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21, an Estonian student from a Danish university, chillin' in Shanghai, China. 你好! This is my scrapbook - bits, musings, photos of my life and everything else that inspires me.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekend Getaway, Day 1: Tianmu Lake

Long time no see!
Vahel tundub, et absoluutselt mitte midagi ei toimu ja seejärel tekib massiliselt kohustusi ja toimetusi justkui üleöö ja paistab, et millekski ei jätku piisavalt aega.
Just seetõttu oli peale ränka-pikka nädalat mõnus kooli poolt organiseeritud tripile minna. Tegemist oli kahepäevase tuuriga Jiangsu provintsi Liyangi linna piirkonda (umbes 340 km Shanghaist ehk 3.5 tundi bussis loksumist). Esimesel päeval käisime Tianmu järve avastamas. Tegemist on piirkonna ühe puhtaima veekoguga ning otseloomulikult on see ka looduskaitse all. Lootsin väga järve ümbritsevaid mägesid näha, aga ilmaga sel korral väga ei vedanud ja kõik mäetipud olid paksu udu sisse uppunud.
Jõudsime keskpäeval Liyangi, sõime hotellis lõunat - tüüpiline hiina ümmargune laud koos keerleva keskosaga ja Shanghai stiilis liiga-õlised toidud - ning sõitsime Tianmu juurde.
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Long time no see!
Sometimes it really seems like nothing much is going on and then all of a sudden a massive amount of responsibilities appears and there's not  enough time for anything anymore.
That's why it was super refreshing to go on a trip organized by Donghua University. It was a two day trip to Liyang city in Jiangsu province (about 340 km from Shanghai or 3.5h ride by bus). On the first day we went to see the iianmu Lake scenic spot. It's one of the most cleanest lakes in the area and therefore under protection. I really was hoping I could see the mountains surrounding the lake, but unfortunately the weather wasn't very good that day, so all the mountains were hidden by thick fog.
We got to Liyang at noon, had lunch at the hotel - a typical chinese round-table with wayyy too oily Shanghai style food - and drove to Tianmu.

 Tianmu Lake
Tianmu Lake
Tianmu Lake
 Stinky Tofu
See on stinky tofu ja eks nimi juba ütleb kõik. Selle näksi "aroomi" tunneb juba kaugelt ära - umbes nagu ummistunud WC. Maitse on see sama lõhn maitsesse ülekantuna ja mitu korda intensiivsem(ma ei oska seda paremini seletada, aga usun, et saate aru :D ). Ampsasin ettevaatlikult ühest tofukuubikust pool ja sinna ta minust jäi - ühest suutäiest piisas terveks eluks.
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So this is stinky tofy and the name describes this little snack pretty well. One can reckognize the aroma very easilly and it's kinda like a clogged toilet. The taste is this same smell encapsuled in a flavour and about 10 times more intense (the best I can do in describing this). I had a bite of one of these tofu cubes and this one bite was enough for a lifetime.
Tianmu Lake
Tianmu Lake
Tianmu Lake
Tianmu Lake
Tianmu Lake
Tea museum
Empty shopping mall in Liyang
Peale järve ääres seiklemist tegime hotellis check-in'i ja läksime Liyangi peale jalutama, et leida mõni söögikoht. Jõudsime omadega gigantsesse kaubanduskeskusesse (suurem, kui meie Zhongshani pargis asuv kaubanduskeskus Shanghais) - natuke liiga suurde Liyangi linna kohta. Liyang on Hiina mõistes väikelinn, kõigest ca. 700 000 elanikku. Eniveis, kaups nägi suht uus välja, kõik säras ja läikis ning kõikjal oli tüüpilist hiina stiilis kulda ja karda, aga mida polnud, olid esiteks POED (kõikjal olid remondisildid üleval) ja ostjad. Ehk siis suure hurraaga ehitatakse oma rikkuse demomiseks hunnik kaubanduskomplekse, mida tegelikult kellelgil vaja ei ole. Kurb näide suurest majandusmullist.
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After touring around the lake we returned to the hotel, checked in and went to explore Liyang city in order to find some place for dinner. We made it to a gigantic shopping mall (bigger, than the one at Zhongshan park here in Shanghai) - obviously too big for Liyang city. Liyang is a small city here in china, with population of 'only' about 700 000 . Anyways, the mall looked super new, everything was covered in gold and shiny (typical chinese style), but the thing they were missing were SHOPS (they had signs of renovation up everywhere) and shoppers. So basically what we see here is a typical ghost mall which nobody needs, built just to show off the riches. A text book example of an economic bubble.
Xinjiang Resto
Xinjiang Resto
Hardy and Michelle
Xinjiang Resto
Valisime Xinjiangi resto õhtusöögiks. Xinjiang on piirkond Lääne Hiinas, kus elavad hiina moslemid ehk uiguurid ning nende toidud on võrratud. 
Vahemärkuseks - "hiina toit" on väga lai mõiste. Lääne inimene mõtleb ikka, et tegemist on nuudlite, kevadrullide ja riisiga ning seda kõike süüakse pulkadega. Tegelikult on igal piirkonnal omad erilised toidud, mille poolest ollakse tuntud. Näiteks Shanghais on toit väga õline ja magusalt vürtsikas (ehk siis not my favourite, sest isegi köögiviljad ujuvad õli sees ja peale sööki on alati raske olla). Sichuani provintsi toidud on jällegi vägaväga teravad ja kõikjale lisatakse kurikuulsat sichuani pipart (ja kui see vastik väike kurjam sulle kogemata toiduga koos suhu rändab, ole valmis pisaraid valama ja läkastama). 
Xinjiangi toidud meenutavad mingil määral Lähis-Ida kööki, seega seal leiab šašlõkki, jogurtit ja keefiri (hiinlased pole eriti piimatoodete fännid muidu). Ja mu palavalt armastatud naan leib on seal ka esindatud!!! Kuna tegemist on moslemitega, siis sealiha Xinjiangi toitudes naljalt ei leia.
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We chose a Xinjiang place for dinner. Xinjiang is a region in northwest of China, where the Chinese muslims a.k.a. uyghurs live and their food is amaaaazing.
Just as a sidenote - "chinese food" is a very broad term. Westerners usually think it's noodles, spring rolls and rice, all eaten with chopsticks. Actually every region has their own special cuisine. Shanghai cuisine is known to be oily and sweet/spicy (thus not my favourite, as even eating veggies feels like chugging down a bottle of oil and I always feel so heavy after a meal). Sichuan cuisine is known as damn spicy and they add their notorious sichuan pepper to everything (and if that little devil makes it into your mouth, be ready to shed some tears and cough your lungs out).
Xinjiang cuisine is similar to the one of Middle-East I guess, as they have skewers, yogurt and kefir (the chinese are not really known for their love of milk products). And my dearly beloved naan bread!!! And as the population there consists mainly of muslims, pork is not really used for cooking.
Squid
Grillitud kalmaarid
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Grilled squid
YUM
Liyang city
Night in Liyang
Untitled
Room Service at a hotel in Liyang
Lõpetab esimese päeva kokkuvõtte hotelli room service menüüga - kiirnuudlid ja meloniseemned on ikka tipptase küll :D
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Finishing off the first day with this room service menu - instant noodles and melon seeds is top notch indeed :D

