Hiking Trip

I have to say, despite not being a hiker I was quite excited – buying heaps of new crap was fun too!

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I was quite surprised about how steep it was, I guess I hadn’t thought through what hiking really was… More than just wearing a flannel shirt

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It was tough at times, but over the weekend we hiked 30km. I find that Soju (Korean liquor) is a perfect hiking fuel, screw the trail mix…

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We stayed in a beautiful little village in the mountains!

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What a difference 10 years can make

I often reflect about the fact it was 10 years ago that I moved to London and think how difference this experience is…. Now it’s not the culture I am thinking about, it’s me…. And well I’m getting older, I’m like a proper adult now.

Let me take your through Sarah’s Top Seven ‘Shit I’m getting old lightbulb moments’.

Why seven you ask? It’s an odd number? Well, cause it’s 9.45pm and I need my sleep as I’m getting old haha.

# One: 10pm WTF

You meet for drinks at 10pm. That’s not a time to start drinking people – if I’m not out by 8pm I’m not gonna…

And I’m not talking clubbing – that’s happens around 1am.

# Two: I considered Crocs (if even for a second)

Okay, before you consider me too poorly – it was only for half a second. I was going kayaking and shopping and saw the store and thought, hey I remember seeing an advertisement t in a magazine and crocs have different types of waterproof shoes now. That does sound practical, maybe I should check them out.

But don’t worry, I mentally slapped myself in the face and kept walking!

# Three: I don’t have housemates and I’m not all that sad about it

When I was in london I had 11 housemates and now it’s just me and I kinda like it.

# Four: I relish when I can start the day with some tidying up

Damn it, it just makes me feel soooo good haha

# Five: I can’t do a Contiki tour (I don’t want to, I just realized I can’t)

Five b, is that I’m now interested in the oriental express – looks amazing!!

# Six: I am finding only having one pair of shoes quite liberating

Now, when I say one pair I mean one pair of each possible type of shoes I.e runners, casual ballet flat, smart ballet flat, wedge, heel, stiletto, peep toe, hiking shoes, thongs, boots and slippers!

It really makes my decision making so much easier.

My shipment comes in a week or two, apart from my blender and toaster I’m kinda doing okay with my minimal living.

# Seven: Carlie is pregnant and it’s not weird

I missed the baby shower, but I have Facebook and wow Carlie looks so radiant and lovely pregnant – looks like a beautiful yummy mummy!

Gone is the little blonde chic in a beauy high dress (um, another one the word beauy looks words, I don’t even know how to spell that anymore!) trying to sell me a ciggie for 50 cents!

Anyways, time to finish my tea (no Horlicks for me tonight) and snuggle up with marley. Night folks

But a few pics to keep the visual people happy!

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Be my Guest

Welcome, thanks for coming all the way to china to see me hehe

Good work you found the lobby!

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Yep, that’s the lift

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Naw, you brought me some wine from Australia – so sweet, you didn’t need to do that (yes you did, I’m being polite)… Let me take your bags

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Come on in this is your room

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Look you even have a balcony

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You can share a bathroom with Marley

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Street access to the metro – very handy… Now go explore!

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Moving day

Got the keys to my new place, so time to move my crap and cat!!

Here is the living and dining room

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And here is a suspicious looking stain

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I hope to work out how to open the balcony very soon – meanwhile seeming a bit smoggy today

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I have nothing quirky to say – it’s a small, white, clean kitchen

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Having an actual oven is very special indeed – lucky girl I am!

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Giant but very hard master bed

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Ensuite

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Oh dear, one of these again!

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Stay tuned for part 2 – exploring the 2nd bedroom… Gasp!

A wekend minus my special grape juice (come on, 2 glasses doesn’t count)…

It’s been a month since i’ve been here now, wow – time has gone fast.

I am settling into work, lots to do and i’m still finding my way through things but i am clear on what i need to do…. I’m taking that as a win haha.

This last weekend I thought I might hibernate a little, relax and be health, it seems most social occasions in Shanghai involve booze or food – or both (not that i am complaining).

