that I don't know how to do yet. We usually go together for veggie-pork dumplings at noon at sit in this homey, sweaty, noisy- typical chinese-fanguanr. I love asking people what brought them to Shanghai. I'm amazed at the number of people that have been here 4 years + without making any attempts to learn the language apart from nihao. People keep telling me the foreigners and the Chinese don't mix well in Shanghai. So far my experience has been that the social scene is very self-segregating, even at work. All the Chinese girls stay and eat some warmed up leftovers in front of their computers while we (the westerners) go out for lunch. The great thing about Eno is that they do a ton of research about pretty much everything relating to trends and Chinese youth culture. They're constantly altering and re-evaluating their approach. On Friday, a Improv/Stand-up Comedy group from Chicago called Chopsticks came in and led a company workshop in the Chang le lu store. I'm learning a lot just watching about what working for a start up in China might be like.

In other news, the Yale Club of Shanghai is really great. Their coordinator, Deanna has been organizing lots of activities around the city to keep us busy. Andi and woke up bright and early for a tour about the Jews of Shanghai. Basically, Shanghai saved more Jews than any other city in the world because there was no immigration quota; it was the only metropolis where you didn't need a visa to enter. Russian and Iraqi Jews were in the city even earlier than that (1850s) and helped build Nanjing rd. and started a bunch of businesses. Everyone had to pick up quick and leave in 1949 with the Communist Revolution. Really interesting stuff.

Last night we met up with a group of alumni for some sushi and sake-bombing, true to New Haven style. It was all you can eat for 138 rmb so we went a little crazy. I'm not sure about the impression I left with my chopstick-walrus pictures.

Today, the bulldogs (girls and boys) are getting manicures and pedicures paid for by Yale. No joke.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Today was my second day on the job at Enovate. The inventive nature of Eno as a start up means that I'm somewhat on my own to structure my internship and propose/offer to work on projects that I will help me develop a skill set in Indesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc.. The first deadline is a print publication with articles about Chinese youth culture that would serve as a handout for clients to show them the kind of work Eno does. Right now I'm researching creative bookbinding and create-your-own USB drive websites. The second project is a comic strip that illustrates the lives of Chinese youth with different interests going through their daily lives. The third was re-organized text and logo placement for a client's email newsletter. And fourth, this weekend I have plans to go to the Shanghai marriage market in People's Sq. to do field research for an Eno blog article.

Apparently lots of parents and sometimes grandparents go to the park, sometimes without the knowledge of the wife or husband to be, and arrange potential matches for their children. Supposedly most Chinese at this age are too busy working to devote time to finding a soul mate. Many parents additionally employ matchmakers. With the male/female ratio there are a lot more single guys competing for wives. The listings for both guys and girls include a glamour shot and essential information. For guys this essential information is height, salary and whether or not you have a car and house. For girls- age, weight and height. Chinese are really into height. I'm imagining, "Man with car and 3000 rmb/month looking for wife around 23, who should be above 1.65 meters in height, as pure as a lotus flower, fair-skinned, slender, and quiet." ....

I've been amazed so far at the amount of research Eno does to know its consumer. Chinese youth (considered people between 15-25) wield an amazing chunk of purchasing power. China has 420 million citizens under 25 years old (THIS EXCEEDS THE ENTIRE US POPULATION). These youngsters are spending or influencing 50% or more of their families' incomes. Big market.

I feel like something bad is going to happen to my eyes looking at the computer screen literally all day. I'm also struggling to sit in an office chair from 9:30 to 6:30. At school I usually work on the floor or sit at my desk on a big bouncy ball. Most of my coworkers don't take lunch breaks either- they just eat at their desks. Hmm.

Time for ladies night.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's my job to party. No, but actually


Basically, My job= amaaaazing.

It is currently midnight, just finished about an hour ago. My shift today was 2 pm-10:30 pm.

I spent the first half of the day working on some random bullshit for the owner. Mainly marketing stuff to find out the main websites foreigners check to find out which restaurants they should eat at in shanghai, and see whether or not our restaurant is listed there. If not, find out if I can get it listed there, and how i can get people to review it positively.

At night, starting at 7, we had the Royal Canin (Dog Food) corporation host their party at the restaurant. I didn't know before, but apparently, they are our most important clients thus far of the year! It was a party of ALL the general managers of the corporation from around the world. Anyway, i started of as a hostess, greeting the people who came in, making sure they went the right way etc. But then Jake let me off, and was like, "as an events person, you gotta go mingle. Now go get a glass of wine, it'll be good for your throat (told him the previous story), and go enjoy yourself." I was hesitant at first, but then was like, OKAY, if you insist!

It was a bit awkward at first trying to inch myself into random conversations with old business men, but it ended up being AWESOME. I spent a large majority of the night talking with 4 general managers of the corporation from 4 different countries!! Austria, Germany, Finland, and Switzerland. They invited me to sit down to dinner, and offered me food and drinks etc. Got like 5-6 free glasses of wine out of it, free dessert, and 4 new places to stay if I so decide to take a Eurotrip in the near future! Sooo much networking, but oooh so much fun (if/when it works out).

Monday, May 31, 2010



This is sort of a back room picture of where I work. Basically, lots of Chinese 25ish year-olds drinking coffee or chrysanthemum tea (really good) or coffee working on their computers. Eno, the company my internship is with, does a lot more than just designing clothes. It seems like people are working on a hundred different projects from organizing youth concerts to designing an architectural space to making a magazine to working on websites.

I really love the whole team- lots of smart, creative people. It looks like my first assignment may be designing the layout for a mini magazine.

The Enovate Blog

The Creator's Project

Observations walking around xiangyang lu:

1) There's nothing in this world cuter than Chinese babies:

2) laundry laundry everywhere:

3) I'm not even sure I have a comment for this one:

4) You can count on the grannies to be out in the morning practicing taijiquan in the park:

And Lisa's not kidding. The size of our suite is ridiculous. I'm so happy to finally be in Shanghai!


I attribute my miraculous recovery to the 4 or 5 glasses of wine from last night. Alcohol is good for you boys and girls.

Anyway ,
This video came about on Sunday (Day before yesterday) while David and I were sitting around drinking wine and waiting for Madison's arrival. Little did we know that Madison still had not left the United States.

The result is a deep reflection (or merely a shallow recounting, take your pick) of life (our day). As an added bonus, you can get a glimpse of my black lung. The yellow lighting+my jet lag fatigue also make me look quite sickly, adding even more to the bonus.


David recounts his first day...involving failed jacuzzi night, the Yale alumni dinner, and more