New Year, New Country, New Ways

Dragonfly2-012Melinda and I are working through the process of becoming expats and are beginning to settle in to our lives here in Shanghai. We are both adept riders of the Shanghai Metro, Melinda takes it to and from work most days and I can get to just about any point in the city thanks to an extensive, modern subway system that posts all signs and makes all announcements in English as well as Mandarin.

We shop at the local expat grocery for most of our food, but we  buy our fruits from the street corner vendor. Sanitary concerns and a newly reported case of H7N9–Avian Flu– at a wet market here in Shanghai keeps us from going local for our food purchases, but we are going to take a Chinese cooking class that will include a tour of a wet market and if our food safety fears can be allayed then we might shop local for veggies, too.

And we are now part of the multitude of people who get massages on a regular basis. I’ve been going to a chiropractor on a weekly basis since arriving in Shanghai and 90% of his technique is massage. On top of that I’ve gotten massages  on four other occasions.  Melinda has not –until last night–gotten a massage. But a few days ago, she came home from the IFC Mall grinning like a Cheshire Cat and presented me with our new membership card to Dragonfly Massage. For 5000 RMB ($822 USD) –which is basically a pre-paid gift card– you get discounts on massages and  spa services. Last night we went for 90 minute, hot stone & oil  foot massages. Once Melinda stopped exclaiming “Ow!” “That hurt!” “Okay, that’s hot!” and got into the proper massage behavior of relaxing in the quiet, dimly lit room and not taking flash pictures with her phone and  keeping up a running commentary, we both relaxed and enjoyed the service.

So, slowly but surely we are becoming more and more Shanghainese.

Next up, a Chinese New Year’s trip to Vietnam!

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