Year J, Two Thousand Fourteen

*Everything that was 2014. Entries below were drafted  in Shanghai, China – where internet connection is restricted and can drain happiness off you even from merely trying to get online.
*Currently fluttering somewhere in the District of Columbia, Land of the Free

I just realized that I have not updated this blog for the last n months years. Here are special random highlights of the year that was.

Starting you off with some classy Bling Bling Holiday greetings from a mall next to Jing’An Temple.

2013 Bling Bling Holiday Greetings from Jing’An, Shanghai, China

(1) New Job
I moved to a new job to teach MYP/Pre-IGCSE Science somewhere in Minhang District, Shanghai.

View of the hallway from the Science and Math Block
My work corner when I started. I was transitioning into the Macbook life here.
Also, there’s more clutter on my desk when school is in progress.

(2) New Home
Michael and I moved to a new apartment in June 2014. Our landlady is an interior designer / architect and her place was one of her early projects. Photos taken below during our 1st tour of the house with our property agent.

Entry area reminds me of the ocean. 
Bamboo ladder was kept as part of the house interior.
Property agent’s pair of shoes not included.
Intricate detail on the dining table stand – lovingly hand-crafted 
by my landlady and her daughter.
Hallway to the guest bedroom and bathroom
Living room zen area – where we spent most of our times appreciating how awesome life is.

(3) New Adventure: Gourmet Home Cooking

We tried out xinwei to guide us in the kitchen. Proportioned ingredients for gourmet dishes with user-friendly instructions. Mackerel and Ratatouille and Mushroom Risotto were our favorites. Michael took charge of this at the kitchen. My OCD was put to good use during preparation stage.

Michael being a pro at the kitchen

The dishes did not make it to the pictures – they disappeared too quickly.

(4) Annual Homecoming Faves
Next to my family…..

the reasons I come home can be summarized below

Boiled Saba Banana in Bagoóng (Fermented Krill or Anchovies)
Singkamas with Suka’t Toyo with Sili (Turnip in Spicy vinegar sauce)
Paksiw na Isda (Fish cooked in vinegar and spices) and Kinilaw na Isda (Ceviche Filipino Style)

(5) Hosting our 1st Shanghai Thanksgiving Dinner November 2014
Michael and I hosted our first Shanghai Thanksgiving Dinner. Food was catered from Mr. Harry’s .
Captured moments from Michael’s time-lapsed video coverage here.

Table details courtesy of Michael and Pinay.

(6) 2014 Christmas Dinners Snippets

At PauPatri Boracay

At Argonauta Boracay Boutique Hotel’s dinner spread
At Argonauta Boracay Boutique Hotel’s dinner spread
At Mergrande Resort with Davao Family
At Shanghai Filipino Family Dinner
At Mr. Harry’s Shanghai for Bashers’ Christmas Dinner

Here’s to more posts for 2015. I know it’s already halfway across the year but I will work on catching up.

Alternative to Sherpas

August 5, 2012
Shanghai, China

Recently, I embarked on a mission to learn how to navigate my way into these endless online shopping websites in China. Thanks to Google Translate and Bing Translator, I have managed to successfully accomplish this, ending up spending my entire days glued to the computer.

I would confidently blame the food delivery services in Shanghai, specifically Sherpas, Mealbay, McDonalds and KFC, for making me lazy. Although, I always miss home-cooked meals courtesy of Lola and Mother, I have to survive living without them. I love cooking, however, it consumes too much time and effort to prepare a dish that is good for one or two people. Hence, food delivery, it is.

McDonalds is undeniably the most dependable food service, for non-healthy deep fried chicken wings, chicken nuggets and double cheeseburgers. It is cheap and convenient (they have 24 hour delivery service) but it is not healthy. Then there’s Sherpas. Sherpas is every expat’s food delivery fantasy. It probably has more than 200 restaurants to choose from, mostly marked-up dishes from restaurants that cater to expat communities, specifically those who do not speak Chinese.

Now, I present to you, 壹外卖 or Yī wàimài, a better healthy alternative to McDonald’s and a much affordable choice than Sherpas.  Yī wàimài means one take away (according to Google Translate).

The following pages are translated from google translate, through Google Chrome browser. To start with, you need to register an account.

Second, choose how you want to register. I registered using my mobile phone number. You can also register using your QQ or 163 email accounts.
Third, fill out the registration information as required below. Follow steps 1-4 from the illustration and you should get yourself successfully registered.

Fourth, once you are registered, you can now enter your address or select your location from the map. 
For this example, I have selected an apartment complex along Nandan Road corner North Caoxi Road. It will show you the number of restaurants available around your location that offers food delivery service. 

Translated version

When you select a restaurant, it will redirect you to the restaurant’s page and will show you their menu. From there, you can start choosing what you want to order.

Here are some examples of English-translated menu.

Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant
Yeli Xiali

And Saizereya
Let us say, you wanted to order delivery from this restaurant. The delivery fee is 8RMB, you should order at least 30RMB worth of food, it will take 60 minutes to arrive and it is about 442 meters away from your location.
Select your dishes then click the check button to place your order.
I immediately received a call (from Yiwaimai or from the restaurant, I am not quite sure) after I placed my order. The call was in Chinese. My spoken Chinese is really embarrassing but I managed to understand that they want me to confirm my 地址 Dìzhǐ or address. I confirmed it with my incomprehensible Chinese speaking skills. The guy hung up. Within 45 minutes, my order arrived. Not from Saizeriya but from Yeli Xiali. Xinjiang Food was my test restaurant.
Oh, happiness! You guys should try it.