Change is afoot. After a year in Shanghai, Richard and JB will shortly be returning to the UK, leaving a significant dent in the UK Argos team, and a pool-playing, Guinness-drinking shaped dent in our social life*. After a stupidly large lunch with Jo, we spent most of Saturday saying the first of many goodbyes to Richard and JB by playing pool in our favourite local bar (Masse) , accompanied by Shawn. A couple of our local friends, Isaac and Chong also made an appearance to increase the numbers for a far less hectic Saturday than we’ve had in a while.
5 hours playing pool – Bron even had enough time to abandon us for some kind of nail trimming/painting adventure before returning to drag JB and I off for dinner with Jo, Rachel, Emily and Julia in a local French restaurant. La Saleya was one of the first restaurants we visited after moving here back in April, so good to finally go back. Shanghai’s 24-hour attitude to socialising was neatly demonstrated by agreeing to meet up with Craig later that evening. I say evening; we met him for a few cocktails at 12.30am.
A guitar day again on Sunday with Felix, this time to audition a potential new drummer (James). I was intrigued as to what equipment the drummer would turn up at our house with – fortunately a box of electronic tricks, and no giant drum set.
Friday night had a distinctly British feel to it, both from the company (the Argos expat team) and the entertainment: three British comedians. Followed by Elousie’s genius suggestion of ordering a pie at 10.30pm at night.
Tuesday’s catch-up with Isaac, Chong, Marcel and Hannah took us back to Southern Barbarian for more bees and other Yunnan delicacies. This time, the bees definitely looked a little more bee-like. A shame that Marcel and Hannah are merely passing through Shanghai, leaving later this year to continue their MBA course in other countries.
On Wednesday evening, Shawn took Richard, JB and I to one of his favourite Hunan restaurants for one of JB’s many such leaving events. Hunan food is the other, lesser-known spicy Chinese cuisine – for some reason Sichuan food is popular in the UK but before moving here I’d never heard of Hunan. Excellent food, as always.
I spent Thursday night fighting with electronic equipment which was obstinately refusing to work. Not as much of a fight as Bronwen had with the hairdressers though. 7.30pm she entered the hairdressers. 11.30pm she exited. And to think I’d ordered a delicious Vietnamese meal for us at 9pm thinking “She’ll be back soon”.
After so much travel over the last couple of months, spending two consecutive weekends in Shanghai felt a little wasteful. But I think we probably needed the break.
*I’m not sure if that makes sense either.