Shanghai Dolls may come from all around the world, but one experience unites us: we’re all wai guo nu ren (foreign women) here in China! This experience can be exciting, glamorous, and advantageous… as well as frustrating, isolating, and inconvenient. In addition to sharing this unique experience, we often share language and culture, which makes it easier to share friendship.
Although foreign girlfriends (especially Dolls!) can be vital to our happiness and sanity, most of us would probably be thrilled to add a few more Chinese friends to our circles. The thing is, despite your best efforts, sometimes it’s just so… hard.
Most obviously, there’s the language barrier. Then, you can’t agree on the best way to spend a Friday night: you like to dance until dawn after a few drinks at el Coctel, while she prefers to get a full night’s beauty sleep after KTV-ing it up at the nearest Haoledi. On a deeper level, you have different life experiences and goals. You’ve been able to visit several continents, and are working to establish yourself in your career before starting a family. The only stamps in her passport are from the Expo pavilion staff, and she worries that if she doesn’t secure a husband by the magic age of 28, she’ll be forever doomed to a life of spinsterhood and financial insecurity. There’s often a financial barrier as well: many of us maintain or improve our lifestyles in Shanghai, while many educated, professional Chinese women still struggle to heat their homes and care for their aging parents. Oh, and what is the deal with her texting you all the time and holding your hand?
Living in China is like living Captain Jack Sparrow’s life. What, with all the pirated stuff, from “Lolex” watches to Gucci and LV handbags, China is a paradise of fake goods. The most popular pirated products that residents, both locals and foreigns, patronize is probably DVD movies. They are available at almost every street corner, with prices ranging from RMB 5 to RMB 10 ($ 0.75 to $ 1.5). Way cheap! Those with [better] quality and from legal-looking shops cost about twice as much. Still cheap for owning a copy when renting a movie normally costs the same.Being a communications graduate with a minor in film, I know that pirating really hurts the business (but I won’t go into that politics), but I, too, being a movie buff, have succumbed into patronizing the illegal stuff. I bought loads of DVDs, and while some were my favorites, others were plain movies to watch to pass time.
On Saturday we had the first pole dancing class! In particular, I wanted to do it because it means I'd be 'forced' to exercise. My fitness levels are.... nonexistent. I'm generally just too lazy and love to eat, so exercise somewhat opposes that ;) So I figure, if I enroll myself into classes, and do it with friends, then I'd just HAVE to exercise, right? And obviously, pole dancing is FUN. A lot more exciting than jogging endlessly, how boring. I also like how you move to music, and it seems to me it's very similar to gymnastics/ballet.. what with the core strength and flexibility involved. So I figure, since I danced ballet for 10 years, I'd be more pre-disposed to do pole dancing than, say, rugby ;) The class was a LOT of fun, and so entertaining! It was all our 1st class ever, so it was all very beginner. We learned a lot though, and you realise how much coordination and strengh is needed for pole dancing. In fact, the next day, my muscles were so sore I couldn't stand up or sit down properly.. let alone walk without limping! My thighs were SO painful I just couldn't move them, and so were all these weird areas of my upper arms and armpits. Ouchhhhh. The pain was staggering. And all because of my zero exercise, hence none of my muscles are used to working out. Argh. Well.... hopefully now that I'm doing this, I'll get fitter and be in less pain after each class!
So you know how I can’t stand Oprah because of how she is just this random, middle-aged single woman who is always shoving unsolicited advice down people’s throats? Well as a random, 30-something woman from whom most people know better than to ask romantic counsel, I’m jumping on this advice-giving bandwagon because it seems like a fun place to be.
1. Don’t take it too seriously. It really is like buying a lottery ticket. Chances are that it will end in a big fat zero. Which, to be fair, you should consider a win because at least he didn’t try to kill you. Set your bar of expectation way low and don’t prioritize that first date over anything else. Really, don’t do it. Think about it like looking for a needle in a big old pile of other needles. Better-looking, socially well-adjusted needles. Which are all already taken so you are left to sort through “The Others” like some creepy parallel universe version of Lost. Which is how you feel as you trawl through maybeillfindsomeonewhoisntbroken.com and then self-awareness kicks in – belatedly – and you stop and think: “Eek! Is this what guys are thinking when they are looking at the profiles of people like me?”