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Everything and everywhere

Goldroom - Embrace (Novaday Remix)

 The other (local) side of Yongkang Road
Ahvike Shanghai Brewery ees! Tal on omanik, kes siis temaga tavaliselt õhtuti prantsuse kontsessiooni kandis hängib ja kerjab. Laupäeval oli ahvike vist halvas tujus, sest ta üritas meile turja karata.
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Monkey in front of the Shanghai Brewery! His owner usually hangs out with him at the FCC. I think the monkey had a bad mood on Saturday, 'cause it tried to attack us.
 Suitsulõhe salat Shanghai Brewery's
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Smoked salmon salad at Shanghai Brewery
 Reedeti käin Jiaotongi ülikooli Qibao campuses, kus toimub International Club ja kus ma olen keelepartner, ehk mu tööks on noortega inglise keeles suhelda. Ja 3D puslesid ehitada ja lõbutseda!
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On Fridays I go to the Qibao campus of Jiaotong university for the international club. I'm a language partner over there, so basically my job is to talk in english to the students there. And build 3D puzzles at times and in general - to have fun!
 Kauplesin tänavalt 4 eurtsiga kaks (võltsitud) raamatut - only in China.
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Bargained these two (fake) books for 4 euros from the street - only in China.
 Hommikujooks Zhongshan'i pargis on nagu retk botaanikaaeda
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Morning runs at Zhongshan park feel like a trip to the botanic gardens
 Uued suvised espadrillid!
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New summery canvas shoes!

 Esmaspäeval oli Tomb Sweeping Day ja koolist vaba päev - aga ega ma ei viitsi voodis hambad laiali magada!
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No school on Monday because of the Tomb Sweeping day - and as usual, I don't feel like sleeping in.
 Shanghai vanurid on suured mängurid. Moment, kui pargis paviljoni läbides tekib tunne, justkui oleks sattunud illegaalsesse mänguurkasse. Sigaritest raske õhk ja müntide kõlin.
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The oldies of Shanghai are quite the gamblers. This is the moment when you pass through a pavillion in a park and can't really figure out, how you made it to this illegal little gambling hell. The air is thick from cigarsmoke and lot's of RMB get exchanged.
 
