Witt's Twaddle

Shanghai Short Story

Posted in Fests, Food, Trips by Witt on June 19, 2010

The family celebrated the 34th wedding anniversary of our parents in Shanghai, China. Here’s a few snaps I took with my Motorola Milestone.

Not very pleasing experience here that I will not be divulging. The Consular Section is at the World Center, 330 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City. Come early and take a number. Business hours begins at 9:00am. Requirements: New Visa Applicant – Completed application form, passport with a least six months validity, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if married), NBI clearance, bank certificate with OR and P50k show money. Previous Visa Holder – Completed application form and bring the old passport with the Chinese Visa.

Yes, they have flights to Shanghai. I think they just recently added Beijing to their new destinations. On time, maybe even earlier at times. Cheap. No food.

We arrived at Pudong International at around 11pm. Had some cash changed to Renminbi or Yuan (¥). They can also change your Peso, so you need not have to change it to USD ($) back home. Our chauffeur was there. It took us over an hour to get to our hotel. A series of skyways and flyovers. Simply spectacular. The moment we got out the van, cool breeze. Around 18-21 degrees Celsius. Very nice. Chun Shen Jiang Hotel is situated at East Nanjing Road in the heart of Huangpu District. Where everything is. Food, shopping, everything.

I suggested we eat something familiar for breakfasts so as not to upset our stomachs for the day. They try to be as environmentally sound as possible, no plastics or styrofoam here. No rice though, but they do have strawberry jams for pancakes and ground black pepper packets which I particularly liked.

When in Shanghai, the Oriental Pearl Tower is a must see. Fastest elevators I’ve ever ridden. Don’t forget to check out the Sight-Seeing Deck. 360 degrees of clear walking glass.

Same taste.

The Shanghai World Expo opened on the 1st of May 2010 and will run until the 31st of October 2010. ¥160 for a standard day pass, ¥100 for seasoned citizens. Luckily, we have two. Security was tight. They even held me for some time due to the Starbucks Shanghai City Mug I bought for Abbie. Expo hours begin at 8am and closes at 10pm except for times when there are special activities which can go on until midnight. The park is massive, as in colossal. Like a small town with hundreds of thousands of people. It’s impossible to scan the whole park in one day that’s why they’re selling 3-day and 7-day passes at ¥400 and ¥900 respectively. We just breezed through some. There’s a number of electric cars which serve as free ride in the long “highway” of the park. The longest queue: USA Pavilion. It has three short movies for its presentation mostly themed on saving the environment. Of course, we definitely have to see the Philippine Pavilion but unfortunately it was just a so-so. As we entered, a male vocalist sings Freddie Aguilar’s Anak followed by a lady singing a “kundiman”, a Filipino serenade. Then followed by a DJ… a DJ?! WTF! The pavilion showed the immense influence our conquerors. There is “hilot”, a Filipino massage/therapy, of course with pay. And the only one with a restaurant inside. Filipino food at skyhigh prices. The only thing good about the Philippine Pavilion, Pinoys need not queue. Another thing I noticed, Filipino travelers are one of the snobbish bunch there is. Don’t be like one, smile back. Did I say the park was enormous?  Huge portalets. Food is everywhere. Expo goodies galore. Everything is 20-30% more expensive though. Tip: Wear you favorite, most comfy footwear.

Some of the best authentic dimsum I’ve tasted are found here at the Shanghai Tea Houses near the Yuyuan Garden, center of the Old City. My favorite, the “Soup Siopao”. You stick a straw in it and sip its juices, tastes like “balut” soup. Yum!

The nearby Yuyuan Shopping  City is the “Divisoria” of Shanghai. Haggle-fest! Sub-story: Dad and the rest of us had a miscommunication on where to meet up after an hour of shopping. Hence, we waited and searched for him for four hours. We even summoned the assistance of the police. Tin went on the PA system which was funny-cool. Later he claimed that we’re the ones who got lost 😀

Boxing Cat Brewery‘s Knockout Stout. Two of this and you’re done. Crazy soccer hooligans pack the place at the time of the World Cup mania. Located at the French Concession, 82 Fu Xing Road West (Near Yong Fu Road), Xu Jia Hui District.

Xintiandi is a small district in Shanghai where old China and new China meet. The best restaurants can be found here. One is XinJishi Restaurant located at Building 9, Xintiandi beili, No.2, Alley 181 Taichang Road. The tofu is my favorite.

