Sunday, November 30, 2008

This Is Better Than A Drive-In Movie

Good morning,

The St. Andrew's Ball was absolutely FANTASTIC! Being from Beaver, Pennsylvania - U.S.A., I'd never been to a Ball and when Sandy suggested we all go, I thought, "Oh sure - I'll never make it with the Brits". Boy was I wrong on that count.
It all started last Wednesday when Sandy signed us up for Scottish Dancing Lessons. It was at the Blarney Stone Restaurant on Dongping Lu. Lovely little pub. Irish by nature and we had Mr. Chen take us there after work. We ordered - I had the fish and chips with a wee salad and it was great! The others had Cottage Pie and said it was good - large portions. Then Gus showed up and he began teaching. There were maybe about 12 Westerners and about 18 Chinese who were fabulous dancers. I got a little angry when I couldn't do the Dashing White Sargeant (name of the dance) because I was in the wrong position. But the Triumph (name of the dance) was a piece of cake. The Gay Gordon (another name of a dance - no kidding) was very difficult. Lots of "move 3 steps forward and 3 steps back and turn and spin the girl and polka - YES - POLKA. Can you believe it? Lots of fun - lots of sore feet.

Saturday I had my hair done and a manicure at Hair Evolution. I really like it there. Jenny did my manicure and I don't know who did my hair but the head massage was divine. I almost fell asleep. There is a hair dresser there, Neil is his name - every time I go there he always asks me, "Have you had lunch yet?" He's trying to learn English - he's got a primer and there are photos and well, learning English is as hard as learning Chinese. So I always tell him, No, I haven't had lunch yet. Denice and Kirk stopped in for a wee bit of pampering as well. Needless to say, Denice said this is a cultural thing and I need to do some more research to understand what she meant by it. I'll get back to you on that. . .

So, I figure Saturday night will be a complete disaster because there will be hundreds of people there and no one will have had the benefit of the Wednesday night lessons. I was wrong again. Yes, there were hundreds there but some of them had been there before and so it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
The first photo is one of Sandy all dressed in his kilt. The second is a photo of our group. There is Mike - Denice - Kirk - Devin - Sandy - Ned - Sophie. Ned is from England and Sophie is from Madison, Wisconsin. Sophie's got coffee in her cup - - - yeah, sure. So many nice people we've met in Shanghai.
We saw some of our dancing class friends who stopped by to greet us. The hotel is amazing - there was a wedding reception going on and we saw the groom being escorted down the aisle at the reception - he was blindfolded. He had to walk up the stairs to the stage and pick out his bride from about 5 beautiful Chinese women. WOW - didn't stick around to see if he picked the right one.
The fashions were amazing - the kilts even more so. The Scottish Lads were gorgeous but we saw some gorgeous Lassies as well. Lots of different tartans - red, green, black, blue.
I took a photo of the Guinness Girls, missed the Bailey's girls but didn't miss the Bailey's! Annamae - I even got to take a bottle home! It leaked in my purse though.
The food was interesting to say the least. The appetizer was a cold one - seared scallops with a small pastry thing holding some lettuce leaves together. Then the duck breast with a puff pastry of sauteed mushrooms and peas. Some small potatoes. There were rolls and soda bread too. Oh, and cheesecake with raspberry ice cream. The wine was free flow as was the Bailey's, the Johnny Walker Red and a bottle of red wine was on the table but no one seemed to grab that one. I took the Bailey's as I said before and Denice grabbed what was left of the Johnny Walker Red (they all toasted quite a bit - not me!). I toasted with Bailey's and took the photos. Of course, since I took the photos, there are none of me - although I think Sandy took some. Maybe I'll upload those later.
Anyway the carriages were supposed to arrive at 1 am but we grabbed a Shanghai taxi with Kirk and Denice about 12:45 am. We finally got home about 1:30 - so much traffic on the roads in the wee hours here - cannot understand that - I don't think I'm supposed to understand it.
Sunday we did another British thing - went to see Quantum of Solace - Bond, James Bond - 007. It was great. Saw it in English with Chinese subtitles. Great movie if you like action and suspense. So glad I saw the previous one. The Russian woman in this one was stunning as was the British woman who dies - ooops - sorry about that - you won't care - she's just a flash in the pan.
Have a great week - Go Steelers!

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