29 August 2006

This globe can fit 8 motorcycles - Our lives are so boring

It takes an intrepid trio to check out something that has a high chance of turning out kitschy or eyebrow-raisingly boring, but good old Mr L and Ms Y were game enough to go to the Shanghai Circus with me after I told them that my new Estonian friend Ms T had raved about it. All I knew from Ms T was that it was like more like a musical than a circus (a la Cirque de Soleil), and that there would be a fantastic performance at the end involving 8 motorcycles in a globe cage.

Now, "fantastic" in my mind connotates just excited happiness - the way my France trip was fantastic or the night out was fantastic. But to really describe the Shanghai circus performance, you have to add in a liberal dose of "crazy", so that it becomes either crazily fantastic or fantastically crazy.

You will see what I mean when you look at the picture. Those whirls of lights are not just lights; they are the headlights of 5 motorcycles (at least) circling and criss-crossing inside the globe at goodness knows what km/h. Oh, and two of these crazy daredevil performers are girls - very pretty girls beneath the terracotta costume.


By the end of the show, we were left in a daze, gaping and shaking our head.

Mr L, who had to end his vacation in Shanghai in less than 24 hours, was the first to speak: "Our lives are so boring man."

Ms Y quipped, "Yah, I knew it was a mistake to give up my childhood dream of becoming a trapeze perfomer."

And so throughout the journey home, we kept thinking how boring our work was... Darn, why do we have to go back to work the next morning?

To be fair, the show was not all adrenaline-rushing. But it was very well-done in that the momentum crescendo-ed well and the acts had a touch of unusualness about them. The usual plate twirlers and urn balancers you expect of Chinese circuses were still there, but they were only space-fillers while the centrepieces got ready. There were also all these little touches that make you go 'Oh!'. Like having tiny contortionists burrow out of the big urn meant for the balancing act... Or casting the balancing acts behind a screen and playing with big and small shadows. I particularly liked the trapeze love story - it reminded me of a scene in the Chouinard performance I saw earlier, only better, more lyrical, and more challenging. The couple was flying 15-30 meters in the air, holding on to only a foot or an arm... It is hard not to fall dizzyingly in love.

More pictures » here, in the event my power of persuasion is inadequate to convince you that this is a to-do for Shanghai...

27 August 2006


Layout courtesy of the fantastic Pages, which is a Mac software of course :)


14 August 2006

Finding some humour in this hot, uncertain world

Tisha Presley, bound for Fort Bragg, North Carolina, hurriedly sipped from her bottled water before going through security at the Atlanta airport.

"I assume before too long we'll be naked on the plane -- and that's fine with me," she said.

Boyd sees the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's ban as a knee-jerk reaction that leaves Americans no safer than they were before the 9/11 attacks.

"Remember Richard Reid, the guy who tried to light up his shoe on the airplane? After that we had to take off our shoes. Imagine what would have happened if he had hid that bomb in his pants," Boyd said.

You know, this may not be such a bad idea in this 38 degrees heat of Shanghai... I started perspiring this morning within the two minutes I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom.

Just trying to find some humour in this hot, uncertain world...

08 August 2006


So, the Shanghai mui finally met her first rude people two days ago - which is a miracle here apparently. You are supposed to meet them within two hours of arrival. Actually, they are not rude rude per se; just "hello??", or as Singaporeans would say - "Duh"...

Incident 1
"I'm looking for facial cotton balls. Could you tell me whether you have it here in Carrefour?"
"This is the cosmetics department."
(Poker face. Period. End of converation.)

Excuse me? Is that a yes or a no huh?

Incident 2
At the Carrefour checkout counter, a bag of books which I bought from the bookstore across the road beeps at the security gantry.
"What do you have in there?"
"Books. I bought it from the bookstore across the road. You don't sell such books here."
"Next time don't bring here."
(Poker face. Period. End of converation.)

Hello? Means I can't shop for anything before I come here? Carrefour has an exclusive monopoly on the things I buy in any given day I plan to go to Carrefour?

Humbug. Thankfully, most days are better. Tomorrow I will go to the Sim Lim of Shanghai - possibly more stories!

05 August 2006

Twilight bund

Weekend number 3 in Shanghai, I finally got to see the Bund thanks to the timely arrival of Mr and Mrs C. (Pretended to play host but was secretly glad I had a good excuse not to be doing a gazillion other required, but less interesting errands.)

May I proclaim that I love the Bund?

Bund skyline

Bund the majestic

01 August 2006

A new home in Shanghai

The Shanghai mui got her keys today. Gosh moving into a new place is tiring... I've just been cleaning and ikea-ing after getting my keys this afternoon. Am still sleeping in the hotel tonight and probably tomorrow 'cos the landlord is still bringing in a few more small furniture and so the ayi hasn't come to clean the house yet...

But in any case, a peep at the to-be-further-furnished new home:

My new home