So, saturday morning I got up and treated myself to a full body massage (cost $18.50 for 60 mins) – it was great, well the part where she oiled up my boobs was a bit …. well, it’s hard to put into words but weirdness aside, it kinda seems pointless – not really much in the way of muscles i’m afraid.

Note to self… new phrase to learn in Chinese ‘You don’t need to do my boobs, they are fine’.

Anyway, floated out and continued to walk, did a bit of shopping and went to a tennis workshop. I forgot how bad i was – yikes!

Tinder for Parents – Umbrella Market – People’s Park
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So, what’s this you ask? Well, apparently this market is for finding your adult child a husband or wife. People put their kids stats and background on an umbrella and market attendee’s walk around if they see something they like they stop and chat.

Mum, don’t even think about it… haha.

I’m not quite sure what happens next, but i’m guessing as the culture tends to encourage a sense of duty and respect to parents, i’m guessing ‘kids’ oblige and go out on these match maker blind dates when their parents ask??? Hmm, i’ll find out for sure one day.

One thing I do know is that their is a perception of shame around being a ‘left over women’ which means you are unless you get married young i.e. like early twenties…. you’re on the shelf lady.

‘Pretty girls don’t need a lot of education to marry into a rich and powerful family, but girls with an average or ugly appearance will find it difficult,’ wrote China’s Xinhua News Agency three years ago.

‘These kinds of girls hope to further their education in order to increase their competitiveness. The tragedy is, they don’t realize that as women age, they are worth less and less, so by the time they get their M.A. or Ph.D., they are already old, like yellowed pearls.’

Wow, what happened to be, here i am quoting the ABC (http://preview.tinyurl.com/na6398v).

Not to make it all about me (but hey, my name is in this website URL so you had to expect some narcism, right) but what do they think of me here I wonder… One may assume i’m a ‘Left Over Woman’, but in fact I’d like to think of myself as more of a ‘Demo Model’ or maybe a ‘Fleet Model’ I wasn’t so much left over, more just returned in reasonable condition a few years later! haha.

Anyway, back to my weekend…

I’m sure I hit some over the net

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I found my way home, stopped for a glass of wine and salad at a nice little wine bar and watched ‘Girls’ in bed – best show ever (Eva, i can’t believe it took me this long to watch it).

Sunday I found the best yoga studio, i am quite excited actually… it’s very cool. Yay, good times to be had – i just wish i hadn’t been so over enthusiastic…. i ran there (locating and photographing some nice bars to try out soon), thinking i could relax and unwind and realised that it was a hot yoga class i booked in for… painful, very painful and a few black spots..

Must come here (on non healthy weekend)

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And now for my final
thought: Pretty rose buds at the supermarket!

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Just a Thursday

So, being the utter professional that I am – I woke up at 9.50am today hearing the cleaning lady bang on my door. What the – totally late for work… Hmm, I went to bed at 10.30pm last night…scary.

This is what happens when my jawbone breaks – I can’t wake up without the slight wrist vibration it provides me when I’m in my optimal light sleep phase…

So, I decided on my apartment today – yay. Move out next week!!

Soon to be Home Sweet 35th Floor Home

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My View (until the smog comes of course!)

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So. I come home and celebrate by sharing a can of tuna with my cat and try to think about ways of improving my sleeping patterns.

Luckily my new place is on the same street as work – as long as I wake up 10mins prior to any meetings I should be okay 😉

Why has this become a hassle already!

Haha, I’ve been putting off writing anything as I was a few days behind… And then it started accumulating and then it got relegated to the dreaded to do list….

Hmm, I now remember why I could never keep a diary as a teenager, no matter how pretty and sparkly!!

Oh well. Here it goes. I’m letting it go.

Here is my update. It’s not everything and it’s not in any order. Dang, when did I become such a rebel haha.

Okay. So marley is fitting in quite nicely. I often visit him at lunchtime and say hello. He’s got quite used to being the man of the house and having prime bed position!!

