Two Trips, Two Dinners

September 5th, 2009. Categories / China, Shanghai

Note: Starting a few posts ago, I’ve been including a few of the images at a 1000px wide. If the caption mentions that you can click the image for a larger size, you can do just that. I think the larger shots are great for capturing details. You can scroll through all the big images on the page by clicking left or right. Esc key or clicking anywhere on the background exits.

On Friday, I remembered to bring my camera for the long drive into the sticks to visit the corporate headquarters of Client. I’m not exactly sure what part of town the Death Star is in, but the drive takes over an hour along two highways and broad, endless streets. The massiveness of the city doesn’t stop during most of the journey, though the high rises thin out to crisscrossing highway construction and razed lots ready for the construction of more high rises. The view along the highway is ugly: dusty, dirty canals, transmission lines, power plants, roads. The final stretch off the highway is a land of corporate headquarters: San Disk, Yamaha, Microsoft, etc. Most of the offices are sparkling new and garish. Shuttle busses line up at the end of the day to transport the workers out of this corporate armpit to wherever they live. There are no pedestrians in this part of town. The distances are too great.

At the unfinished gates to the Microsoft campus, a man was cleaning the cobbled driveway with a blowtorch. He smiled and nearly torched his foot as our little grey van barreled by. Our destination was near, smack in the middle of nowhere.
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Eating delivered spicy tofu and rice (20RMB) during a conference call.
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Office security.
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The green buddies inside the company van.
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Feet of sculpture.
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A useless observatory.
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Massive city, massive IKEA.
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The rocket wing building of Shanghai Aeronautical.
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New apartments along the highway.
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The highway to the boondocks.
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Roman columns and fountains meet generic and massive apartment building.
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Home store.
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Canal.
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Highway construction.
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Entrance to massive college campus.
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Wicresoft’s corporate headquarters is across the street from the new Microsoft campus. Rip-off or sister company?
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Silver beacons of corporate might!
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Transmission lines and distant power plants.
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Tanker truck.
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Demolition crew.
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Hanging out on the rickshaw.
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Rows of apartment towers.
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Ugly cyan towers.
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Metal walls.

For dinner, J. and I went to Charmant for Taiwanese food. We ordered a good assortment of dishes: noodles, beef, soup, preserved vegetable wraps, an another vegetable dish that never arrived. For dessert, fresh mango smoothie. J. was falling asleep while biking back, and insisted that I was biking faster than normal despite that I was actually biking slower.
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Noodles in peanut/sesame sauce.
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Beef with cashews and chili.

One Saturday after I finished some work in the morning, J. and I biked to a paper goods market in the northern side of the old city. The weather had warmed, but not enough to be unpleasant. My sweat stayed moderate, my body odor manageable, my man boobs swinging to and fro like oranges in an executive grade pair of socks.
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Construction crew above a pit.
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Seen through the pipes.
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Big green wall.
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Cool shorts.
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Makeshift table saw in the street.
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Beer delivery.
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Alley.
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Playing cards on the street.
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Weird building.
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Lots of shrimp drying on the middle of the sidewalk of a busy street.
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Man in underwear crosses busy street with dog under his arm.
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Lady and her sun gear.
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Outside the paper market.
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Dolls.
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J. inside a massive stationary store.

As J. looked at stationary, I went outside to get some “fresh” air. Road construction was happening all around. Massive backhoes were swinging their arms within feet of gas canisters and pedestrians. I sat and watched the construction and people watching the construction.
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Cutting pipes with a torch and no gloves.
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Man and backhoe operate feet from pedestrians.
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Girl buys a wiener.
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The bus stop bustle.
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Man checks on the ramp for unloading a backhoe from a truck.
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Man with shiny visor smokes as two girls eat bananas, all oblivious to backhoe.
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The backhoe.
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Kids watching the backhoe.
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Old alley neighborhood.
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Cooking outside.
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Another alley neighborhood.
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Wayne Enterprises?
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A Chinese line.
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Motorbike and brooms.
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Construction set at sunset.
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Fruit stand at night.

For dinner, we met two friends and two of their friends for exotic Yunnan Chinese food at a restaurant called Lost Heaven. The decor was dark and stylish, the food even better, and the service excessive. I actually had a napkin applied to my lap. All of our dishes were 60RMB or under. I can’t remember exactly what we ate, but it involved a spicy vegetable and dried bean salad, a weird potato/papaya salad, tree fungus salad, shredded chicken and spices, crispy pork (mostly fat), fish curry, rice, milk tea, and beer.
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The Yunnan ambience of Lost Heaven Restaurant.
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A spicy vegetable and dried bean salad.
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Potato and papaya salad.
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Tree fungus salad.
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Chicken and seven spicy.
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Crispy pork.

Despite half a day of work, it ended up being a pretty fun and memorable Saturday. I could spend all day sitting and watching people in Shanghai.

4 Comments


I don’t know if I’m more envious of your massive Ikea, or your Taiwanese dinner. We can’t get either here. -X

Hi there, just happened to see your photo of Wicresoft’s Headquarters in Shanghai (next to the Microsoft campus). Just want to clarify: while the similarity in names between Wicresoft and Microsoft is clearly an attempt by Wicresoft to capitalize on Microsoft’s brand, it isn’t really a rip-off attempt. In fact, Wicresoft was founded by and is partially owned by Microsoft; the company is an outsourcing provider that resulted from a joint-venture between Microsoft and the Shanghai Municipal government in 2002.

That the offices are located right next to each other is simply a result of the fact that Wicresoft does a ton of outsourcing work for Microsoft in Shanghai (and in China in general), so they want to be close to their client.

Enjoyed the album, by the way.

olya:

Hi! I’ m amaized with the massive stationery store. Where is it located? Do you remember & Or how it calls/
Thank you/

Paul:

Please tell me the name of the massive stationery store? I am going to Shanghai soon. Thks!

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