Monday was the day I got to meet CeCe's sister Carol and her friends, Ann and Amy. Carol is from Wisconsin, Ann is from New York and Amy is from Connecticut. They are lovely ladies and I felt like I'd known them forever.
Yvette took us to the French Concession and we all enjoyed it immensely. We found ourselves at Joffre Terrace where the famous writer, Ba Jin. We walked a little further until we came upon the home of Xu Guangping, the editor and his wife, Lu Xun. We walked to the Astrid Apartments that consist of 8 floors and 40 apartments - it was built in 1933.
We saw a lovely building owned by the Chinese government but the suites there can be rented. Lovely antiques - some shown here - I loved the red trunk and the screen.
It was a warm day - lots of sun and we moved along to Fuxing Park where we met a lovely older couple near the Rose Garden here. Not many blooms yet - maybe in a few weeks - The gentleman was writing calligraphy on the sidewalk with a long pen with water in it. Just as soon as he would finish writing a character, it would disappear. His wife told us that he took up this art about 3 years ago but we thought he was an expert. She said he had a career as a designer in Shanghai. Their only child, a daughter, now lives in New York City. Her mother told us proudly that she has a 4 story home. They lived with her for two years. The older woman didn't like living in New York. She couldn't talk with her neighbors;even though her husband had learned a little English. They moved back to Shanghai because "the leaves were falling from the trees". Which meant she wanted to be home in her own country when she died. What lovely people they were.
Yvette told us the story of Mr. Du who was the "Mafia" person here in Shanghai back in the day. He was into prostitution and even had his own opium den. He had a few wives and many children. We saw his garden - see above.
After the walk, we went to Pearl City where I finally finished my Chinese Charm Bracelet. It is one of my proudest accomplishments. I got this great idea when Denice told me about the charm bracelet her mother had made for her when she was young. I decided that I wanted to make a charm bracelet with all the good things I've found here in China.
I went to Pearl City months ago after I met Valerie who owns a little shop there. She's a lovely woman who sells her beautiful sterling silver and gold-plated jewelry at the American Women's Club and Shanghai Expatriate Association Coffees. She had a wonderful chain and I bought some wonderful charms - a map of China to anchor it and a little heart-shaped locket with a key - it sort of reminded me of Mike; you know, like the "key to my heart". Valerie had those two charms soldered onto the chain and off we went in search of additional charms.
In the past few months CeCe and I've been to the Commodity Market and the Science and Technology Market scouring the shops for sterling silver charms. I have found some great ones and the bracelet is now complete - well, maybe I have space for one or two more items but it is basically complete and I'm taking it home to show my Mom and Kate. I think they'll like it too!
There are no photos of it in this posting - I want it to be a surprise. If you want to see it - post a message for me and I'll create a blog posting later next month - after I've shown it to them.