I went to bangkok last week for work, it was really good – too much food, fancy hotel and lots to learn!!! Consider me up skilled in strategy – check.

So, I’ve been bouncing around the place a bit… But not in a bad way.

A few more fun nights… Random shanghai nightclubs are interesting and I can imagine Dayna having the dj round her little finger in minutes!! Hehe

A few dinners here and there. I have a 70’s birthday party soon – my mind boggles at the idea of finding something here!!

I couldn’t sleep last night, so I booked a hiking trip to a hidden village in a few weeks… As you do 🙂

Apartment hunting sucks – it’s the language and perhaps Chinese taste in decor but mostly the use of the old ‘bait and switch’ – forget looking up stuff online, all the amazing places are ‘suddenly rented’ but no worry, plenty of other good places…. Ahhh, it’s just a lottery.

It’s sometimes fun to learn Chinese

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Girl dating….

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My new mug – Digging it!

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Tasty Tom Yum in Bangkok, but dad’s is better!

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Working hard in Thailand

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Love the French concession in Shanghai – pretty streets make me happy
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Things that make me happy in Shanghai

It’s funny the things you appreciate when you’re in a whole new world out of your comfort zone!

Gone are the days of Seaford beach walking, cups of teas with the girls, KX Yoga with Maddie and Jo, pretending to help Julie garden, painting my house with Janni and cooking up a feast with Chris…

# One: Social Media

Despite most of my sources of entertainment, stalking or chatting being temporarily gone… I still have viber, skype and pinterest. Therefore I have not quite dropped off the face of the earth.

Despite my horrible china phone, I am getting used to this wechat and meetup business – it’s a source of new friends and a social life!

However, my contribution to china social media needs a bit of work haha

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# Two: Jurlique

I’m enjoying my lengthy (well for me at least) morning and evening routine for facial care – it was so expensive but so worth it… Ahhh, eye cream and facial oil I love you… Don’t even get me started on the Rose facial mist I keep at work.

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# Three: Special K and 3 in 1 latte coffee mix

Not the flashest things around and only healthy in a macca’s do salad kinda way, but for some weird reason I’m looking forward to having these every morning. I’m getting my calcium!!!

# Four: Starbucks

I’ve always been quite anti Starbucks, but it definitely has its place when you’re away from western comforts. Sometimes you just want to know exactly what you are going to get. Plus you seem to find them just at the right time… When I’m lost, exhausted, overwhelmed or in need of wifi for my Aussie phone…

# Five: Walking

Before I left I was getting quite disappointed with my lack of progress on making it towards for aim of 10k steps a day on the jawbone… And it felt so out of my way sometimes to even get to 7k steps.

In Shanghai, I’m loving exploring and there are some really beautiful tree lined streets to get lost in – I guess it’s just more interesting walking around exploring a new place.

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The Week of First Dates

So, without facebook or Instagram (I know I know, get a VPN i keep hearing… well it’s on my list) it makes sense for me to find people to speak to other than Marley…

So, date number 1… I chickened out on…. it was to go out at 11pm to a bar with some of her work friends…. ah, I’m too old – if i’m not drunk by 7pm it ain’t happening…

Then for the next one, I met a lovely Kiwi lady and she brought along her dutch friend (i guess in case i was a psycho). All in all it was a nice afternoon with a few civilised wines and felt like a good friend match.

Getting to see new areas of the city

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Finally time to brave the metro, and it’s not too bad – all dolled up for my first date haha

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Date Two – A few drinks with some teachers – US and Irish Gals

Date 2 lasted from 3pm till Midnight, i decided to call it a day at a reasonable hour and left them to it – this bomb shelter (an actual concrete underground shelter) bar was starting to spin me out haha

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Date 3 also lasted a while and ended up in this very cool whisky bar, you had to enter in via a bookcase… I do intend to take everyone who comes visit me to this place!

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Lastly, i’m getting used to this chinese social media…. i even get my own QR code for when i want to make friends…. They just scan my code and hey presto we’ve swapped info. Plus they gave me bread as my icon automatically – oh my, how did they know I liked bread haha

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