I think there can be a big misconception about the benefits of Boot Camp or what Boot Camp actually is! I am what you could call a Boot Camp Junkie, because I love doing this kind of activity for many reasons. Some of them include the fact that it is by far the fastest way to get fit, toned and to look fantastic! Also, not to mention the huge effect it has on your mood in making you enjoy life way more. I find it really inspiring and motivating to workout with other women who have their own set of goals and see not only my progression towards the end objective, but theirs too…One of the biggest preconceptions of this type of exercise probably comes from the name – Boot Camp! It does tend to conjure up images of a drill sergeant screaming at you to drop and give him 20, but I am here to tell you that that is definitely a false idea! The first Boot Camp I ever worked my way through was called “Bikini Boot Camp”, funny name I know and again even that invokes images of women running around in their Bikini’s! It was actually called that, because it was to be used as a tool to get you looking hot in a Bikini.
Okay ladies as most of you know Shanghai is or can be the land of “Happy Endings” for men who choose to go out looking for this… “Ni Hao, zhe ge anmo shang dian shi xiao jie de shang dian ma?” A few simple words the single men of this city need to ask and off they go to a “happy” place, but what about the women? Being the type of person who lives to please the members of the Shanghai Dolls I have done some research and found somewhere that offers this service! Yes Shanghai has a happy ending massage for women too!
So the story goes (or so I have heard, cough, cough)… There is a guy in Shanghai who is now offering this service to the women in the city who are looking for a bit more than their trusty rabbit has been offering. You will get a two-hour massage and then at the end he will ask you to turn over and he works his magic fingers until you are screaming away with pleasure.
The whole process is very professional and not embarrassing as you may think. After the massage when you may be feeling a little vulnerable, because you start to realize that you just let a stranger take you places you never imagined he will let you know that he is going off to get some towels to clean off the oil from the massage and give you five minutes to recompose yourself. After he comes back he gives you a nice facial massage, wipes off the oil and finishes the session by even walking you to the cab!
Since V-day is coming-up, and because I co-own a sex shop here, I thought I'd take the time to talk about what's available in Shanghai and where you can get it. As I'm obviously biased, I welcome you to take my advice with a grain of...MSG.
In the review: Buccone's, Oh! Toys, G-Le, Amy's Bedroom and of course that sex toy market. There are also some recommendations for Valentine's shopping with someone special.
Image credit: krazydad
I don't know a girl who does't like horoscopes. It might be a debatable subjects whether horoscopes are saying the truth or not, but at certain point all of us fread them even if it's just for fun. Chinese New Year is coming soon (February 14th) and we are interestested what it holds for all twelve Chinese zodiacs.
Drama, intensity, change and travel will be the keywords for 2010. The Year of the Tiger will bring far reaching changes for everyone. New inventions and incredible technological advances have a good chance of occurring. For all of the Chinese horoscope signs, this year is one to be active – seizing opportunities and making the most of our personal and very individual talents. Everything happens quickly and dramatically in a Tiger year – blink and you could miss an important chance of a lifetime!
Let’s take a look at each animal, their major personality traits and what the prospects are for 2010, the Year of the Tiger.
What fashion lover doesn’t love shoes? I’ve compiled the strangest shoes in fashion today that even the biggest fashionista may or may not love. These shoes are innovative, funny, and some are even disturbing. Be prepared, any preconceived notions you have about shoes are about to change!
1. The Mojito is one of the weirdest shoes you’ll ever see. The shoe was designed by British architect Julian Hakes and is made of carbon fiber for strength and elasticity along with a rubber bottom and leather. You can tell it was designed by a architect and not a shoe designer because it doesn’t appear that it can even stay on your foot for more than a step and even if it did, it looks very uncomfortable.