 Täna oli +26 kraadi sooja, nii et läksin jää-americano'le üle ja päevitasin Bundil jalgu. Samal ajal tundsin end staarina, sest kohalikud turistid käisid vahel totakat päikese käes mõnulevat välismaalast pildistamas (meeldetuletus, et kohalikud väldivad päevitamist ja iluideaaliks on kahvatu nahk).
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We had +26 degrees today, so I switched to iced americanos and went to the Bund to expose my milky white legs to the sun. Felt like a celebrity, since some of the local tourists stopped to snap a photo of a silly foreigner sitting in the sun (reminder: the locals avoid tanning and white skin is the beaity ideal here).
Pudong ehk vaade, millest ma ei väsi
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Pudong - a view I will never get tired of

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Patio Party

Laupäeval läksime koos Agnese, Ase ja Ernaga (uus läti tüdruk!) Curtisele külla. Ilmaennustus lubas sooja ilma, aga tegelikult oli megatuuline ja me küll üritasime "aiakeses" vapralt kevadet nautida... aga tugev tuul, mis õietolmu joogiklaasi ja silma paiskas ning kananaha ihule ajas, sundis meid lõpuks sisse kolima. Pikk ja laisk pärastlõuna, hiljem suured burksid ja happy hour Abbey Road'i baaris. Ja otseloomulikult läksime lemmikule Yongkang Road'ile, kus me saime kokku Ase kursakaaslasega, kes hetkel Pekingis õpib ja kes on täitsa juhuslikult leedukas, nii et meil oli Shanghais mini-Balti kokkutulek, jee!
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This Saturday we visited Curtis again with Agnes, Ase and Erna (another Latvian girl!). The weather forecast promised a really nice & warm weather for Saturday, but it was actually damn windy and altough we tried to stay strong in our little patio-party, well... the wind was carrying pollen into our glasses and eyes and we had goosebumps from the damn cold, so eventually we had to get back inside. So we had a looong and lazy afternoon, which was followed by huge burgers and a happy hour at Abbey Road bar. And then, no surprise, we went to Yongkang Road, where we met Ase's coursemate, who is studying in Beijing now and apparently, he's Lithuanian. So we had a mini-Baltic get-together, wee!

Windy Saturday afternoon & Evening
Windy Saturday afternoon & Evening
Juust Hiinas on luksus (nagu piimatooted a la jogurt või kodujuust) ja mu harv nauding, seega see Gouda, mille ma külakostiks tõin... ma vist sõin suurema osa ka ise sellest ära :D
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Since cheese in China is a luxury thing (like any other milkproducts a la yogurt or cottage cheese) and my rare treat, I  think most of the Gouda I brought to nibble on was also eaten by me :D
Windy Saturday afternoon & Evening
Jaaaaa siin me just kolisime tuppa tagasi, seega ma olen täielikult ära külmunud, don't let the smile fool you!
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Aaaaand here we just went back inside, so I'm totally freezing on this photo - don't let the big smile fool you!
Windy Saturday afternoon & Evening
Windy Saturday afternoon & Evening
Windy Saturday afternoon & Evening
Windy Saturday afternoon & Evening
Windy Saturday afternoon & Evening

Wednesday Trippin'

J-Man - Getcha Hands Together

Wedmesday 2.04
Wedmesday 2.04
Wedmesday 2.04
Wedmesday 2.04
Wedmesday 2.04
Wedmesday 2.04
Wedmesday 2.04
Välismaalaste lemmik pubide-baaride tänavake Yongkang Road (永康路). Selle tänavaga on sellised lood, et õhtuti on seal alati väga suur möll ning peale seda, kui baaride kohal elavad kohalikud vägaväga suurt rahulolematust üles näitasid, kehtib reegel, et kella kümnest õhtul peavad kõik dringitajad tänavalt baari sisse kolima ja kõik kohad pannakse punkt kell 12 öösel kinni. Ja kui keegi jääbki välja laaberdama, siis kohalikel on omad meetodid karistamiseks - joodikute pihta hakatakse prügi, solgivett ja muud jama viskama.
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This is one of the favourite expat streets with bars and pubs, Yongkang Road (永康路). The thing about this street is, that it's always super noisy in the evenings, so after the locals living above the bars expressed how upset they are with the drunkies shouting on the street, the bars have an order to get everyone off the street at 10 p.m. and they have to close at 12 p.m. And if any of the drunk expats is stupid enough to stay on the street and continue being loud - well, the locals have their own way of showing what they think of you by literally throwing trash, dirty dishwater etc. at the drunkies.
Wedmesday 2.04
Wedmesday 2.04
Wedmesday 2.04
I love these little alleys in Shanghai!
Wedmesday 2.04
Wedmesday 2.04
Veel üks põhjus, miks ma armastan prantsuse kontsessiooni - seal trippides leiab tõelisi arhitektuuripärle! Nt. see "loss", mis oli kõrge müüriga ümbritsetud, kuid õnneks see vinge tornike paistis ikka välja.
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Another reason why I just love the FCC - wandering along these streets you just see such wonderful buildings! How lovely is this "castle", which was surrounded by high walls?