Time has changed. It is going so very fast. I just seem to blink and it's the next day!
This past week , other than the teaching, which is every day, I have either been sleeping early which took up 3 evenings, and I mean early, like 5pm/ 7pm! I got to the point where I was silly tired from waking at 2am everyday, even if I slept at 11pm that I decided to stop trying to regulate my body clock and just sleep when I needed to. That decision was made last Friday when I went for a lovely walk round a local park with leon and some of the girls from the class then we went for food afterwards and I literally was falling asleep in my chair! I hate jet lag. I have since found out that drinking milk is supposed to help, and also so is drinking sodium with soda. I haven't tried either yet, it seems a little late now, and wish I had known these things when I arrived!
After class Todd took me to the tailors market. A huge building, like a mall, with nothing but tailors shops! I had thought to get a winter coat made, since I had been told it was very cheap to have things made for you, it wasn't. Shanghai prices actually seem to be very expensive, unfortunately. I did however buy a few meters of different fabrics with which to make costumes with when I get back to Cairo!
On the Saturday night I went with Mei to a hafla. 'Lets shimmy'. A hafla in Shanghai seems to be fairly similar to one in UK; Lots of bellydancers all dressed up sparkly, but the venue was too swanky for words. It was in a Thai style club in the area called the Bund which is really stunning and all the buildings are super luxurious. Two days before I had been in a jazz bar in a 1920's Art Deco style hotel with live band and the place was to die for (as were the prices!) . At the hafla there was only 3 performances all night with the rest of the time free to dance to the drums, there were 3 tabla players there, and the music, of which the same 5 songs kept repeating. Very strange. The performances were varied. No Egyptian style unfortunately. One male dancer doing tribal style, followed by a group of what I can only describe as 'oriental fantasy', you know, with the little chiffon half face veils in colours to match the costumes, and then a tribal sword dance to end the night. Everything was a little slow.. And we were thinking to leave early, but the a group of my students arrived and I hit the dancefloor with them and we ended up having a ball of a time, with a impromptu photoshoot in the lobby of the building afterwards.
The next day I went to the botanical gardens. It has been cold weather here since I arrived, getting colder everyday (down to zero degrees today) but on Sunday that was the only day we have had rain. Typical on the one day I really want the sunshine because we don't have class. Ah well... The gardens were stunning despite the rain. I loved the tropical greenhouses too. I used up all my camera battery yet again.
At night I went to the cinema to see gravity. I don't recommend it as a film at all, however, I went to see it in the IMAX cinema and that was my first IMAX experience, which I loved. The cinema was in a beautiful new designer shopping mall. I have never admired the decor in a mall before. Now I have! Oh, I also ate curry for dinner. Curry in china. My life seems very bizarre right now, even to me!
Mondays plan was to have an evening in my hotel room, doing some class planning and blog writing, but I crashed at 5pm! So the planning was instead done in the middle of the night when I was obviously, frustratingly, wide awake! At least I got my 7 hours sleep, even if it was at a strange time! Did manage a wee trip to H&M first though, and bought myself a long sleeved Tshirt dress in the colour of the moment, green. Everything I am gravitating to these days seems to be dark green and lime green. No idea why!
Hope you are enjoying reading my shanghai stories.... I am writing them so I don't forget things I have seen and done but unless I write daily I am sure I am forgetting so much. No wonder my body doesn't want to sleep, everything is so new and different and interesting that my brain just doesn't let my body rest!