Tag: friends

Good bye Germany โ€“ Hello again Shanghai!

Good bye Germany โ€“ Hello again Shanghai!

After 5 weeks in Germany, I got back to Shanghai on Saturday. It was a crazy mix of work, vacation, friends & family visits and more work.

Let’s start at the beginning: The day I landed, I hosted a mini bachelorette party for my sister, we attended her wedding the next day and then 5 days later Thorben’s sister got married. We visited 2 new babies, had the first snow of the season, went to the office for a week, had 2 birthdays in our families, met friends for dinner, at the Christmas Market or for brunch, got out of an Escape room (my team was a minute faster then Thorben’s … just saying), had awesome breakfasts and meals with our families, celebrated Christmas, went to see Bohemian Rhapsody and a musical โ€ฆ and that was only during the 2 weeks in December.

In January, Thorben drove up to the North Sea to visit family for a few days, while I went to the office and hung out more with friends and family in the evenings. After catching up with some work at the office, I started an 8 day training course. We escaped from a Harry Potter themed escape room, just in time for Thorben to catch his flight to Shanghai the next day. Actually, we escaped after only 37 minutes, like the amazing wizards and witches we are ๐Ÿ˜‰ LUMOS!

In the evenings, I took it a little easier in my final 2 weeks: My sister and I had a spa day and went to an ice hockey game (Mannheim won!), I met a few friends and former colleagues and finally had a good bye dinner with my family followed with a good bye Brezel breakfast with my mom.

And this is the trip in pictures. As always, I didnโ€™t take enough because I was too busy having fun … and eating … and somehow acquiring so much stuff I needed 3 suitcases to fit everything. Oops.

See you soon, Germany!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last year, we spent Thanksgiving in Cambodia and Singapore, but this year was not too bad either. I even got to celebrate and EAT twice. Last Thursday, on the actual day, I had a great dinner with a friend at a restaurant. They served a traditional Thanksgiving dinner plate with turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and green bean casserole. Yum!

The festivities continued in our kitchen on Saturday morning. Thorben gave making stuffing a try and I tried out my host mom’s pumpkin pie recipe. Based on the feedback, and my personal, totally unbiased opinion, both turned out great. We took the goodies to our friends Friendsgiving party where we had enough food to feed at least 26 people, not only the 16 of us ๐Ÿ™‚ Besides the food, other highlights included a mulled wine competition and testing (the UK beat China!), playing “Disturbed Friends”, a screensaver of Nick Offerman drinking Whiskey for 10 hours, and wearing Disney ears … Just because they’re festive!

Taipei Pride

Taipei Pride

Last weekend I took another trip to Taipei because it was Pride weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ A few friends from Shanghai went; I’m always happy to visit Jana and Ellie, so, win-win.

It was my first pride and I was very prepared – I’m German after all ๐Ÿ™‚ I bought a bunch of accessories during my US trip and lots of gold tattoos on Taobao. The parade was on Saturday and we had a lot of fun getting ready for it. And by getting ready, I mean applying those gold tattoos and lots of glitter.

Besides going to Pride, we also ate. Ellie has a list of places to try and we did 3 of them – all were great! We had dinner at La Mesa, a Spanish restaurant, brunch at The SPOT, a cute cafe with yummy food, and one more brunch at Herban, another great find. 3 spots down, 154 to go!

In addition to that, chocolate xiaolongbao at Din Tai Fung were a must of course, as well as another trip to the night market (not pictured, but same yummy stuff as last time).

So it was an all around fantastic weekend with lovely people, great weather and amazing food ๐Ÿ™‚

Friends, food and fun – our summer

Friends, food and fun – our summer

According to the Chinese Lunar calendar, summer is already over and fall started on August 7. The weather doesn’t seem to care about that and my app says it will still be above 30 degrees for the foreseeable future. Still, I thought I’d take this opportunity to recap our summer a bit, since we’ve been a bit lazy with the blogging.

This year, the weather was a tiny bit cooler than last year with the hottest day being “only” 38 degrees. It was still really hot and often also really humid. Just walking from the taxi to the office feels like exercise when it’s already 34 degrees at 8am.

So far we’ve had 4 typhoon warnings but mostly we got lucky and Shanghai didn’t get hit very hard. They did bring lots of rain and some wind for a day or two each time, especially during the last one it was pouring like crazy. I wish I could have sent some of that rain to Germany.

Besides sweating, our summer was filled with hanging out with friends, brunches, dinners, movie nights, parties and dinner parties. After we already had German and Swiss night, we enjoyed some home cooked Mexican food in early August. Luxembourg night turned into pizza and home cooked Chinese food night ๐Ÿ™‚ Up next: international potluck dinner!

Thorben got the contact of a guy who imports beef which started a little steak obsession in our house. Right now there are still around 3 kilos of beef in our freezer, and that is after 4 steak dinner parties … My role in these dinners: Make appetizers, salad dressing, bake dessert and don’t disturb the chef ๐Ÿ™‚ Homemade avocado popsicles were also a big hit this summer.

