Michelle had two weekends on this side of the world, and we made the most of them. We traveled to Shanghai for one of them. I was still caught up in the middle of a TV commercial - it was not ideal to talk on her phone in Shanghai to clear up issues. Once that phone call was over though, we had a great dinner with a business school classmate and his friend. Some great Balinese food! From there we explored the "artistic street" with all sorts of cute bars and shops (so interesting that we returned there the next day!)
The following day we continued to explore (fairly blind, since neither of us had a guidebook of China, having both left them at home). We returned to a place where we had been the previous year, and man where there about 10 times the number of people! I watched a Chinese older woman just push someone else out of the way. That was NOT well received by the foreigner. Michelle and I looked around for some wedding gifts and centerpieces. Watching her negotiate is always an experience, but she lost it at a certain point when they were trying to yank her around. While it was part of the gamesmanship, we were tired and finished with the game. We took plan B to have a friend in China look into it. We ended the night with a walk along the Bund, which looks beautiful at night with all of the lit up buildings! From there it was back to our hotel with a very large bathtub (definite ideas for a future house!)
We ended the trip with seeing a good friend from high school and his wife and not-so-little anymore baby boy. Tom-Tom seemed to love hanging out on my shoulder, I think it is because i had a super comfortable shirt (i wonder if parents end up wearing soft clothes so their kids like them more? :)
The return was a bit of an ominous sign. Michelle and I played on the ipod touch (which i was officially addicted to after about 4 days. Michelle and I had to have a rule of only 3 games of Scramble at a time on our vacation or we barely talked with each other). We became so engrossed in the game, we managed to miss our stop on the bus. And with very little English ability for the bus driver, that was interesting! The bus karma unfortunately continued for the next week. First I mistimed the bus in the morning, and waited for about 40 minutes for the next one, another day i had to take a cab to work since I was late, and for the first time ever I got on the wrong bus going home! (And that was not ideal, as I tried to politely ask random people next to me if the bus went to Seoul (or heaven forbid, the opposite direction). Thankfully it ended up in Seoul, but about 40 minutes late. That did not go over well for our dinner plans...