Sunday, December 19, 2010


september 21, 2010

two weekends ago we had the opportunity to go to shanghai. rach, mich and i arranged to stay with one of mich’s sisters friend who lives there, kellie. (she’s the daughter of coach drury). she was SO wonderful to us.  it was so great to stay in her home. she has three little girls that are just adorable and her husband was so friendly and hospitable also. they told us about an excellent mexican restaurant to eat at so we went there for lunch one day. i about died it was so good! we got a chicken in salsa verde quesadilla that was our absolute favorite. and a mamasita carne asada burrito that was still good, just not quite as good as the quesadilla. 

after lunch we went to a massage place that kellie said her and her husband go. they go a lot and this was cheaper than most other places but they weren’t sure if we wanted to go to it…because the massages were given by blind people! we were so down to go and have that experience so we pulled out our map after lunch and tried to figure out how to get there. as we were looking at our map a nice middle aged woman stopped on her scooter and asked us (in english) if we needed help with anything. it amazes me how sweet and kind these people are. we have been in so many situations on trains or at the metro station or in restaurants where locals who speak even a little english are so willing to help the best they can. we’ve been so blessed. it makes me want to be more like that. anyways, she helped us get a taxi and told the driver where we needed to go. the massage place was awesome! it was a small little building with two rooms (many massage beds in each room) a bathroom and a front desk. we paid for our massage (45 RMB for a 45 minute massage…that’s about a seven dollar massage…sweet!) and they basically shoved us into the room. we were freaking out wondering if we’d take off our clothes, yes underwear, no underwear, do they provide us with other robe type things or something… but they just told us to get on the beds, clothes and all, and they put a sheet over us and got to work. i was lucky enough to get the only male but it was fine. he did a fantastic job but i didn’t get a butt massage like mich and rach. that’s alright with me though. when we talked to Kellie about it she was glad we weren’t too freaked out. we kept wondering why they didn’t want us to go or thought we’d feel weird. they said it was because chinese people are just chinese so they’ll pass gas while giving you a massage or burp or spit. we started laughing after she told us this but then i did start to remember that about half way through the massage i did hear a little something, something and i realized what it had been. such a great experience. the best though was trying to be woken up by my blind man. (yep i had fallen asleep) and realizing as i lifted my face out of the hole that my face was so swollen! he had worked on my neck and shoulders a lot and i never turned over onto my back. so i had my face in that hole, being shoved further into that hole for a whole 45 minutes. it was hilarious. rach’s face was swollen too so i didn’t feel as bad about it. it was great.

that afternoon we had an adult session of a district conference that we were attending (it was for all of the branches close to shanghai. the one we’ve been going to in nanjing is a part of that so we thought it’d be fun to go to the district conference with them.) so we met up with the other girls in our group and went to that. elder pratt from the seventy was there and it was a great meeting. afterwards we wanted to find a fun thai restaurant that kellie told us about that was also near the pearl market. there are tons of knock offs there and it’s a fun shopping area. the girls didn’t want to take a taxi so we tried walking from the metro but things didn’t work out. girls behind me (i had a map that kellie had written out for us) were wondering if i even knew where i was going and they were just being so impatient. that started stressing me out. i was pretty sure we were going to the right place but it was dark, we were in china for goodness sake and i don’t speak chinese so i was doing the best that i could. it was getting later so we decided to go to a place that we just walked past. i’ve been wanting to go to a nice sit down restaurant to have a good meal but some of the girls get so anxious and impatient so we just end up eating at weird fast food places. this place wasn’t as bad as that but we had no clue how or what to order because none of the waiters spoke english. a few people ended up getting he exact same dish that they’ve gotten at every place and didn’t enjoy it. rach and i went out on a limb and got what we thought was sweet and sour pork. it was and it tasted heavenly! i still wanted thai so bad but whatever. by that point it was pretty late and the other girls wanted to get back to their hostel. the metro was closed already so we started to try to find some taxis. they got a taxi after about ten minutes and just left without saying it took us another twenty minutes to find a taxi and that was after we walked around trying to find a better place to get one. again, a sweet chinese girl, probably our age, gave us her taxi and we were on our way back to kellie’s. right next to her apartment building there is a shopping mall. we wanted to walk around and explore for a little longer so we went there before going in for the night. they had an H&M and more importantly they had a COLDSTONE! we practically ran to it praying that it hadn’t closed yet and it hadn’t! we totally splurged and got ourselves a good amount of ice cream. the guys working there asked if we were students and we said yes, because technically we are and they told us about a deal they were having. if you buy one love it then you get another one for only 1 RMB. what a steal! we got four and shared the fourth one between us three. they didn’t have any cake batter or brownies left so i got sweet cream with carmel and snickers. it tasted exactly like it does at home! i was stoked. 

district conference on sunday was great and after it they had a lunch and fireside with elder pratt and his wife for the single adults. we made sandwiches and had a broccoli salad for lunch. it tasted so good. the fireside was amazing. and then kellie invited us over for sunday dinner! i was in heaven. she made lasagna, pumpkin soup, rolls, salad, and chocolate cake. i even had apple juice at dinner (oh and honeycombs for breakfast with a blueberry muffin, how could i forget!) it truly was amazing. the other girls went to the pearl market and shopped all day and we enjoyed a wonderful evening at home. 

we did have one more thing on our list that we wanted to do and hadn’t done…we wanted to get manicures and pedicures. it sounds silly but i literally felt disgusting every time i looked at my fingernails or toenails. i had such an awkward amount left on from before i left home and i didn’t have any remover to take it off. i felt stupid for wanting one so bad but i literally was going crazy. so before leaving for the train station we stopped quick at the pearl market to get our nails done. we watched the time travelers wife while getting foot and hand massages and shiny nail polish put on our freshly manicures fingers and toes. it was wonderful…except for the fact that our train was leaving soon and we had no clue how far away we were from the train station. we were kind of panicking so we asked the girls to write down in chinese "please take me to this train station" so we could show that and our ticket to the taxi driver. we did that but the drive was forever long so we were worried that we was taking us to the wrong train station. we had told the other girls that we’d meet them in front of the train station 40 minutes before the time that we arrived there. we literally RAN the whole way from where the taxi dropped us off (which was the basement parking garage of the station) to our gate. we kept showing our ticket to people, asking where to go next, while running (and sweating) and we made it in 5 minutes. (mostly because we ran up an escalator that was turned OFF because we didn’t want to wait for the one that was working and going up… we were crazy) when we got to the gate we couldn’t see the other girls. we started freaking out again. our train was leaving in about 20 minutes and we weren’t sure if the girls were still waiting for us at our meeting spot or what. we realized that our train number was both on the left side and the right side so we went to the other side and the girls were there. it really was a miracle that we made it on time. our quick prayer in the taxi was heard and answered. the train ride home is quite a ridiculous story and i've said too much so i'll just say that it was miserable. we got home and that was that. it was a great weekend and i wouldn't have wanted it to go any other way.  

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