Shopping Shanghai, shooting shanghai, loving shanghai then leaving shanghai.

13 03 2008

I love shopping in Shanghai more than any other city I’ve ever visited as the city’s character extends into its retail culture. Haggling is of course better if you’re accompanied by a local as the stores will give you the “Chinese” price instead of the tourist price.

There is a sort of play to haggling here; after the storekeeper gives you her/his price you offer to pay only a third. If she/he doesn’t budge initially, turn around and walk away. Then count to five.

Sometimes you don’t even reach the number five without hearing the storekeeper yelling and running after you, displeased but nonetheless conceding to your offer.

Good shops abound in the Yuyuan Bazaar near the Old City God Temple and Yu Gardens in the Old Town, and the Shanghai Museum shop of course.

***

I am in love with this city and I think New York and Dumaguete have found a worthy rival with Shanghai. This city is definitely a photographer’s heaven and I don’t think I’ve ever visited any place gifted with this unique character and enriched with so much culture. Even my shopping finds have a quirkiness to them which make them very pretty to look at and photograph.

I’m not looking forward to going home this Friday. Melanie is going away to Japan and D is in the US so I don’t really have anything at the moment to anchor me to Melbourne. Plus the hustle and bustle of Shanghai and the warmth of its people remind me so much of Manila that I actually don’t feel like I’m thousand of miles away from the two places I’ve been calling home.

Work here has been so busy and sometimes I’m nearly burned out but it’s all good. It’s nothing I can’t handle and it’s a type of challenge that one should face once in a while to keep on improving… and to maybe reinforce to one’s self that patience is indeed a virtue. My workmates are brilliant, it’s just the language barrier that’s sometimes a tough thing to hurdle.

Oh well. Mum and my aunties are coming over on Easter Sunday so I have that to look forward to. So anyway, I really believe all good travelers should include Shanghai in their must-visit list, otherwise your travel life will never ever be complete. Lagot.





In the end, you’re going to hoard in panic.

12 02 2008

News of an uncle’s death and of Polaroid shutting down factories and consequently making their films extinct brought me panic and sadness.

Predictably I wanted to contact every one of my friends in the US and the Philippines to hoard 600 films for me because they’re sold cheaper over there. But then reading at a forum that I’d have to keep them flat in the fridge for long-term storage made me realize how silly my plan was. I can’t stop a corporation from refusing to manufacture a product that was only making it bankrupt and I don’t really want the hassle of storing films in the fridge, especially since ours is being stocked normally again (’cause we’re sick of eating freaking lean cuisines! do you guys know how deeply lonely that experience is?).

But I digress.

And how weird would I appear to my future husband if the first thing I put in our conjugal fridge is a bunch of Polaroid films? So I just accepted the fact and used up the remaining 3 exposures inside Humphrey (that’s my Polaroid camera’s name btw) because I’ve got twin-pack coming this weekend on D Day.

And then there’s death. I always have a hard time reconciling the concept and my family. I have this illusion that every single member of my family is immune to it and that we’ll all live together forever. Half an hour after speaking to my Mum on the phone the tears came then a mental checklist ran through my mind. Did I say “I love you” to my parents today? Did I say goodnight to Melanie tonight? Have I thanked D for standing up to his manager so I can fly to the US for free? (Obviously the 143’s are delivered on a daily basis so no worries about that)

He wasn’t directly related to me as he was Mum’s sister’s brother-in-law but I always remember him as kind and warm. Growing up amongst rowdy boy cousins and a brother, he always took the girls’ side when fights ensue. I was personally excited and happy for him because I heard he had found a new love and was about to settle down.

His passing made me realize how fleeting time is and how important it is to always be in the moment and embrace every experience, even the ones which break your heart and weaken your spirit. I must admit I’ve been very ungrateful the past days and I know the attitude has to stop right away. I need to remind myself every single day how truly blessed I am.

Even with a permanent employee’s salary. Haha. I had to end this with a laugh. It’s hard to be in the moment if you’re too sad. Toodles.





Home Sweet Home

20 11 2007

The thought finally dawned on me when I saw the two bulging luggages by my hotel room’s door. And then a smile slowly formed into my now chubbier cheeks… I was really heading home at last.

Sigh.

It’s good to be home.





Giddy Up

14 11 2007

 

 

I finally got around to editing and converting Faye and Herbie’s prenup photos.  There was a slight mishap when I uploaded the photos to my laptop, fortunately, the first batch of their photos were salvaged.  I love their smiles in all the photos, super saya hehehe.  I’ve learned my lesson and now will make my work flow safer because I don’t wanna go through the agony of losing images I know I’ll never be able to capture again.

***

I’m four days away from coming home.  I never thought this day would come.  Ang drama haha.





Naughty

7 11 2007





I Heart New York

5 11 2007





Springing

25 09 2007