I went to some more GGI events and shared the wine I brought back from Germany with friends. Thorben did a lot of exercise including running along the bund in this crazy heat and played archery every weekend. We also got celebrated the first birthday of archery in Shanghai with a big party. Just because I don’t play doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy lots of cake, right? Oh and of course we had to go to work here and there ๐Ÿ™‚

First hometrip

First hometrip

Happy New Year!

I got back to Shanghai with my 46.4 kg of stuff on Sunday so I I guess it’s time to kick off the blogging for 2018, now that I’m not busy anymore having fun at home.

Here is a quick photo recap of my first trip home after almost 7 months in Shanghai. Not pictured:

  • My sisters and I in a pikatchu, minion and panda onesie. They said I couldn’t post it.
  • Our golden VW rental car. It was beautiful. Thorben was only slightly embarrassed.
  • Lots of fun with family, friends and my former co-workers

 

My favorite things about Germany

1.) Seeing friends and family. Obviously.

2.) Food. No surprise here ๐Ÿ™‚ It was fantastic to eat Butterbrezeln, Hefezopf, Maultaschen, Kรคsespรคtzle, Sauerbraten mit Knรถdel … I could go on and on.

3.) Drinking the tap water.

4.) Crusing down the Autobahn at 180 km/h.

5.) Having your phone battery last forever because it’s not getting used up by the VPN. And justย  being able to quickly use google and watch cooking videos on Facebook without preloading for 5 minutes ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Now I’m back in the land of Alipay and Sherpas, which is also pretty great. Always remembering cash was really annoying.

2017 – A Year in Review

2017 – A Year in Review

2017, it’s been a crazy year.

January

Our China adventure started in January with a look and see trip to Shanghai. We spent 5 days and half the time I thought Thorben was crazy for wanting to move here. I got used to the idea when we visited Jing’An, the Bund and Xintiandi and our relocation agent showed me where to get Nutella and cheese ๐Ÿ˜‰

February

In February we started our preparation with an intercultural seminar followed by a 2 week intensive language class, which made my brain hurt and showed me how difficult learning Chinese is. While Thorben got over this traumatic experience and started studying again towards the end of the year I still haven’t recovered quite yet ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also got my job offer and started the visa process.

March

My host sister got married in California and I was happy to be part of the wedding as a bridesmaid. We also used the time to visit San Diego, Joshua Tree National Park and spent time with my American family in Ventura.

April

Thorben turned 30 in April and we took the chance to celebrate both his birthday and a farewell party. We also packed all our stuff into 25 boxes, handed over the key to our apartment and I dropped him off at the airport at the end of the month.

May

While Thorben was busy starting this blog, a new job, exploring China and finding us an apartment, I spent the month saying good bye to family and friends. I also took a trip to Budapest and celebrated my birthday winning at mini golf before hopping on a plane to Shanghai.

June

During my first week in Shanghai I met Pearl and we visited Zhujiajiao together.ย  We also received our air freight, which helped us settle into our new apartment. Thorben went to Japan with his coworkers while I discovered the avocado lady and spent a day exploring the city with Shane.

July

In July it was a bit rainy at times so we had fun playing board games and making travel plans. I also visited some touristy places as a friend from university was in town. Thorben went on his first business trip to Germany and we saw “Sleep no More” which he loved and I hated. We also faced some crazy temperatures – above 40! – but that didn’t keep us from trying lots of different restaurants and seeing the Lion King in Chinese.

August

During the summer we went to quite a few brunches and also cooked for the first time, not at our home but someone else at a home-style cooking class. In August we also met Ellie (at a brunch) and had some adventures with her and Pearl at a murder mystery dinner and trying to eat lung. At the end of the month Thorben and I took our first trip out of the country together and spent a long weekend in Seoul.

September

September was a mix between food and culture: I tried hot pot for the first time, we went to see the musical Sister Act. I hoarded cheese after hearing of a coming ban while Thorben took some pretty pictures at night. During our trip to Beijing we visited famous sights such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall and had some delicious Peking duck.

October

The month started out with a week long break – Golden Week – which we used to travel to Hong Kong and visit Jana in Taipei. I also had an epic scone bake-off with Ellie. Most of our weekends we spent at brunch, shopping for tailored clothes and getting Christmas presents at the Pearl Market.

November

Thorben tried some hairy crabs while they were in season and I indulged in yummy breakfast street food. I also got some more Christmas shopping done during Single’s Day. After months of eating out and Sherpa deliveries I finally cooked for the first time. We got to check off a big item on the travel bucket list and explored the magnificent temples of Angkor. After 4 beautiful days in Cambodia we also visited Singapore.

December

In December we had to say our final good bye to Ellie at the airport. The rest of the month was much more festive: We ate Raclette, baked some Christmas cookies and went to a Christmas market. After a crazy half a year we got on a plane to Germany to celebrate Christmas with our families and catch up with friends.

Thanks to everyone who made 2017 so fun. Let’s see what 2018 has to offer!