We woke up early so Coco could have a phone interview with the company I work for here in the states, but my laptop was not connecting to her ADSL and she left her laptop at the office in a rush to make it to the airport in time to pick me up. So we had to send an apology email to the interviewer and request a reschedule, freeing up our morning. Late morning had me interviewing with a newer IT consulting firm. That went well, two interviews in 1 hour and they wanted me to come back for a third… I had to give them my phone number and Skype ID.
The rest of the afternoon was spent walking the shopping and club areas of Shanghai… very nice. There was a museum shop we stopped at and I found a glass and spoon that were interesting so we got it. We asked about some chopsticks my mom was looking for, no luck. We went to an area where most of the westerners hang out, it is full of quaint shops, coffee shops, restaurants, a mall with a theater, and some clubs. We headed to the upper deck of a coffee shop, that appeared to be closed, and talked and had some coffee… a real enjoyable end to a busy morning. We took some pictures of us together, as we heard we have to prove we are a couple and photos is one way to do so. I must admit I count myself luck because Coco is a very beautiful woman and has many things going for her… I am very happy and lucky to be part of her life.
We then headed to her office to retrieve her laptop and then across the street to a little park she loves to visit almost daily. The park is very green lush, which is a surprise in winter in a place not much colder then Chicago is this winter (just cold enough to see your breath). There is a very nice pond and many paths through trees and bamboo there. At the end of the park is the museum of modern art. We went in and saw all the displays, only a few of which I took pictures of, many were video displays and very interesting. My favorite was the Japanese one of 3 animated girls doing various things that represented the abstract idea of a motorcycle; it was very interesting to see a feeling interpreted through the raw emotion of visual and audio input.
We left the park and headed to one bank where Coco needed to do some business, and then to another to pay a bill, the usage of checks in Shanghai is limited at best. She wanted to pick up some money for the tickets and days we would be spending at her home in Guangzhou. We then headed to the mall we had gone to the night before, to see if we could get some things my mom was asking for. At the mall we were unable to get the chopsticks we were looking for, either bone or silver. Instead Coco surprised me with getting me a very nice and soft leather jacket. By this time it was mid evening on Friday, there were already some fireworks being lit off in the neighborhoods and it was getting cold. We took a stroll through an old market district back to the apartment where the strain of the trip and day were taking their toll. On the way Coco stopped off at a small restaurant where she got a nice package of fried dumplings. She said she gets them every morning on her way to work, as breakfast. It was nice and warm after a few minutes with the air on. I was tasked with finding a place to eat and maybe a little drink, by using a local ex-pat magazine. Well, actually I was too tired to go out and fell asleep reading the magazine on the couch. I was awakened to her heating up the dumplings in the microwave and getting me some orange juice. Not a typical dinner but as tired as I was this was excellent. I was fast asleep not too soon after eating and looking forward to going back to her home town for New Year and to meet her parents… yes the always fun meeting the parents for the first time thing.