Today started off as any ordinary day. Remy and Martin got us up early (before 9), we took them out, came back in, and returned to bed. From our brief 10 minutes outside, we already knew it was going to be another cold, dreary day. It’s too difficult getting up knowing that small piece of information, so John and I slept in late. We didn’t wake until around 11:30. Some days, sleep simply ranks above all else.
Still, today promised a busy schedule. My friend Emily was back in town (she took a 3-week vacation to visit family back in the States) and we were gonna catch up. For John and me, catching up always takes place over food. So I call Em and suggest getting food. She wants to go to the Flower Market but there are food places nearby she says. So John and I skip breakfast (as usual) and wait for to have lunch with Em and Zac. What I’m expecting to be a brief stop to pick up some flowers ends up being a three and a half hour ordeal. I buy some calla lillies and gladioli… they get pink tulips, purple/white peonies, white roses, pink roses, greens, red hairy flowers, gladioli, and this huge chair-sized potted plant. When we finally get out of the place (with a massive headache), Zac supposedly runs off to grab a cab (not sure how he planned to get the chair into it) and disappears. for like 30 minutes. After hearing horror stories from my relatives in Taiwan about people getting abducted and shit, I start panicking (internally, of course. One must still maintain outside composure). And the dude has been here 5 years and does not have a cell phone! So Em, John, and I split up and scour three different streets. No Zac. Finally, he appears as quietly as he had left. Who knows where he had gone… it’s not as if a tall African man is difficult to spot in Shanghai (Did I tell you he is fully fluent in Mandarin?). Anyway, after having the group reunited, we spend another 40 minutes in the f-ing cold trying to hail a damn taxi. When it’s rush hour, cold, or rainy, your time is better spent walking. But we had all those flowers… by the time we got to Em’s, it was 6:00. Zac disappeared again to buy food for dinner. We watched an episode of Trailer Park Boys, this hilarious Canadian “reality” show and then had to jet for the pups. So we couldn’t even stay for dinner. John was not thrilled. Guess what we had for dinner? Pizza Italia pizza (called in as soon as we stepped in the door) slathered with our grocery-bought tomato sauce (instead of their pizza sauce, i.e. ketchup), salad, eggplant Parmesan, spaghetti, dove chocolate… yeah all of it. That’s what happens when you starve the whole day. When you finally get your hands on food, you binge like there’s no tomorrow and then you go to bed and surrender to the food coma.