I hope everyone is doing well back in the good ol' USA. Glad to hear the govt. is no longer shutdown! This weekend was one of the best weekends I have had yet. I have met a new group of friends here (Jeanne and Martina) through my running, and I love them! They are two of the most laid-back and down-to-earth people I have met and so much fun. Jeanne is from New York (she is one of the only other people from NY here) and Martina is from Wales. The three of us get along so well! On Friday, we went straight from our Friday staff meeting to a run through the botanical gardens. After our run, the three of us and our friend Natalie all went out for Friday night tea (see pic below). It was so relaxing and so much more enjoyable than bar-hopping. This morning, Martina and Jeanne convinced me to buy a road bike to bike around the city. They took me to this sporting goods store (almost like Sports Authority) and I find a perfect-fitting shiny pink bike. It may not look like the most athletic bike hehe, but it fits well and has great gears, a basket (good for carrying my groceries) and a nice little bell. I rode the bike back to my school from the sporting goods store across the city. Shanghai is a very bike-friendly city and has bike lanes everywhere. I love biking here! It really makes you feel like part of the community and it makes life so much easier! I no longer have to wait for cabs. It is also helping me learn my way around. After buying bikes, I went and bought a juicer. My favorite new toy! I went to the fruit stand near my store and bought TONS of asian pears, dragon fruit, oranges, grapes, etc and its so easy to juice everything. I am planning on making lots of juice everyday...it's a nice break from the greasy Chinese food and a good way to get my nutrients. We got back from our biking adventures around 4 and then I continued my adventuring...I met up with my other friend Jojo at this restaurant called Wagas (kind of like a Panera...they have really good salads and sandwiches) and we sat in Wagas and wrote postcards for about 2 hours. I sent about 30 postcards today, so look out for one in the mail soon! Chances are that if you know me well enough to be reading this, you have a postcard in the mail right now :) Jojo and I then treated ourself to a chocolate truffle at Godiva, which was right next to Wagas. Godiva is like gold here. We waited for about 20 minutes for them to wrap my one truffle in a gift bag (see pic of us at Godiva below). Jojo and I cabbed it home and then had a rest hour in which we started the first season of Breaking Bad (I bought the first two seasons of Breaking Bad at the DVD shop on my street for 4 USD. That's the beauty of China...fake goods and pirated DVDs everywhere! Once Breaking Bad finished, I brought Jojo over to my friend Kevin's (he was hosting a dinner party). Kevin, Luke (Martina's BF), Jeanne, Martina, Jojo and I enjoyed dinner and live music (Kevin and Luke are in a band in Shanghai) and then made our way to a festival on the Bund. I now just got back from the festival and am getting ready for bed so that I can tutor tomorrow morning! Tomorrow morning after tutoring Jeanne, Martina and I are doing an 11 mile run to the Bund Fabric Market and back in preparation for our upcoming half marathon.
Nighty night! XO