Last February Fil and I planned a trip. He has never been to China, I have never been to Shanghai, so we decided to visit this city of balance: the city where old and new meet, where foreigners and locals coexist, where you’ll find genuine and fake brands, where you will see a lot of culture and yet find people spitting in the streets — all these in perfect harmony.
With our then new tutorial jobs coming up, we decided to plan the trip during the semestral break- end of October, right before my birthday.
Told a few of my friends about it, hoping that someone will join us in our trip and I was happy that my longtime mentor, George agreed to join us. For someone who travels a lot, he hasn’t been to China before, and is delighted about the opportunity to go.
I planned our itinerary based on my research online. Then consulted with friends and family members who have been there.
Because of the extensive research and planning, I even got interested to study Chinese history. I downloaded several Shanghai apps and practiced my Chinese skills. I regret that i didn’t pay attention to my high school Chinese classes. All those years wasted….
That’s why I really appreciate teaching Chinese to Xavier and Ica students. I get to expand my vocabulary and use Mandarin often.
One morning, I had a work related meeting and it was there where I first met Karen Tui. She worked in Shanghai for several years in the past, and when I told her about our plans, she agreed to help us out. I showed her my itinerary, and she corrected it in such a way that it made more sense. She advised me to remove some places that are not so good and replaced them with must-do stuff.
Here is our final itinerary:
Getting our visa was quite a hassle. Apparently, first time China goers must submit a valid NBI clearance form. Plus bank certificate, employment certificate, government IDs among others. We had a hard time doing that because both Fil and me do not have that much money saved, so as embarrassing as it may sound, we asked help from our moms 🙂
According to the very efficient Holiday Experts Travel Services, our visa will come out on Oct 18. Just in time for our trip. We will leave on Oct 24 and come back on the 29th. Pray for fair weather and safe travel.
Speaking of weather, it’ll be autumn in Shanghai!!! I have been planning long and hard for my wardrobe: I want to wear a different jacket everyday, so that the photos won’t look like they’ve been just taken in one day. I went thru my wardrobe, tried out several “porma” clothes and showed it to the fashionable designer Katrina Uy, my sister in law.
Sad to say, only two out of five sets passed her scrutiny. Solution? She lent me one of her nice pants, told me to buy boots and some more tops. I guess this will be another trip to the ukay-ukay 😉
Guess which ones she approved of?
Since the first week of September, I have been counting calories and am trying to lose weight. I was 30lbs overweight! With the help of Herbalife and a healthy support group, I am proud to say that I have already lost around 13lbs. This upcoming trip was my primary motivation for it. Hey, I want to look good in the pictures!
Now I’m torn among the following: have my lashes curled, reperm my already limping hair, retouch my colored hair, or all of the above? Now that I lost a little weight, I seem to have gained my vanity back.
Why am I venting about all of these? Well, it’s a girl thing, and Fil is in Bohol with his classmates to shoot for their photo exhibit. That means, I’ll be home alone for four days and three nights. Hope I won’t get as emo as the last time 😉
For travel requirements, check out holiday experts at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Holiday-Experts-Travel-Services-Inc/286191390248?sk=info
My contacts there are Jo Romero and Alan Choa.