It appears going jogging first thing on Sunday morning – tired, hungover and with a cold – wasn’t such a good idea (who’d have thought?). As a result, Bronwen has had no voice for the last few days, which made both Sunday’s visit to the Japanese restaurant and Monday’s first Mandarin lesson somewhat of a challenge. Thoughtlessly, this meant Bronwen couldn’t really respond to our teacher, leaving me to do all the hard work. My vocabulary now includes “Very Good”, “Your younger brother is busy” and “I am tired” (“hěn hǎo”, “Nǐ dìdì shì máng” and “Wǒ lèi” in Pinyin since you ask).
Shintori, the Japanese restaurant, was excellent. The Shanghainese have a love of hiding restaurants and bars down alleyways and lanes with no signage on the street, ostensibly allowing only those “in the know” to find them. Alternatively one could read about them in guide books. The Shintori is somewhat hidden away down an alleyway of bamboo shoots, with little other than a big wooden structure (no indication it’s a door) to greet you when you reach the end of the alleyway. This being a Japanese establishment, the big piece of wood automatically slides away if you get close enough. Once inside, the grub was great, despite my normal reticence over Sushi. We had met up with Rachel again (from pub quiz) and a friend of hers – a very enjoyable evening, with fantastic food and conversation, although Bronwen was bloody rude and hardly said a word.