The vacation would not be complete without a trip for the faith. St. Peter’s Church is situated at 270 Chongqing Nan Lu. English Mass at 5pm every Saturday and 12noon on Sundays.

Free. ‘Nuff said.

Before flying out, I had a bowl of beef ramen from Ajisen Ramen at Pudong International.

To end, Shanghai is a beautiful megacity. You cannot capture it using a Motorola Milestone. Do not be discouraged if the locals turn you away when you ask them for directions or what not, they just do not speak English. Shanghainese are kind, welcoming people. Would love to go back and have more fun.

7:52am, 19 June 2010.

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Good Buys

Posted in Everyday by Witt on January 12, 2010

Got some more of those holiday loot money? Why don’t you march down these super sales:

Up to 70% discount on selected items until January 17 at Gateway Mall, New Alimall, Farmer’s Plaza, Farmer’s Market, Gateway Suites, Rustan’s Cubao, SM Cubao and Shopwise stores.

x x x

Up to 50% discount on select styles only until February 14 at Greenbelt 5 and Rustan’s Makati.

x x x

Up to 60% discount on selected items at all stores nationwide until January 17.

x x x

Up to 50% discount on selected items until February 6 at stores in Trinoma, Shangri-La Plaza Mall and Glorietta 4.

x x x

Until February 14 at Bonifacio High Street, SM Mall of Asia, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Trinoma, Glorietta 4, Robinsons Place Manila, Alabang Town Center and SM Megamall.

x x x

Fall/Winter collection until February 28 at Greenbelt 4.

xxx

End of season sale. 40% discount on selected items until January 31. Plus, another 5% discount on sale items for loyalty card holders until January 15.

x x x

Up to 70% discount until January 31 at all stores nationwide.

Courtesy of the Philippine Starweek Vol. No. 49.

9:47pm, 12 January 2010.

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Takers and Givers

Posted in Everyday, Tech by Witt on December 19, 2009

A few of hours ago, my mom, my sister and I were doing some holiday shopping at Shoppesville, a popular “tiangge” (bazaar) in Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila. It was expected that loads of people will be there being it’s a Saturday and Christmas is fast coming, and still there are some who hasn’t done their holiday shopping yet. We decided to split-up so we can find what we are looking for faster and to finish up early. I went on my own while Tinay accompanied mom. I got to this t-shirt shop which I like and picked up a couple of shirts. One for me and the other as a gift. Both ended up as gifts, I got it one size smaller 😦 Went to V-Mall next, a mall adjacent to Shoppesville, a nice place where you can get cheap electronics and other gadgets. I got my Xbox 360 here, a STEAL if I may say so, for it is an awesome machine! Gift it for Christmas and your loved one will love you more for it 🙂

Anyway, I started window-shopping. Had no plans of getting something there, just wanna see what’s new. But this X-Mini 2 made me think.

Sounds nice for its size!

I take it this speaker system came out less than a year ago. Much better than its predecessor. Costs only P1,600. Perfect fit for my iPod Touch 1st Gen. I’ll think about it some more.

After ogling at some nifty gadgets, I went back to the “tiangge”. An odd man caught my attention, he was carrying a paper bag on his left hand and was following a couple who were looking left & right at the clothes area. My first instinct was snatcher. I was right. I tried to follow the guy around for awhile. I think he noticed my presence, we even exchanged a stare for a second. He walked faster and left his prey. I saw him a few meters ahead talking to someone, as if telling me to back off for he has company. I periscoped the area and he was not kidding, there were at least 3 more men with him. Now they’re all looking at me. My phone rang, it was Tinay. She told me if I could get her big bag from the car and take it to her at her friend’s shop on the 2nd floor. While I was talking to my sister, it happened. It was swift. The guy bumped into his prey intentionally, said sorry and got the money from the poor guy’s right front pocket. If all of the bills were in P1,000 denomination, I believe it’s worth more than P10K. I paused my talking cause I was in shock. My sister even said on the phone, “Naiintindihan mo ba ang sinasabi ko?” (“Do you understand what I’m saying?”) In my head, millions of calculations occurred. Will I or not? I felt I had an obligation to intervene but I didn’t. The call ended. The group of snatchers were gone. The poor guy didn’t know what just happened.

I hesitated because I didn’t know the enemy. They’re exact number? What weapons they do or don’t have? Will I get help from the other people around? And so on . . .

As for the poor guy, I think it’s half his fault. Never withdraw money from an ATM in a very crowded place. That makes you an easy target.

10:59pm, 19 December 2009.

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