Friday, August 29, 2008

Whine Wine

Good morning!

It's Saturday morning and you know that means GOLF in Chinese! Mike played 18 holes yesterday at the Shanghai Country Club and today he is participating in a Westinghouse/Shaw golf tournament at the Hongqaio Golf and Tennis Club. He's a lucky man! The reason he's lucky is that he got a great deal on Callaway clubs at the Hongqaio Pearl Market. Yes, I said Pearl Market. They call it the Hongqaio Pearl Market because its in Hongqaio, a lovely "village" (as Mr. Chen our driver likes to call it). I call it a suburb - like Plum or Mt. Lebanon. I don't know why they call it the Hongqaio Pearl Market except that they do sell lovely pearl jewelry there (that's where I bought mine) but they also have Coach, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and you-name-it-you-can-get-it bags there. They have silk, cashmere, iPods, you name it - they've got it.

Anyway, this is where he got his golf clubs. Got a great deal - bag, clubs, drivers, woods, and travel bag too! Woo hoo - he IS a lucky man. His game is getting better. He sunk a 40' putt yesterday - amazing his friends and himself. And his scores have gotten better too. He's pretty consistent now. So Eric and Bobby and the rest of the K of C better watch out.

Another plus about Hongqaio is that they have a Flower Market there. Mr. Chen has taken me there twice now and I think I'm going to have to make another pilgimage out there again next week. My orchids have died! They were beautiful while they lasted - I cannot grow them here - in the Burgh or probably - anywhere. They need tropical heat and humidity but we need the air conditioning turned on here so it just doesn't work. I can go to the Flower Market to see them and admire them but I'll just dream about them.

Hongqaio is also the area near the Carrefour (French grocery store) where we go because we're foreigners. It's in Gubei. And there is a huge City Shop (the other western grocery store) near there as well. The best Israeli / Mediterrean restaurant and bakery called Haya's is on Hongmei Road - we so enjoy going there too. They have great hummus.


Today I'm talking about - oops - whining about wine! I told you the other day that we had a wine tasting the other night with Jack from Vin. I was pretty disappointed this week as he only brought one wine I thought was any good. Last month he brought some very good ones and we bought two. This time, we bought only one bottle from South Africa for our cavernous wine cellar. Please see the photo so you can see what a wine cellar looks like in China!

This week Denice and I investigated an Italian Wine Shop down. John Mallory told us about it. We followed his directions - took the long way around and realized it is close to - catty corner to the Shanghai Stadium which is right down the street from us about 4 city blocks. They did have quite a few Italian wines there and some liquor as well. The prices for liquor were decent - better than City Shop. Denice found a red and I bought a white wine.

We were chatting with some women at the American Women's Club who mentioned that sometimes the Chinese even pass fake Absolut off reducing the price. One woman told us that a friend of hers put Absolut in the freezer and it FROZE! Imagine that?

I'm not going to talk politics on this Blog. There is no sense in doing it. It will only rattle some people and they will wonder what kind of rice wine I've been drinking. So, politically speaking - make up your own mind - vote your own conscience and don't complain about it once it's done on November 5th. Wendy Painter will be the only person who knows who I vote for - she's the Judge of Election at Plum High School and I'll make a point to key her in. . .

Have a great Labor Day everyone! We don't get to celebrate it here but we'll be celebrating the Autumn Festival on September 15th. Then we hope to be jetting off to Seoul for a few days on the 29th.

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