Anne just had to roll up her sweats today as we sat sipping' a mocha at Starbucks. 60 degrees or so and clear skies (or some facsimile thereof). No one here really likes the sun. If you get tanned, you look like you're a street worker. If you just show some skin to cool down and/or tan, you look like you're trying to draw attention to yourself. Police were lookin' at her, locals were craning their necks, and of course, the street workers.
We went down the street to shop a bit before getting back to our report cards when we saw a car try to squeeze in, to take a left, a bit early. He crunched the side of a taxi. It occurred to us that most everyone just decides then and there how much it'll cost to get fixed-especially if it's obvious who was at fault. Money is exchanged, and I think the car that gets dented must make a bee line to the nearest body shop. I don't think we can remember EVER seeing a car with a dent. Crazy driving and no dents; go figure. I love it when the lights turn green in big intersections and I'm in a cab that needs to turn left. By rule, those turning left, ironically, have the right-a-way. When the lead car goes 3-5 trailing the play use that lead car as the screener and take a 45 degree angle into the cross street while all the on-coming cars wait a bit. No horns, no crashes, no problem. That's probably another reason for no dents--you always expect the unexpected.
Now how about the cardboard recycling truck that loads up after all the 3 wheelers deliver broken down cardboard boxes to the local center. Do you think a piece or two might fall out on the long freeway trek?
Joey and Hailey went to the big Usher concert here last night. It was much anticipated and was reported by the kids to be a pretty good show. Joey's friend couldn't wait to get a shirt. You have to try shirts of any size on here in China, as the listed size usually is arbitrary and means nothing. XL wouldn't fit Joey, and he's a large at best. Anyway, his friend found one for sale outside the venue, but before buying it, Joey wanted to note that it said, "Usher" "Beijing 2010". Perfect example of how you need to shop in Shanghai. One-they wanted $7-10 U.S. at first, but all of us locals know that if something's on the street, you bargain, and/or just "know" the price. This price was to be 10 RMB, or what is $1.25. Two-wrong year. Three-Usher has never been to Beijing. It sounds like a valuable collector's item in the U.S. Here, it's just English.
Joey said that there was guards at the concert that were hired to spy on all potential photographers, which wasn't allowed, and blind them with high powered green lasers-you know, the ones that are blinding pilots miles in the air, that you can buy here for 3 dollars-until you put your camera away. But just one or two guards had them! Clever stuff for a 12,000 seat arena...It made me think of the 15 soldiers that were marching in the neighborhood early this a.m. Not really making that mark among the 15000 that could step out of their apartments, within a 3 block radius, and quickly fill the streets, making them appear to be a sliver in the wood pile.